by Brian Breth
When people tell me they’re hiring, I always ask, “How are you promoting the open position?” I almost always get one of two responses: “on our Careers page,” or “advertising.”
Most hiring managers believe that putting the word out about an open position means putting it out on the web. That roughly translates to posting the position on their own website or placing it on a job board like Monster, Craigslist, CareerBuilder, etc. All of these options are valid and useful resources, but if that’s all you’re using you’re seriously limiting your talent pool.
Throwing it Against The Wall
Advertising a job opening isn’t just about taking an ad out in a newspaper (hopefully none of you are only doing that…) or posting it on a website. Hiring managers tend to take the “wide net” approach to advertising—which is posting a job on the internet where they’ll get the widest visibility. That may be great if you’re looking for an accountant or a marketing manager. However, if you’re looking for something really specific, like a package designer, you may not get the response you’re looking for. The other pitfall to using the wide net strategy is the huge amount of time spent sifting through resumes and portfolio samples from people who are clearly not qualified for the position.
Let’s face it, most skilled, qualified designers are not going to be looking on Monster for their next job. By that logic, you need to be advertising your job on sites that are more specific to the role you’re trying to fill. That’s not to say that traditional job sites aren’t an option, it’s just a matter of proactively managing your time as the candidates start flowing in. Posting on design-specific sites, like Behance, will narrow the field for you and will likely give you a larger pool of qualified candidates to choose from.
There Is A World Outside The Internet
Networking is a form of job advertising that is mostly overlooked by hiring managers. One of the best ways to find qualified candidates is to socialize with them. I’m not talking about bars or clubs. I’m talking about places where like-minded talent tend to flock: speaker events, panel discussions, conferences and—if you’re hiring junior talent—design school portfolio shows. This is actually where the gold is. Screening resumes and portfolios is one thing. A phone interview is another. At a school portfolio show you have an opportunity to meet individuals in person, discuss your open position, and have access to faculty who can give detailed information about working habits and abilities. All of the information is in one place, and there are lots of options!
The thing to keep in mind is that you shouldn’t limit yourself to what we in the recruiting world call “posting and praying.” Being proactive about getting the word out and actually finding places where you can mingle with the type of creative talent you want to hire is key. You save a lot of time, money and headaches.
Networking opportunities are often an overlooked tool for recruiting talent.
Illustration by Jason Bacher
1. Use LinkedIn as a research tool. Groups are a great way to connect with people with mutual interests.
2. Portfolio shows are networking opportunities too. Other companies like yours are always there recruiting talent so it’s a good way to stay connected to your local community.
3. Always carry business cards! Sure, you have a lot of sophisticated communication tools now, but business cards are still a simple and effective way of connecting with people (so don’t forget them).
1. Check out this list of great places to post design jobs.
2. Handshake rusty? Here’s helpful networking advice from the UC Berkley Career Center.
3. The Riley Guide can be helpful to recruiters and job seekers alike.