fbpx

Blog

From Job Description to Offer: Perfect your Hiring Process

Attracting top talent in the digital marketing industry starts with a recruitment process that’s refined for the modern candidate.

Did you know that the application process you put candidates through could actually discourage the best people from applying to work at your company? The future of recruiting is here and businesses have to do everything they can to adapt to it.

The secret lies in creating an experience that puts the candidate first. Not because we want you to place all of the control into the hands of the applicant, but because that’s the only way to attract the best people.

In this guide by Herd, we talk you through the major stages of finding a fit. From writing a great job description through to making an offer, we’re showing you how to make tweaks for hiring success every time.

Step 1: Writing a job description

The first step in the interview process is creating an effective job description that does more than just list duties of the role.

Yes – your description should include responsibilities and information about what the position will entail. It should also clearly define the skills and experience that are essential for a candidate to possess.

We emphasise the need to cover only essential traits because so many hiring managers go wrong at this point. Consider which skills and experience are not 100% mandatory. Are there any you’d be willing to compromise on? Maybe you can train people in certain areas?

If a person is reading your job ad and thinking of applying, they might think twice if they don’t tick every box on your wishlist. If some skills are just desirable or beneficial, make that clear so you don’t discourage someone who could turn out to be high value for your company.If your job description can be interpreted as “we’re searching for a mystical unicorn to join our team,” you might struggle to pass the next step…

Step 2: Circulating your job description

Once you’ve perfected the art of the job description, are you sharing it in the right places?

job-ad-share

If it’s collecting cobwebs in some corner of your internal website, you’re going to miss out on a deep pool of passive candidates (and just about anyone that isn’t visiting your site.)

One thing to remember is that the best candidates aren’t always actively looking for a new gig. That means that no matter where you plaster your ad, they’re not going to see it. How long do you wait to seek external recruitment help, who can reach out to those quality passive candidates and pitch the role on your behalf?…

The way you advertise a job vacancy should vary depending on who your target audience is, but most employers in the digital marketing industry should consider tactics such as social recruiting to tap into relevant platforms.

Gen Z is beginning to trickle into the job market, which we’re expecting will lead to another shift in the way employers find and evaluate candidates. Born between 1997 and 2001, Gen Z-ers will expect a new (digital-first) approach to recruitment, as the first truly digitally native generation.

The tech-savvy younger generation expect things like:

  • A mobile-friendly careers page
  • Recruitment videos 
  • Honest information about company culture
  • A social media presence
  • Fast responses and feedback

Step 3: Shortlisting candidates

If you circulated your job description on the appropriate job boards and social media platforms, you should have a nice influx of applicants that might just be a good fit.

The hiring process and the way we choose who to interview has largely changed over time – but some things have stayed the same. Watch this 1989 video of Bill Gates explaining how he approached the hiring process. If there’s anything you can take from it, it’s that age and experience should not always dictate who flows through to a job interview.

Holding out for that perfect candidate or “golden goose”? Your shortlist is going to be wayyyy too short. Narrow down your search to people that have potential. We’re talking about finding “chicks” that are sub-skilled but keen to learn and develop – you can mentor and train them later.

Step 4: Improving the interview process

When it comes to person to person interviews, try to cut a long process short.

As a general rule-of-thumb, avoid having more than two stages in the interview process. While you’re busy scheduling yet more meetings, your candidate could get snapped up by your competitors. If you do the interviews properly, two is enough.

Improve the candidate experience by showing them around your office and giving them a proper feel for the company; culture is a make-or-break in today’s digital environment. Avoid one-directional interview scenarios, where you try to intimidate the candidate by putting pressure on them and trying to trip them up with tricky questions.

Trust us; they won’t want to work for you.

Keep the interview process efficient, but long enough to form a comprehensive picture about a person. A study by Yale found that interviewers make decisions about a candidate’s class after just 7 words (mere seconds!) of conversation. Though you might not be able to eliminate it completely, there are some ways you can reduce disruption of the hiring process due to unconscious bias…

Use structured questions and keep them consistent for every interviewee, have more than one interviewer and take notes during the interview so you’re not tempted to rely on memory.

Finally, try to build a job interview that doesn’t propel towards solely relying on either hiring for cultural fit or hiring based on experience. There are benefits and downsides to both, so a balanced approach is always best. 

Are you hiring for:

 

  • Cultural fit. If you’re just choosing someone because they “have a good vibe”, you could be unknowingly building a workforce that’s effectively made up of carbon copies of each other. People that are very similar rarely challenge each other and might struggle to innovate within the company. Think about taking a “culture add” rather than a “culture fit” approach.
  • Experience. You might want someone that can slot straight into the role and begin making an impact, but more employers in digital marketing are hiring for potential, rather than experience. Experience doesn’t always equal performance, and someone with potential could be more willing to develop their skills and be easier to coach.

 

improving-interview-process

Step 5: Presentation tips

Often, employers want to weed out the genuine stars from those that talk a big game. One way to do this is to ask a candidate to put together a presentation on how they would approach a particular marketing strategy.

For example, if you’re hiring for a PPC position, you’d ask the candidate to put together an outline for a PPC campaign in a set industry.

This process is fine – and often expected by some candidates that are familiar with marketing interviews. One tip to consider is to ask the candidate to put together the strategy for a different company – not yours or one of your clients – so they don’t assume you’re going to steal their ideas without hiring them.

Step 6: Making an offer (they can’t refuse)

make-offer

You’ve narrowed down your search to the last-standing candidate and your job opening is reaching the point of being filled. 

In a “candidate is king” landscape, the best people receive multiple offers from multiple companies, so you have to give them a reason to choose yours. 

Appoint one hiring manager to make the final decision here, because too many cooks can ruin a good hire. Try practising some flexibility too; be prepared to adjust your initial expectations if you happened to come across a quality candidate with a slightly different skill set during the recruitment process.

Improve your hiring process with a digital marketing recruiter

Working with an external digital marketing recruitment specialist is one way to guarantee hiring success. They’re experts in writing a great job description and can become your partner from start-to-finish. Even when it comes to clinching the right person, they can find out what motivates that person (not just from a financial perspective) to make sure they want to work with you.


Have a chat with Herd Digital
to find out more. Our contingency-based service means you don’t pay until we place the right candidate for your vacancy and you get exclusive access to exceptional talent in the marketing sphere.

Got a question?

We're here to help. Check out our FAQs, send us an email or call us on 0208 629 6006.