Managing a Well Done Search for Top Talent

Managing the influx of applicants in a job search can be a daunting task, particularly in this economy, when there are increased numbers of job seekers. In addition to bolstering the reputation of your company, forthright and proactive communication with candidates and focused management of the process can enable you to make connections with qualified applicants, while reducing the reactive questions that you will undoubtedly get from the most eager ones. As you no doubt know, hiring the wrong person can be costly in more ways than one. Investing the time and resources in properly defining the position and in finding the right person for the job can pay dividends for years to come.

Here are a few pointers that can help you to streamline your search for talent:

Writing a compelling position description: It can be tempting to just list what you need in a position description. While it can be difficult to think about the role from the perspective of your dream candidate (when you're just focused on the work that you need done!) this framing of the work can make a critical difference in how the job is perceived by discerning applicants. The description should include a compelling pitch about the organization and about the position. Think about why this is a unique moment in time for the industry/company/department and why this opportunity would provide a great next step in the career of your dream candidate. Be sure to outline the answers in your post, in addition to listing the qualifications

Screening Resumes: Once you have a compelling position description and you've posted it on JustMeans and sent it out to your networks, the resumes will start to come in. It may be tempting to start sorting the resumes right away (I always want to!), but waiting a week or so until there is a critical mass can actually be more efficient. Comparing and contrasting applicants with one another is a helpful way to determine if additional outreach is necessary and/or who should be placed in the yes, no and maybe categories.

Interviewing Candidates: I recommend scheduling telephone interviews with candidates that look interesting on paper, even though it may not be the most personal first interaction. Speaking with a candidate by phone takes less time than meeting with him in person, and if someone is impressive or intriguing, you can schedule an in person interview on the spot. Equally important is your option to expeditiously end the interviews with candidates who fail to wow you.

Managing Communications: Managing the communications of a search is can be an overwhelming task. Keeping track of where candidates are in the process, and who has heard what from whom requires organization, planning, and attention to detail. Whatever your system is, remember that only one candidate will get the job and the rest will go their own ways with an impression of the company developed through their experience in this process. Extending hospitality to candidates, even if it's through e-mail updates or rejections can help to make their experience with you as good as possible. Though they may not be right for one position, they will likely end up as a customer, funder, or collaborator in the job they do land. Create folders and templates for tracking candidates and take the time to let folks know where they are in the process. This investment of time is a great way to reach constituents and to ensure that they develop a positive impression of the company.

JustMeans offers assistance with conducting searches for positions ranging from entry level to senior management. We work with internal hiring managers, executives and search committees as a partner in the hiring process. We collaborate and strategize with the team to design and implement a streamlined hiring process. Our process includes, but is not limited to: strategic planning of your hiring needs, development of an outreach plan, position description writing, vetting of candidates including resume screening and interviewing, coordination of and participation in search committee interviews, in depth reference checks, managing the offer and negotiation process, and communicating with applicants.

For more information about our talent search services, please contact Deb Berman, Director of Talent and Search at or 212-628-0419.