My company is growing. It’s an exciting time, but also a stressful one – hiring new staff members is tedious, time consuming and generally draining. It takes me away from what I really need to be focusing on in my business. At least, that’s how it’s been in the past. This time around, I was able to simplify the process by using the SmartRecruiters software. I didn’t set out looking for a better way. (I didn’t know a better way existed!)
But luckily, it found me. As a social media agency, we are active on our Pinterest account and we always respond to those who follow us. When SmartRecruiters connected with us on Pinterest, I clicked on the link to check out their boards. “Hiring made easy,” the profile read. My eyes widened. Then they used one of my favorite words when talking about business tools for my company – “free.”
One click took me to the website, and within minutes I was creating my company’s profile. In the past, we’ve posted our open positions on our blog, shared them through social media, and asked our networking partners to spread the word.
We usually get 8-10 applicants for each job. When my job posting went up on SmartRecruiters, we received 108 applications within 2 weeks. I had to take the listing down early because there was too much traffic! I was overwhelmed – and thrilled.
Not only did it give me a wide pool of talent from which to choose, it was an affirmation that if we get the word out to a larger audience, qualified candidates will find us. We did still post our job opening on our blog. One of my favorite things about SmartRecruiters is the ability to take candidates who applied directly to the company and enter them into the program so all my prospects are in one place.
Next, the tedious job of narrowing the field. I believe that everyone who expresses interest in Katie Wagner Social Media deserves to hear back from us, even if they are not right for the position. I cut the list of 108 down to 20 people to screen over the phone.
SmartRecruiters made it easy to send the 88 others a brief email thanking them for their interest. One more round of emails, and I had set up phone appointments for the following week. In fact, throughout each step of the hiring process (we do three rounds of interviews), I was able to quickly respond to the candidates who weren’t the right fit, and schedule the next meeting with those that would advance.
The software also allowed me to move the applicant profiles through a timeline on the computer, so I could quickly tell where we were in the process. I could never have handled the volume of prospects we received if I had been relying on old-fashioned emails, phone calls, and shuffling printed resumes on my desk. (At least, not with my sanity in tact!)
Our new Content Editor, Rachael, started last week. She’s great and we’re lucky to have her. However, there is peace of mind that comes from knowing that my SmartRecruiters account still holds resumes and applications from many qualified candidates. When I am ready to hire again, I can send an email through the program to see if they’re interested. Then I will post a new opening, and watch the resumes roll in.
Katie Wagner is President of Katie Wagner Social Media. She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and during that time, she watched journalism expand from traditional media to online media, and now, social media.