Episode 11: Job Boards, Newspapers, and People You Meet in Public

Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government.

Episode 11: Job Boards, Newspapers, and People You Meet in Public

Now that you know what offer your company is, it is time to start putting yourself out there for candidates to apply. But be aware of the good, the bad, and the ugly of job boards, newspapers, and the people you meet at…Chick-fil-A? David helps you navigate all these hiring tools and the best hiring strategies and practices.

Show Notes

This is part two in a 3-part series on the hiring process called “Your Hiring Process Sucks.”

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Show Transcript


This is part two of Your Hiring Process Sucks; “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Job Boards, Newspapers, and the People You Meet at Chick-fil-A.” You’re listening to The Buck Stops Here.



Hello, and welcome to another episode of The Buck Stops Here Business Podcast. I’m your host, David Maples, and if you’re just joining us, this is episode two in a three-part series called Your Hiring Process Sucks.



So, if you haven’t watched part one, I recommend you go do that. And if you’re in part three, welcome to part two. So, that’s what we want to kind of do here. So, part two is called “The Good, the Bad, the Ugly of Job Boards, Newspapers, and The People You Meet Randomly in Public.” Or, the people you meet at Chick-fil-A. And to kick this off, what I’m going to say is that if you’re doing this part- One of the questions we get from business owners all the time when I do consulting work is where do you find good people?



Where do you go find good people? And in giving talks to business owners, I’ll give talks about building sales teams. I’ve given talks on cybersecurity and a lot of different topics. And it seems to be- This is kind of a thing that all business owners struggle with. It’s not just, how do you hire and find good talent?



That’s always a question, right? But it’s like, where do you find these people? Where do you find these people, and how do you get them to come work for you? And the brief story on this is I was at a talk on, I think, building sales teams or something like that, and it was all about- it really wasn’t about finding the right salespeople. It was assuming you had the right salespeople, and then how do you train them and coach them from there?



And then I get the audience, you know, a hand shoots up at the back of the room. And the guy says, “Well, where do you find good salespeople?” I just said, “Well, kind of not the topic of what we’re talking about today, but sure, that’s a good question.” And I looked around the room, and literally, there’s 75 business owners in this room, and their heads are all nodding at the same time. And I was like, man, my talk should have been about where do you find the good salespeople, first.



Not how do you build the teams, right? They don’t even know where to find the people to put on the teams. And the guy said, “What about Chick-fil-A?” And then three people in the room kind of nodded their heads. And I sat there, and I scratched my head for a minute, and I quoted a line from Monty Python.



I think the quote is – Monty Python and the Holy Grail – I said, “Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is not the basis for systems of governance.” And I may be butchering that quote. So, John Cleese, Eric Idle, all you guys out there, please forgive me. It’s an amazing quote.



And it really struck me that it was one of those really oddball things. It was like, well, is that how we want to build our system of government? Do we want some lady throwing up, lifting a sword out of a pond or a swamp? You know, it’s kind of weird. And I said, “You know, so, tell me about Chick-fil-A.”



Are you in the fast food industry? Okay, no. Are you frying chicken? Do you have a drive-through?



And then, what do you do? We’re in scientific industrial sales. And I said, “Well, I don’t know that the people at Chick-fila-A are going to be the right kind of criteria for this.” And by the way, this sounds a little crazy when you hear it, right? But the reality of it is that Chick-fil-A and certain places like that have a really good hiring process.



They have it buckled down. They really have the stuff we talked about in part one. They know what kind of offer they are. They attract the right people. They know where to, kind of, recruit those people.



And, kind of, in part three, where you, kind of, put all the instruments together, they’ve got a performing band or orchestra. I mean, they do a good job with it. Just because they’ve done a good job with it doesn’t mean that’s what you’re looking for, right? So, in this particular case, my follow-up question is, “Well, what do your people need to have?” And they said, “A degree in biological engineering or genetics.”



I said, “Well, I’m sure Chick-fil-A has some of those people, but I’m not sure they have a lot of them.” And the idea with you going there, if that’s one of your criteria for what you’re looking at in your job, is not the way to do it. But I think it was more just kind of that envy, that green-eyed monster. It was; They do a really good job at it. They’re doing a great job at it. These people seem competent. They show up for work every day, and they seem happy at their jobs.



And so, I think it’s a symptom of a much larger problem. So, where do you go find those people? How do you make sure that your organization is able to hire people of that caliber or quality, who are able to fill the needs you have in your organization?



So, kind of, from here, assuming you’ve done the stuff in part one of this series where you’ve actually thought about the offer you are, you’ve thought about the job, you’ve thought about what the criteria are for the things you need in this particular position. And I want to say really quick – it’s just something I didn’t touch on in the last episode – be careful of legacy requirements that you may have brought into your organization from, like, corporate America or something else. Like, does somebody need a four-year degree? Does somebody have to have these kind of things.



Figure out, you know, you may have that in your criteria, but it turns out your top-performing salespeople all came from real estate. You know, do think about that, okay? But, you know, figure out what those ideas and requirements are and then figure out what kind of offer your company is, assuming you’ve done that. Now you’re ready to go out there and say, I’m ready to go hunting, and I want a target-rich environment. So, the things I’m going to cover today in, kind of, the meat and potatoes of this episode are, kind of, job boards, newspapers, and, kind of, the people you meet randomly in public. So, the first one I’m going to talk about is actually job boards.



And job boards are, kind of, a more modern version of newspapers. It used to be that people, when they were looking for stuff in time out of mind, they would go and look for job listings on newspapers. That still exists, but the more modern version of this, and ironically enough, some of these job boards were started by newspapers. They decided to get into the digital world back in 2005 and joined the internet. And they set up- “You know, well, we should put these job postings online.”



And so, a lot of these, kind of, older versions of this are, kind of, Monster, CareerBuilder, and more modern versions are, kind of, like, Indeed and ZipRecruiter. And you also have things where people can review the companies like Glassdoor and Comparably. And ironically enough, Glassdoor was actually bought by Indeed, I think, a couple of years ago. So, what you have to look at when you start looking at these kind of things is how does that work? Now, remember, job boards are designed to keep people on the job boards, and you’ve got to think about what separates you from another company out there.



You can do paid listings, and you can also do just organic. A lot of them will let you post something for free. Some won’t, but the reality of it is, for the name of the game, for all of these job boards is, they want the most listings so they can brag about it in their advertisements. They want to say, “We have 800 million qualified candidates for your job.” And the reality of it is you probably have 80.



But, you know, sure. It sounds good. It’s a numbers game, so a lot of them will let you post for free. I want to go ahead and say this; I don’t think anybody should be trying to just cull through the large number of people who are just clicking on the job board. Because a lot of times, if they’re trying to fulfill an unemployment requirement showing they’ve applied somewhere, if they’re just desperate for a new job because they don’t like what they particularly do right now, they’ll go into one of the job boards, set up an account, and they’ll click on everything.



And so, all of a sudden, you put up a job posting on one of these job boards, and before you know it, you got 1,000 applications you have to dig through. Now, if you’re in a small to medium-sized company, you probably don’t have a dedicated HR person to cull through these resumes. And resumes are kind of like a dead letter.



When you see them, what do they really tell you about the candidates? Is this stuff even true, you know? And if you’ve got 1,000 of them to cull through, I mean, your eyes are bleeding by the time you’ve read through 80 of these, and you’re not really sure what you’ve got there. So, I recommend that you bury something in any job post. This is kind of my pro tip.



Bury something in your job post that says we will only consider applicants who apply through our website. This will help cull down on the number of people. This is a way to self-sort that. Now, I know some of you out in the audience are saying, “But what if that great person out there, the perfect candidate, doesn’t meet me because they don’t do that.” Well, there will be another great candidate. Just remember that.



Don’t get too wed on that person being the perfect person. And this is something we’re going to talk about. It’s kind of the halo effect. You find a really good resume. We’ll talk about that more in part three.



You got to be careful. Like, you interview a candidate who seems perfect for your job, and you interviewed a candidate after them who seems good for the job, but because somebody really really good interviewed just before them, they seem bad in comparison. So, we’ll talk about that. That also happens when you’re looking through resumes on job boards. They speak nine languages, they’ve lived on five continents, they were in the military.



They do all these things. A, is that even true? And B, if they apply only through the job board and you put something in your job listing that says, we will only consider applicants who apply through our website, one of two things is true. One, they didn’t read your job posting, and number two, they ain’t that interested in you anyway. Because if they really liked it, they would have followed the directions. They’re like, “Well, if they like me, I’m a really good candidate, and I should just hit this button.” The reality of it is they might just be clicking through multiple things and applying and just seeing kind of the shotgun approach what works.



There’s a corollary to this, too. If you’re a job applicant and you want to laser focus your applications, you need to have multiple points of contact. It shouldn’t just be you shotgunning the approach. You should apply on their website, and then you should send them an email, and then you should find out if there’s a person in the HR department you can talk to because that shows that you’re hungry and you’re interested.



So, if you want to stand out as a job candidate, the pro tip for you is- It’s not that you’re desperate, it’s that you show the care and concern. So, don’t worry about it if they think you’re desperate. If it’s a great company to work for, they’re going to care because you’re going to stand out from 99% of the other applicants.



So, you’re on the job board, you put your job posting out there. You got to think about what that subject line is. It’s just like an email marketing. The subject line is arguably the most important part of your email because if they don’t click on that subject line, then they’re never going to read the content of your email, and you’re never going to have a chance to date, marry this person or whatever it is. By the way, that’s- I’m being facetious there.



But you got to realize it’s like the beginning of any relationship. You don’t get to a later stage in the relationship unless they’ve decided that you’re worth talking to you in the first place. So, when you look at the subject line in an email or subject line on their job posting, you need to make sure that it says something that’s interesting. There’s a lot of stuff in the job posting that people are worried about. Every employer gets mad-



“Oh, they want a salary requirement?” And they always tell you on the job boards, “If you have a salary requirement or what you pay, you’re more likely to get candidates.” Totally true. People don’t just waste your time if you’re paying, you know, less than minimum wage. Which by the way, is illegal in the United States, you shouldn’t be doing that. So bad- shame on you.



But the reality of it is that don’t worry about it. Someone out there is the right candidate for you. And in post-pandemic life, you know, you got to realize that you may not be just wed to hiring somebody who lives in your backyard. You know, you might be able to get a really good candidate. They just never lived in the big city.



They didn’t want to, and they live way out in the countryside. They might have lower salary requirements. So, put the stuff out there. Don’t be afraid of it because fear does not invite action. So, don’t do that.



Put that stuff out there. Read your job post. As we said, put the thing in there that says we only consider applicants to apply on our website. And what that will do, that will cut down your 250 applications for your new sales job to probably twelve.



And I know that you’re out there listening to me, and you’re like, “Well, but I’m only getting twelve applicants right now.” Those other 138 applicants weren’t real in the first place. If they read your job listing and didn’t apply on  your site, as we said earlier, they didn’t care. And here’s the thing, they go to your website, they’re going to find out more about you. They’re going to find out more about why you’re a great company.



They’re going to find out more about your company culture. They’re going to find out what kind of offer you are. There’s not a place on those job boards to really- aside from paying to get bold posting on your subject line and have your stuff listed above everything else. By the way, if you’ve got money, I do think paying for these kind of things to get your job posting in front of more eyeballs is not a bad strategy.



However, if you’re a small or medium company, and you’re just trying to get applicants, and that’s kind of where you want to go, do that. If they go to your website, they’re going to realize more about why you’re a great company to work for. They’re going to read more about your benefits. And now there’s a way for you to distinguish yourself and the offer that you are.



Because if you’ve done the stuff in part one of this series, you are going to look better than 80% of the other companies out there. Just remember that; 80% of them are not going to be doing that. So, that’s kind of job boards, in a nutshell: good subject line, good job posting that speaks to your audience, apply on my website, and then have a process for doing that. By the way, you want to make sure that you follow up with candidates quickly. I know some of you out there are like, “Well, you know, I’ll get back to them whenever.”



Remember, they’re looking at other things, too. And if they’re looking into making a switch or really taking the jump, you don’t want to give them five days or a week and a half to decide that maybe their job is not so terrible. If you’re a better offer for them, move on the opportunity and at least get them in the door and say you’re interested. If you wait three days, they may have changed their mind.



Maybe they had a talk with their spouse, and they’re like, “You really should stay put right now.” And even if you think this is an amazing opportunity, they haven’t had anyway for you to sell them on it. If you are a great opportunity, do not miss action on this. All right, so moving on to what are considered more traditional mediums. A lot of people will say, “Oh, I don’t want to do this.” Now, ask yourself why you’re not willing to do newspapers, radio, and TV.



You may say, well, it costs money. It is substantially, in many cases, more expensive than doing a job board online. But it does give you the ability to reach people who may not be in the market looking for jobs. All right? And social media does some of this as well, and we’ll be talking about that in a minute.



But, in this particular case, it gives you the ability to go out there. If you put something in the newspaper or have something on the radio- Somebody may not be making a career switch, but let’s say your company says, you know, we’ve had really good success hiring people in insurance who really didn’t like insurance. You know, they’re in six months to a year, they’ve got the right work ethic, but they want to sell a different kind of product.



So, you do that stuff. That person may not know there’s another opportunity out there. So, if you do radio or TV or traditional, as in a newspaper or even billboards, you are able to reach people and get eyeballs looking at your job posting or listing who otherwise may not have known there was an opportunity available. I do think it’s worth availing yourself of those kinds of things. Depending on what you’re trying to do, it’s absolutely worth looking at. But again, just like anything else, you got to figure out your hook.



What can you do quickly to get those people’s attention? If it’s a radio thing, you need to make sure that that 15-second or 30-second spot is really on point. Same thing with television, same thing with newspaper. Think about them as the headline. In movies, they always talk about the hook.



The hook is something that gets the audience’s attention and gets them to buy in. When you’re doing those kind of traditional media things, you only have so long to get their eyeballs engaged or to get their ears listening to what you’re trying to do. Make sure that you’ve got something catchy about whatever it is. And this is not the place to do that right now, but “If you’re looking for a job that’s better for you than insurance, listen no further than here. Go here to find out-”



And look, there’s a way to do that. And I’m not trying to make that super crafty right now. I’m just kind of riffing on that at the moment. But remember that; you want to give people an option. And again, you want to give them a way clearly to apply. “Apply on our website! Go to somethingsomethingsomething.com.”



By the way, if you’ve got a very long URL name or something with a hyphen in it, it might behoove you to buy another domain name and just have something small put up on there to give people an easy option to apply. You know, something memorable and easy, especially if you’re on radio or TV when they only see it for a second. It is important, and they’re more likely to apply. Don’t make it go to “So and so, dash .com/jobs/careers/iwanttowork.com. You know, whatever it is, don’t do that.



Just really a bad- It’s a bad idea. So, traditional kind of follows a lot of the same mediums. Again, if you want more eyeballs in front of more people, that’s, kind of, the way you want to go. I want to flip from that over to kind of the social media piece of that, all right? Because social media is- A lot of people- It’s like a quasi job board, whatever it is. And all the social media channels are encouraging you to advertise, you know? Kind of LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, all of them are encouraging you to put your job postings on their platform.



By the way, at the very minimum, you should have your job posting on something like Facebook. If that’s where the people you look for are looking- I don’t know that putting a TikTok dance video together about why you’re a great place to work is what you need to do right now. If your candidates you’re looking for are on TikTok, then absolutely do that, and put that together and figure out what you’re going to do for that. But at the very minimum, LinkedIn is where you should have job posts and probably Facebook. Instagram, if it’s picture- and you know, whatever it is, remember that’s all photographs and small stories.



There’s ways to do that. And Twitter is not a bad place to put some stuff to let people know, especially if you have a following. If you don’t have a following on Twitter, on Facebook, or any of the others, you need to have them at least on Facebook and LinkedIn for no other reason than if they go find you on their website and they found the job posting there, they might go check you out on social media. And you might want to say something about that particular thing, okay?



That’s a really important factor. So, with social media, kind of, the pro-tip on here is make sure you have your job post, put some time into it, make sure that it’s listed there, and have a way for them to go apply on your website very easily, even if it’s the job post. Here’s the thing, you don’t have to embed that link in your social media post to go to your website. In fact, more people will probably see the post organically if you don’t embed the link. And if they find you on there, they can probably find your website very readily.



On Facebook, for example, it’s not incredibly hard to do. And so, the last thing I want to talk about is, kind of, the people you meet in public. So, you’re out in a store, and there’s somebody trying to sell you the new satellite television, internet, whatever thing in some kind of store. And that’s a hard job, by the way, approaching people, kind of, randomly on the street when they’re in a big box warehouse store, and they just want to get in and out and get their milk and their bread and their rotisserie chicken or whatever it is.



That’s what they want to do, and you’re interrupting. “Hey! By the way, do you have good internet at home, or is your internet trash? I want to tell you about my stuff.” Now, you see those people, and you’re like, “Man, that man or woman, they’ve got real moxie. They walked up to me and interrupted my day, and were willing to do something. I should offer them a job!”



Two things; number one, remember, they already have a job. They may not be looking, and they will probably entertain your offer because they’re hoping that if they spend time with you, you’re going to be interested in them selling you. They’re just being nice. So, if you’re going to do those things and if you have a big big big brand, they might be attractive. I mean, if you walk in and you’re Google or some kind of crazy 800-pound gorilla in the marketplace, they’re like, “Oh man, I’d love to work for the BBC! I went to school for broadcast journalism. Yes, I’m working at Starbucks right now, but I really want to get my big break into radio.”



So look, there are cases where that’s fine for you because you’ve got a huge brand. But if you’re a small to medium business and they do not know about your company, don’t even know you’re existing- if you’re a scientific industrial sales, unless they were interested in that in school, they’ve probably never heard of you. So, realize they’ve already got a gig. Do be prepared if you do run into somebody and kind of be a little aloof. Don’t seem over eager.



You are the CEO or the owner of your company, or maybe it’s a small mom-and-pop. Be willing to hand them a card and say, “Look, hey, if you’re interested and have a way to write something down on it, please go apply here. You know, if you’re interested in doing something a little different.” Don’t insult them. There’s nothing wrong with the job they have. That may be the job that they wanted to have. Do not insult them.



Just say, “Hey!” You know, talk to them for a minute, and say, “Look, you know, how do you like this? You know, do you like this gig, or whatever it is? Oh, by the way, we’re hiring right now if you’re interested in something else. I enjoyed talking to you for a minute. No, I’m not interested in buying donuts from you at the moment. But here’s the thing. I’m going to write this down on the business card.”



And don’t get upset about it. Don’t go back home and talk to your spouse or business partner and say, “Hey, you know, I’ve really met this really nice person at the drive-through at Wendy’s.” I get it, but don’t- just be aloof about it, but be equipped to hand out that stuff. So, always make sure, kind of, networking 101 if you meet people, kind of do that thing. A kind of a corollary to the people you meet in public is getting references from people who work in your company.



I think this is actually something that it’s oversold a lot, but I think it’s not acted on just as much. So, it’s kind of like there’s a balance somewhere in the middle there. So, when somebody recommends a sibling, brother-in-law, cousin, or whatever it is for a job there, remember two things have happened. Number one, are they being incentivized to do that?



And if you do offer an incentive, like you get a bounty if we hire somebody, tie it to a time frame. If they work out for 90 days, past your probationary period. If a probationary period is 90 days, put it at 120. The idea with that would be is that you want to make sure they’re not just promoting this person so they can get a job right now.



Remember, if that’s their brother or sister who’s been out of work for six months, they might be desperate to find any gig or any job. Totally okay. And remember, they love them. That’s what they’re going to do. They’re going to try to let them know about opportunities, et cetera, out there in the marketplace.



And if nothing else, they’ve been bugging them like they love- you talk about your job all the time, and they basically want an opportunity for their brother, sister, cousin, uncle, aunt to work at a great company like you work at. They may not be qualified. That being said, also recognize that if you get a job inquiry from somebody who’s related to somebody at your company and they’re not a top employee-



I could be wrong, but a lot of times, they’re going to have some of the same similar problems. If it’s their best friend and there are certain things you don’t like about this person’s friendship group, maybe it’s not a way to do things. If you’re going to take them through the process, take them through the same process you take any other applicant through. Do not shortcut. Do not shortchange it.



The short changing they got was getting their resume put front and central in front of you. That’s the shortcut they got for applying through their brother, or sister, or uncle. Do not shortcut your process. Do not not vet them. Do not not have them do behavioral things.



And if there are problems that you would disregard someone else for, do you disregard these people for the same reasons? So, if you look at them and you say, “You know, I don’t know about any interview. They didn’t really seem good on their feet.” Or whatever it is. Make sure you understand that you can’t gloss over those things just to like, quote, unquote, a halo effect. It’s a really great employee, and they recommended somebody. Totally had a recommendation for an employee at one point in time. I said, “Would this person be a good fit here?”



And they said, “This person will learn a lot here.” That is not an endorsement, and be very careful that you might accidentally mistake it for one. So, takeaways from this episode today. Number one, make sure that your listings on job boards and social media are accurate and up to date. If you have them on the job boards, make sure they’re also on your website. Make sure you have kind of the expanded companion listing on your website to go as well, and on all your social media- your primary social media accounts.



So, make sure you have those things. If you got the job listed there, have the expanded thing on your website that talks about the things you can get involved with. Have an easy way for people to apply on your website online. Have an easy way for them to say, I want to apply right now. I’m going to attach a resume and cover letter.



And be ready and equipped to engage people you meet in public. But realize they also have a job and be a little aloof about that, right? You’ve got things to do. If you spend ten minutes talking up somebody for maybe a sales position, you know, what is your time really worth? Can you be that successful company? Because most CEOs and people who run companies don’t have a ton of time.



Maybe you seem a little desperate. So, that’s kind of the things to do. Make sure you take those actions and start doing that. Again, I’m David Maples, the host of The Buck Stops Here Business Podcast. I want to thank you all for listening. If you like this podcast, be sure to subscribe on Apple Podcasts and Spotify, or wherever you’re listening so you make sure you don’t miss another great episode.



If you would make sure to give us a positive review on Apple Podcasts and like and comment on YouTube. We appreciate your feedback, and as always, your review or comment can be featured on the next week’s episode. So, next week what we’re going to be talking about is we’re going to be talking about putting these different parts together from part one; figuring out the kind of offer you to. Part two; figuring out the best places to hire. And part three is now you’ve got them interested, now they’re interested in your company, how do you put all this together and not drop the ball?



That’s the thing: It’s all about putting all these things together, taking action, and getting the next great superstar hired at your company. Again, thank you for listening. Be well, and go out there and have an awesome week.



I’d like to take a moment to thank our sponsor, Catapult Creative Media. Thank you for signing my paycheck and making sure I’m still gainfully employed. Mom, I finally made it.


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