What’s the Recipe for Consistently Great Hires?

If you make consistently great hires, your business is more likely to be successful. And as a small business owner or leader, the first hurdle is learning how to hire great people yourself—you are the first ingredient in the recipe. But not every leader knows what exactly that recipe is. Many of us improvise when we hire. Just as a chef knows what tastes right, entrepreneurs think we know what feels right when it comes to identifying talent. In reality, some us do and some of us don’t.

Improvising on the recipe does not scale.

If you owned a multi-location restaurant chain, would you let your kitchen staff improvise on the way that they prepare the burgers?

Hiring is no different. As your company grows, you must learn how to hire great peoples. This requires a clearly defined process.

No Process —> No Growth

Once we hit 10 employees, things got messy. We felt the pain of not having well-defined processes throughout the company—in sales, in service, and in hiring. New hires improvised with their job responsibilities. And hiring managers improvised with their hiring. It felt like we were stuck in place.

In 2012, we launched our hiring software product. Once we started utilizing the system we saw a night and day difference in the talent we brought to the team. We now have over 30 employees, and our team is as strong than ever.

Building effective processes takes time—time that you don’t think you have. But it’s the best investment you can make in a growing business.

The recipe for consistently great hires is a consistently great process.

So what is this recipe we speak of for a consistently great hiring process?

STEP 1: Know the Order

When you train your team to deliver your products and services, you must make sure that they know what “great” looks like. Do the same thing for hiring. Our clients primarily hire for five or fewer roles, making it easier to create standards and justify the time investment to develop them.

Before you write the job description, think about what it takes to be successful in the role. This starts with a written assumption that when hiring for any role, the individual will be goal-oriented, a team player, a strong communicator, accountable for their actions, and will represent the characteristics of the top ten percent of the talent pool. In order to begin to draft a job description, we start with a planning tool called a Missing Person Report. This report documents the behaviors, qualities, and motivations that are most important for success in the role. These competencies can include specific skills like salesmanship, or particular personality traits. For each competency, we then list how we will measure it in a candidate. Finally, we begin breaking down the daily weekly, and monthly tasks and responsibilities to lead into our job description.

It can be difficult to pinpoint the key, but intangible, traits for a role, so begin by studying your top performers. What motivates them to succeed? What are their daily behaviors? Give them a personality assessment for further insight. You can also give assessments to your average team members to provide perspective on how your top performers stand apart.

When you take the time to plan for great hires, you’ll save the time it takes to manage poor hires and subsequent turnover.

STEP 2: Follow the Recipe 

Managers succeed when their teams do well. But they must be trained to identify top talent and given resources to. attract qualified applicants.

These are the key ingredients in a successful hiring process:

  • Job description with key competencies
  • Job posting with automatic distribution to the top career sites
  • Prescreen questions to identify top potential applicants and disqualify others
  • Assessments to measure candidate personality and aptitude vs. current top performers
  • Interview guides with questions focused on each key competency
  • Communication resources including email templates
  • A playbook with all of the hiring steps and procedure clearly outlined

STEP 3: Inspect the Plate

Most companies have quality control systems in place to make sure their people consistently deliver great products, services or experiences for their customers. This could be as simple as a separate kitchen employee inspecting the food and presentation on the plate before it is delivered to the customer.

What kind of quality control system do you have in place for hiring?

Whenever we hire someone—whether it’s a director or an entry-level role—the hiring manager must present a case for the new hire to our leadership team. This gives the leaders insight into hires while ensuring hiring managers follow all the steps in our playbook and are truly confident in their candidate.

We then administer reference and background checks. Bad hires can often be weeded out at this phase, which reduces your company’s potential liabilities.

Are you still hiring with paper order tickets?

Modern restaurants rely on point of sale (POS) systems for successful operation of their business. This provides a standardized way to enter customer orders and expedite preparation and delivery. Because POS systems are used across all locations, consistency improves, mistakes are minimized, and executives are in the best position to lead by having tools to track sales, order preferences, and speed of delivery.

Compare POS systems with the paper ticket ordering system used by restaurants in the old days. My first job in high school was working as a busboy at Burger Bob’s, a 1950’s-style diner located on a public golf course. Their system was simple: The servers wrote the customers’ orders on a paper ticket and gave them to Bob, who hung them on the line and got to work cooking. When the orders were ready, Bob gave the plates and order ticket to the server. At the end of the meal, the customer would use the ticket to pay Bob at the register. At the end of the day, Bob would go into the back and tally the receipts for the day.

This system worked well enough because Bob had a simple operation. Plus, employees were loyal to Bob and did not leave.

Imagine if Bob had opened additional locations, or if he let someone else do part of his job? His system would not scale.

Is your current hiring process closer to a POS system or Bob’s paper tickets? If you are using email and spreadsheets to manage your hiring process, then you are part of Team Bob.

The tough part is that the “old way” is familiar. You’re used to it and may not have the perspective to realize how outdated things are and the impact this has on your company. A recent client had a central spreadsheet they used to manage applicants across dozens of retail locations. They had an HR administrator whose main job was to manage this spreadsheet. She emailed dozens of field managers each Monday to remind them to update the spreadsheet. Ouch.

If you are serious about creating a recipe for consistently great hires across your organization, you need a centralized system to help your team succeed. Don’t rely on paper tickets to get it done.

For more ideas and actionable advice, download our ebook: Hire More Superstars.

Only Three Things Matter When Hiring

A hiring opportunity is one of the most exciting times for your company. Right? Ok, it can be stressful and frustrating…and time consuming! Trust me, I know. I just filled two positions myself and the week that followed felt like one of my more productive weeks in recent memory. “What have I been doing for the past couple of months?” I asked myself. Oh right: hiring two key people for the company. I forgot how much time it takes. But hiring takes time for a reason. It’s one of the most important things that you will do as a leader.

When I think about the hiring process, there are only three things that matter when evaluating a candidate:

  • Can they do it? (Ability)
  • Will they do it? (Motivation)
  • Will others do it with them? (Culture fit)

Read on to learn more about these three steps and how we evaluate candidates at CareerPlug. I’ll also recount some of the mistakes and near-mistakes that I’ve made recently that make me that much more confident in writing this.

Organizations that lack a standard interview process are 5x more likely to make a bad hire


The first, and most basic, question in hiring. Yet companies and hiring managers are often fooled by this step for a few key reasons. First, they do not understand – and clearly document – the competencies that are most important to success in the role. Second, they fail to differentiate between competencies a candidate must already possess versus those that can be developed by the right person. And last, they don’t have a system to consistently evaluate competencies during the hiring process. Suddenly this question isn’t so easy to answer.

Define the Most Important Competencies

It’s easy to produce a laundry list of everything you want in a candidate. But when you work from a laundry list you focus on everything … which is to say you focus on nothing. Instead, document 3-5 competencies or traits that are critical to success in the role.

I was reminded of this lesson recently while hiring for a new director at CareerPlug. I had a list of about 10 things that I wanted to see in this person. When I sat down with my leadership team to discuss the role and our top prospects, we had a healthy debate over which criteria mattered the most. I recognized my own mistake here – focusing on 10 competencies was too many -, and I asked each leader to rank their top five criteria from the current list. We shared our thoughts as a team and decided on a list of the five most important competencies. When we interviewed the right person, it was crystal clear to everyone on the leadership team that we had found our next director.

Do Not Confuse “Can They Do It?” with “Have They Done It?”

When you evaluate someone on a certain competency, ask yourself “Am I requiring this experience because it’s essential from Day One? Or am I requiring this because I don’t want to go to the trouble of training them or feel like I’m making a risky hire?” If it’s the latter, think carefully about this decision. You could be needlessly eliminating a huge segment of the talent pool.

This clarity is particularly important for entry-level roles. These positions, by definition, are starting points in someone’s career. If you limit yourself to candidates who have done the job previously, you are limiting your potential for a truly successful hire.

Assess & Interview for Each Competency

Once you know what you need, develop ways to evaluate it at each step of the hiring process. Let’s say that there are five competencies that stand out above the rest:Is there a way for you to screen some of those on the initial application? This could be obvious if there is a required license, but it can be done for soft skills as well.

Personality and aptitude assessments are an effective next step in the evaluation process. We encourage our clients to give assessments to candidates before they are interviewed. This allows hiring managers to have additional information about the candidate beyond the resume.

No matter what the criteria, it’s important that hiring managers have specific interview questions for each competency. Make sure that the questions are open-ended and focus on a candidate’s experience (“Tell me about a time when…”) or situational judgment (“What would you do if…”). Don’t make assumptions like “Well her resume shows that she hit her sales quota consistently, so she must be assertive” – that’s not good enough. Inspect what you expect.


“Can they do it?” does not mean much if they are not willing to do it. Most people can suck it up and do just about anything for the short term. People have a way of convincing themselves that they can make it work. But one day they just won’t be able to make it work anymore.

Turnover, and all of the work that comes with it, is a productivity killer. It can be a business killer too. You need people who are going to be with you for the long haul, and you need to invest in them and make them an integral part of your team. To achieve this, you need to hire people who are motivated to succeed with you.

The best way to evaluate people’s motivation is to look at where they’ve been and where they’re headed.

Where have they been?

You can learn a lot by listening to someone’s life story. Don’t just rely on the resume for this. Have them walk you through their professional life. We ask candidates to divide their career history into chapters. Ask them about the highs and lows in each chapter and what drove them toward the next chapter. Look for insights and patterns. Why did they leave? How do they talk about their past? Are they taking responsibility for what has happened in their lives, or are they victims?

Can you see what is motivating this person? If you can’t, then how can you know they have the motivation to be successful at your company?

One of my favorite conversations with a client went something like this:

Client: “Why do you have a question on the interview guide asking ‘What activities did you participate in during high school?’ Why is that relevant?”
Me: “You won’t know until you ask.”
A week later
Client: “So I was in an interview and decided to give it a shot: ‘What activities did you participate in during high school?’ He was quiet for a second and then said ‘None’. Wow. I get it now.”

Where are you headed?

Once you understand where they have been, shift your focus to where they are headed. What do they want to accomplish in the next five years of their life? Of course, you want to know about their career goals – but you really want to know about their other goals in life too. Don’t take the goals at face value. Dig a little deeper to find out why this is important to them and how it would make them feel. Here’s where you’ll find their their true motivation.

This information that they have given you is a true gift. You now know what they want from life. You have a way to keep them motivated. And imagine what will happen once you help them achieve it. You could end up with lifelong, loyal team members.

Check for Alignment

The last question we ask in the motivation interview is “Based on everything that you know about us and this opportunity, will this position at our company allow you to accomplish all of these things that said you want to do in the next five years?” If it won’t, will they really be the right fit for your team?


This one is non-negotiable for companies that want to build a truly great culture. Some companies fall into the trap of making culture fit exceptions for high performers. This is a direct route to a toxic culture. Look at what has happened at Uber. Measuring culture fit can be tricky. One mistake I often see is defining culture fit as “who looks like us?” Going down this path often leads to a lack of diversity on your team and a failure to build a healthy, inclusive company culture.

Start with Your Core Values

People work better together when there are shared values between them. Make sure your interviews incorporate questions around values. Don’t have well-defined core values yet? Stop reading this right now and work on them.

Here’s the great news: The right candidates will become that much more attracted to you if they can see that the company has similar values to them. We make our our values very visible during our hiring process and we frequently hear top candidates call out our values-driven approach to hiring as a key factor in choosing to apply with us.

Understand Their Work Preferences

Does their work style match up with yours? Do your people move fast and worry about details later? Then think twice about hiring someone from a slow, bureaucratic company. Do you have an active, open office environment? Might not want to hire that person who needs a quiet office to get anything done. Casual dress policy at work? The professional with a closet full of corporate clothing may feel totally lost.

A job shadow is a great opportunity to address this, but ask open-ended questions about their work preferences first. Otherwise it’s easy for them to get caught up in the moment and say that everything looks great.

Get Your Team Involved

Don’t rely solely on your own judgment – give your team a voice. This empowers your team and shows that you care about their opinion, provides a different perspective and helps shed light on anything you may have overlooked, and gives them a vested interest in making this hire a success. If the team goes to bat for a candidate, you can hold them accountable to bringing their best to the new relationship.


You’re right. It is a lot of work. But it’s nothing compared to the work created by hiring the wrong people. Think about all of the headaches and extra work your bad hires have created for you and your team. The worst part is that these wrong people took up seats that could have been taken by the right people. Imagine the impact that would have had on your business.

Here’s the best part: When you invest in hiring the right people, these “right people” take notice and become that much more attracted to your organization. Your hiring process becomes your competitive advantage. We recently hired a couple of people who were working at some great companies, and I know that our hiring process helped us close the deal. One of them said to me: “I feel like I got to know myself better during this process, and that makes me that much more confident that this is the right place for me.”


CareerPlug has the luxury of hiring slowly, with only a handful of new hires each quarter. Most of our employees are full-time and salaried. But that does not mean that these principles cannot be incorporated into any business. There is such a thing as a long-term, part-time employee. We have had interns work for us for four years straight through college. The right people don’t job hop, even when they are earlier in their career. You may need to make some adjustments to make it work for your hiring process, but you can do it. Imagine if you could reduce your turnover by 25% or more as some of our clients have. What could that mean for your business?


Take the first step by committing the time and energy to improve your hiring process.

  • Review your current process and make sure that you are evaluating Ability to the best of your ability
  • Add an interview to assess Motivation (Where they’ve been and where they’re headed)
  • Make evaluating Culture Fit an objective, values-based process – not just a gut feeling
  • Download our ebook – The Four Essentials to Build a Superstar Hiring Process – for more strategies and best practices

What Can Your Sales Leader Teach You About Hiring?

Hiring a superstar to join your team could be your company’s most important sale. Revenue is critical, but your people will make or break your company. Superstar hires can multiply your sales – even if they are not in a sales position. Poor hires will do the exact opposite while driving your superstars away.

Think about the best employee you have ever had. Consider the impact this person made. You are probably smiling right now just thinking about it. What would you be willing to do to get another person like that? I’m sure that you would do just about anything to attract that kind of talent.

Now think about the worst one. Ouch. I just did the same thing. Smile is gone. What would you be willing to do to avoid repeating that pain?

So why do most companies fail to recruit the way they sell? The best practices that have made them successful in selling are nowhere to be seen in their recruiting process.

  • No clear value proposition?
  • Making it hard for prospects to get started?
  • Not following up?

A great sales leader would never let this fly. Processes would be built. New standards and goals would be introduced. People would be held accountable to results. And the results would be there.

Follow these steps to act more like a sales leader, and you will be on your way to recruiting superstars. I’ll walk you through the key lessons I have learned by studying and working with some of the top sales leaders in their fields. And somehow I will manage to make two different references to french fries in the process!


Your sales leader would not expect to close many deals unless every member of their team knew the value proposition and had a compelling way to present it to their prospects. Recruiting is no different. Candidates are your buyers. If they are not interested in what you are selling (or they don’t even know what you are selling), then they will not buy.

What You Should Do:

Make sure that your careers page has information about your company and why people love working there. Authentic photos, videos, and testimonials will make the site more compelling. Make sure that some of this information appears directly on your job posting pages as many prospects will be coming directly to those pages from outside job boards.

Write job descriptions to attract the right type of people. Don’t focus only on what you need for the role – think about why the right type of candidate would love this position. Not sure? Speak with your current Superstars to get their input.

Get the jobs in the right places. Think about where your prospects are and find ways to reach them. This should happen through multiple channels including your employees and network, your customers, and external job boards.

Make it easy to apply from any device. Do you think a sales leader would ever make a prospect complete a long registration form as a first step? Never. They want to capture the lead! If your application is long or not mobile optimized, then you are losing prospects. Start with a short application to capture as many qualified applicants as possible, and follow up with additional forms as a second step if needed.


Your sales leader would never want the team to waste time on unqualified prospects. That is why their sales lead capture form has a couple of questions to prequalify prospects. If they don’t get leads from their website, they ask questions upfront to determine if they’re a good match. Think about how much time you and your team could save if you took the same approach. It’s easy to become paralyzed and not know where to start if you receive hundreds of applicants for a position. Your sales leader would tell you to create a system to score your prospects and focus on the best prospects first.

What You Should Do:

Think about the most important criteria for the position and develop prescreen questions for them. Think about the first few things you would want to know about this person. These could be items found on their resume (such as experience), but also things that you normally may not learn until the interview (such as availability).

Add these questions to your application. It’s important to not have too many items on the initial application or you’ll see a drop-off in application submissions. We recommend 3-5 questions.

Develop a scoring system for applicants based on their responses. This will allow you to identify top prospects and disqualify certain applicants. In order to automate this scoring, you must use questions with a fixed set of answer options so that you can assign a score value to each one. It’s okay to have open response questions in addition to picklist-type questions, but try to limit those to 1-2 questions.


Sales leads are like french fries: they are at their best when they are fresh and hot. I know that your sales leader would go nuts if great leads were just sitting there getting cold and soggy. The same thing goes for candidates after they apply. They are excited about your opportunity and ready to talk. But if you wait too long, they are going to pursue other options. And just like sales prospects, great candidates always have other options.

How quick is quickly? I know sales leaders who have escalation alerts sent out if leads are not contacted within five minutes. That may be extreme for recruiting, but I know HR leaders who tell me that prospects for certain positions will be gone and off the market if they cannot reach them in 48 hours. Last thing – every prospect deserves follow up and so does every applicant. Remember that your applicants could also be your customers. This may give you new perspective on how to treat them.

A candidate's experience can have a big impact on their perception of your brand

What You Should Do:

Have a system to identify top prospects and follow up with them quickly. Set clear standards with your team on what this means.

Be persistent. Don’t stop at just one email if you don’t hear back from a qualified applicant. Your sales leader would never go for this! Recognize that top prospects have options. Find a way to stand out and don’t rely solely on email. “Pick up the phone!” (that last part is your sales leader talking to you).

Build a process to follow up with unqualified applicants with a polite and encouraging rejection email. Hiring teams take a risk by often overlooking this step as it can influence how candidates think of your company as customers.


Effective sales leaders are process-driven and provide their teams with a playbook to win. Sales teams that execute on the right playbook are rewarded with increased efficiency, improved predictability, and more sales! How do sales leaders ensure that everyone is following their playbook? They use a Customer Relationship Management (or CRM) system such as Salesforce. Sales leaders can build their process within the CRM and have their teams run all of their deals through the system.

The impact of CRMs has been game changing for sales teams. The great news is that the same opportunities exist for hiring teams. Once you develop a playbook to win, you can execute it through an Applicant Tracking System (or ATS). An ATS is a CRM for hiring teams; a single system to manage all applicants. Using at ATS can improve the quality and speed of hires, all while saving time for you and your team.

CRMs increase sales team's accuracy, productivity and total sales

What You Should Do:

Think about your hiring process and the steps you want included. These steps may differ for certain positions, but they should be as consistent as possible. If you are looking for best practices, speak with leaders within your industry as well as some from other industries (some of our best recruiting process ideas have from companies with completely different businesses).

Build a playbook to win and get everyone bought into following it. An effective sales leader would not allow team members to run their own home-brewed sales processes, and you shouldn’t accept that from your hiring team either. When teams work together with a single playbook, they are more likely to win together.

Incorporate the playbook and process steps into an Applicant Tracking System. Sales leaders know that a paper-based playbook in a binder will not get used. You need to build the process into a system that requires team members to follow the steps otherwise they won’t do it consistently.


Sales leaders always know the score and how they are performing vs the goal. Do you know your score (or even your measurable goal) when it comes to hiring? Your sales leader would tell you to start measuring performance and then create goals and standards to achieve them. Their foundation for performance measurement is the sales funnel.

At the top of the funnel sales leaders analyze their lead flow (quantity, quality, source). Then they look at the key stages of the sales process to see what percentage of leads make it to each stage of the funnel (and how quickly they make it there) – all the way down to closed-won deals.

The same funnel concept applies to recruiting except leads are applicants and closed-won deals are hires. Break down the process and results into smaller stages (such as from application to interview, interview to offer, or offer to hire) and focus on improving the results one section at a time.

Building a hiring funnel helps you hold your team accountable for hiring results

What You Should Do:

Establish your hiring funnel and the key measurement stages. This may be as simple as Applicants > Interview > Offer > Hire. Find a system to track these consistently across your company.

Analyze your hiring funnel to establish a baseline for performance. Calculate conversion rates (such as percentage of applicants interviewed) and velocity rates (such as time to hire/fill). Look for opportunities to improve and set performance standards for your team. This could include increasing the percentage of applicants who make it to the interview stage by following up faster and using a less strict standard for the initial qualification.

Once you get your hiring funnel optimized, then you can increase your results by increasing your lead/applicant quality and quantity. You should analyze your applicant sources and identify which ones have produced the most (and the best) hires for you. There may be an opportunity for you to spend more with certain sources to improve your results, or it could be better for you to focus on increasing the number of employee referrals you receive. Use the data to guide your actions.

Make sure that your team knows the score. If you have multiple recruiters/managers hiring for the same types of positions, show them how each one is performing vs the average (and the best). If someone is struggling dig into their hiring funnel to investigate. This is how high-performing sales leaders coach their teams.


Approach your hiring process with a beginner’s mind and seek to learn as much as possible from others. Taking yourself out of the process and looking at it from an outsider’s perspective will put you in the best position to see opportunities to improve your results.

Act like a Sales Leader and ask yourself these questions:

  • Would I want to buy what we are selling for a career opportunity? What is our value proposition to our prospects?
  • How could we increase the number of leads (applicants) we receive?
  • How could we convert more leads into opportunities (interviews) and closed-won deals (hires)?
  • How can we get the right prospects to become even more excited as they move through the process?
  • How could we tighten up our process to produce more predictable results?
  • How can I put myself in the best position to keep score and hold my team accountable to results?
  • Speak with you sales leader or research sales leadership best practices for outside inspiration

Download our ebook – The Four Essentials to Build a Superstar Hiring Process – for more strategies and best practices

How Many Stars Would You Give Your Hiring Process?

Better yet…How many stars would your applicants give it? How about your hiring managers? Or your leaders? Your new hires?

All of these ratings matter, so sweat the details. It’s the little things that you do as an organization that make you who you are and have helped you succeed with your customers. Too often, these details get overlooked when it comes to the hiring process. Perhaps you could have gotten away with this when the job market was different. In fact, there’s a good chance that your hiring process was built in (and for) the good ‘ole days when candidates were lining up to work for you. With falling unemployment rates reducing the number of active jobseekers and job aggregators making the job search easier than ever, those days are long gone.


It’s a buyer’s market in the job world, and top candidates are discerning buyers. To attract, hire and retain Five Star talent, it is essential to have a Five Star hiring process. This means creating exceptional experiences for all stakeholders involved. Focusing on candidate experience is the right start, but it’s not enough. Your team also needs a great experience or it won’t be easy for hiring managers to follow the process or for your leaders to hold them accountable. Lastly, new hires need to have an exceptional experience. Too many companies work hard to attract and hire the right person only to set them up for failure by providing a poor new hire onboarding experience.

Experience impacts actions taken and decisions made, and those decisions will determine the success of your business.

Candidates, managers, new hires and leaders are all stakeholders in your hiring process


What They Want: Candidates want an easy way to learn about your company and job openings. They want to get an authentic feel for your culture and what you are truly seeking in your next team member. Then they want to apply to your job posting from their mobile device within a few minutes. Once they have applied, they expect to stay informed on the status of their application.

What They Often Get: Many job posting are generic and lack genuine character. It makes candidates feel like they will be joining the company as an insignificant cog in the machine. For the job seekers who do apply, the process can be arduous, particularly from a mobile device. Candidates often spend 30 minutes or more on applications that include antiquated form fields and a username/password requirement. After they finally click submit, they never hear back from the employer again and are left feeling like their application was zapped into a black hole.

What Has to Change: Candidates have options and the best ones are passing on anything that resembles a potential black hole. To attract Five Star Talent, you must create compelling job postings, distribute your opportunities to places where candidates search, and make it easy for them to apply from any device. Then follow up in a timely manner and keep candidates informed and engaged throughout the process. Otherwise top talent will go with employers who do.


What They Want: Managers want an easy-to-use system to review and communicate with applicants. They want a hiring process playbook to follow to help them make better decisions. They want the system to work how they work – something that can be accessed from any mobile device since they don’t always do their work from a desk.

What They Often Get: Managers are often forced to track applicants through a combination of paper and email applications or through a hard-to-use software system that is not optimized for mobile devices. If there is an established hiring playbook, it is often stored in a paper binder that is rarely used as part of the actual hiring process. Managers’ time is wasted, and their hiring process is inconsistent. This leads to hiring mistakes.

What Has to Change: If hiring managers don’t have a hiring process that is easy to execute, then they are on their own. Inconsistencies will grow. Candidate experience will decline. Decisions will suffer, and you will see the impact in your business results – employee turnover up, customer satisfaction down, sales and profitability…you know where it goes from here. Give your managers a system to follow that saves them time and produces predictable hiring results.


What They Want: HR and Operations Leaders want a system that will allow them to implement a hiring playbook and hold their team accountable to executing it. They want to have real-time access to reporting to monitor results and make the necessary adjustments to optimize them.

What They Often Get: Without software systems, leaders are often forced to manage their process through paper binders and their reporting through manually maintained spreadsheets. Executing a consistent hiring process across the organization becomes impossible and wastes valuable resources — especially leaders’ time.

What Has to Change: If leaders are serious about improving their hiring results, they need to build a playbook and integrate it into their managers’ actual hiring process.


What They Want: Above all else, new hires want to have a great first day at work and come home feeling excited about their new job. For this to happen consistently, the company needs a system to make a great first impression and walk new hires through the onboarding process. There needs to be a plan for new hire orientation and an electronic checklist of items to be completed by the new hire (as well at the manager). This should include an easy-to-use system to complete new hires forms and training items needed to prepare for the new hire to perform.

What They Often Get: New hire onboarding processes are often disorganized and left up to the individual manager. This means that a manager who is busy that day or not well organized could end up leaving a new hire with nothing but a stack of new hire paperwork to complete. This can risk a new hire feeling confused and wondering whether she made the right decision.

What Has to Change: You only get one shot at a first impression with new hires, and the wrong one can lead them right back to the job market. Leaders need to recognize that the hiring process is not complete once the offer is accepted. They need to build a system to onboard new hires consistently across the organization. This includes an easy way to get oriented, as well as complete new hire forms and training checklist items.


To achieve meaningful change, you must first establish 1) Where you are right now and 2) Where you want to go.

Where You Are Right Now:

  • Ask for Feedback/Ratings: Ask the stakeholders(Candidates, Managers, Leaders, New Hires) for their feedback on the process. Include questions about what they like most/least and their ideas on how to improve the process.
  • Walk in Their Shoes: You won’t truly know where you are unless you see it for yourself: walk a mile in you key stakeholders’ shoes. Apply to a job. Manage a candidate through the hiring process. Review the reports and dashboards your leaders see. Complete a first day as a new hire. Take notes and even a series of screenshots to map out the process. This will make it easier for you to make a case to improve the process and help you get organized to document the detailed improvements needed.
  • Establish Baseline Metrics: Think of the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) you will use to measure the effectiveness of your hiring process and experience. Each of the stakeholders need to be represented by 1-2 KPIs. Keep score of your current performance in these areas so that you know where you are right now.

Where You Want to Go:

  • Set the Vision: Create a vision for the experience you want to create as part of your hiring process. Organize this by the four stakeholders so that you can ensure that each of their needs will be addressed.
  • Incorporate Internal & External Guidance: Combine the feedback/observations on your current process with ideas and best practices from outside your company. Look at what other companies in your industry are doing, along with ideas from other industries and HR thought leaders.
  • Establish Benchmark Targets: Work with your team to establish targets for your KPIs and create a process to continually measure your progress toward them.

Once you know where you are right now and where you want to go, it will be easier to develop a plan to bridge the gap.

One of the biggest challenges our clients tell us they face is creating the consistent processes they need to deliver the predictable hiring results they need. Our ebook, Hire More Superstars, compiles the lessons we’ve learned and gives you the tools you need to build and implement a hiring process that attracts top talent and delivers an amazing experience for all of your stakeholders.

Would You Apply to Your Jobs?

There was a time when candidates, particularly those paid hourly, were willing to spend 20-30 minutes (sometimes up to an hour) on a job application. This was the standard. It was simply the way things were done.

Well, not anymore.

Most candidates are no longer willing to complete long applications upfront. There are too many alternatives from employers offering applications that can be completed in seconds, from any device. Employers that mandate a long application process — one that requires job seekers to create an account and fill in pages of information — are going to find that the lack of applicant issues they are experiencing will only get worse as more of their competitors modernize their application.

Would You Treat Your Customers That Way?

At CareerPlug, our clients — no matter their industry — tell us that hiring a superstar team member is more valuable than gaining a new customer.

With that in mind, would you ever make a prospective customer fill out a long application upfront? If you run a business that relies on getting sales leads from the Internet, imagine what would happen to your lead volume if prospects had to complete a form that took 30 minutes and asked for their social security number. You would have no leads! If a great new hire is more valuable than a sales lead for your business, why are you forcing candidates through a 30-minute application right up front?

Many industry-leading companies, particularly those recruiting technology professionals, understand the value that a simple, focused initial application has and have significantly reduced the time it takes to apply to their jobs.

Average time to apply of leading US companies
Source: Indeed

Can You Apply From Your Phone?

Well over 50% of candidates are using their mobile devices to search and apply for jobs. This number skews much higher for hourly workers who often use their phones for all of their online activities. Your mobile experience will not only affect the rate in which you convert candidates who have viewed your jobs into applicants; it can also affect where you appear in search results on major job search sites. For example, Indeed will prioritize job postings that have the Indeed Apply functionality in their search results for candidates using a mobile device since this makes it much easier for them to apply. It is important to focus on your mobile experience now as this trend will continue to move toward mobile devices becoming the primary way to search and apply for jobs.

More than 50% of jobseekers search for jobs from their phone
Source: Indeed

A Better Way – Two Step Applications

You may be thinking: What about all of the information that needs to be collected as part of the application process? You can still capture all of the information you need – as a second step in the process. Use the first step to capture the lead and any essentials you need to measure initial qualifications, and the second step to capture any additional required information that is not critical to the initial evaluation.

For the first step, we recommend collecting the candidate’s resume, contact information, and asking 3-5 prescreen questions that are critical to your initial evaluation. These questions can range from asking about a required license or skill to something as simple as schedule availability. You should ask multiple choice (not open response) questions so that the answers can be scored. Remember to limit these to the essentials – if it isn’t critical to your initial evaluation of the application, save it for step two.

The second step of the application process can start as soon as the first step ends, but it’s important to give candidates an option to complete this step at a later time that may be more convenient for them. You can facilitate this by emailing them a link to the second step in the process. This is particularly important if your application process includes assessments or essay-style questions. Remember that many of your candidates will be applying from a mobile device.

What to Avoid in Step One

The list of things to avoid should include anything that would make the application difficult to complete within a few minutes (from a phone), including:

  • Detailed Job History/Education History: almost all candidates now have a resume, so these sections are no longer necessary
  • Essay Questions: save these for Step Two, if necessary
  • Assessments: save these for Step Two, if necessary
  • Requests for information that may not be readily available: these include things such as a previous employer’s phone number
  • Creating a username & password as part of the application: though many systems require this, it is simply not necessary
  • Forms that are not mobile optimized: if they need to pinch to zoom and/or scroll from side to side, then it’s not mobile optimized
  • Too many questions/fields: too many questions or fields of any sort will keep candidates from applying
Prescreen questions can reduce applications by up to 88%
Source: Indeed

Would You Apply?

Ready to take action? Start by assessing your current application process. Put yourself in your candidates’ shoes and apply to one of your job postings from your phone. How was your experience? Would you want to go through that as an applicant? Think about what you can change to make it easier, including adding a second step to the application process. If you make it easier for candidates to apply, you will ensure that you and your team will have a better chance of hiring more superstars.

Your people are the heart of your business.  Building a strong pipeline of high-quality people is vital to your company’s growth, and CareerPlug helps over 7,000 companies attract and hire the right people. Over our years of collective experience and expertise we’ve created a playbook for building your own Talent Magnet: download the free eBook here for the full story.

Do Candidates Know (and Care) About Your Jobs?

Thousands of companies are hiring at this very moment. Some of them are your direct competitors. But this isn’t your only competition. Does Domino’s Pizza compete with Uber? Maybe not directly in business, but they definitely compete when it comes to recruiting employees. What are the most important hires that you need to make? Who are you competing against for this talent? How are you going to win?

If you cannot win the competition for talent, then you cannot win in your business.

How Strong is Your Talent Magnet?

If you want to win the competition for talent, you need to start by attracting more qualified applicants. We call this building a Talent Magnet.

The strongest Talent Magnets belong to the companies that have such a great reputation that they naturally attract tons of candidates to their website to apply to their jobs. Think about companies that are known as a great place to work, just as Google is for technology professionals. Look at companies like Apple that have a loyal following of fans who would love to work for them. Their Talent Magnets are so strong that they have a significant advantage over their competitors.

Not there yet? Not to worry – we’re not either! The good news is that us mere mortals can build a Talent Magnet too. If you don’t have candidates lining up to apply, then you need to build your Talent Magnet by creating a compelling job posting, getting it out to the right people and places, and standing out from the crowd to get more clicks and applications.


Step 1: Get Organized

The first step is to create a compelling job posting. The goal of a job posting is to explain the mission and responsibilities for the role to get the right candidates to apply.

Key Elements of an Effective Job Posting:

  1. Job Title – This is the first and most important test; if you don’t get this right, then your target candidates will not even read the job description.
  2. Overview – Show them the mission you want to accomplish as a company and how your open position is important to making it happen.
  3. Responsibilities – Help them understand what the job entails and what success looks like in the role, and avoid listing out every possible responsibility. You’re still selling jobseekers right now, and you can always present a formal job description later in the process.
  4. Qualifications – Be clear about what is required, but be careful not to scare away good candidates with ideal qualifications. Only include 100% requirements – is 5 years of sales experience really required to pass your initial review?
  5. What You’ll Get – Focus on more than just compensation and benefits; remember to also reference growth potential and development opportunities.
  6. Next Steps – Be sure to include a call to action or overview of the hiring process. Show applicants that there is an immediate need and interviews are being conducted.

Think of these key elements as a sequence of hurdles or gates. As candidates review each one, they are asking themselves: Is this a good match for me? It starts with the Job Title and works its way down to Next Steps, which should encourage them to apply.

Step 2: Get Posted

Now that you have a compelling job posting, it’s time to promote it in the right places and to the right people. First and foremost, be sure to get the job added to the Careers Page on your company website. You don’t want to miss out on the candidates who come to your website and are interested in working for you. Though this is the right place to start, most of your potential candidates do not yet know about your company. You need to also get the word out to other people and places.

Key Channels for Promoting Your Jobs:

  1. Your Employees & Network – The benefits of building a strong pipeline of employee referrals are numerous. A strong Talent Magnet should have employee referrals as the number of source of new hires. Achieving this goal is a sign that you have built a great place to work!
  2. Your Customers – Your best customers could become your best employees. Let them know that you are hiring and make it easy to learn more. Tip: Scrap the paper applications and train your hiring managers to send applicants to your online Careers Page. This gives you more control over the applicant’s experience with your brand and increases consistency for your managers.
  3. External Job Boards – You will get the most applicants from this channel. Applicant quality will be mixed, but you can still make great hires here.

These key channels are listed in order of importance. Don’t skip Your Employees and Customers and go straight to External Job Boards. If you do, you will be missing out on some of your highest quality candidates.

Source applicants from referrals, your customers and external job postings

Step 3: Get Clicked

Getting your jobs posted on external job boards is great, but now you have entered the competition with hundreds of other employers looking for the same people. How will you get noticed, and more importantly, how will you get people to click on your job postings?

Key Strategies to Get More Clicks:

  1. Show Up in the Right Search Results – Use a job title and job description keywords that the right candidates will use to find jobs like yours. SEO isn’t just for your marketing team.
  2. Keep Jobs Fresh – Jobs that are newer typically get more exposure. Consider updating or reposting jobs that are more than 30 days old.
  3. Add Compensation – Some search engines will show a compensation amount on their search results when it’s provided. This can help you stand out.
  4. Make It Easy for Mobile – More than half of jobseekers apply to jobs from their mobile device. Mobile job search has become so common that certain job search engines will prioritize mobile-friendly jobs. Make sure your job postings aren’t filtered out just because they aren’t mobile optimized.

A Few More Tips

  • It’s important to showcase your company in your job postings. Too many companies have a nice looking Careers Page, but then their job posting pages look dull and generic. Remember that most of your visitors are coming from external job boards, not your Careers Page, so be sure that their first experience in seeing your job showcases your company and brand.
  • You may be wondering, how do I get my jobs promoted in all of these places? Applicant Tracking Systems like CareerPlug can make your life easier when it comes to job posting distribution. Once you post a job, the system automatically adds the job to your website and posts it with our network of job board partners. You can also promote the jobs on social media within a few clicks.
  • The best way to optimize your results is to test, measure and test again. If you have a position for which you recruit on a regular basis, it is worth your time to develop a couple of different job postings and job titles to test and see what works best. Measure your results: Which jobs got the most clicks? Which ones converted clicks to applicants at the highest rate? What are your best sources for applicants and hires? This will allow you to refine your process and optimize your results.

Start Building Your Talent Magnet

If you want to win the competition for talent, you need to start by attracting more qualified applicants. The keys to building a strong Talent Magnet are straightforward:

  1. Create an attractive opportunity for the right candidates.
  2. Promote this opportunity in the right places and to the right people.
  3. Make it easy to apply from any device.

Once you develop these parts and build a process to make it repeatable, you will start to see predictable results. And that’s when you’ll start winning the competition for talent.

Building a Talent Magnet is one of the most important things you can do to help your business thrive. Download our free ebook to learn how to create your Talent Magnet and start winning.

Why Should I Work For You?

“Why should I work for you?”

Candidates may not ask you this question directly, but they are definitely asking themselves. Candidly, there are some candidates that you never saw because they answered this question for themselves before they decided to not apply for your job. This may sound harsh, but consider this: how many times have you decided not to buy something because you read a bad review – or you couldn’t find any reviews at all?

Are candidates buying the jobs you’re offering?

We are in a buyer’s market for employment. Candidates have never had so many jobs to choose from, most of which can be found and applied to within a few clicks. Some candidates will use this as an opportunity to apply to as many jobs as possible. But your potential Superstars are much more discerning buyers – and you need to be doing everything you can to meet their buying needs.

Would you apply for the job you’re offering?

Outside of family and faith, your career is the most important decision you make in your life. The most qualified candidates do not take this lightly. Just as the internet has changed the way people make purchases, it has changed the way people apply to jobs. Whether you know it or not, your potential applicants are researching you online. You get to decide whether this is a good thing or a bad thing.

44% of candidates research an organization online before applying


It may be tempting to jump right into the posting a job without taking the time to showcase your company as a great place to work. I can tell you from experience that this will not set you up for long-term recruiting success. Follow these steps to help candidates answer, “Why should I work for you?” and start attracting the right people to your organization.

Step 1) Develop Your Mission, Vision & Values

As a founder of a company that is about to turn 10 years old, I can tell you with 100% confidence that there is no better investment of your time than to define your company mission, vision and values. Candidates – millennials in particular – care about working for a company with shared values. This is great news for you, as sharing this information should help attract the right candidates and repel others whose values do not align.

Don’t have your mission, vision, and values clearly defined? Use these guiding questions to get started.

  • Mission: Who are we? What is our core purpose?
  • Vision: Where are we headed? How will it look when we get there?
  • Values: What principles are most sacred to us and define who we are?
CareerPlug strives to live up to our core values every day
CareerPlug’s Core Values

Step 2) Develop Your Employment Brand

A brand is a promise. Your company has probably built a brand to represent the promise you are making to your customers, but have you done the same for your employees? A great brand helps companies attract the right type of customers, and an employment brand can help you attract the right long-term employees.

Your employment brand will develop over time – use these three categories to start it moving in the right direction.

  • Culture: What’s it like to work here? What are the people like? Why do they love it?
  • Benefits: What sort of perks do we offer? How do we take care of our team and show them that they are valued?
  • Growth: How do we invest in training and development? How can our employees grow with us?

Step 3) Build Your Online Employment Presence

A strong mission and employment brand are only effective for recruiting purposes if candidates can find them in their research. Once you have put the work into your message, you need to get it online where people search. Keep in mind that words alone can only do so much. People rely on design for their initial impressions and to determine whether they trust something.

Where are candidates conducting this research?

Company Website: You should have a dedicated Careers Page that is easy to find from your home page. Make sure that it showcases your organization and speaks specifically to your target candidates. This is where you should let your newly developed employment brand take center stage.

Job Postings: Remember that most candidates find your jobs from an external job board, and they will only see your job posting (not your Careers Page). Make sure that the job posting itself delivers the right message and experience to candidates.

Review Sites: Sites like Glassdoor have become popular with candidates, and it’s important that you know what your employees are saying on them. Glassdoor gives employers the opportunity to add content to the company profile and respond to reviews. Be proactive and encourage current employees to write honest reviews about their experience.

Social Media: Some of your best employees could come from your biggest fans – your customers! Be sure to share information about the type of organization you are building, as well as your specific openings. Like employees, consumers like to do business with companies with shared values.

Final Word – Keep It Real

Above all else, be authentic about who you are as a company, and you will attract the right kinds of people. CareerPlug is based in Austin, where there are large, well-funded tech companies with appealing perks and ongoing needs for talent. Highly skilled workers have no shortage of opportunities in Austin, and we have to work hard to stand out from the crowd.

How do we do it?

  • We generate referrals from our team of happy employees that love their jobs
  • We work hard to maintain a strong employment brand by living our mission, vision, and values every day
  • We embrace the things that make us different from the larger, better known companies around town
  • We speak frankly about our culture and the advantages and disadvantages that come along with joining a small, tight-knit team like ours
  • We hire candidates that truly share our values

We know from experience that hiring people who are genuinely excited to contribute to the growth of a company like ours is the most important indicator of success for new hires.

The lesson I’ve learned is that if you are authentic about who you are and how you showcase your company, you can and will attract candidates who are right for you.

3 Essential Components of a Superstar Hiring Process

At CareerPlug we know that our people are the heart of our business. It is our people who execute our mission and vision and live our values every day. Having the right people in place has empowered us to innovate, explore, and grow as a company. And this isn’t unique to us – HR leaders across many industries understand the impact people have on their organization. From top to bottom, people set the pace and pulse of a workplace, ultimately impacting the culture, growth, and reputation of the company.

So why it is so easy to fall short when it comes to hiring the right people?

There are many common answers we can insert here: Hiring managers don’t have enough time. The hiring market is too tough right now. This person seemed perfect during their interview… it’s not our fault they left two months later.

There is no formula for making perfect hires 100% of the time, but there is a path to predictable hiring results. It’s true that hiring rarely comes at an opportune time for hiring managers. They have full workloads before the hiring responsibilities of reviewing applicants, conducting interviews, and then devoting days or weeks to training land on their plate. When a team is understaffed there’s even more pressure to fill a position as soon as possible. Maybe the hiring manager skips a reference check to expedite the process. Or settles for someone they would’ve passed on if they had the leisure of another week. It seems like a Catch 22: We rush through the hiring process to fill the seat quickly and save time, but then risk that new hire leaving sooner than expected (or having to show them the door) and starting the process all over again. And again. And again.

To stop this cycle of turnover, organizations need to develop a consistent hiring process and give hiring managers the tools and resources to execute it. It’s common for individual managers to develop their own process, and maybe some of them have a knack for always making great hires… or maybe they don’t. By removing the uncertainty and adopting consistency, companies can make predictable hiring decisions to build stronger, lasting teams.

Build Your Process

Start by standardizing job descriptions for every position. Job descriptions are the core of performance management. Before the hire is made, job descriptions attract the right applicants, lay out the expectations of the job, and set the hiring criteria for hiring managers. After the hire is made they guide training plans, set the foundation for performance reviews, and can even indicate when employees should be on performance improvement plans. While every job description will differ based on the role, first consider what key components each job description should have to help attract the right applicants. Remember that your job postings should not be a bulleted list of responsibilities, but rather communicate the purpose and impact of the position. Highlighting growth-potential, training opportunities, and other company benefits and perks will make your job descriptions more attractive.

Next, outline the essential steps each hiring manager should execute during the hiring process. While this could differ by position, it should not differ by hiring manager. At CareerPlug, we have a standard set of hiring steps across all our departments which include a phone screen, personality and cognitive assessments, multiple in-person interviews that involve in-depth interviews that uncover career aspirations and motivations, and reference checks. We also incorporate a “role play” exercise, or a job shadow, depending on the position.

Our more comprehensive process is a recent development; many of our seasoned employees were hired with a quick phone screen and in-person interview (or less). As a smaller company we definitely made our share of “gut-feeling” hires and were fortunate to get some truly talented people on our team. But that luck doesn’t last forever, and we have since shifted our hiring process to make more predictable hires. Focusing on building a consistent, effective hiring process has made our hiring managers more efficient and has enabled our teams to confidently add new, high performing team members.

Train Your Team

Not every hiring manager is going to have experience interviewing. Taking the time to train managers on how to run an effective interview is crucial. Clear hiring criteria in job descriptions, identified competencies for the position, and standard interview guides will set managers up to make better hires. When I sit down with new hiring managers, they often don’t know what to expect from the hiring process. Providing them with resources to execute and thrive is essential to success. Pre-screen questions and assessments save time on reviewing resumes; interview guides cut down on interview prep and help make the selection process more objective. We use our ATS to centralize email communication and move candidates through the interview and verification process. In the end, having a set process brings peace of mind to hiring managers and saves them time, all while helping them consistently hire great people.

As you consider what hiring steps make the most sense for your positions, consider these 3 essential components to a superstar hiring process:

Component #1 – Assess

Resumes are a great indicator of job history, but often fall short of digging into what you really need to know upfront about a candidate. Using prescreen questions on the initial application gives you immediate visibility into the most important questions that are relevant to your open position, such as certifications, work availability, or years of experience in the industry. Make sure these questions are consistent each time the job is posted. This way, hiring managers can expect the same info and evaluate applicants on the same criteria.

Once you’ve collected the initial information from applicants, use assessments to learn more. Personality assessments can measure soft skills like assertiveness, emotional intelligence, sales potential and service orientation, while cognitive assessments can be an indicator into problem-solving and verbal skills. Evaluate each of your positions and consider which competencies are most important to be successful in the role. Then, have current top performers in each role take assessments so you can benchmark their scores against potential hires. By utilizing assessments hiring managers can begin to see which candidates would complement their current team.

Component #2 – Interview

Interviews are the backbone of the hiring process. They are a chance to truly get to know a candidate, ask specific questions about their experience, and learn if they are a professional and cultural fit. But again, if hiring managers are not consistent in how they interview the evaluation process will be for naught. When all hiring managers ask the same questions to every candidate, it’s easier to evaluate on the job criteria and make more predictable hires.

Here’s a more detailed look at CareerPlug’s interview process:

  • Phone Screen – This is a short interview hiring managers conduct first to learn about a candidate’s current position and what they’re looking for in their next role. We use this interview to screen for basic qualifications: skill set, salary expectations, and ideal work environment.
  • Assessment – All candidates complete a personality assessment and a timed Math/Verbal assessment. Because we have benchmarked these scores against current employees, we have learned which scores are indicators for success in certain positions.
  • In-Person Interview – Lasting between 30 and 60 minutes, the first in-person interview validates the assessment results and explores in-depth behavioral and culture fit questions. This interview indicates whether the candidate has the experience and potential to perform well in the role. Their responses should also demonstrate alignment with our values (i.e. Communicate Openly and Innovate & Grow Every Day).
  • Life Story Interview – This interview takes a deeper look at a candidate’s professional history and asks them to reflect on past jobs and education. By learning about their highs, disappointments, and lessons learned, we can see if CareerPlug makes sense as the next step in their professional story.
  • Motivational Interview – The motivational interview digs into the question “where do you want to be in 5 years?” We ask candidates to expand on their motivations and goals for their career, finances, and other personal ambitions. This interview is essential to establishing CareerPlug as the right company to help them achieve these goals.
  • Leadership Interview – As a small, collaborative company, most positions work closely with multiple departments. It’s important to get leaders involved in the hiring process to offer perspective and to support incoming hires. Leaders of adjacent departments conduct short interviews with final round candidates to further explore company fit.

While we make slight adjustments based on the job, like adding a role play or a technical interview, we never sacrifice the core components of our process.

Component #3 – Verify

It only takes one time to regret not verifying a candidate. I approach hiring with the assumption that people are generally trustworthy, but that doesn’t make reference checks and criminal background checks any less mandatory in our hiring process. Reference checks should verify your assumptions about a candidate and give you an opportunity to learn how to best manage someone if they are hired.

At CareerPlug, all our offers are contingent upon completing a criminal background check. Rather than just another hoop to jump through before the hire, verification instills confidence in the hiring manager – and the company – that the right person is joining the team.

How CareerPlug Can Help

Creating a consistent hiring process that speaks to our values and culture has helped make CareerPlug’s team what it is today. We’ve seen the benefit of investing time in our hiring process played out in the dedication, service, and innovation of our employees in every department, and we are passionate about helping other companies build the hiring process they need to grow their business.

To learn more about how you can build a hiring process to get the right people in place, request a demo of CareerPlug’s hiring software today.

The Best Places To Post Your Jobs

Fishing for the Perfect Hire

The right candidate will rarely walk through your front door right when you need them.  That would be like a fisherman waiting for the catch of the day to jump into the boat!  A skilled fisher knows that having the right equipment and the right location matters in making that big catch. Similarly, recruiters and hiring managers need to know where to “fish” for candidates and use the right recruiting tools to tap into that applicant pool.

Here are a few places you should be casting your net:

Job Search Engines

Job Search Engines, like, aggregate job listings from job boards and employer websites. Because they reach a larger audience than just a job board (where employers have to specifically post to that site, usually for a premium fee), Job Search Engines increase your applicant flow to help that right candidate find you.

Social Media

Use your company’s online presence to your advantage and share opportunities on your social pages (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc) to expand your pool of applicants. This gets your openings in front of people already familiar with your company. You can also have your employees or other connections share with their individual networks to multiply your reach.


Referrals are the most valuable and often the most overlooked applicant source. Alongside your professional connections, your current employees can be your greatest recruiting asset. They already understand the company and know what kind of person will be a great fit in regards to culture, values, and work style. Design a referral program that works for your employees — for example, will an employee receive a bonus if you hire their referral?

How CareerPlug Can Help

CareerPlug’s hiring platform helps get your jobs in front of the right applicants.  We work with sites like Indeed – the #1 job search engine in the world – to broadcast your postings, integrate with your social media to post openings in one click, and make it easy to track employee referrals.   To learn more about attracting the right talent, download our free ebook.

Product Update: Partnership With ZipRecruiter

We are excited to announce a new partnership with ZipRecruiter. ZipRecruiter is one of the leading job search platforms in the country, serving millions of job seekers each month. ZipRecruiter’s platform includes the #1 rated job search app on Android and iOS and 40 million+ job alert email subscribers.

How Does It Work?

Step 1: Post a job on CareerPlug’s Applicant Tracking System
Step 2: You’re finished! Your job will be on ZipRecruiter within 24 hours.

ZipRecruiter adds to our list of organic job feeds, joining a list of the largest job search sites in the country, including:

  • Indeed
  • LinkedIn
  • Glassdoor
  • Direct Employers

Together, these free job listings help our clients hire thousands of applicants every month. ZipRecruiter’s addition to this list makes it easier than ever to attract the right applicants and achieve your hiring goals.

To unlock the full power of ZipRecruiter’s extensive publisher network, which will distribute your job ads to over 200 of the top online job boards, sign up and subscribe to ZipRecruiter’s monthly job posting service.

Build Your Talent Magnet With CareerPlug

Automatically listing your job postings on major job search engines is a must if you want to compete for top talent. In fact, clients switching to CareerPlug can see a 5x increase in applicants from our automatic job listings on sites like ZipRecruiter.

Interested in learning about how CareerPlug can help you increase your applicant flow? Request a demo of CareerPlug’s Applicant Tracking System today.