How We Post Job Openings & Hire Amazing People

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Finding & Hiring Valuable Team Members

Hiring a new team member can be frustrating. In the midst of sifting through incomplete applications and poorly written cover letters you have to juggle the shift in your workflow and manage phone calls from potential hires (even though you always say no phone calls).

At least twice a year we go through this process. In that time we have come to understand a method that typically results in candidates that are actually qualified for the job we are looking to fill.

  1. Make the ad interesting! The job posting is an advertisement.  It needs to accurately represent your company tone and style and sell you to the potential candidate.
  2. Start the posting with asking questions that are pertinent and fun. “Do you love _____________?”   Make it something they will actually be doing.  It relates nicely and starts off the ad in a non-traditional way.
    • Bookkeeper – Do you love QuickBooks? Like making sure all the business numbers reconcile?  Running reports and audits of existing payments?  Then we have the job for you.
    • Developer – Do you love the feeling of victory when your PHP array finally outputs the correct data? Making sure that all code blocks line up with perfect indents and comments?  Then check us out.
    • Designer – Do you love making clients say “ohhh” as they first see your design? Like working with developers on new trends and tech?  Then we need you on our team.
  3. Post the ad on Craiglist,, and your blog/website/social accounts at a minimum. If the ad is for someone junior or an internship, it helps to post at various colleges.
  4. Make a 50/50 cut initially. If you have 50 resumes, reduce in half immediately.  You should spend about a minute per resume in the first cut round. Get it down to a manageable number so that you can spend more time reviewing the better applications.
  5. Interview about 5 to 10 candidates. The more the merrier.  You would be shocked as to who looks good on paper and who turns into a star in the interview.
  6. Phone interviews are fine. In-person interviews are even better, but sometimes that is not always possible. Skype can be a good tool, but prepare for technical difficulties.
  7. Keep it legal. Don’t ask taboo subject matters during interviews.  This should be a no-brainer, but anything based on sex, age, race, religion should be off topic. Keep it professional.
  8. Have Questions. Have 10 questions to ask for the interview.  That will be about 30 minutes of talk.
  9. Listen First. The interview is for the candidate to speak. Let them know what your company is about in the beginning or end, but let them speak the majority of the time.
  10. Have fun. Interviewing is a chance to meet new people. It is a chance to improve your company – enjoy the opportunity.

Recent Stats from Our Job Posts

We recently ran an ad for a bookkeeper position.  Here were the results:

  • 82 Resumes received from Craigslist, Indeed and our blog/website/social media sites.
    • 20 resumes were just awful. No bookkeeper experience, or no training at all.
    • 15 with subject line failures (no name, no subject, etc). This is our first test and with a bookkeeper we wanted accuracy.  Most of these did not have a solid resume or cover letter anyway. Note that a few were moved to the “yes” category, even if they messed up the subject line, but we keep the test in the back of our mind.
    • 18 with education requirements issues (i.e. not enough school).
    • 21 candidates were solid, but for one reason or another they were put into the “backup” file in case our top eight did not pan out.
    • 8 candidates interviews
      • 7 candidates from Craiglist
      • 1 candidate from Indeed (we ended up hiring this person)
    • Takeaways:
      • Indeed provided the bulk of our resumes, including those who we chose to interview
      • 25% of the resumes were just bad (waste of time bad)
      • Actually, when we include our subject line test, nearly 42% of the resumes were poor.
      • Nearly 10% were great to interview

The biggest tip we can share is to only spend your time with applicants that have potential. Are you an applicant looking to apply for a job? Learn what PaperStreet directors look for when hiring a new team member.

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