Behind any great company is a great workforce. A team of talented individuals who are as passionate about your company as you, and are willing to go the extra mile to get the job done.
But great people aren’t found by chance; they’re found by championing a great hiring process, one that attracts A-players while highlighting your company’s unique advantage.
This, of course, takes time. And as a busy business owner, it’s unlikely you have the resources or energy to attend to every hopeful candidate that applies to work with you.
So, with that in mind, let’s discuss three ways to simplify hiring using everyone’s favorite employee—automation.
1. Create filters and labels in Gmail
If you’ve ever posted a job online, chances are your inbox was inundated with hopeful applicants, each trying to rise above the fray and get noticed.
Interest is important, of course, but with dozens if not hundreds of applicants to sift through, separating the wheat from the chaff can become a laborious activity.
To reduce “boilerplate applicants” (applicants who copy and paste applications rather than write personalized responses), add an assignment to your job posting.
The nature of the assignment will depend on what’s most important to you in an applicant. For example, if you’re looking to hire someone with a keen eye for detail, you might ask them to proofread a recent blog post, leave their feedback on a Google Doc with the title, “Corrections for [Company Name]” and write “Corrections attached below” in their email (why will become apparent in a moment).
Posting a job and filtering responses
Once you’ve specified an assignment and posted your job online, you’re ready to create a filter and label in Gmail. This ensures only candidates that followed your instructions when applying make it to the second round.
To create a filter, login to Gmail and click “Settings > Filters and blocked addresses > Create a new filter”:
Next, add the email address of the person in charge of hiring under “To” and any relevant words applicant must include in their email under “Includes the words”:
Then, click “Create filter with this search,” tick “Skip the inbox (Archive it)” and “Apply the label” and choose a relevant label:
When choosing a label, try using a hierarchy, similar to how you would with folders if you were to systemize your business. For example, you might choose “Hiring” as a parent label, and each round as a child label.
Here’s how we organize our labels at Sleeknote:
The better organized you are with your labelling hierarchy, the more organized you’ll feel during the hiring process.
2. Use email templates
Depending on how thorough your interviewing process is, each interview round will have its own objectives and outcomes.
For example, as mentioned above, round one might include an assignment. If the applicant is successful, you might interview them in a second round before inviting them to join you and your CMO for a final interview in round three.
This, like screening, is time-consuming, so it’s important to streamline communication as much as possible.
One way to do that is to create email templates like canned responses in Gmail, or, even better, Snippets in Alfred.
With Snippets, you can write appropriate email responses for each stage of the hiring process, in advance, and expand them automatically using a keyword.
For example, let’s say you wanted to email the following to an unsuccessful applicant:
Thank you for taking the time to consider [COMPANY]. I wanted to let you know that we have chosen to move forward with a different candidate for the [DEPARTMENT] position.
I wish you all the best in your job search and future professional endeavors.
You could choose a keyword like “.r” (for rejected) and populate the email in one second like below:
Simply fill in the blanks and move onto the next candidate.
3. Schedule calls with software
We’re more connected than ever. Technology has allowed employers to go beyond homegrown talent and search internationally in the hope of recruiting promising employees for their company.
But with that, comes the difficulty of arranging calls.
What ought to be one email confirming an interview becomes a back-and-forth affair trying to determine the perfect time for both parties.
Fortunately, there’s an easy solution.
Moreover, you can add your booking link to appropriate email templates so candidates can schedule an interview in their timezone—without compromising your designated working hours:
Prefer to interview candidate over Skype rather than on a conference call? No problem. Leave instructions on your booking page so candidates know exactly what’s expected of them:
Pro tip: Dedicate an entire day to interviewing so each candidate has your full attention.
Hiring A-player employees doesn’t happen overnight.
In truth, it takes time to vet the right candidates for any job, regardless of what position you’re hiring for.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t simplify your workflow. By automating repetitive tasks, you can shaves hours of your hiring process, leaving you to get back to what you do best—running and growing your business.
Sam Thomas Davies is the content marketing manager at Sleeknote: a company that helps e-commerce business owners capture and convert more leads without hurting the user experience.