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Recruiting Best Practices from the Perspective of an HR Intern

Post: Jun. 6, 2019

Ah summer, the term synonymous with beach weather and vacation. It’s also a time when HR staff look into recruiting college graduates and assessing the company’s needs for the remainder of the year. While the task may seem challenging, our HR Intern sheds some light on important tips your organization should consider when you’re ready to start the candidate search.


Know your audience

Every organization needs a workforce, however if you’re catering to the wrong crowd; you can say goodbye to hiring the candidate of your dreams. The first step is determining how you’re going to reach out to your target audience? Simply having paper applications on-hand in the office won’t entice anyone to stop by. In the digital era we live in, more organizations are turning to social media to promote their open positions. Platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook let you connect with thousands of individuals with just a few clicks. Small investments into digital recruitment efforts can easily pay off as the number of applicants to choose from goes up. In addition, online job descriptions act as brand advertising for your organization; helping individuals know exactly what products/services you offer.

An applicant tracking systems will become your best friend

With all the digital applications coming through to your organization, you’re going to need a system in place to manage all of that. Software companies like iCIMS which is used by the Council of Industry, easily allow hiring managers to create digital applications with ease and categorize candidates on different criteria sets such as if they should move forward to an interview or not. Need to make a change to a specific job description? No need to re-print paper applications, with a few clicks edits can easily be done. The best part of these system is that all the necessary information HR and business executives need is online 24/7 meaning you can view real-time data on how people are interacting with open jobs.


Digital job descriptions are important but they won’t gain much attention if they’ve been sitting there for months. Research has shown that candidates are less likely to apply for a job once they see it has been open for over 30 days. This is because people will assume the company has found someone or is ready to close the job when that may not be the case. A good practice is to refresh a posting once a month in order to get a steady flow of applicants. Want to look at applicants from prior postings? No worries, iCIMS for example lets you view applicants who applied to the earlier versions of your job description so they don’t just disappear.

Applications: Short and simple

One of the biggest barriers to people applying for jobs is the application process itself. Ever take the time to carefully craft a cover letter and resume only to find out that the application also requires over 5 extended response questions and many multiple-choice questions? While this information is useful to employers; many applicants get discouraged and end up not finishing the application process. A typical application should not take longer than 30 minutes to complete. Simplifying the amount of steps needed to finish an application will help generate more candidates which gives employers more choices when it comes time for adding a new member to your workforce.


Next Steps 


The Council of Industry is dedicated to helping members achieve their workforce goals and can help your company implement these tips. Joining the Council of Industry’s Collaborative Recruitment Initiative will give you access to our iCIMS applicant tracking system as well as digital advertising for your job positions on popular social media and career search platforms. For more information, please contact:

Johnnieanne Hansen
Director of Workforce Development and Apprenticeship Program Coordinator