You’re ready to outsource, you’ve decided what jobs you do NOT want to perform in your business anymore, and you’re ready to post the job application. But something stops you short – WHAT all needs to be included in a job application? Designing a great job application is essential to getting good quality candidates, and therefore good quality work and a great return on your investment.
This series of blog posts is taking you through EACH step of the hiring process. If you missed how to make sure you’re hiring for the right job for your team click right here. This post will walk through how to create a job application and all the important aspects to include. The last two posts of this series will include the interview process and onboarding of your new hire with success!
Here are the essential parts to include on your job application:
- Type of Position/Title
- Description of Role
- Company mission & values
- Desired skills
- Tech they may need to be familiar with
- Scope of the job/number of hours
- Ballpark of your budget
- Desired availability & start date
- A “gotcha” question
- Your favorite type of person to work with
- HOW to apply
- Deadline to apply
Let’s talk about these aspects of a great job application in more detail!
Type of Position and Description of Job
On the surface, this seems self-explanatory. What will the person do for your business? But, in my experience, it’s essential to include a specific scope of the job and what EXACTLY the person will need to do. Do you want to hire someone to take over your social media? Amazing! But, be sure to ask yourself how many times in a week (or day?) do you want them to post? Who is responsible for the direct messages? Posting and scheduling stories? Hashtag research? Writing captions? Where can they get the photos of you/your products/and your testimonials to post?
See? There’s a lot more than just goes into “posting on Instagram”. If expectations aren’t clear, there’s a chance you’ll both be disappointed in the long run. Worried about how to communicate all this to your new hire? Don’t worry, onboarding your new virtual assistant is the last piece of this series – I got you covered!
Company Mission and Values
This may not seem crucial to include, but chances are you have a few non-negotiable aspects in your own personal values and the mission of your company. Be upfront about them! That way the potential applicant can see if they’re a good fit for the company and you (or not) and it may weed out some of the applicants who feel their values do not align with yours.
Pro tip: include a question about your company’s values in the interview to ensure the applicant actually read through them!
Desired Skills and Tech to Be Familiar with for Applicants
This is really a personal preference. How much training are you willing to do for the right person? A lot of you may balk at this question but – would you rather have a great person/team member who needs a bit of training or a wet blanket who has all the skills? I think that question answers itself. For more of my opinion on that matter, check out this post on Instagram.
Number of Hours and Ballpark of Your Budget
I sound like a broken record but hear me out. This is ALSO a personal preference – here’s why. You probably have a budget in mind for what you’d like to spend for this position. Only you can decide if you’re willing to spend more for the right person OR how much exactly the rate matters to you. Do you have a super tight budget that you’re not able to or willing to budge on? That’s FINE!
Do you REALLY want to search for the right person because you’re hoping this can grow into a long-term or full-time employee relationship? That’s ALSO fine! Just be clear on what you want and what you can spend before you put up the job application. You can also have a “ballpark” of your budget in mind, and put a place on the application for them to enter what they hope to be compensated and then you’ll get an overview of what people typically charge for that type of work, and can weed out applicants based on rate.
A “Gotcha” Question in the Job Application
These are often seen as controversial, however, I stand by them, and here’s why. Don’t you want someone who has great attention to detail? Who really READS the directions and not just skims through the surface? I actually include something similar to a “gotcha” question on my AP syllabus for a class I taught! I would go over the important details in class, and then ask students to read the back for the next class. On the back, it would ask them to email me a photo of their favorite place they’ve ever visited for 5 points extra credit on the first test of the quarter. I asked them not to share it with their friends if they saw it, just so I could see who actually did it. Usually, only 1-2 students per class would ever catch it!
The same thing is true of job applications. Here are some I’ve seen before:
Place a secret word in the job application. You can even be obvious about it and write “the secret word is x” right in the application. This will tell you how detailed people are BUT also how resourceful they are! They can simply hit “Control F” and type “secret word” and it will take you right to the spot. I will never forget when I was hiring for the last position of a content/blog writer and put a secret word in the application and had two people message me to tell me they couldn’t find it. Yikes. Needless to say, they didn’t get interviews.
You could also do something simple like asking them to put an * next to their first or last name, and see if they can follow that basic direction.
Is this trick mean? Maybe, but it’s a GREAT way to weed out about 50% of the applicants right away based on this detail. This is especially helpful if you’re getting a lot of applications for a customer service position or another job that may get a lot of applicants.
Your Favorite Type of Person to Work With
Again, this is super subjective, but an important part of the application process, and important to think about! Do you hope to work with someone who has more of a set schedule so they can be available to you more consistently? Do their work hours really not matter to you at all? Something that can be super helpful, especially if you’re looking for a long-term fit with your company is to do a personality test.
The Briggs Meyer: https://www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test
Enneagram Test: https://www.truity.com/test/enneagram-personality-test
You can always have applicants log in and take these free tests to get a better understanding of their personalities before you interview them. Each site also comes with a little blurb and insight into the strengths and weaknesses of the personality and Enneagram type.
I’m an INFJ and an Enneagram 3w2.
How to Apply and the Deadline for Job Application
Finally how to apply and the deadline you’re accepting applications until. I’m a Google Forms kinda gal, but TypeForm is great for this too! I would not recommend using emails or DMs on Instagram or Facebook as they’re easy to get misplaced. I would also recommend NOT just asking people to “drop their link to a portfolio on a Facebook Post”. That is putting the work on YOU. Put the work back on THEM to actually apply for the job! Leave the application open 7-10 business days to ensure that you collect enough applications to have a good pool to select from.
Other Miscellaneous Tips
Consider having applicants record a short 1-2 minute video introducing themselves and why they’d be a good fit for the position. This is dependent on the type of job you’re hiring for and if you feel this would be helpful in deciding who you’d like to interview. If you’re going to have them put a link to their portfolio or website, you can leave a spot on the application.
I hope this has helped you to build out a solid and comprehensive application process for your first (or fifth?!) job application.
Maybe hiring doesn’t sound like something you have the time or ability to do right now. Wouldn’t it be nice if someone could just swoop in, help you get clear on WHAT job you most need to hire for, build the job application (that you could reuse!), post the job, sift through the candidates, interview 3 quality candidates, and onboard your new hire with ease? Sounds too good to be true? It’s not, I promise – it’s all included in my hiring package (plus a few extras!).
If you’re ready to take the next step in hiring for your business, book a call to discuss the best steps to take next!
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