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If Seth MacFarlane were a Recruiter…

(Editors Note: This article was originally published on Recruiter.com on August 29, 2014)

Seth-MacFarlaneThis past weekend was the annual Video Music Award ceremony; the event where MTV brings together the artists who have impacted the pop music industry for the past few years. Though award ceremonies are not always the best place to get an accurate idea of what an artist deserves, the connection between what performers accomplish and the way a recruiter gets that perfect candidate are actually pretty similar.

Have a formula

Think sitcom; as funny and unplanned as they may be, they still have a script. Sometimes the best movie scenes were ones that went “off book”, sure, but the actor didn’t walk on set without an idea of who they were that day. Even improvisational greats need a prompt.

As a recruiter, you wear more than one hat. One day might be devoted to marketing a position on a career site while the next is filled with phone interviews. In between all that, there’s email correspondence and face-to-face meetings. In fact, recruiters spend 73,352 minutes on the phone and speak with 13,000 different people in an average year of work.

The point is, without the ability to have the right tools and procedures, productivity suffers and things fall by the way side. A great applicant tracking system will help keep great candidates nurtured and engaged, while a simple question game plan will keep you on track during hectic, interview filled days. Having a “script” will help keep the balance and prepare you for the time that an unexpected phone call pops up.

Start with a good one liner

When any performer takes the stage, he or she has an entrance. Whether you’re the host with a joke or the headliner with a hit song, you need to grab and holdthe attention of your audience. While it’s probably not great to throw a joke into your job description, putting the obvious in place of your one chance to shine is a waste.

The average attention span in the United States is 8 seconds, and while a job seeker may devote a bit more time to checking into a position, if there’s nothing there to hold their attention, you will lose it. The job description is getting some serious consideration nowadays and it may not be long before video and other visuals are used. Video production may not be within your wheelhouse right now, but creating a picture with your words is a good place to start.

Last year’s Oscar host, Seth MacFarlane, was greeted with quite a bit of controversy when his humor was considered “mean”. Know your audience. Think about the attributes a fitting candidate would need and gear your description to what would interest those individuals.

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photo credit: Gage Skidmore via photopin cc