How to Hire for A Hard-to-Fill (Unattractive) Role

March 5, 2018

While many jobs are exciting, fulfilling, and interesting, some just aren’t. Within an organization there are probably more than one position that is boring, tedious, and mundane. How, then, can hiring managers fill that job with a qualified, dependable person?

It’s not easy. This is especially true in the current job market with unemployment at a tiny 4.1%. The positive news is that it’s not impossible.

First, there’s one thing hiring managers should NOT do. Don’t misrepresent the position. Stretching the truth about the job’s interest level and embellishing the role of an “unattractive” job is going to get you one thing; rampant turnover.

Here are 6 ways to increase your success at filling those not-super-satisfying positions in your company.

Start with the Biggest Pool Possible

Finding the right person is a numbers game. You are more likely to make a good hire if you begin with 100 applicants than if you only have 5. Widen the search by thinking about the most impactful job boards (and also think about the impact of Google for Jobs), having team members share among their own networks, and posting across the company’s social media channels.

Practice Honesty

As tempting as it is to dress up a job that is mundane or repetitive, avoid the urge. Craft the job description as openly as possible. This doesn’t mean you need to drive home the negatives repeatedly. In addition to the description, add details about the type of person who would function well in the position. If it’s tedious, ask for applicants with great attention to detail. If the working environment is less-than comfortable, ask the job seeker to possess a sense of adventure outside the regular office atmosphere.

Provide descriptions that are honest but won’t scare applicants off from even applying.

Use Employee Testimonials

When you are attempting to attract and interview talent for an unattractive job, your current employees are a goldmine of help! Talk with the person who held the job before and see if he or she will share a few of the positives of the position. If that doesn’t happen or there isn’t someone who can provide that input, ask other employees to write about the best thing about working for the company. Even if the position doesn’t entice the applicant, the company culture, told from an employee’s standpoint, might.

[If you’re interested in more studies that show what today’s job hunters want, get our free guide “New Expectations of People Looking For Jobs” here]

Communicate Options for Growth

According to a recent LinkedIn study, opportunities for growth is the number one reason a person changes jobs. If an unattractive job leads down a bright road, showcase that option during the interviewing process. “Paying your dues” in a role that’s less than satisfying may be worth it to a job seeker if the payout is a better position in a year or so. Drive home the traits and experience needed to move up from the original position.

Promote the Compensation Plan

Potential employees want to make a fair wage for their work. Some who enjoy their jobs will happily work for less. If the work isn’t fulfilling or interesting, the pay, vacation time, and benefits can make up for that. And also, don’t forget company culture – that’s part of the whole equation too.

Consider discussing salary earlier in the process if the position is less-than-desirable. Lay out the pay along with potential bonuses and raises, and include timelines. The applicants need to see the financial benefit of the position.

Share Other Perks

Perks are popular, especially with the Millennial generation. Casual dress, flexible schedules, comfortable break rooms, and pet-friendly policies are motivating ways to get a job candidate excited about an unattractive position because these individual little things tell a lot about company culture. Flexible schedules mean that work-life balance is a company priority, pet-friendly policies suggest that the company is humane and on the more care-free side, and break rooms hint that the company cares about employee well being.  78% of millennials consider company culture to be critical when imagining themselves in a new position, so talk about these early in the interview process so the candidate weighs the perks into his or her decision.

These tips will help you find and keep well-qualified people in those difficult-to-do jobs. And over time, it’ll also save you from one of the worst outcomes – frequent, costly turnover. Happy hiring!



Linda Le Phan
Senior Content Marketing Manager at kununu.

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