Hello this week from URL Senior Recruiter Sonali Kohli. Today I'm coming to you with some internal lessons from a recent URL Media search, for candidates and hiring managers.
We're hiring an Executive Assistant and as of last week, we received 1,528 applications for the role on LinkedIn. That's more than we've received for any other role; by comparison, other jobs we’ve posted in the last year received between 54 and 176 applications each.
It's exciting for us to get so many qualified candidates. But it can be daunting as a candidate to be up against so many people — and in the current labor market, this much competition for a job may become more common. So I talked to URL's Chief of Staff, Janelle Zagala, to get her insights on what made an outstanding application, and why it was important to keep it accessible.
Sonali Kohli: With so many applicants, how did you choose the finalists? What set them apart?
Janelle Zagala, URL Media Chief of Staff: So many applicants! It is truly a sign of the job market. As a hiring manager inundated with applications, it is always helpful when an applicant emails you directly or sends you a note on LinkedIn with why they are a good fit for the role (tip: do not use the standard template that LinkedIn provides, write something original that makes you stand out!).
Also, organized and easy to read resumes are key. For this particular role, we chose the finalists based on their experience of being able to prioritize their workload while supporting more than one executive or team.
Sonali: The barriers to entry for this job application were very low – one year experience, willingness to work East Coast hours. Why?
Janelle: Coming from my prior experience as an Executive Assistant, one can excel in this position if they are resourceful, possess a tremendous attention to detail, have great prioritization abilities and are excellent communicators. You don’t necessarily have to have years of EA experience to have these skills!
Our URL Media team is scattered across the country and we truly have the best talent. Why limit our talent pool to the East Coast if someone is willing to start their day a bit early on the West (best) coast?
Sonali: We recently started adding compensation to our job descriptions. Do you think that helped attract candidates?
Janelle: The salary transparency has been immensely helpful. It saves time for the candidate and the employer by being on the same page from the start. Nothing is worse than going through a series of interviews and then finding out the compensation is not within the employee or employer’s range. Tip for employers: Explain your benefits as a part of the compensation package!