Are you drowning in many job applications? Here is strategy to free your time while you select the best

As long as one is presentable and can demonstrate fluency in English and Math, to me they are good for the job. I don’t

As long as one is presentable and can demonstrate fluency in English and Math, to me they are good for the job.

I don’t need to administer an aptitude test. That is usually for some HR folks who cannot pass aptitude themselves!

See, such exercises are a waste of time and money. As a busy executive, time is my most valuable asset. I want to spend every minute I have on strategy, marketing and customer satisfaction.

These days I’ve been receiving about five to 10 applicants for a job at my company. It is a good sign that we can attract talent. In the past, I used to spend a lot of time meeting people and interviewing them, first by administering an aptitude test, then a written interview and finally a face to face interview.

It was very expensive on the firm, yet non-value adding.

The new approach

When a candidate sends a CV via email or makes a call seeking for an opportunity to join our team, I have two standard questions that I send them to answer.

 Dear xx,

Thanks for your interest in joining our team. To know more about us, visit My team will review your CV and revert.  In the meantime, write to us a 900 words personal statement of how your current skills and networks could add value to Summit Consulting Ltd within a year of your joining.

Also explain clearly, if given the opportunity, what would be your top three key result areas in the first 4 months, and how much compensation would you want in return. What kind of support (and budget) would you require to deliver your KPIs.

Please remember, we don’t need an employee on our team. We need a colleague.

Yours sincerely,

Mustapha B. Mugisa.

About 80% of the job seekers never respond. I find this very effective in eliminating the unserious folks and time wasters. It is 98% more effective than having these people come to the company; waste your time, etc in aptitude or one-on-one interviews, to tell you how they want to “grow their career”, “get into new areas”, “meet new people”, “make us of all their skills”, and etc bullshit.

Who exactly coaches job seekers? Why should I give you a job to “grow your career”, “get a better pay” and “expand your horizons?” on my cost? Is this an NGO?

I want someone who can explain that “I love the nature of your business. I’ve connections, which I am not making use at my current place of work, which would be beneficial if I joined your team. Plus, this is an area I am passionate about. I want to come and take care of all your technical needs, so that you focus on strategy. And in future, I will need to become a shareholder, because I will make you a lot of money and I need to be part of the success as one of the owners.”

Yes, that is the kind of folk I am always looking for.

Not the guys wanting to “learn from me, at my cost, and then run away immediately the get know just a bit of it.”

As an Ernst & Young alumni, I realize that recruiters want folks going to keep around the company for a very long period of time. And when you mention about “shares, partnership, or directorship, it indirectly implies you are here for a long haul.

Back to my new shortlist approach, I enjoy reading the essay of whoever takes time to respond, because it gives me ‘an outsider’s view of the business. What we need to do, and how.” If it makes sense, we will OBVIOUSLY invite you to meet us and demonstrate. If you are genuine and practical, you will get the job.

Some of our best people have joined us that way.

I introduced the concept to the CEO of a bank during a casual meeting, and he says that is the best idea of 2013.

It ensures quality at the door. Avoids recruitment exercises that add little value, and helps focus the entire recruitment exercise about the company, instead of the applicant with the result of evaluating whether the applicant understands the business and they are ready.

By the time you answer the questions, you have researched a lot about the company, and have thought through the decision and why you must join. In the process of researching, many people are able to give up and this saves everyone’s time.

Wish you success in your business.

Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa, CFE 2014. All rights reserved.

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