It's been a long time now since anyone went out and pounded the pavement in search of a new job. The Internet allows jobseekers today to let their fingers do the walking, and the once ubiquitous "Now Hiring" sign is fast becoming a relic.

No matter how many new, "automatic doors" job applicants can use to apply for employment, however, the primary principle of successful employee recruitment remains the same: Make it easy to apply.

Let's face it, most of the good and great people you'd like to hire for your team already have jobs, and not a lot of time to find out if there are better and/or more interesting opportunities out there. This is why you need to ensure every employee recruitment door is inviting and easy to open. (The best way to find out is to try to open them yourself and see what happens.)

  1. Your physical doors: If yours is a bricks-and-mortar operation, do you know what happens when someone walks in and asks for an employment application? Are they greeted warmly? Handled efficiently? Are they required to fill out reams of time-consuming paperwork or provide only enough information for you to determine if they meet the minimum job requirements and qualify for a telephone prescreen?
  2. Your phone system: When someone calls to inquire about employment opportunities, who gets the call? What happens next? Do you have a 24/7 employment opportunity hotline? Is it easy to apply by phone?
  3. Your website: While employers were quick to recognize the efficiency of websites for collecting applications, many just slapped up their four-page form and hoped for the best. Who has time to fill out a four-page form on the slim chance it will be read and responded to? You'll never know how many promising applicants you may be losing because your website application process is too cumbersome. Go through the application process yourself. Is it quick and easy or time-consuming and frustrating?
  4. Internet and social media: Are you using job boards, Craigslist, Facebook and Twitter? Lots of the people you'd like to recruit do — especially frontline, hourly employees. The customers who already follow you on social media can be a great source of new recruits. If they like your products or services, they're probably willing to put the word out if you let them know when you're hiring.

I read somewhere that years ago if a fella missed stagecoach, he'd just wait a week for the next one. Nowadays, people get impatient if their plane sits on the tarmac an extra 10 minutes.

Job applicants are no different. If you want to recruit the best, make it easy to apply.