There’s a lot of information out there about where job applicants look when they want to find a job. Popular opinion points to online. Industry surveys challenge this thinking and say that most jobs are actually filled internally or through referrals.
Regardless, if you’re trying to hire, here are some tips to finding the right candidates.
- Employee Networks: Let current employees know about your job openings. Their friends and associates might be the perfect candidates. They can spread the word for you. Usually current employees are careful to direct talented friends your way, because those recommendations might reflect back on them. If you want to cast a wider net, encourage employees to also post your information to Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
- Your Networks: Chances are you’ve developed a few connections yourself over the years — social, academic, and professional. Cultivate these relationships to help in your search. It’s possible to tap a steady stream of recent college graduates simply by reestablishing or maintaining a key faculty contact. Build your connections within your industry by joining groups and attending conferences — make a point of staying in touch by phone.
- Applicant Database: What does your company do with unsolicited resumes that come in over the course of a year? What about the applications you got for the last vacant position? By creating a database of all these people, you’ve got a great starting point for your next opening.
- Online Job Boards: LinkedIn, Indeed, and Craigslist are three of the most often-mentioned general online recruitment sites. (While LinkedIn is a job board, we’re covering it below under social media.) Both Indeed and Craigslist get your job posts seen in a job search. With Indeed, employers don’t have to post jobs — rather, the site’s search engines include jobs pulled from your website. Employers pay when a job searcher clicks through to their site to view the job description. With Craigslist you pay a low posting fee for listing your job openings. The downside to the low cost offered by Craigslist is that you receive hundreds of resumes and must sift through for the qualified candidates. Make your postings specific to help cut down on unqualified applicants.
- Social Media: Facebook and LinkedIn are great places to display your company culture and scout top talent. Set up a company page on these sites and be seen. Find out where your target candidates spend their time on social media and establish a presence there as well. LinkedIn is the largest database of workplace professionals — built for the business audience. LinkedIn enables you to announce openings in the status update of your company page … and setting up a company page is free. Also free is your ability to mention your openings in the LinkedIn groups you frequent. Or, you can search for the qualifications you’re looking for and reach out to specific people. If you have a high volume of positions to fill, LinkedIn also offers paid recruitment tools to help make recruiting easier. Look at examples of how companies use their pages to recruit. Check out Luxottica Group and Starbucks as examples.
- Passive Candidates: Employed professionals who are for the most part happy in their current jobs, but who might be willing to look at an attractive offer, are “passive candidates.” Even though these workers aren’t actively looking for a job, research shows that more than 80% of them have their eyes open for new opportunities and would be open to a conversation. Industry trade events and groups are good resources to find these candidates.
The competition for talent is heating up. And recruiting begins with finding the right job candidates. Whether you rely on referrals, find talent online, or lure the passive candidates from their existing jobs, your recruiting is a top priority. Track your time and money for each hiring source. Know where you’re getting your best hires.