Recruiting top talent is harder than ever. Posting on job boards and working with recruiters is no longer enough. In fact, to build an all-star team, you need to get creative with your recruitment strategies. Thankfully, there are non-traditional strategies you can implement that have been proven to help you successfully recruit quality candidates.
Before looking at some interesting suggestions on how to go about recruiting in modern times, it’s helpful to look at why it might be that the process is so difficult in the first place. A survey of some 200 HR professionals claimed that despite increased tools and resources, 55% of interviewees claim the process overall has gotten more difficult, especially in the past five years.
One reason why recruitment has become so difficult is because of a dwindling talent pool. The demand for skilled workers has surpassed the supply. Candidates know that and are leveraging the fact that the balance shifted in their favor. This has made recruitment highly competitive, and businesses are having to raise the stakes in order to attract and win qualified candidates. This leads to the second reason that recruiting has become more difficult: expenses.
The second reason that recruitment has become so difficult is that the expenses associated with recruiting have increased dramatically. As recruiters have to be more strategic and use more sophisticated methods of reaching their ideal employees, the investment required to advertise open positions successfully has increased. Recruiters are required to consider the overall brand awareness their company has, as that plays into a candidate's consideration of a position. Companies that have a strong market presence have a unique competitive advantage, as their brand is known and trusted by both customers and potential employees alike.
Even with these difficulties, there are successful strategies that are working. Faced with the fact that historic recruiting tactics - i.e. an ad in a newspaper's classified section - are no longer effective, it's helpful to look outside the norm for opportunities to connect with potential candidates. By challenging yourself to be open to alternative methods of reaching quality candidates, you'll be able to find the right blend of tactics for your business. Here are 5 strategies that have proven themselves to be successful.
Attending industry conferences, meetups, and networking events allows you to connect directly face-to-face with potential candidates in your field. Start conversations, collect business cards, and nurture relationships with talented individuals you meet. You can get to know them before a position even opens up at your company. In many cases, getting qualified talent doesn't have to mean that someone is actively looking for a job. They may not be. You can strike up a conversation with someone who may not be actively looking, but with the right offer, could be open to considering a change. Thankfully, networking events can create a prime opportunity for these introductions, and from there, relationships start.
LinkedIn can be used for so much more than job posting alone. In fact, with targeted searches, you can identify and reach out to those passive candidates who aren’t actively job hunting. A personalized InMail goes a lot further than expecting talent to apply through a job ad. This premium feature allows you as a recruiter to message a LinkedIn member directly, potentially opening the lines of communication about a job opening in the future or even inviting them to apply for an open position. Be strategic by searching for certain skill sets, experience levels, and industries. Presently, there are over 700 million LinkedIn users worldwide, which means that as a recruiter, you can have access to an abundance of talent on this platform.
Connecting with top talent while they are still in school is an impactful recruiting strategy. Attend career fairs, host facility tours for students, or offer internships. The best students often get job offers before they even graduate, so make sure not to miss out on top talent by neglecting campus recruiting. Starting a relationship early gives you a welcome competitive edge. In previous years, campus recruiting might have consisted of adding a flier to a job board in the common center. Now, as outlined above, there are virtual events, career fairs, and more, all of which help you connect with young talent straight out of school - talent eager to conquer the world and make a difference. Internships are an excellent way of reaching quality candidates and serving to train young potential employees, preparing them for full-time responsibilities. Be sure to provide a quality internship experience, though, and the right candidates will want to stay on.
Your staff can be a great source for the referrals of their talented friends and other professional contacts. Consider offering employee referral bonuses or other rewards for sharing good leads for potential new employees. Also, make sure the referral process is simple and trackable so you can reward your employees for their good recommendations. Being open to employee referrals can also help create a more engaged workforce. When employees feel they can recommend other employees and, in so doing, perhaps earn a bonus or other benefit, this can make them feel they are helping build the workforce around them and can improve satisfaction levels. One HR professional explained the benefit of employee recruiting programs as a way to “build glue in a company” by celebrating employees’ connections.
Social platforms like LinkedIn are places where many professionals showcase their work. Engaging with influencers, thought leaders and experts in your field can help get your company noticed and build relationships. Job postings can also be shared. This strategy is especially helpful for today’s modern employees. Nearly half of Millennials and Gen Z workers have applied to a job they found through a social media posting. In addition, 92% of employers have successfully used social media to find talent. Social media can boost recruitment efforts, taking them to the next level. Social media platforms act like newspaper ads did in years past, but on a much larger scale. You can also track the results better by looking at data like page views, followers, and more, making social media that much more of an effective recruiting tool.
Rethinking recruitment is key to building a stellar, competitive team in today’s hiring landscape. Getting creative with non-traditional sourcing and outreach strategies will help you connect with “passive” candidates and find the perfect hire. On average, it takes around 44 days to hire new talent after posting a job. Jobs classified as easy to fill could average around 14 days, while those labeled “difficult to fill” can be vacant for two to three months. The retail and tech fields are the fastest to fill, while investment banking and defense are the slowest industries to hire. Regardless of your industry, though, implementing the five strategies listed above can help you rethink recruitment and have more success at a quicker rate, all while requiring less monetary investment by implementing these strategies and more.