12 strategies to find the best candidates

best job candidates-500x350px-3While the unemployment rate has not returned to the historic lows posted prior to the pandemic, finding new employees remains difficult for a large number of hiring managers. Already dealing with challenges ranging from productivity and a distributed workforce to safety and morale, companies want to bring new hires aboard as efficiently as possible. There simply isn’t time and energy to waste.

Finding the best candidates, however, rarely proves a simple process. A single “right” way to attract and sign your next great hire does not exist. Rather, savvy organizations explore a variety of techniques to see what nets the best results.

Here’s a look at 12 recruitment strategies that can assist in bringing great candidates to the surface.

1. Create a good job description

Finding the best hire involves top talent seeing your job posting and being inspired to apply. To that end, forgo “human resources rock star” and other unusual job titles in favor of SEO-friendly terms (“human resources generalist,” “HR specialist,” etc.) on which job applicants typically search. List “must-have” skills, degrees, work experience, and the like without creating a lengthy laundry list that scares people away. Help readers envision themselves at your company by using active verbs to describe daily duties. Tout what you offer in terms of salary range, benefits, and other perks. And definitely spend some space talking about company culture. The best candidates want more than a job — they want the opportunity to be part of the greater picture and truly make a difference.

2. Expand your geographical horizons

For many organizations, gone are the days when new employees had to live within so many miles of the office. If your company operates remotely, market yourself accordingly. Eliminating location barriers increases the number of great candidates eligible to throw their hat into the ring. Also, many of the best candidates want to telecommute because of the better work-life balance such an arrangement brings. Demand for their services is often such that they can afford to be choosy and not bother applying for positions requiring on-site work (or on-site work exclusively).

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3. Tap your network for prospective employees

The possibility exists that people you know from previous jobs, professional associations, LinkedIn groups, and other means of connection are searching for new opportunities. Take time to approach them with your needs and see what happens. They may express true interest or offer a referral to someone they know who might prove a good fit. At the very least, they will be flattered you thought of them, and perhaps they will keep their ears open for quality job seekers to send your way.

4. Enlist the help of current employees

Satisfied workers make great brand ambassadors. Encourage staff members to talk about the company with people in their network. Listeners generally put more stock in information delivered casually by those they know and trust compared to when they sense a recruitment pitch. To generate interest among your workers, consider implementing an employee referral program in which individuals receive money or other incentives for their efforts.

5. Build a pipeline of job candidates

When you think of the hiring process as an ongoing activity rather than as something that demands attention only when job openings arise, your company can build an arsenal of potential job candidates. Maintain correspondence with promising individuals who express interest in your organization during periods when you aren’t hiring in order to turn to them when open positions do come up. Similarly, when you conduct a job search, be certain to keep noteworthy job applicants that you didn’t hire on your radar. A better match may evolve for them at your company, and the fact that they liked your organization enough to apply the first time proves promising.

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6. Attract talent at the source

Establish a mutually beneficial arrangement with an area college. You’ll get your brand out there by sponsoring events or contests, participating in job fairs, and guest lecturing in classes. Not only will you generate notice from students, but the school itself may also be able to point exceptional graduates in your direction. Consider working with the institution on summer internships or for-credit practicums. Seeing fresh talent in action provides a chance to evaluate if they may make good permanent employees.

7. Build a great career area on your website

Getting someone to go to your website to learn more about your company is half the battle. Don’t squander the opportunity when a potential candidate takes enough interest to look! Create an informative, engaging career page that offers a true sense of what your organization is about and what makes it a great place at which to work. Include clear information on current job openings and how to apply.

8. Highlight company culture on social media

Prospective employees yearn to know whether they’ll be a good culture fit with your organization. LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms provide an ideal outlet to show what you are passionate about and get potential candidates excited about joining your mission. Aim to enable them to envision themselves as active contributors to what they see.

9. Use niche job boards to discover the best candidates

Modern job seekers possess a plethora of options of where to turn for job opportunities. Employers looking for a specific certification or skill set may find that industry job boards rather than general sites yield a talent pool more in line with their needs. If location is a major factor because you seek on-site workers, consider posting on local job boards. Community organizations such as the chamber of commerce and neighborhood libraries often post regional job opportunities.

10. Hire a recruitment agency that specializes in finding the right candidate

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While turning to outside help for talent acquisition does cost money, the fee may be worth it in the long run. Recruiters can save time during the hiring process by finding qualified candidates, asking questions through phone screenings, conducting job interviews, performing reference checks, and negotiating job offers. Their recruitment strategies can make pinpointing ideal candidates a much easier process, especially when your new employee requires a certain background or hard-to-find set of skills.

11. Think outside the box

If your company experiences difficulty drawing in potential candidates, perhaps it is time to try something new. Look at the essential functions of the position. Might targeting an overlooked segment of job candidates yield good results? Military spouses, for instance, are often highly educated and crave well-paying, steady jobs, but they have a harder time securing them due to frequent moves. If your job opening is remote and can be performed from anywhere, making this group aware of your needs could prove mutually beneficial. Similarly, employers who have individuals with learning disabilities often rave about their performance and work ethic. As a group, however, they continue to experience high rates of unemployment.

12. Put up a sign

Lastly, don’t discount posting a good old-fashioned “help wanted” sign at your establishment. That loyal customer who already loves your brand may never have even thought about employment opportunities. And since those who view your sign obviously live close enough to your business to see it, you get a leg up on attracting local talent.