Recruiting qualified candidates is critical to your company’s success. And in today’s competitive job market — where there are more open jobs than available candidates — you need to be strategic in your recruiting efforts. If you’re unable to fill open positions internally, it’s time to put together a game plan so you can find the best and the brightest people for your business. Here are four tried-and-true external recruiting strategies to attract top talent.
1. Establish your company’s brand.
If you haven’t already defined your brand identity, you need to. This lays the groundwork for recruiting and sets the stage for success. Whether you realize it or not, every company has a reputation in the marketplace, but it’s up to you to be deliberate in shaping your brand identity. Take measures to define your brand, so it’s an accurate reflection of who you are. By doing this, you’ll have a better chance of attracting high-quality candidates that are a good fit for your company.
Establishing your company’s brand is more than just a catchy PR campaign; it needs to come from within the company. To start, identify what makes your organization unique, and make your core values known throughout the company. If your brand identity is established with your current employees, you can build a strong reputation through their word-of-mouth influence. Since they already work at the company, they’re a credible source, and the most effective ambassadors to represent your business.
Of course, you may need to fill positions in short order, meaning you won’t have a significant amount of lead time to refine your brand identity prior to your search. That’s okay, but don’t delay. You can concurrently work on establishing your brand identity and recruiting, so your brand identity is well-defined prior to future recruiting efforts.
2. Build a competitive benefits package.
Unsurprisingly, organizations that pay premium salaries are successful in attracting qualified candidates. However, it’s not always feasible to lead the market when it comes to pay. But, you can set yourself apart (and boost your recruitment efforts) with an attractive benefits package.
While traditional, bread-and-butter benefits such as health care and 401(k) plans are important, consider adding less conventional benefits. For example, student loan assistance is one of the most sought-after benefits if you’re looking to attract young workers. Or, for budget-friendly perks, offer work-from-home or relaxed dress code options. Job candidates will consider your benefits package as a whole, so do your research, find out how to be competitive (without breaking the bank), and think outside the box to create an attractive benefits package. This will also help you retain employees!
3. Create candidate profiles.
You can’t find who you’re looking for unless you’re crystal clear on what you’re looking for. Solicit input from department managers at the beginning of the recruiting process to define job requirements. Once you’re clear on the job requirements, create corresponding candidate profiles.
To create a meaningful candidate profile, make a list of what a new hire’s work duties will include, desired traits and qualifications, and what your company hopes to achieve with the addition of the role. However, don’t make the mistake of recycling an old job description. Roles will evolve over time, so you need to keep them relevant yet forward-looking.
As you’re going through this exercise, remind managers to be realistic when they’re defining the requirements. Oftentimes, managers will create requirements based on the “ideal candidate,” who may even exceed the actual position requirements. While you want to aim high and find the most qualified candidates, you must also be realistic about the applicant pool and potential candidates you’ll find.
4. Use a multi-channel approach.
Knowing where to advertise your open positions can be half the battle when you’re on the hunt to hire. One thing’s for sure — to be successful in finding candidates, don’t use a “one-and-done” approach. In other words, don’t just post the position on your website and call it good. To find the best people, you need to be strategic about it.
Before you post the position, think about the behaviors of your target pool of candidates, and advertise where they’re most apt to see it. For example, if you’re hiring for entry-level positions, post on social media channels that younger candidates engage with. Or, depending on your business, you may have industry-specific job boards or professional associations where you can post openings.
When you’re thinking of where to advertise positions, don’t just stop with digital and traditional media, either. Take advantage of personal connections, such as previous employees who left in good standing, or employee referrals. By putting thoughtful effort into your search, you’re more likely to find what you’re looking for.
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