7 Must-Have Sources for the Top of the (Modern) Hiring Funnel

7 Must-Have Sources for the Top of the (Modern) Hiring Funnel

Mike Roberts

The task of identifying, attracting, and engaging talent is in many ways like a consumer-facing aspect of business. As a result, recruiters have to provide candidates an incredible, “consumer-grade” experience to compete for their attention (and resumes). But maintaining that experience over time can be a challenge—especially at the top of the hiring funnel where things seem to be changing at a faster rate than ever before.

Fact is, the ways in which people first encounter job requisitions have altered drastically in the past few years alone. And applicant sources that weren’t even created or an option at the turn of the millennium like social media and smartphones now play a major role in recruiting efforts. The problem is many talent acquisition organizations aren’t keeping pace, and—consequently—it’s making recruiters’ jobs more difficult.

To make sure you’re equipped with—or at least thinking about—the most important sources for the top of the modern hiring funnel today, we’ve compiled a list of seven “must-haves.”

what is a hiring funnel

1. Consumer-Quality Careers Site

It almost goes without saying, but a visually appealing, responsive web designed, easily navigable and searchable careers site is an absolute must for today’s businesses. In many ways, the site is a complex advertisement for attracting job seekers who are coming there expecting an Amazon.com-like experience. Companies are using them to represent their brand and communicate the culture candidates can expect. Having a bad career site is tantamount to making a bad first impression.

2. Job Boards

Job boards are helpful for expanding a recruiting organization’s reach beyond its own database and the people who come to the site directly or via search engines. Though, in addition to the most frequented and popular job boards, there are thousands of niche ones from which to choose. Job distribution and automation tools are crucial here, and back-end analytics can facilitate improvements in source performance, candidate quality, and other key performance indicators.

3. Social Networks

Recruiting is a job function leading the charge on becoming more social—hence the buzz around “social recruiting.” This is the practice of using sites like LinkedIn and Twitter to identify as well as connect and communicate with passive and active job seekers. A rising number of companies seem to be investing resources in building out personal brands of recruiters and equipping them with skills needed to take full advantage of social media.

4. Integrated Talent Network

Building on the previous point about social recruiting, many companies are taking this 
a step further by focusing on the development of talent networks. With a talent network, recruiters are able to maintain a database of talent that is easily joinable for candidates and searchable for talent acquisition professionals. In some instances, recruiters can actually use their talent network as means to communicate with potential applicants.

5. Referral Program

Many industry experts still say that referrals are the best source for quality talent. For recruiting organizations, the goal should be to make it as easy as possible for internal employees to refer someone for a position. This means having a standardized process with incentives for helping to identify talent. In some cases, companies are enabling candidates with the tools to request a referral right from the requisition.

6. Next-Generation Mobile Experience

80% of job seekers expect to be able to do part of their search easily on a smartphone. 70% would actually apply for a position on one. Unfortunately, most companies are lagging in their mobile experience, making it challenging for a candidate to fill out an application. Some companies offer only an “email this job” option. In extreme cases, though, candidates are directed to an error page and never even get the option to apply. Inspecting and optimizing their mobile experience should be a top priority for recruiting organizations.

7. Search Engines

It’s becoming more common for candidates to start their 
job search on Google or another search engine. This means they are typing in queries like “Software Developer jobs San Francisco” rather than going directly to a job board or careers site. For this reason, it is crucial for recruiting organizations to incorporate on-page SEO best practices into their job requisitions. Not only does this greatly increase the applicant pool, talent is far more likely to find search engine optimized job requisitions.

Interested in learning more about what it takes to build a market-leading approach to your hiring funnel? Read our new whitepaper, “Recruiting Strategy: A Comprehensive Guide to Winning the Talent War.”

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