Get Proactive: 5 Tips for Recruiting Beyond the Job Posting
Like many companies, you may have noticed that filling vacancies and hiring for new roles has become a longer, more involved process than it was just five years ago. According to the MRINetwork 2016 Recruiter & Employer Sentiment Study, the majority of both recruiters and candidates indicated that we are in a candidate-driven job market, meaning that more roles are open than there are qualified candidates. Quality job seekers have an abundance of opportunities in the current market, and are using this to drive the recruiting process in their favor. In light of this competitive market, many employers are going above and beyond simply posting a job and waiting for qualified candidates to apply. Effective recruiters know that finding and attracting the best candidates in today’s market requires a comprehensive strategy.
A quality job posting is an excellent place to start recruiting in that it clarifies the needs of the company, expresses the company’s mission, and can get job seekers interested in the role. However, it’s equally important to be proactive about your recruiting. With that in mind, read on for 4 key points to an attractive job posting, and the 5 things you should do to recruit beyond the job posting.
Start With Your Job Posting
Creating a quality job posting is more than a list of required skills and competencies. It’s a place to showcase what your company offers and build candidate awareness. Consider the following when writing your job post:
- Be SEO friendly. In order for a job seeker to apply for your opening, they actually need to see the posting! Optimize your postings so they rank highly in job search engines. A few best practices: Make the title straightforward and aligned with typical industry language. Be careful of abbreviations that might be used across multiple industries and can cause your posting to get lost. Lastly, keep job title length between 12-20 characters. Glassdoor has found that titles within that range have the highest click-through rate.
- Don’t leave out the basics. Sometimes it is easy to forget the basics and focus on ancillary details like fun perks or a cool office. However, candidates are looking for some key features. Give your job postings a quick onceover to make sure they include: job title, location, responsibilities, expectations, minimum qualifications, and steps to apply. If you’re feeling particularly ambitious, some of the best job postings also include who the role reports to, what kind of impact the role is expected to make on the company, and—best of all—a salary range.
- Keep it concise. It is important to balance brevity with comprehensiveness. No one wants to read a dissertation-length job posting. However, job seekers also want to be able to find all the relevant information in one place. Break up the information by using bullet points and avoiding lengthy paragraphs.
- Sign off with a call to action. Telling candidates what to do next makes it clear to them how to get the ball rolling. Be sure that next steps are highly visible and make it easy for candidates to comply.
1. Leverage Employee Referrals
Employee referrals can be one of the best channels for finding highly qualified candidates. Research from Jobvite shows that while employee referrals only make up 7% of applications, they constitute 40% of all new hires. The same research shows employee referrals don’t just get open positions filled; referral hires also stay at your company longer than hires from your career site or job boards. In today’s extremely competitive recruiting landscape, why not leverage what is proven to work?
Consider taking a few simple steps towards implementing an employee referral program in order to tap into this rich source of candidates. Decide what the goals of your program are, choose a simple way to have employees submit referrals (and to track them!), and measure your outcomes. If you are having trouble with participation, you might choose to incentivize referrals with rewards, monetary or otherwise.
2. Manage Your Employer Brand
Your employer brand can be one of your most powerful recruiting tools. A recent Glassdoor study showed that 69% of respondents indicated that they would apply for a job with a company that actively manages their brand. The same study showed that “what makes a company an attractive place to work” is among the top five pieces of information job seekers want employers to provide. If you’re not already doing so, now is a great time to start actively managing your employer brand. Take a multi-faceted approach with the steps below:
- Keep your company career site current with information, including your mission and values, benefits and perks, office photos, and anecdotes or quotes from current employees.
- Use websites that allow you to engage with your employer brand online, such as Glassdoor or LinkedIn. For instance, Glassdoor allows you to do things like add office photos and respond to reviews from employees. This can pay off in recruiting, as the aforementioned Glassdoor study showed that 62% of respondents indicated that their view of a company improves after seeing an employer respond to a review.
- Engage on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Share content that is relevant to your candidate pool, promote your job openings, and interact with content that is representative of your brand. For instance, do you have a pet-friendly office? Make sure to feature pictures on a regular basis, and participate in Bring Your Pet to Work Day.
3. Beef Up Your Talent Pipeline
Your company is surrounded by potential candidates: existing employees, passive job seekers, and previous “runner-up” candidates. However, most employers don’t have a strategy for actively building, managing, and engaging with this talent pipeline. Having a strategy around this will allow you to have quality prospects in the line-up when a job opens.
So what can your company do to prepare in advance? Start by formalizing your internal promotion and recruiting process. HR should maintain strong relationships with current employees and keep an inventory of resources you already have on staff for when positions open up. Next, start engaging with passive job seekers. They aren’t actively seeking a position at the time, making it the perfect time to start building professional camaraderie. Lastly, maintain relationships with your “runner-up” candidates. While they might not have been the right fit for a previous position, they could be perfect for a role opening up down the road.
4. Optimize for Mobile Recruiting
A Pew Research Center study reveals that almost half of all mobile job seekers complain of difficulty accessing content and reading job posting text on their smartphones. This shows a stark difference in job seeker expectations and what employers are actually delivering. Given how quickly mobile is emerging as a job application channel, it is essential to optimize your career sites and application process for mobile. If you don’t, you risk missing out on a large chunk of your potential talent pool. Furthermore, you risk missing out on reaching diverse groups. Research from Blogging4Jobs shows that 12% of African Americans and 13% of Latinos are dependent on smartphones, in comparison to 4% of whites. Given that, mobile recruiting can be the most effective form of engaging candidates across different race and ethnic groups.
5. Measure, Measure, Measure
In order to take control of your recruiting process and understand what is and isn’t working, it is essential to start benchmarking key metrics. This will allow you to get a feel for where your efforts are paying off and where you should reevaluate. Consider tracking:
- Time to hire – how long is it taking to fill open positions?
- Source of hire – where are your candidates coming from?
- Candidate experience – what do candidates think about your recruiting process?
- Retention rates – how long are hires staying?
Track these metrics quarterly to assess what needs improvement and revise your plan accordingly.
Finally, remember that building a strong recruiting process doesn’t happen overnight. But with time, effort, and a few of these tips, you’ll be well on your way to a more comprehensive recruiting strategy!
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