Sourcing Candidates: 14 Ways to Take Pressure off Recruiters
Considering the high costs of bad hires, it’s a shame when the sourcing and recruiting processes get rushed. This is where proactive talent acquisition strategies come in handy. Many of the world’s top employers are pouring resources into attracting and sourcing candidates at the early phases of their job search journey—before they apply. Increasingly, this involves leveraging the internet as a recruiting asset.
By focusing on meeting candidate expectations and providing an exceptional candidate experience from the beginning, employers are able to remove some of the pressure recruiters face around sourcing candidates and ultimately filling requisitions down the road. In this post, we’ll explore 14 different methods that will make sourcing candidates easier and more efficient.
1. Provide the social media experience candidates expect
Today’s candidates are socially-savvy, and they expect you to be that way, too. CareerBuilder recently reported they use on average 16 different resources in their job search process—a main one being LinkedIn. Make sure your LinkedIn page is up to par with the best brands. A few minor tweaks to the content and what you’re sharing could have a major impact in the way your candidates perceive you. The same could be said for Facebook and Twitter.
2. Claim your company’s job board and review site profiles
Whether you like it or not, your candidates will be scouring the web for information about you. Research shows that most of them will look on review sites like Glassdoor to read reviews and get a feel for how your past and current employees perceive the workplace. To some extent you can control the content provided on these sites, but you have to first claim the profiles. Make sure to do this, because it can be a huge turn-off to candidates when you haven’t taken to the time to add content and images.
3. Make the content candidates want easy to find
Research from The Talent Board has shown candidates are more interested in some types of content over others. Above all, they want to know about your company’s values, which products it sells or services it provides, and how employees feel about working there. Highlighting this information on your career site and social profiles could help to cut down on the time it takes candidates to research—ultimately improving their experience and making sourcing candidates simpler.
4. Deliver an amazing career site experience
We can’t say enough about the importance of career sites in the candidate journey. They’ve been shown to be both the top resources for candidates in the job search process and the top source of hire—generating more hires than referrals, job boards, and social media. Your career site should be on par with the best consumer experiences out there. This is not an overnight change, but it’s something to start thinking about and working toward immediately. The Talent Board explained, “Simply having a career site is not enough. Companies must invest in the career site with relevant content, information about the job, employee experience and company culture.”
5. Make sure your career site is mobile-enabled
More candidates than ever before conduct their job search on mobile devices. They expect your career site to be mobile-friendly, built with responsive web design rather than requiring them to zoom in and out with their fingers. They also expect to be able to apply for a job on mobile. Meeting job seekers’ mobile expectations will considerably improve candidate experience, while also improving your chances of conversion.
6. Have a presence on search engine results pages
CareerBuilder showed last year that 73% of candidates start their job search on Google. Yet, most employers haven’t done much to improve their career sites in the context of SEO. If candidates are searching for your jobs with specific keywords on Google, the simplicity of finding it will be a factor in their overall candidate experience. This strategy for sourcing candidates is far too overlooked.
7. Let candidates opt-in to a talent network
Not every candidate will be ready to apply right away, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be perusing your career site to learn more about your employer brand and openings. To capture their interest, make sure you have some sort of talent network they can opt-in to. In consumer experiences, people have the option to subscribe to newsletters or blogs to stay engaged with companies over time—replicate that in the context of job seeking with talent networks.
8. Add the option to opt-in to job alerts on your career site
Candidates have this expectation that they’ll be able to opt-in to job alerts. Think about how travel-related consumer sites let people know the moment a plane fare drops in price. The same concept can be achieved for jobs with job alerts. And, given the opportunity, they will opt-in. One study from Indeed showed that 44% of candidates are subscribed to job alerts.
9. Respond to every social media message regarding jobs
Talent acquisition would do well to think a bit more like customer service on social media. Let candidates know you’re listening by responding to their Facebook messages or tweets that relate to your jobs. Even if you’re not directly involved in social media marketing, you can let your marketing team know they can help you improve candidate experience by directing candidates to the right place.
10. Create a landing page dedicated to diversity
Most large employers seem to be at least thinking about diversity and equal rights, but leading ones are making a statement about it. We’ve recently seen a sharp rise in the number of landing pages linked from career sites that highlight companies’ dedication to diversity and fairness in hiring.
11. Equip recruiters with social recruiting skills
Simply telling recruiters to fill requisitions is not enough in today’s digital age. Candidates are social, and your recruiters have to be able to meet them there with respectable, high-quality interactions. To improve candidate experience, it makes more sense than ever to provide social recruiting training—even if it’s sharing simple social media etiquette tips. A recruiter starting a social relationship off on the wrong foot could scare a candidate away from your employer brand for good.
Some form of social recruiting for sourcing candidates has to play a role in your strategy in 2016.
12. Invite candidates to ask questions prior to applying
It’s important to let candidates know you’re listening right from the start. One way to do this is to provide an email address on your site for more information about jobs. A more technical solution is to actively encourage questions with on-the-spot engagement via chatting. This idea is similar to how consumer-facing websites will o‑er the option to chat with a customer service representative about a product prior to purchasing it.
13. Take the time to write quality job descriptions
For many candidates coming from job boards, the first thing they see is your job description. Not only is this an opportunity to start o‑ on a good foot by providing engaging, high-quality content, it is also a way to set expectations regarding what will be required from candidates. As The Talent Board explained, “Job Descriptions have to be compelling and viewed as content. Companies that want to engage and connect with both active and passive talent should put effort into their job descriptions.”
14. Get sign-off from hiring managers before publishing job descriptions
Make sure both recruiters and hiring managers agree that the job description accurately depicts the requirements of the job, and then use that description to guide the rest of the process. Inconsistencies between job descriptions and what’s asked during the application or the interview process can hurt your candidate experience.
Interested in the intersection of sourcing candidates and candidate experience? Then you’ll want to check out our new eBook, The Path to An Exceptional Candidate Experience (According to Gerry Crispin). This eBook shares candidate experience knowledge you don’t want to miss!