Recruiting … or being recruited!

HiringRight off the bat, this post could be helpful if you are hiring or seeking to be hired.

In a tight job market, smaller businesses may be at a disadvantage because they may be unable to offer the “big benefits” and the top salaries of their larger competitors. There are a number of creative recruitment techniques, and job search techniques are successful – from online recruiting to the some of the “old school” techniques such as job fairs to employee referral bonuses. Many of the suggestions in this post have low to moderate costs.

Many companies have a steady stream of “off the street” applicants, but too often, these applications find their way into a filing cabinet, never to be retrieved again. Minimally, an employer can set up a simple database on the office computer to track applications and maintain communication with applicants and inform them when they qualify for open positions.

The internet is ‘democratizing’ the recruitment process. Tools that were once a trade secret of expensive recruitment agencies are now available to anyone online – at a low cost, and often free! The trick for most businesses and applicants is knowing what’s available, and where to start. From the employer’s viewpoint the recruitment has several decision points, however this portion of the article will focus on Sourcing.

Job boards are not passe’, so we will examine several types. If you are an employer, you should source candidates through a range of channels.

1. LinkedIn – LinkedIn is the obvious alternative to job boards, but many employers are still confused about where to start. You can search candidates, post job ads, join groups, and promote your organization. Long the domain of professional recruiters (who provide half of LinkedIn’s revenue), companies are now wising up to the potential themselves.

2. Facebook – Facebook is approached with a mix of enthusiasm and cynicism when it comes to recruitment. Whatever you think, you can’t ignore it. Creative employers can now target job ads to specific types of users like a laser. Looking for a marketing manager, with an interest in indie music, based in Sydney’s eastern suburbs? Facebook can help.

3. Video – Add a video to your website or post one to YouTube. Video is a great way to attract candidates by building a profile, and sharing your personality. Here is one example. Also, you can easily insert a LinkedIn ‘Apply Now‘ button on your blog. Potential candidates can register interest with a single click.

4. Meetups – Meetups are a great way to reach the ideal candidate who is passionate about their area of specialty and yours. Meetups are taking off globally, allowing people with similar interests to get together in person. For example, if you are looking for a Ruby on Rails specialist, there is a meetup for that.

5. Forums – A Forum is an online version of a meetup. There’s a forum for almost any industry or niche. You’ll see people displaying their knowledge, expertise, and even complaints or frustrations about their current employer. Here is an example of a marketing and digital forum.

The internet now makes it possible for any company to recruit like a Google (or any recruitment agency) as long as you’re willing to dedicate the effort into doing it properly. The good news is that every company can now access tools that agencies once used to justify fees in the tens of thousands of dollars.

Traditional Recruiting (AKA “Old School”)
There are a number of benefits to recruiting internal candidates for open positions, including the positive impact on staff morale. A well-organized succession planning process can help you identify talent within your organization and utilize that talent most effectively.

  • Notify existing employees of open positions because they may be able to refer potential applicants to fill those tough positions.
  • Classified employment advertising and articles about your company and its employment practices can provide good exposure and help build your image as a great place to work.
  • A toll-free job hotline can be a good way to share information about job openings. The hotline number can be included in all of your recruitment materials, on your Internet site, business cards, etc.
  • If you recruit through classified ads, look beyond your local newspaper. In addition to trade publications that appeal to various employment segments, there are a number of lifestyle or general publications that may target suitable candidates.
  • Area schools can be a great source of applicants – from high schools, to technical schools, colleges and universities.
    Job fairs are popular in a competitive labor market. Attend these fairs with a well prepared presentation and effective job information and other company materials.
  • Don’t wait for a job fair. Hold your own open house to attract candidates. An open house provides you with the opportunity to “show off” your organization and to have the undivided attention of interested applicants.
  • An applicant, who was not selected for one position, may be perfect for another. Ensure that you have a reliable way of gathering and sharing information on all potential hires.
  • The temporary employment market is growing rapidly as more and more employees take advantage of the opportunity to “try out” various jobs.
  • Your customers could be more than customers; they could be employees. Retail businesses often post “help wanted” signs, but other businesses can take advantage of this applicant pool as well.

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James E. McClain is the author of Successful Career Development: A Game Plan, the book upon which some of our training programs are based. He has over 30 years' experience as a corporate HR executive, small business owner with ongoing experience in career development and as a college instructor. His educational background includes a B.S. and Masters degrees Education and Certification in Financial Planning. Our promise is that "you can pay more for training but you can not buy better training." The mission is to deliver the most effective and cost effective training and development programs.

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