In today’s competitive talent market, finding creative ways to recruit candidates online is more important than ever.
Everything around the employee experience is now being streamlined by digital methods and tools, which means that the recruitment process has also evolved. It’s true that candidates today are plugged in, and savvy employers know that recruiting candidates online will get them the best exposure and ultimately bring more talent through the doors.
But you may be wondering: How can employers go about recruiting candidates online in the most effective way? How can they rise above the noise?
Luckily, there are a number of creative ways to recruit candidates for your company — so to save you time, we’ve compiled these ten tips to help you find and recruit employees online. Follow these steps and you’ll be well on your way to securing more job applications (you’ll be swimming in them)!
1. Run a Creative Ad Campaign Targeted at Employees & Potential Recruits
One idea is to run a creative, interactive ad campaign on Facebook targeting both employees AND talent/potential applicants.
The trick here is to include one perk/benefit/mission that makes your company unique. That benefit will be the main focus of the ad.
In the ad itself, make sure you include a link to the jobs page of your website so that all clicks are routed to the application page. You can even offer existing employees the chance to win a gift card for interacting with the campaign.
Why involve current employees in the campaign, you ask?
By encouraging interested employees to comment and become a part of the discussion, their friends will see testimonials and notice that you’re hiring. Plus, you’ll get extra views and maximum exposure because the friends of your employees will also be able to see the post as they interact.
Of course, you may be wondering: How should I go about creating Facebook recruitment ads that specifically target the right audience? How can I be sure it gets in front of the right people?
First, in your Ad Set, you’ll edit the settings so that it targets current employees of your company as part of the audience. You can do this in the Ad Set by selecting Demographics -> Work -> Employers -> Your Company to type in the name of your company.
Next, we’ll want to also make sure that the ad is seen by non-employees — and we only want to target non-employees that specifically have the skills we’re looking for.
So let’s say you’re looking for a UX designer. As you’re creating the Facebook ad campaign and filling in the Ad Set details, select the type of experience you’re looking for in the form of job titles, interests, or education.
And don’t worry, you can list as many job titles or interests as you want (but the more specific you are, the better)!
In the above example, this would mean that both existing employees AND anyone who has worked as a UX Designer would see the Facebook ad. This is exactly what we want. This way, you can start a campaign that involves both your employees and potential recruits (and your ad will get way more engagement).
2. Write Guest Posts That Reference Your Company Culture
We all know that promoting open job listings on your own website is always a good idea, but how do you reach out to other audiences for additional exposure (especially if you’re on a tight budget)?
The good news is that it’s very possible. If you’re looking for a way to reach even more potential candidates without spending a dime, you can start by guest posting on other relevant blogs and linking back to your company’s career page.
Here’s how to make that happen:
-Find a relevant website that targets your ideal candidate. See if they publish guest posts (they might have a link to a page for contributors, or you can browse some of the authors on their blog to see if there are any bloggers from outside of their company). You could also try a Google search along these lines: “Company-name-here guest blogger” and see what comes up.
-Once you’ve verified that they do indeed accept guest posts, brainstorm a few article ideas that could work for their blog. For example, you could write an article about unconventional employee perks or a piece about company culture where you offer up a few examples from your own company. Make sure the article findffers value to their readers while also highlighting what makes your business unique.
-At the end of (or somewhere within) the article, add a blurb saying that you’re hiring. Include a link to your company jobs page where they can find open positions.
-Send the article to the blog’s editor for review. You can likely search for the editor’s name, or browse LinkedIn and a tool like Email Hunter or Find That Email to figure out who to contact. Be sure to follow up if you don’t hear back. If you don’t hear back from them within two weeks or so, you can always contact another blog editor from a separate website.
-Help promote the article once it’s published. After that, sit back and watch the applications roll in! If the website you’ve chosen gets a decent amount of traffic, chances are, you’ll see a fair amount of new applications come in over the next few weeks.
3. Add a “We’re Hiring” Link to Your Support Team’s Signatures
Does your company offer email support or general assistance? If so, ask your staff to add a blurb to the bottom of their email signatures with a link to your job listings.
Want to track the results? You can easily track link clicks by using a bit.ly link (you can register for free). Then whenever you sign in to your account, you’ll see a dashboard with the number of clicks your link has received. This can be pretty useful, especially if you enjoy analytics!
Remember to give it some time before expecting to see results from your signature. One day isn’t enough. Traffic from email signatures can take days or even weeks to make a visible impact, depending on the number of emails you receive and respond to.
This email signature trick takes almost no time at all — this tactic is so effortless that you could implement it as soon as today!
4. Send a Message to Your Email Subscribers
If you have a blog list of loyal email subscribers who’ve opted in to receive news and updates from your company, why not send them a quick message about your open positions?
The trick here is to keep the message short and sweet. This is also a great time for your HR & marketing teams to work together to craft an amazing message (or, if you’re still growing and don’t have a marketing team yet, you may consider contracting out a copywriter to help you write the perfect email copy).
The email itself should highlight the benefits of working at your company, along with a link with more information on how to apply.
The most difficult part will be getting people to click on the link — you’ll need to list persuasive reasons why working for your company is great (something that will actually prompt them to take action). That’s where the copywriter comes in!
After you’ve sent out the email, you can re-use the copy on your company’s job page or other recruitment materials.
5. Search for Portfolios Using Relevant Keywords
You might be surprised by how many qualified candidates have digital portfolios floating around online. You can find these portfolio websites by using Google to search for relevant keywords:
And the best part? Many of these individuals have “Contact” pages on their portfolio websites with different ways to get in touch.
The key is to reach out to them with a super personalized message highlighting something you found interesting about their work accomplishments or portfolio. This will let them know that you’re not just sending out email blasts to everyone and that you are, in fact, messaging them individually (because you are!).
Now this part is where many employers drop the ball: If the person is already employed, don’t let that deter you. Just focus on starting a conversation and see where it goes. Who knows, you might find that they’re looking for a change.
However, if they’re not looking for a career change, be sure to stay in touch because there’s always the chance that they could change their mind in the future. It’s all about persistence.
6. Post Your Company’s Positions to Major Job Boards
There are many powerful job boards out there like Glassdoor and Indeed that will help you get your job listing in front of a large audience. In addition to providing free listings, they also have premium options that can help you get even more views if you’re looking for a boost.
If you utilize HR software at your company, there’s a chance it may already integrate with these job boards out of the box.
[Example of HR Partner’s job board integrations]
7. Send Your Employees Pre-Populated Tweet Links to Make Sharing Easy
It’s not just HR that should be sharing your company’s jobs. When you get the whole company involved, magic happens.
Since the most successful hires tend to come from employee referrals, why not ask your staff to share your open jobs with their networks? You can email them links that make it easy to share (see below), or make a company-wide announcement.
Participating could be as simple as an employee sharing a post about open job listings on LinkedIn, or re-tweeting a “we’re hiring” message on Twitter.
To make it even easier for your employees to share news about new roles opening up at your company, consider messaging your employees with a pre-populated link to a tweet. If they decide to click on it, a tweet will automatically pre-populate with the information you provided (making it ridiculously easy for them to share — they just have to press one button).
Check out the below example to see the formula for this pre-populated tweet (feel free to replace the existing text with your own, then add it to your address bar to test it out).
Here’s an example of what you would link to:
The easier you make it for employees to spread the word, the more shares your job listings will produce (and the more employee referrals you’ll see).
8. Let Your Employees Know Where They Can Leave Honest Glassdoor Reviews
Think about the last time you bought something on Amazon. What steps did you take before you purchased the item? Chances are, you took a peek at the reviews before buying — so why wouldn’t potential candidates do the same?
The truth is that candidates regularly do their own due diligence when applying for jobs.
It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when.
So, embrace this trend by encouraging employees to leave honest reviews of your company online. Sites like Glassdoor have sections specifically for employee reviews.
The key here is to ask for honest, authentic reviews. When leaving reviews, employees can remain anonymous, and you want to ask them to be upfront because you’re looking for the best possible match.
Encourage your employees not to hold back in their reviews.
Well, let’s say your company culture is fast-paced and intense. This could be seen as negative to some, but positive to others.
In all reality, an employee leaving a brutally honest review can be a powerful thing. It will help ensure you’re attracting candidates that are seeking out the same type of atmosphere (and those who aren’t a good fit won’t bother applying).
9. Go Where Your Candidates Hang Out
Think about where your ideal candidate might go online to learn and chat about their profession. Check out those websites and if you find someone you’re impressed by, you can always message them to gauge their interest in your open positions.
Here are a list of communities to get you started:
Developers – Github
Designers – Designer News
Marketers – Inbound.org
If your ideal candidate doesn’t fit in to any of these categories, you can always try Quora. On Quora, people share knowledge about a wide range of topics and professions on a regular basis.
Remember that before engaging with any community, it’s important to look around and explore the community for a bit so that you can get an idea of how it works and don’t burn any bridges (nobody wants to be the crazy imposter!).
10. Scour LinkedIn & Ask for Warm Introductions
Of course, we couldn’t wrap up this article without mentioning LinkedIn. Aside from publishing your jobs on LinkedIn, it’s also wise to browse the site for 2nd-degree connections (who knows, some of those connections may end up being your next rockstar hire!).
If you find a 2nd-degree connection that looks promising, reach out to your mutual contact and ask for an introduction. Warm introductions will ultimately get you much further than cold messages.
Better yet, you may find that some of your current employees have talented connections!
Now it’s Your Turn to Make it Happen.
Have you tried any new recruiting tactics as of late? We’d love to hear from you — share your experiences in the comments below!