Recruiting top-quality talent isn’t as easy as many people like to think. Yes, it involves a lot more than simply posting a job description, kicking up your feet, and just waiting for the applications to roll in.
Sure, maybe your inbox will immediately be flooded with submissions. But, weeding through all of those entries in order to find a candidate who has the right skills and expertise and also seems like a great cultural fit for your company? Well, it’s the equivalent of finding a needle in a haystack—except that haystack is the size of a regulation football field.
Luckily, there are a few tips and strategies you can put into play in order to cut through all of that noise and attract more candidates who are a true fit for both the position and your organization.
1. Be Proactive
We’ve all been in this situation: You need something to wear for a wedding or another special event. You had no trouble picking out items you liked a few months ago when you were just window shopping. But, the second you’re in dire need of that particular thing? You have absolutely zero options.
While it seems strange to liken job applicants to a suit or cocktail dress, the concept still rings true. This is why it’s so important to be proactive with your hiring needs—which means constantly keeping your eyes peeled for top-notch candidates, whether you’re currently hiring for a relevant position or not. Maintain a database of these people so that you have a quality pool to reach out to as soon as an opportunity opens up.
Another point to remember when it comes to being proactive? Everybody wants to attract high-quality employees. So, the people you want to hire are likely already employed. They’re passive candidates—people who are happy with their current job, but who may consider a great new opportunity if it arose.
Needless to say, you can’t always wait for the perfect applicants to come to you. After all, they’re probably not even looking for you. If somebody comes across your radar who seems like a perfect fit, take it upon yourself to reach out and connect with him or her about the opportunity in a friendly, personal way. It’ll ensure your pipeline is regularly full of high-quality candidates.
2. Promote What Makes You Unique
When you think about promoting a business, you likely think about marketing your products or services to consumers. However, if you’re aiming to attract the right talent to your organization, you should place just as much emphasis on promoting your employer brand.
Start by determining what exactly makes you unique. What sets you apart from all of the other employers out there? What makes your company a great place to work? You’ll want to avoid clichés and broad statements (think: “The people are great!”) and really try to home in on specifics. Try asking employees why they joined the team and what’s different about your company than others they’ve worked for—you’ll likely get some qualities you haven’t thought to promote before. When we profile employers at The Muse, we often ask questions like “What unique traditions or office features really embody the company culture?” and “What qualities do people need to be successful here?”—they tend to reveal answers that really distinguish one employer from another.
Once you’ve identified your key differentiators, make sure to share them on your careers page, on your social media accounts, at every recruiting event you attend, and more. Fortunately, recruiting tools like Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) make it really easy to share this type of content. Because ATS’ like SmartRecruiters seamlessly connect with recruitment platforms like The Muse, there’s very little work involved for employers to promote their brand and their jobs to the best applicant pools.
3. Focus on Employee Happiness
No, this doesn’t just mean telling applicants how much you value employee satisfaction. Instead, this point should turn your focus away from potential employees in favor of focusing on your current ones.
Think of your current employees as walking, talking billboards. Everybody talks about their jobs with their networks, and you undoubtedly want the things that are said about you to be good things. One complaint or criticism from a frustrated team member can quickly undo all of that hard work you’ve put in to build a great reputation as a desirable employer.
Also, you already think your current employees are talented, skilled, and successful. The chance that they have other talented, skilled, and successful contacts in their network? Well, it’s pretty high. This army of staff members can help to not only rave about your culture and boost your employer reputation, but also to expand your reach and broadcast your hiring needs to their own webs of contacts. Meaning: more pre-vetted, high-quality candidates coming your way without you doing a thing.
It’s no secret that there are loads of people out there who are seeking new career opportunities. But, just because they’re looking, doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the best fit for your company. Use these tips to step up your game and go after the talent that you want—rather than waiting for them to come to you.