Are you having trouble attracting good employees? It’s become a big problem for many companies in today’s job market. A lot of hiring managers say posting ads on job boards and employment sites simply don’t draw many quality applicants.
If you’re feeling like it’s time to get creative, here are some underrated hiring strategies you can use to attract the best candidates starting today.
1. Mobilize your current employees
Your greatest resource might not be a job board but your team members. Your workers may know someone who’d be a good fit for your company. As a group they can provide a network far larger than yours, so why not mobilize them to start asking around?
One way to do this is through social media. The average social media user has several hundred friends and followers. Some of these people may not even be local or otherwise connected to your company. Ask your team to start messaging friends to see if they’re looking for a job.
It’s shocking how well this strategy can work. But it makes sense — your workers are likely connected to other professionals, and their network will most likely be larger than your own.
Try incentivizing your existing team to find leads. You might pay them to make the initial contact or offer a bonus to everyone who leads you to a quality candidate or successful hire.
2. Look for people in real life
Think about all the people you interact with on a day-to-day basis. Maybe it’s the barista at Starbucks or the customer service rep at the hardware store. Have you ever thought, They’d be an amazing fit for the company? Why not ask them?
It might sound a little bold, but that’s the point. Instead of posting a want ad and waiting for them to come to you, you have the option to actively go after people who catch your eye and who you want working for you. Chances are that no one else is offering these people jobs this way, which gives you an edge.
If you’re not meeting candidates through your normal routine, switch it up a bit. Where would your ideal worker be found right now? The best way to catch a fish is to wade into the river.
Make sure you work on your “elevator pitch.” This should be a 30-to-60-second description of the job and its benefits.
Face-to-face interaction gives you a chance to persuade potential applicants, answer any questions they may have and offer insights into your company culture. Don’t force a decision right away, but make plans to follow up in the hopes that they consider your offer. You can be sure that they will.
3. Give people a taste of what it would be like on the job
Traditional job advertisements present candidates with a job description, a list of essential benefits, and a compensation package. Although these details are important, they don’t answer one of the most important questions on applicants’ minds: What’s it like to actually work there?
Candidates want to know more about your company culture. What’s the work environment like? Who would I be working with? If you can answer these questions, you’ll be more likely to weed out less qualified candidates and energize your best possible talent.
An interview is an opportune time to do this, though that assumes you’ve generated quality applicants who’ve made it to the interview process. Some companies include short videos in their job advertisements to offer a glimpse into the workplace environment. You might try doing the same.
A video doesn’t have to have high production values, though it should feature interviews with relevant people and reflect the day-to-day operations of your company. You can incorporate these videos into your job listings or share them over social media to generate potential leads.
4. Be patient, but don’t settle
Depending on your industry, you might set aside four to six weeks to hire a new employee. But with many companies facing a talent shortage, you might need to extend this deadline just a bit. After all, finding a candidate who fits your culture could be more important than finding one who fits your timeline.
This also means that you should avoid settling on a candidate who seems like they “might” be a good fit. The only thing worse than a vacancy is a bad hire. You might find yourself stuck with that person until they either improve or you have sufficient grounds for termination.
Instead, stay focused on your talent acquisition and screening processes. If you’re a recruiter, make sure senior management understands current HR challenges and will back your continued search for the right person.
For some positions, a lengthy search process may be required, so it also helps to have provisions in place to cover the workload in the meantime.
5. Source from others you know
Job referrals are worth their weight in gold. Some of these referrals can come from your employees (see above), though you can also source referrals from others you know.
Think about your professional network. Chances are that you already have relationships with other business owners, some of whom are in industries that overlap your own. Although these businesses might not be eager to part with their employees, they might know of outside professionals who would be a good fit for your organization.
Don’t neglect your social circle, either. You might be able to source referrals from your friends, family, or any community outside of work that you’re a part of. You’d be surprised how many people are eager to help others land a job or help you fill a vacancy.
6. Focus on your story
Every job description should tell a story. That story is designed to captivate potential candidates and show them how they’d benefit from being part of your team. In essence, your job description is a sales pitch, and as such, it should contain more than just the basic facts of the position.
If you’re unsure where to start, consider the words you would use to describe the ideal candidate. Lead with something like, “We’re looking for innovators who are passionate about building customer relationships” or, “Do you value creativity? So do we.”
Alternatively, you could start by identifying the problem your business is designed to solve or the need you seek to fill. How would the ideal candidate solve this problem or need? A job description that presents a compelling story will generate far more interest than the usual bland list of responsibilities and requirements.
You might even ask your existing employees about their hiring and onboarding experience. Their insights can help you learn what made your company attractive in their eyes, which may help you connect with future job candidates.
Strategies that work together
These tips aren’t meant to be mutually exclusive. You might gain more traction by combining several of the aforementioned strategies. For example, if you create a video to showcase your company culture, you can share this content with your network and encourage your team members to do the same.
It also helps to be open with your people about your recruitment strategy. They might even offer input that influences the direction of your talent acquisition process or provide useful feedback to help you craft a narrative about your business.
Thanks for reading! Do you want to create thought leadership articles like the one above? If you struggle to translate your ideas into content that will help build credibility and influence others, sign up to get John’s latest online course “Writing From Your Voice” here.