Making the Most of Your Job Boards
New tools and features may help mid-sized companies build a stronger talent pipeline.
By Joe Savarese
Job boards are the second-most popular means of recruiting behind employee referrals, and many companies still find the best talent through this channel. However, as the talent base accessed through these platforms widens, it's sometimes difficult for a recruiter to find the right candidates. Mid-sized businesses spend as much as 30 percent of their recruitment budgets on job-search sites, so it's important that they see returns on their listings.
In order to maximize their investment, companies can take steps to make better use of these platforms. Talent-acquisition departments can perform an audit of their current vendors, look to platforms that segment their users into "communities" for a more targeted approach to selecting candidates, utilize mobile recruiting tools, and tell a strong brand story through their job listings and online advertisements.
Assess Your Current Vendors
Mid-sized businesses recruit their best talent through traditional methods such as job-search sites, so it's important that they're worth the time and financial resources a company has invested in them. For a mid-size business with a smaller budget, perform an audit of your current vendors. Determine which platforms are providing the best candidates, and reallocate your budget accordingly. It's probably not necessary to use four or five vendors, when two are outperforming the rest.
Also, consider how your vendors market their job boards. Many drive the majority of their traffic via search engines, which means that they're marketing to active job seekers -- those currently looking for a new opportunity. However, employers value passive job seekers and, according to a recent Beyond survey, 80 percent of HR professionals believe they become the most effective employees. HR and talent leaders also say the benefits of hiring passive candidates over active ones include: They have more experience (44 percent), they possess valuable skills (44 percent) and they take their careers seriously (42 percent). However, many job seekers are unaware of this advantage.
Take a Targeted Approach
Large job boards cast a wide net for candidates so businesses can access a large applicant pool, but midsize companies say the quality of candidates is their biggest problem with job search sites. The problem is not the platform itself, but the quality of candidate moving through a recruiter's applicant tracking system. Given that a mid-size company can spend a third of its entire recruiting budget on job boards, it's important that every candidate who's shown a position is qualified and has what it takes be a potential hire.
One effective strategy for capturing the most-qualified talent could be to use a platform that segments its users into communities or groups based on their industry, such as those working or looking for jobs in healthcare or marketing fields. Although the pool of applicants may be smaller, these highly specialized channels may also offer better quality talent and cut down on the time spent sifting through unqualified candidate profiles.
Test Out New Tools
Some job search sites use text recruiting as a means to supplement traditional recruitment. Text recruiting can be an incredibly effective tool for a recruiter, especially at a midsize business. Not only does it provide an easy, personal interaction with the candidate, but it also lets recruiters create targeted lists of potential applicants. When a recruiter is ready to engage with applicants, she can send a text message with a personalized message, inviting them to apply for an open position. The recruiter can even use a local phone number.
This new practice is a great way to reach millennials and can be an effective means of grabbing an applicant's attention -- most people have their smartphones in their hands all day. But it has to be done very carefully -- there are FCC restrictions regarding reaching an applicant via his or her smartphone.
Tell Your Story Every Chance You Get
Your brand's story is key to recruiting the type of people you want to spend the workday with. You should always lead job listings with your employer value proposition, but when you're crafting it, skip the corporate mission statements and industry jargon. Corporate language lacks inspiration. Instead, start by asking applicants what inspires them. Once you've created a list of perks and benefits you're proud of -- an annual volleyball tournament, paid time off for volunteering, group lunches every Friday-- weave them into all of your communications. Tell your story every chance you get.
Better yet, let your employees tell the story. Take videos of employees sharing what they love about the company and post them on the company career site. Bring employees to recruiting events. Share photos of employees doing what they love on social media.
Mid-size businesses rely heavily on job-search sites for recruiting top talent, but often times they don't know how to take advantage of what they offer. Many organizations spend a large portion of their recruitment budget on job-search sites, yet find the quality of candidates to be lacking. Given their limited resources, it's important for mid-size businesses to be certain they're making the most of their job boards. Through a careful audit of your existing vendors, text recruiting and a strong brand message, your company can recruit the type of candidate who will elevate your business.
Joe Savarese is northeast sales team lead at Beyond.com.