Every company wants to find the best candidates for its job openings. For startups with a small budget, finding the perfect fit is even more important — with the time and monetary investments required to bring in a new employee, they really can't afford a bad hire.
But small-business hiring can be a Catch-22: The company needs to locate the absolute best person for the job, but finding that person can take so long that the current staff may end up stretched too thin in the interim. There may not be a shortage of applicants, but none of them ever seems to be the one the company wants.
Why do so many businesses end up facing this dilemma? It could be because they're casting too wide a net, said Eric Vidal, director of product marketing at conferencing solutions provider InterCall. If you've only been trying to find candidates through mass job posting websites and career fairs, it's time to reconsider your hiring strategy. [How to Ensure You're Recruiting the Best Talent]
"The goal of recruiting isn't to attract anyone and everyone," Vidal told Business News Daily. "You want to attract candidates who are actually a fit for the company and are interested in the industry in which it operates. Many times, this isn't the case when going to career fairs [and job listing sites]. You, instead, reach employees who are just looking for a job, any job, no matter the industry or company. Those won't be your star candidates."
Instead of recruiting through these traditional and sometimes ineffective methods, Vidal suggested four unconventional places to find your next employee:
Panels/lectures. Industry panels and lectures are held all the time, especially in larger metropolitan areas. Participating in or hosting a panel is a great way to not only position your company as an expert in your field, but also find potential job candidates. Members of multiple industries can get together in this space to discuss ideas and collaborate, which could lead to the employment of someone who might not have been aware that your company is hiring.
Virtual career fairs. Online job fairs are becoming a popular alternative to physical career fairs. These virtual events provide all the benefits of showcasing your company at a career fair, but without the travel commitment and large expense. Companies can also find out-of-area candidates who wouldn't be able to attend an in-person event, allowing them to reach new faces that they would otherwise miss.
In-house networking events. Industry networking events are good for more than just finding potential business partners and mentors. Hosting an informal "networking night" will draw individuals who are interested in your company. Candidates will appreciate the ability to speak with potential bosses and coworkers in a casual, relaxed atmosphere, and learn more about the company from people they'd actually be working with.
- Social media. While social media recruiting is becoming less "unconventional" and more standard in today's job market, you can increase your chances of finding a good fit on sites like LinkedIn and Twitter by having your current employees help push the message out. Vidal noted that one key advantage of social media recruiting is that you can be very targeted — in most cases your network of followers is already familiar with your business and products. One of the challenges, however, is that it lacks discretion: For example, if the job in question has had a high turnover recently, an avid follower of the brand could wonder why this is.
It's important to remember that not everyone you find through these methods will necessarily be looking for a new job, Vidal said. However, it still introduces your company to potential candidates, and when they are on the hunt for a new position, they'll remember you and reach out.
Originally published on Business News Daily.