It's a job seeker's market, and companies are having a hard time finding quality candidates to fill open positions, which is costing businesses thousands.
"With unemployment rates hovering around historic lows and a growing demand for skilled workers, recruiters must be creative in order to reach top candidates," said Janelle Bieler, vice president at Adecco. "Increasingly, recruiters are having to seek out passive candidates – those who already have a job and are not actively looking."
Recruiters have to do this because there are now more job openings than unemployed people to fill them, according to Jobvite's 2018 Recruiter Nation Survey, and 74 percent of recruiters believe hiring will be even more competitive in the coming year.
"Relying on the population of active job seekers is simply not enough," Bieler said, "and using traditional channels alone, such as job boards, won't cut it. Recruiters must learn to leverage alternative platforms, such as social media, in order to tap into a larger pool of candidates."
To find and attract top talent, recruiters must become marketers. Here's how.
1. Build and promote your employer brand.
"Today, employer brand is more important than ever, as nearly one-third of young people say they will preemptively reject a company with poor reviews," said Rachel Bitte, chief people officer at Jobvite. "Recruiters must strategically consider how to position what it's like to work at their company."
Recruiters need to monitor and promote their employer brands to entice top talent. According to the Jobvite survey, recruiters believe the best ways to grow an employer brand are social media (47 percent), a company career website (21 percent), and marketing and advertising (12 percent). [Read related story: Hiring in the Digital Age: 3 Modern Recruitment Trends to Adopt]
Once you promote a solid employer brand, you need to have meaningful conversations with job seekers.
"Figuring out ways to cut through the noise and reach passive candidates through meaningful exchanges is key to deepening your talent pool and hiring the best workers," Bitte told Business News Daily.
2. Use conversational recruiting.
"As our world has become more connected than ever, recruiters must expect to reach candidates where they spend most of their time – on their devices, whether that's [via] texting, chatbots or Instagram," said Bitte.
Along with reaching candidates where they are, Bitte said recruiters need to have personalized conversations with them on an ongoing basis. "We call this conversational recruiting, and it's the key ingredient to attracting talent in today's tight labor market."
3. Use social media to post openings.
While recruiters need to be marketers, the days of posting job openings to bulletin boards and local newspapers are long gone. You should focus instead on digital platforms such as social media.
"Whether it's LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, or even Snapchat or Reddit, if your ideal candidates frequent it, you should be there too, participating in the right conversations," Bitte said. "Clever use of keywords or hashtags, or even enlisting brand ambassadors to spread your message to their own networks, can help get your company in front of the talent that will care the most."
The Jobvite survey revealed recruiters' most-used social channel is LinkedIn at 77 percent. They also use Facebook (63 percent) and Instagram (25 percent) to promote job openings. Social media is also helpful because hiring managers can target posts to reach their ideal candidates.
"Reaching job seekers today is less about broadcasting to a huge audience and more about engaging a targeted group of quality candidates right for your company," said Bitte. "The best conversations today are informal and not scripted, promoting quick, two-way engagement with the candidate."
As technology keeps evolving, so does every industry, including recruitment. Recruiters need to stay up to date with the latest practices to attract the right talent.
"Technology has changed the game – everything happens at a much quicker pace, and recruiters must keep up," said Bieler. "Adopting a marketing mindset allows recruiters to be more strategic in attracting and engaging the most qualified candidates for open positions."