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Where are the candidates? Five tips guaranteed to find staff for your job vacancy

Updated: Nov 26, 2021

With a fragile economy, government disaster payments and a pandemic underway it is hardly surprising that candidates are becoming scarce. A solid candidate sourcing strategy identifies qualified and interested applicants. Successful strategies typically include multiple applicant sourcing techniques, used in combination to maximize results.

How these methods are used depends upon a wide array of factors, some of which include:

  • Types of candidates needed - where do you find applicants with the necessary skills for the position?

  • Past successes (or failures) in using specific methods

  • Available resources

There are many, many ways to find and attract applicants. Here are five sourcing methods that can work for companies of any size:

#1 Referral Programs

Although this might seem like an old-school or outdated approach, surveys and anecdotal evidence consistently show employee referrals result in strong hires. It is estimated that 70-80% of jobs are not advertised because the candidate was identified through networking. Current employees value their reputation, so they generally only refer individuals they believe would make exceptional employees which is, in effect, a form of prescreening. Current employees are also likely to provide referrals with realistic information about the job, so prospective applicants can make better decisions about whether the position is a good fit. Additionally, referrals from current employees are an effective way to bring job openings to the attention of people who are not actively looking for a job but possess desirable skills (e.g., passive candidates).

#2. Industry Associations, Professional Groups, and Events

If your company or your employees are already involved with organizations in your industry, you should tap into those networks and stay in front of potential applicants with similar interests and experience in your industry. Generally, professional groups and events are less effective ways to find candidates unless a long-term relationship exists. If a person only shows up when they need something, existing members of that group aren’t likely to be very interested in helping. Thus, instead of popping up at events only when there is an open role, a company’s aim at these events should be to build relationships, which generate visibility for the company and by extension, the company’s open roles. Employees can also identify interesting prospects from networking groups, or reach out to their network to expand referral reach. All of this takes time and energy but can be successful for those willing to do the work.

#3. Job Boards

Posting openings on job boards (e.g. Indeed, Jora, Seek, Linked In, etc.) can be a great way to reach interested applicants who are actively looking for jobs. This can be expensive, but a proven effective way to receive a large volume of applications.

The best postings:

  • are specific

  • use keywords applicants interested in these roles would search for

  • use inclusive language to resonate with a wide audience and prevent discrimination

  • provide a salary range or actual salary

  • clearly describe the demands of the role and provide information on job attributes considered significant by applicants (e.g., job duties, work schedule, and location)

  • discuss benefits in specific terms (e.g., number of vacation days) and tailor message to specific information needs of the targeted audience (e.g., flexible hours for working parents, ability to telecommute)

# 4. Your website

One of the first things job seekers do when they’re searching for work is visiting the company’s website. A great way to cultivate applicants is to have a dedicated Careers page on your website where interested applicants can learn more about a role and submit their applications and resume. This is a great way to build up a pool of applicants to review even if a company isn’t planning an aggressive hiring push.

Use your company website to convey detailed information through written content, photos, graphics, and videos. Post about the company mission, culture, history, successes, ongoing community involvement, current activities, and so forth. On the Careers page, highlight the many benefits of working for the business generally, and the open roles in particular. For example, if a company’s staff is small, its employees often perform functions beyond their stated job descriptions. This business need can translate into a career booster for employees, enabling them to rapidly acquire new skills and develop a broader range of abilities.

#5. Third-Party Recruiting Agencies

Using a third-party recruiting agency (like us) can be extremely useful for more specialized searches where the hire is particularly crucial. And, they can make every hire easier, quicker, and better. Good agencies have the industry knowledge, network, applicant pool, sourcing and screening skills, and resources to find top talent quickly. The best recruiters will specialize in their industries, so for specific, hard-to-source, or technical roles, choose a recruiter who works on those types of placements.

You are definitely investing when you use an agency – hiring fees can be up to 35% of a candidate’s first-year salary. In a lean, growing business, this is a cost that has to be considered. However, compared with the cost of a bad hire, which can be 150% of a candidate’s annual salary, this could be money very well spent!

We hope you’ll find that perfect person for your team. If you need additional assistance, please reach out to us. We’re here to help with any consultation needs or questions you may have.


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