How To Attract Candidates To Hard-To-Fill Positions

From time to time in any company, job positions can come available that are hard to fill. This can be quite frustrating: no matter which job boards you post to, the candidates who are applying aren’t quite meeting the mark, and you would rather expand the search than settle for an applicant who isn’t quite right. And yet, time is of the essence! These hard-to-fill positions can earn their name because they require a specific skill set that few have (such as niche sales) or a background that’s in high demand at the moment. 

Fortunately, there are a few tricks to get more visibility in front of the best candidates who are currently on the job hunt. Sharing the job descriptions and open positions isn’t just something that should go on your website’s ‘hiring page’ – rather, think of your job posting as a living, breathing call for applicants that gets air-time in front of the right eyeballs all around the web and draws them in. Here are a few ways to attract more top-notch candidates to your open job positions. 

1. Take To Social Media 

Social media is a great way to get in front of a larger audience — especially if you’re hiring within the 18-34 age range. According to the Aberdeen Group, 73 percent of 18-34 year olds found their last job through a social network. If your brand’s following on social accounts is smaller, Aria Solar recommends having your current employees or team members advocate for the positions on their social accounts.

“True employee advocates will organically spread the word about your company culture and should be happy to post about a job opening on their own social networks,” Solar writes. “If your employees are posting and tweeting about how amazing it is to work for you, it will naturally draw a bigger audience to not only your recruitment efforts but also your overall presence online. Potential candidates want proof that people enjoy working for you. Your employees are the only ones who can do that.” Simply sharing to their Twitter page, LinkedIn, or on their Instagram story can be great for exposure.

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2. Rethink How The Job Is Presented In These Postings 

How a job is presented to candidates matters, too. It’s not enough anymore to just list standard information such as location, salary, requirements, and the job’s responsibilities. This may draw some applications, but you can cast a wider net if you show potential candidates what it’s really like to work at your company. “Many companies rely too heavily on posting their job descriptions, which is a method that we refer to as ‘post and pray,’” noted Rollis Fontenot, President of HR Maximizer Inc. “However, the best candidates are more passive candidates, who aren’t actively on the hunt. To get in front of them, I advise that companies create short vignettes or recruitment videos about what the job itself entails and really be transparent about the opportunity,” commented Fontenot.

Fontenot recommends posting these vignettes to YouTube and Instagram, and geo-targeting the videos to make sure they get in front of candidates who are in the right location or who have expressed interest in something related to what your company does. To create this vignette or a truly comprehensive job posting, Fontenot also said to “include interviewing the hiring manager for the job, as well as members of your staff, about the job so that your potential candidate gets a better idea of what’s involved in the job position and working in the department.” This goes the extra mile beyond the ‘standard requirements’ that most job postings have.

3. Make Sure Your Glassdoor Profile Is Up And Running

Job candidates want to know what they’re getting into before they commit to a long application and interviewing process. If they can’t ask someone directly about their experience working for your company, they usually take to job review sites like Glassdoor. According to Jen Dewar of Lever, “Fifty two percent of Glassdoor members read reviews at the start of their job search prior to speaking with a company recruiter or hiring manager.” 

To ensure that your company comes across transparent and doesn’t leave any lingering questions in the minds of potential applicants, take the time to set up a page with your branding. Glassdoor says that can help to attract “twice the number of qualified job applicants.” Remember that the candidates are also looking for a good fit — just as you’ll do a background check on them, they want to do one on you, too. Make it easy for them. It shows you have nothing to hide.

4. Ask Colleagues Who Can Speak On Your Behalf For Referrals

Even with all of this set up, don’t discount the power of referrals. LinkedIn shared hiring stats that said the #1 way people find a new job is through a referral, and that companies can expand their talent pool by up to 10 times through their employees’ networks. So, get talking! Let everyone know what you’re hiring for, and consistently ask if they know anyone who could be a good fit. Ask them to share the opportunity with their networks — even via tweets. The more of a reach your job description can get, the higher the chance that a qualified candidate will see it and apply.

In combination, these efforts can yield great results in a pool of highly qualified candidates for those hard-to-fill positions.

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Forbes – Entrepreneurs

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