Do you hear that scary sound? It’s more frightening than the iconic “duh-DUM, duh-DUM” theme of Jaws. It’s more terrifying than a horror movie’s chainsaw. Oh no! It’s the sound of power shifting away from recruiters and toward candidates! Eeeek!
There, there, it’s OK. You may have held more power in the past when there was a plethora of talent looking for work and before the Internet age. Those were the days! Now, 83 percent of recruiters say that candidates, not employers, have more power. Don’t panic. You can fight off the scariest scenario with these five recruiting strategies that help you place more top talent, even if candidates hold the power.
Referrals have always been a top source for candidates and contract employees, but have never been more crucial to recruiting success than they are today. Referrals from candidates you’ve placed in the past are typically of higher quality and will likely stay longer at their new jobs. Create a referral program at your agency and make sure your happily placed previous talent is fully aware of it.
For example, a program may focus on hard-to-fill, high-impact job openings, with referrers obtaining rewards if the person they refer gets hired. Rewards may include financial incentives, charitable donations made on their behalf or being entered into a drawing for a larger prize. You want contacts to send top talent they know to you, not the competition.
“One of the most underutilized yet proven strategies for growth is through a focused referral strategy,” says Mary Ann McLaughlin, a managing partner at Butler Street LLC. “Studies show that referrals reach audiences that SEO and SEM do not. I recently read that the ‘6 degrees of separation is now 3.74.’”
Tip: Use staffing software that incorporates organizational charts so you can have a clear view into the relationships between your contacts. Further, your staffing software can help you automate some of the communications to your candidates and contractors, reducing admin time previously spent on these tasks.
Our next recruiting strategy is to optimize use of your staffing software. Work smarter and faster by prioritizing job orders that remain active or partially filled. Refine your search by inputting criteria such as location, college degree, certification or resume – much of this can be parsed straight from the candidates’ resume or online application. Then send out targeted communications quickly. For example, when you locate qualified cyber security experts, you can send out emails and texts for those pinpointed candidates with a click.
Even when candidates have the power, you can recruit efficiently when you have technology to streamline your tasks and pinpoint “just right” talent.
Tip: Use staffing software to pinpoint top talent and notify them about high-priority job orders.
“After referrals, no recruiting channel is more important than the mobile platform,” writes Dr. John Sullivan. “Prospects and candidates must be able to do everything from applying to accepting jobs directly and seamlessly from their phones. Because it has the highest message response rate, all recruiting communications and messaging must migrate to the mobile platform.”
Even when candidates have the power, you can boost your success by using staffing software that is accessible on mobile. That’s where talent goes job hunting.
Tip: Integrate your mobile-friendly website with your staffing software to help you manage your recruiting process 24×7.
Connecting with passive talent is crucial for succeeding when candidates have the power. In a LinkedIn survey, 45 percent of respondents said they would be open to speaking with a recruiter. Be valuable to passive talent on social media now by posting articles on LinkedIn that are specific to your niche. You can also appeal to passive talent by creating compelling job descriptions.
“Write compelling career stories,” writes Lou Adler. “As part of these, describe the work that needs to be done and the impact the person can make … send these to passive candidates to get them excited.”
Stacy Donavar Zapar, founder of Tenfold, recommends that recruiters focus on building personal connections with passive talent. “In a candidate-driven marketplace, it’s the recruiters who are building relationships, proactively sourcing and evangelizing their company culture through employer branding that are most successful in attracting and hiring top talent.“
Build your passive talent base by being of value to your niche and showing off compelling career stories. You’ll improve how you recruit, despite candidates having the power.
As you get to know talent, emphasize job features that are in alignment with their career goals and their lives. When recruiting, mention clients that are located near mass transit stops to Millennial candidates, for example, since one-third of Millennials don’t plan to buy a car. Baby Boomers might be perfect for seasonal work if they winter in the south. The majority of workers, no matter their age, desire flexible working hours and a better work-life balance.
“Create job orders that tap into everyone’s interests, passions and career goals,” says Katrina Collier. “Be curious. Ask questions. Why do people work there? What is special about the place? What makes people stay?”
Even when candidates have more power, you can recruit more top talent by pointing out where the job orders’ features and candidates’ priorities overlap.
As you recruit within a competitive industry, yes, you can sense that candidates have more power than in previous years. Don’t be afraid! With the right recruiting strategies, such as using a referral strategy, speaking to individuals’ priorities and using staffing software, you can place more top talent efficiently and smartly. Now that’s powerful!
Over 200 recruiting professionals told us about their strategies to succeed in today’s war for talent. Learn how recruiters can fill more orders faster in this exclusive whitepaper.