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It’s a Job Seekers World…Live in It, Don’t Just Visit It— Recruiting Tactics in a Competitive Job Market.

In today’s business world, the tide has turned in favor of job seekers. Between the booming economy and the number of opportunities literally available at candidates’ fingertips, employers are being forced to step up their game like never before. No longer can employers just sit back and wait for the resumes to come in, they need to actively pursue qualified candidates, foster relationships, and strategically leverage recruiting tactics to help them stand out among the competition.

Here are four recruiting tactics organizations can consider implementing to increase their chances of attracting and hiring top talent.

Keep your friends close and your candidates even closer!

  •  Career moves are difficult decisions, so it is important to give your candidates the attention they deserve during this process. Just like purchasing a house, you would expect your realtor to be there for you every step of the way. “Hunting” for a new job also requires that type of care.
  • Like it or not, first impressions count. Your interactions with the candidate are critical as they give insight into the overall company culture. Even one bad interview can deter a potential hire from exploring the opportunity further. Similarly, a passive candidate who is not actively looking can do a complete 180 after a quick phone interview.
  • No news is bad news. Keep the candidate up-to-date on the progress of the interview process even if you have no changes to report. Again, showing that you care can make a difference when it comes to choosing between two offers the candidate might have.
  • Even if you lose, you win. A great interview experience can open up a whole new network of possible talent even if the candidate rejects your offer. It might be bad timing or a case of cold feet, but if they enjoyed the process, they will tell their peers or even reconsider a few months down the road.

Recruiting is a team sport!

  • Develop an attractive employee referral program with strong financial incentives. Current employees already know the company culture and will refer people that they feel will fit in. While you can gauge technical skills during the interview process, it is much harder to predict cultural fit. Since your current employees are putting their reputations on the line, most likely the referrals will be very qualified.
  • Don’t be afraid to use recruiting agencies. Once in a while (or most of the time) you are asked to find that “purple squirrel” — someone with a very specific/niche skillset. If you are striking out, you are losing time and money. Reach out to an agency that specializes in that niche and has a broad pipeline of candidates.

Back to school time!

  • Develop a strong college recruiting program. Research your local schools and get involved on campus. Career fairs and on-campus interviews are a great place to start.
  • Quality over quantity. Showing up on campus once a year is not enough. Team up with major specific associations and build your brand among the student population. You will be surprised how much good publicity you can get just by bringing food and presenting on a topic that is relevant to students.
  •  Since recruiting is a team sport, find recent alumni among your coworkers and get them involved. Leverage their school contacts and get introduced to faculty.

First-mover advantage!

  • With the low unemployment rate, it pays to be first. If you engage a candidate early on in their job search, you have a much higher chance of converting them into a successful hire. However, you must be efficient in your approach. Look at your current interview process and see if you can streamline it. The majority of the candidates you are engaging already have jobs, and taking time off for multiple in-person interviews is not realistic. While you are trying to coordinate the schedules of three busy hiring managers for the third in-person interview, the candidate might already have an offer from your competitor. Better yet, while your organization is taking their time to finally make an offer after that third interview, the candidate already put in their two-week notice…but they are not coming to work for you. Stay on top of your hiring managers and be their trusted advisor. Educate them on latest talent trends and set realistic expectations. Empower them to move fast if necessary.

While recruiting is certainly more challenging today than it was ten years ago, technology has made it possible to expand our talent network farther than ever before. Don’t be afraid to leverage the tools at your fingertips, tap into the connections of others within your organization, and always look for ways to enhance your organization’s image and company culture. When it comes to recruiting, your actions will speak far louder than your words.

By: Danuta Fletcher | Recruiter