Searching for job applicants, especially for more technical positions, can be a real challenge. According to a recent Manpower Group Survey, 69% of US Employers are struggling to find enough talent. That’s why when sourcing, you want to be sure to cast as wide of a net as possible, to make sure that you have plenty of candidates to choose from.
In this article, we’ll go over the best strategies you can use to get a wide variety of job applications for every position you post.
Active and Passive Search
One of the biggest mistakes recruiters can make is not spending enough time reaching out to passive talent (talent which already has a job and is not actively looking for a new one).
This is, of course, understandable. Reaching out to passive talent is more work than just evaluating resumes that come in. It requires a strategy, and persuading somebody who already has a role they are happy with can be a challenge.
But, the fact of the matter is that much of the best talent already has a job, there is a reason their current employers hired them after all.
Luckily, there are some tried and tested strategies that you can use to have the best chance of successfully engaging with passive talent. Let’s take a look at them:
You want to be sure that you have a solid employer brand. When you engage with a passive candidate and direct them to resources about your company, you want to be sure that your uniqueness, values, and potential for impact leap off the page. Making a job change is a big decision, and just offering more money than the person currently receives is likely insufficient to tempt them away, especially if your company seems generic. The person is likely to calculate that it is not worth the risk, compared to their current, stable even if not perfect position.
Does your organization have a streamlined application experience? If not, this is something you’ll need to fix. Remember, the passive candidate does not urgently need a job, so any friction that they experience in the application process is one more thing that can make them decide it’s not worth the hassle to apply. Ideally, your application page will be optimized for mobile and possible to complete with just a few clicks.
When in discussions with a passive candidate, give them the chance to connect with their future team. Especially when hiring for a very specialized role, it’s not enough just to give a candidate a generalized overview of the company and the role. They should meet the team that they will be working with, and perhaps even conduct a «field ride». Although, with passive candidates, you may need to modify a standard field ride somewhat, as the person is likely not going to be able to leave their current job for a whole day.
Make sure your communications strike the right tone. When reaching out to passive talent, don’t be too pushy. It’s important to strike the right balance here. You do want to encourage the person to join you, but come on too strong and you risk turning them off.
Use your existing CV database to find applicants. Most companies just tell rejected candidates that they will keep their resumes on file to soften the sting of rejection, but viewing it only in this way is a mistake. Especially if you had a competitive application process for a previous role — it means there were probably several great candidates in the pipeline who weren’t quite selected in the end. Going through all your old CVs manually can be a huge time suck, but with the right AI-powered tool, you can turn your existing CV database into one of your most powerful recruiting assets.
Make sure you have a solid email nurturing campaign set up. If you find a promising passive candidate, you definitely don’t want to give up just because they don’t respond to your first attempt to reach out. It usually takes a couple of contacts to get a response. You should develop a set of 5 or 6 emails that will be triggered when you want to reach out to a candidate (if the candidate responds to one, the event will stop and they will be answered by a recruiter).
A good first step here is to start with flattery. Put something in the subject line about how you noticed that their skills would be a great match for the role, and expand on why. Also, include what makes the role interesting, and possibly even more interesting than their current position.
For more tips on how to set up a great email nurturing sequence, you can check out this guide from HubSpot. However, if writing an email flow is not something you feel equipped to do yourself, there are also AI recruitment tools on the market that can do it for you.
You are already searching for active candidates, but you may not be using all of your options to their full potential. Let’s take a look at what you can do to bring in more applications from active job seekers.
- As we mentioned in the section about passive candidates, make sure your application process is streamlined and optimized. The easier it is to apply to your vacancy, the more applications you will receive.
- Write a good job description. Your job description should be well-written, communicate your company values, make it seem like a great place to work, and be specifically targeted at exactly the kind of person you want to hire. This means it’s important to pay attention to language. For example, if you are trying to increase diversity in your organization, you may want to avoid using terms like «ninja» or «rockstar» in your application, as studies show this can make women less likely to apply.
- Use a broad range of channels. You are almost certainly already using the major job boards like Monster, LinkedIn, Indeed, etc. But there’s a lot more that you could be doing. For example, Facebook and WhatsApp collectively have over a billion users — that’s nearly a quarter of the world’s population, which you can’t afford to ignore. Always be looking for new places to get applicants.
With Facebook hiring ads, you can reach users through the platform’s sophisticated targeting mechanism. The Facebook job board, and direct message. WhatsApp offers a service called WhatsApp business, which allows you to send automated messages to numbers in your CRM or other database. Why not integrate it with your ATS and send messages to promising candidates?
Another thing you need to do, which applies to both passive and active search is to implement an employee referral program, that includes a bonus for the referring employee if a candidate they recommend passes their probation period.
A referral program serves two key functions, one it turns your whole company into an extension of your HR team by relying on the power of networks. Secondly, it also as acts a filter in that, an employee is unlikely to recommend somebody who is a friend but who does not have the skills — as no financial reward will be forthcoming if the recommended person does not pass probation.
AI Recruitment Process Automation and Job Post Promotion.
While we’ve gone over many steps that you can take to get more applications, frankly, it’s a lot, which means it can be difficult for SMEs to make sure that they are implementing all of these processes and getting enough applications coming in.
If that’s your situation, you may find Employa to be a helpful tool for your business.
Employa can be used as an AI-driven extension for your existing ATS, which will promote your posts, engage candidates, drive interest with email nurturing, and present you with only the best candidates using AI applicant sorting. Or you can engage us to work as a full-cycle recruitment agency on your behalf. In this case, our team of advanced AI tools and experienced human specialists will devote all their efforts to getting you the best talent on the market.