If you want to hire the best employees there are, be proactive – don’t leave it up to those employees to figure out how to get in touch with you.
For some industries such as hospitality or retail, it is still acceptable to put up job ads in shop window displays and wait for suitable candidates to drop off their printed out resumes. However, that isn’t the case for the majority of industries.
And with 88% of the North American population and over 90% of Western Europeans using the internet, you should be online too, recruiting for your ideal employees. Most probably, you’re already doing it.
But how to do it better?
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Overview of the Do’s and Don’ts of Online Recruiting
- DO have a great career page.
- DO look at the big picture.
- DO use video.
- DO employ social media strategies.
- DON’T forget how much time we spend on our mobile devices.
- DO network online.
- DO use pre-employment assessments.
- DON’T neglect interaction with candidates.
- DON’T dehumanize online recruiting.
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What is online recruiting?
Online recruitment is a phase of the hiring process which uses the power of the internet to match people to jobs. It takes place when companies try to reach a pool of candidates through various mediums online: job postings on company and external websites, job referrals, job boards, networking, and social media.
Around 60% of vacancies are advertised online, while almost 90% of job seekers look for jobs on the internet in Australia. (Image source)
Online recruiting is deemed a much more efficient and successful form of recruiting because it can utilize technology to not just attract candidates, but to process them too, as well as help with the selection of the right people.
While online recruiting can be a cost-efficient way of finding your next hire, recruiters would be wise to not rely solely on it. As advanced as today’s recruiting technology and especially AI is, recruitment is still about human interaction. Then again, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t harness the power of the internet in your recruitment efforts.
In a word, whether you are a corporate or a startup, online recruiting will be an invaluable resource for your hires. But if you’re new to recruiting or want to improve, here is our guide to what to do and not to do, to succeed in online recruitment.
Dos and don’ts in online recruitment
1. DO have a great career page.
If you have a company website (and you should), you should be using it to bring candidates to your office door. Your website should not be used solely to attract customers; if you want to grow as a company, you have to be attracting future employees too.
Most companies do not utilize their websites to the full potential and if they list job openings, they don’t sell them well nor make them obvious, and the ads aren’t written to attract those candidates who share your vision, mission, values and would be a great cultural fit for your company.
Your website should demonstrate the uniqueness of your company and why it’s such a great place to work. It should sparkle with your personality and highlight what sets you apart from the competition. Check out how Nike or Netflix are doing it!
Once you’ve hooked your candidates you should then make it really easy for them to submit their application for your consideration. If they aren’t suitable just now, you should file their profile away for future opportunities – build your own personal talent pool from which to dip into. Which leads us nicely onto…
2. DO look at the big picture.
Plan for the future, not just the here and now. Don’t get caught fighting fires, one recruitment project at a time. As the economy is recovering, and it is, the war for talent is fast getting back up to speed and if you want to have the best employees working for you, you’d best get out there and get yourself on their radar.
You need to find out:
- Where these dream employees are.
- How you can get their attention.
- And figure out a plan to position yourself in front of them.
Potential candidates might not even apply to your company if they don’t find enough information online. (Image source)
Because good candidates won’t be around for long. If you know they’re good, so does your competition. And they will get snapped up. So how do you find these dream employees?
3. DO use video
If content is king (in the context of digital marketing), then video is the number one form of content that you should have in your arsenal. Video should not just be used for selling your products and attracting customers, but also for attracting potential employees.
Visual content is well-known for drawing in the crowds and can elicit 1200% more shares than plain text and images combined.
Just think how many candidates you can reach by advertising a vacancy using video content.
Why is this?
Because video provides more non-verbal messaging than you can possibly know. If used correctly, you can effectively demonstrate how working at your company feels, by showing off the workplace and introducing viewers to their future (potential) colleagues. This is an impression that you cannot construe in a blog post or job advert, no matter how many words you use. The best recruitment videos are those which accurately represent the company culture, such as this one from BambooHR.
4. DO employ social media strategies.
Social media is one of the tools in your arsenal that you can use to great effect, with minimal financial cost. Social media should be used to strengthen your brand and initiate conversations with potential employees.
92% of recruiters use social media in their recruitment efforts, so if you haven’t figured out your social media strategy yet, you don’t have time to waste.
Social media recruiting has many different applications. (Image source)
Social media recruiting strategies are a big topic on their own, but essentially, these social media tactics will be key to your online recruiting success:
- If you want to reach your ideal candidates, you need to be giving them content that is specific to them, and that interests them. Your content strategy should include status updates that attract candidates by demonstrating your thought leadership in key areas and highlight why your organization is the forerunner in this arena.
- Don’t just bombard your followers with swathes of information, make sure that everything you post online has meaning and context. Share your job openings alongside relevant content to boost their appeal.
- Don’t assume a one size fits all when it comes to your social media recruiting strategy. Target your ideal employees individually, speak just to them and make sure you aren’t focused on just one social media platform. Spread your recruiting message far and wide and tailor your approach to online recruiting on these platforms accordingly. For example what works on Facebook won’t be appropriate for Instagram, and LinkedIn requires an altogether different plan of attack.
One of the companies with strong online presence is Starbucks. They use their Instagram account to give people insight into the company’s life and show what they have to offer.
5. DON’T forget how much time we spend on our mobile devices.
When planning your online recruiting strategy, you have to take into account the amount of time we spend on mobile devices each day.
According to comScore, American adult smartphone users spend an average of 73.8 hours a month on their phones, which comes to just under 2 hours, 30 minutes a day.
That isn’t to say that your candidates will necessarily apply for your job via their mobile, but you should tailor your job advert and accompanying content to make for easy reading on a mobile device.
6. DO network online.
Offline or online, the power of a referral should never be underestimated.
Networking remains one of the most important tools for recruiting.
If you know who you’re looking for, write a job specifically for them and share it with your network. Someone somewhere will know just the right person for you.
Referrals that you get will not just be good people, but having been referred by people who know you and your company, they will be suitable employees too.
Use the networks you have available to you to find your next hire.
- Post the position in your industry’s online forums, niche job boards, and professional association websites.
- Share it across networking sites such as LinkedIn.
- Advertise it on your company’s website and on your social media platforms.
- Ask your employees to aid in your recruitment drive and have them participate in your social media campaigns by sharing the company posts to their own networks. It is in their interest to find someone suitable to work alongside after all. And you could incentivize them by including a reward if you hire their referral or if the hire came via their network.
Social professional networks are among the top channels for quality hires. (Image source)
Recruiting is a costly process at the best of times, and the wrong hire can be one of the most expensive mistakes you could make. Not just in terms of removing the bad hire from your organization, but the damage a bad employee could potentially do to both your business and its reputation could be astronomical.
7. DO use pre-employment assessments.
Don’t assume that every suitable candidate on paper is going to be able to do the job. Filter out the chaff from the wheat with pre-employment assessments. They don’t even have to be taxing questions. You could use:
- Cognitive ability tests to assess how bright the candidates are.
- Personality tests to determine if they’re a match for your company culture.
- Simulations of job-specific problems that an employee may face in the workplace on a daily basis, to assess their problem-solving ability in a real-time situation.
You can define what results you’re looking for and then find the candidates that match your expectations based on the assessment results.
Don’t forget that there should always be a human element to recruiting – just because someone came up trumps on every test you threw at them, you don’t necessarily have to hire them if you feel they don’t sit right with you after all.
8. DON’T neglect interaction with candidates.
If you want your company and brand to retain its sparkling reputation, and appeal to potential employees, then you need to ensure that from the very start of the recruitment process candidates are made to feel welcome.
Recruitment is expensive and time-consuming. That’s why so much time and money has been invested in creating AI and recruiting tools to make recruitment easier for both the recruiter and the recruitee.
But one crucial element of recruiting is communication and establishing if a candidate will fit in with your overall company culture.
Relying too much on online recruiting can mean you find out a huge amount about a person’s online personality, but little about their real personality.
Once you’ve done your CV sift and assessed your potential candidates, and whittled it down to however many you want to bring in for an interview, have someone interact with them.
You’ll learn more in five minutes just chatting with someone than you can possibly infer from 2 sides of A4 paper and a completed set of answers to a series of loaded questions.
9. DON’T dehumanize online recruiting.
If you rely too heavily on AI to find your best hires, yes you save time and money sifting out the inappropriate candidates, but you can lose out on potentially valuable and well-trained candidates who simply don’t know how to work your recruitment system to their advantage.
CV screening tools make it possible to scan through large numbers of resumes and job applications to narrow down unique candidates based on certain keywords. The candidates that match these keywords have an increased chance of being called for an interview.
The problem with this is if people don’t know your keywords, or older generations use a different word for a specific skill, they might be filtered out.
There are ways to overcome this. Besides using validated data sources in your selection process such as pre-employment assessments mentioned above, don’t forget that such online recruiting tools used should serve more as a guide than an ultimate decision-making tool for the recruiter.
67% of adults in the US are worried about development of algorithms that can evaluate and hire job candidates. Although automation can help candidates to fair chances, it is also important to keep the human touch in recruitment. (Image source)
…and what does it all mean for you?
Online recruiting comprises many different strategies that can be implemented at different stages of the recruitment process. From sourcing your candidates via online job boards to the selection process including pre-employment assessments, knowing the basics of online recruiting can help with creating cost-efficient hiring strategies.
Improving your online recruiting can lead to decreasing your time to hire, cost per hire and attracting a more diverse pool of applicants. And that’s what you’re ultimately aiming for, isn’t it?
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