If you’re a professional recruiter, there are two things you can never have too many of: clients with open positions, and qualified candidates to fill them. But if you’re having a rough time finding the right candidates for a particular job, you may wonder where the best places to recruit employees actually are.
Here’s the good news: there’s no one right way to recruit. In fact, there are several!
That’s why we want to take the time to lay out 4 strategies for finding top talent that don’t involve job boards.
What’s Wrong With Job Boards?
If you spend a lot of time on job boards, you know that, while they might be helpful for hiring managers, they aren’t the best solution for recruiters.
Don’t get us wrong. You can post opportunities on job boards and find candidates. It’s a generalist approach, and effectively you can post to 1000s of job sites across the US. But while it may get you resumes, it may not be the best way for recruiters to find relevant top talent.
Job boards are all about getting stacks of resumes from job seekers to hiring managers. So it stands to reason that, if job managers are already receiving a metric ton of resumes from individual job seekers, they’re also going to be bombarded by recruiters. (Some of those recruiters might even have the same candidate in mind!)
As a result, the hiring manager can get overwhelmed, and refuse to communicate. Or they may have so many people to respond to that it becomes difficult to build a true exclusive relationship with a client in order to take the time to find them the best talent.
So where should a recruiter turn, if not to job boards? We have a few ideas:
Best Places To Recruit Employees #1: Go Analog
With so much attention being placed on the online job search market, it can be easy to overlook the talent that’s available right under your nose.
We’re talking about job fairs. Government resources for job seekers. Networking events. Places where actual job seekers come with actual resumes looking for actual work.
Some recruiters may see this approach as dated, but there will always be a traditional, local market for jobs. And if other recruiters ignore that market, you can take a competitive advantage of that.
With recruiters trying to muscle in on job boards, they may be ignoring some of these real opportunities to recruit top talent right in their own backyard. (Or, more importantly, in their client’s backyard.)
So don’t forget to try for traditional methods!
Best Places To Recruit Employees #2: Go Industry Specific
If you’re looking to fill a position for a client that requires industry experience, make sure that you are looking at places relevant to that industry.
While you may have luck finding some resumes for, say, a software engineer on a big general job site like Monster; you will find a much wider range of candidates by going to the source where people in that industry congregate, like coding-specific online groups and message boards.
Look for freelancers pitching work on their industry-specific boards. Go to a relevant convention and network. You may find people with relevant skills perfect for your open positions that aren’t posting on the giant job boards.
Best Places To Recruit Employees #3: Go To Social Media
Social media is everywhere. If there’s any place to find candidates that’s even more pervasive than giant job boards, it’s social media providers like Facebook & LinkedIn.
You just have to be smart about how you use them.
Social media platforms like LinkedIn are a great way to connect with potential recruits, to get referrals from your existing contacts, and to check in on recruits throughout the hiring process. It’s a seamless way to open and maintain channels of communication with potential recruits.
Just know that the primary purpose of these sites is not to recruit, so you may need to take a more individualized approach to your recruiting efforts here. No “spray and pray” job postings like what you’d do on Monster.
Use your connections to drive warm referrals and then reach out to those prospects individually about your positions. You’ll need to tailor your message well… but we’ll get into that below.
Best Places To Recruit Employees #4: Go To A Lead List Builder
If you’ve ever been in sales, you know the importance of building a sales pipeline. Generating leads, following up on those leads, and trying to close them on the deal.
Recruiting can be much the same. Generating candidate leads, following up and managing them through the placement process, and trying to secure the placement with your position.
So why not approach generating a candidate list the same way that salespeople build a lead list?
Use tools like Sales Genie or Discover.org to find the emails of qualified candidates for your positions, whether or not they’re currently posting on job boards or looking for opportunities.
This way, you can research and find the top candidates and potentially interest them in your open position, perhaps enticing them to make a move.
Of course, to do this, you’ll need to have some very effective messaging.
Messages Are Key
Regardless of where you find your candidates, (and the best channel will always be determined by the position you’re attempting to fill,) you’ll need to make sure that your messaging skills are on point if you expect a decent response rate.
Whether we’re talking email, industry specific message board, or LinkedIn message, you’ll need to get across a pitch to your potential candidates that doesn’t get ignored. A message that can disqualify the wrong candidates while capturing the right ones and helping them to the next stage of the recruiting process.
Make sure that your posts, DMs, and emails aren’t trying to close a sale. Long, content-intensive sales pitch emails tend to yield low response rates. You’ll want a response rate of at least 25-45% to make it worth your while, so make your messages short, compelling, and informative. Don’t sell, just present. You want to intrigue with your opportunity and get them asking for more.
Consider A Split-Placement Network
All of these processes are time intensive and labor intensive. So be sure to open yourself up to utilizing other recruiter’s specializations through a split fee recruiting network.
You may find the perfect candidate for another recruiter position. You may have a placement opportunity that another recruiter has the perfect candidate for. Combine forces and turn the placement into a win for both of you!
CloakHire is a recruiting platform designed to connect recruiters, to expand their opportunities and make split-fees simple. We don’t take a cut, and we’re for Recruiters only – no hiring managers or candidates navigating the platform.
Sign up and see for yourself how you can maximize all the top talent you’ve been recruiting, and grow your recruiting business today.