There are many employee recruiting sources to help attract and hire the best employees. Everything from ads in the local newspaper to online postings to headhunters. The options are limitless.
That’s both the good news and the bad news.
The question that most people struggle with is, “What’s the best recruiting source of top candidates?” Unfortunately there is not a simple answer. No one solution fits every situation. There is a fair amount of trial and error when trying to attract candidates to a business. Much of the decision will depend on the employee recruiting strategy which dictates budget, timing and other variables.
Let’s start with some strategic guidelines when attempting to identify the best employee recruiting sources. First, it is critical to understand the recruiting process and have a recruiting strategy. Next, make certain to start with a clear picture of the successful person. The better picture of the ideal person, the easier it is to find that person. Recruiting without a picture of your target employee is a waste of time and money.
Also as part of the research, identify where people with the needed skills are today. Look beyond just competitors. What other organizations or industries might currently employ people with the specific skill set? By thinking “outside the box” it is possible to gain a strategic advantage over competitors who are stuck in their traditional thinking.
Another great technique is to work backwards. This means always begin the recruiting knowing where the target people are now. When you know where they are, what they read, where they congregate, etc., a plan can be put together to reach them. For a sales position, it is better to advertise in a sales publication than in the classified ads. For someone to deal directly with customers, find out which organizations employ people who work directly with customers. Just by spending a little time thinking about where the target people might be, the employee recruitment activities can be customized resulting in a better return on the recruitment investment. ( See the article on recruiting metrics for a complete discussion of ROI)
And speaking of investment, it is a good idea to track the money and time spent and the results of various employee recruiting activities.
Below are just a sample of proven employee recruiting sources:
The key to recruitment advertising is deciding where to place the ads. More than any other decision this will impact the results. Previously I mentioned working backwards. Work from the prospective candidates back to your company. What does the person you are trying to recruit read? What publications do they get?
A good place to get answers to these questions is to ask existing employees. What do they read? The answers will tell you the best place to place ads.
Once the decision where to advertise is made, create an ad that attracts the right types of people. There is nothing worse than getting hundreds of responses to an ad but none are the right people. To avoid this, ads needs to contain several critical components. The first is the headline. Good headlines give the person a reason to consider working for you.
Instead of a headline of “Sales Associate”, why not try, “Come Join The Fastest Growing Consulting Team in Ohio”. The difference is apparent. Make ads compelling. View a recruitment ad as a marketing opportunity. What is the best copy to attract the right prospect? Finally, make it easy to respond. Make it as easy as possible for the person to provide their information.
This always has been and always will be one of the best employee recruiting sources. Offer incentives to existing employees to recommend the names of people they believe would be successful in your company. Encourage existing employees to be on the lookout for candidates all the time. This significantly extends employee recruiting efforts. Create a form that new employees can complete listing people they know with their contact information. The best time to get this information is when they are brand new, hopefully their first day on the job.
Also, make it easy for existing employees to continue to refer prospective employees. Consider having a contest for the most referrals to generate excitement. It is important to remember that successful people tend to associate with other successful people. Make an employee referral program a priority in recruitment efforts.
There are two types of recruiting firms. Contingency firms, sometimes called headhunters, try and place a candidate and are only paid if they are successful. Retained search firms work on contract and are paid regardless of the results. Retained firms are utilized mostly for executive positions. Either type of recruiting firm can be very helpful but both are very expensive options. In either case, look for a firm that specializes in your industry for best results.
When you don’t have the time or resources to manage your employee recruiting internally, a recruiting firm can be the answer.
I am not suggesting you recruit your customers. Instead, view them as a source for referrals. Let customers know about your employee recruiting needs. Reward them with a discount or something else of value for making the referral.
A simple 8.5 x 11 flyer on the counter at your establishment or in a trade show booth can work wonders. Think of it as a one-page ad. Approach it like any other ad. Have a great headline, and compelling body copy as to why a person should consider working for your company. Encourage people to take a copy and give it to their friends. You might put a copy in every package. This is a very inexpensive technique that can produce big results.
Signs and Billboards
Here is an inexpensive and very productive employee recruiting strategy. A sign outside your front door that says, “Positions Available, Please Apply Within” can have great results. You never know who is going to drive by or visit your site. A sign in your lobby or at your reception desk listing open positions may generate results. Try to think of as many places as you can to post signs announcing your open positions. This is a strategy that can improve your employee recruiting efforts dramatically.
Competitors are certainly a primary employee recruiting source for any business. Follow what is happening with your competitors. Be aware of changes in their business that might make talented people available. Visit competitors and see how they treat prospects. See if any of the people strike you as being talented. Know who is good at the competition.
Job fairs can be a very economical source of candidates and should be part of the employee recruiting strategy. Look for job fairs that specialize in your industry or the types of individuals you are trying to recruit. If you are recruiting for local talent, try to participate in a local job fairs. Get information about job fairs from the local chamber of commerce, the state employment development department and by scanning the local newspaper for advertisements of upcoming job fairs.
These organizations and facilities are a concentrated gathering of people who are potential candidates for your open positions. Something as simple as putting up a sign that lists open positions can generate some excellent, no-cost leads. Also, try having a flyer prepared to hand to anyone who expresses interest. And, make certain the people working at these organizations are prepared to discuss employee recruiting opportunities with any interested parties.
Radio can be very inexpensive and effective. Are there certain times or shows that your target group listens to on a regular basis? Another suggestion is to put a recruitment plug at the end of your regular radio ads. If you are running 60 second ads, shorten it to 50 seconds and insert a line like, “ABC Company has immediate career opportunities for qualified people in sales. Call 111-111-1111 for details”
Large and small firms that are cutting employees work with outplacement firms to help the displaced employees find new jobs. You can register with these firms, at no charge, to get resumes of the available people. Check local yellow pages under the heading of “outplacement firms” and get a list of both the local and national firms and contact and register with them all. There is no charge to you for this service and it can be very effective.
State Unemployment Department
State and local government are working with unemployed people to help them find jobs. Post open positions with them at no charge. This is a very economical way of attracting candidates. Historically this has not been the best place to find candidates but that has changed dramatically in the last few years. There are very talented people who have lost jobs due to no fault of their own and you just might find a real gem here.
Expand your sphere of influence all the time. You need to be talking to your contacts and letting them know you are recruiting. Many of you have heard of the 5 degrees of separation concept. It really applies to recruiting. You know lots of people. They know lots of people. Somewhere in that mix just might be a perfect employee. So get the message out that you are looking for people.
It might be as simple as sending an email to everyone in your address book and letting them know you are recruiting for employees. This inexpensive strategy pays off time and again.
You should check with the placement and guidance counselors at your local educational establishments. They are aware of young people looking for jobs. Many times you can post your open positions for review by all the students. High schools, junior college, colleges, vocational schools and specialty trade schools are all options under this category. Don’t limit yourself.
This can be a very effective source of inexpensive candidates. Find out if your alumni group has a newsletter or website where you might advertise your open positions. Play up the angle of working for a fellow alumnus for the edge over the competition. And, be sure to ask your employees about alumni groups they belong to.
Are there any organizations in your community that have members who could be potential employees for your company? Would a cooking club have members who might work for your restaurant? How about a sewing or quilting guild for your clothing store? Do some research into the groups in your area and approach those that make sense.
Just as with social organizations, religious groups can be a good source of candidates. Make contact with the leader of the group and ask for assistance in making your positions known to the congregation. There might a newsletter or bulletin board where you can post your open positions.
The Business Pages
Be aware of what is going on in your community. Which companies are doing well and which are not. Is there some news that would lead you to believe good employees may come available? By staying current you will have the jump on the competition.
Most of you have a website for your business. This is a great place to get the word out that you are looking for good employees … and at almost no cost. I tell my clients to have a button on your homepage that points them to career opportunities. Your webpage is the best place to tell your story. Why should they consider working for you? What are the job benefits? What are the career benefits? You have unlimited space to tell your story and should take advantage of the opportunity.
Give them multiple ways to get their information to you (online, fax, phone, in person, etc.). One final note on listing your openings on your website. Don’t ever say, “No positions currently available”. That is like putting a sign up in your store and saying we are out of stock on what you are looking for. You will have lost an opportunity to serve that person now and possibly in the future. Same with a candidate. Get their information no matter what.
Other Online Sources
There are thousands of online places to list your job. Monster.com, Hotjobs.com and LinekdIn are just a couple of the large sites. My advice is to pass on the huge sites and instead see if you can find a couple of good local or niche job boards. A good way to find them is to search for employment and your city name. You should be able to find many options. These are relatively inexpensive and easy to test. Once again, work backwards and see if you can figure out which sites might reach your target audience. A good strategy for these online sites is to drive them to your website so you can spend the time to educate them on your opportunity.
I am not kidding. Sure there are some past employees you would not want to re-hire but some can be a source of reliable, trustworthy employees. Also, let your past employees know what you looking for and see if they know anyone. They can be a great source of referrals.
The ABR Principle – ABR stands for Always Be Recruiting. The best companies have the best employees and the way to get the best employees is to approach employee recruiting strategically. Always be on the lookout for talented people. Make sure all your employees are always on the lookout for talented people. You never stop looking for new customers and you should never stop looking for employees.
Please view this list of employee recruiting sources as only a partial list. The only limit is your imagination when it comes to finding employee recruiting sources. Approach employee recruiting with a strategy. Putting together a recruiting strategy and developing a “recruitment mentality” in the organization is a must. Remember, if you want to win the battle for talent, you must
ALWAYS BE RECRUITING!