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Employers that excel at recruiting for hard-to-fill positions go well beyond traditional job boards and advertising. They tap into multiple channels including their own employee networks, online venues and unique marketing tactics to tell their story to top prospects.

Chances are your niche and toughest-to-fill roles are your most mission critical. To fulfill these recruitment needs, it’s imperative that you develop a robust, multichannel plan. Key elements include:

Social Media

Encourage not only your recruiters and HR staff, but all employees to be brand ambassadors and optimize their use of social media to attract talent.

  • Provide training, especially to functional hiring managers. Teach them how to build effective social networks.
  • Utilize LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Network into LinkedIn groups and post jobs. Establish Twitter Careers accounts and use relevant hash tags. Create a Facebook page and keep it up to date and vibrant. Go beyond the social media “Big Three” and explore venues like You Tube, where you can feature videos to promote attractive visual elements of your organization.
  • Network with user groups for IT roles. These groups exist for the purpose of supporting users and programming languages and systems. But they also can be beneficial to you as you seek A-level tech talent.
  • Niche communities serve as databases of potential new hires. They not only post and promote available jobs, but also help professionals to network and remain relevant in their field. When you have a specific position to fill, they can be very helpful in sourcing and recruiting.
  • Build tracking and analytics into your program. Determine where successful hires are coming from and exactly what content drew them in.

Employee Ambassadors

Support your employees as they participate in industry groups, conferences and associations. Otherwise, you may miss out on opportunities for them to network with promising candidates.

Your employees’ online and in-person contacts are a ripe source for successful referrals. Successful programs often have a strong cultural base where employees are expected and want to help deepen their company’s talent pool. Incentives, gifts and bonuses also may be used.

Educational Partnerships

Through partnership relations with educational institutions, you can target young adults early on in their careers and steer them towards your industry and organization.

  • Implement job-shadowing programs, apprenticeships and internships beginning in high school and continuing through undergrad and post-grad programs.
  • Recruit on campus. Enlist current employees to serve as company liaisons with their alma maters. Make a strategized effort to hire qualified entry-level alumni.

ATS Data

Be sure you don’t leave qualified talent on the table. Look for qualified candidates right under your nose in your own applicant tracking system (ATS).

Integrate your ATS data into a Candidate Relationship Management (CRM) system. This allows you to track and manage outreach campaigns to drive a steady stream of desirable talent to open positions.

Total Rewards

Make sure your compensation package is in line with or ahead of what’s being offered by your competition.

  • Gather market intelligence. Competitive or above-average compensation is a leading attribute sought out by leading candidates.
  • Use feedback from candidate, employee and exit interviews to shape compensation and total rewards.

An Efficient Process

When you’re hiring for hard-to-fill positions, efficiency and speed are critical. The cream of the crop will not wait around while you make a long, drawn-out decision. They typically have multiple offers and especially among Generation X and Y candidates, won’t hesitate to go elsewhere if they don’t get a timely response.

  • If you conclude that a candidate is a fit after their initial screening, schedule an interview within one business day.
  • Require interviewers to complete standardized feedback materials within 24 hours of their candidate meetings.
  • Make offers quickly so you can close a deal, move on and avoid sacrificing top talent to your competition.

As you seek to stay ahead of the hiring game, consider partnering with a recruiting firm that knows your company and specializes in your business and industry. To learn more, contact BrainWorks today.


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