In the past, when people wanted to apply for a job, they went straight for the newspaper classified ads. But then, with the arrival of the Internet came online job boards. Today, job seekers have more tools at their disposal, including social media.
What do all of these mean for companies looking to recruit new employees in the digital age?
The evolving job market
Technology is a crucial driver in these changes.
Today’s job seekers have a diverse array of tools that help them find job openings. But, more importantly, they can easily learn about each company they are applying for, even what it is like working for these firms before they even hit the ‘apply’ button.
Another critical factor that is affecting the job market is the entry and projected dominance of millennials in the job market. Apart from being technologically-savvy, millennials have different work values compared to those of previous generations.
Adapting to changes
In a competitive job market where top performers are highly sought assets, companies must work doubly hard, not only to attract top talent but also to retain their top performers.
How, exactly, can companies do that?
1. Cast a wider net
Online and offline job ads, along with career fairs, remain the company’s top recruitment tools. However, it is essential to underscore those job applicants today are tech-savvy, and you, your HR department, and your trusted recruitment consultant must recognize this.
That means going beyond the tools you are accustomed to using. Depending on what industry you are in as well as the positions you are recruiting for, you can tailor-fit your recruitment plan to entice the right applicants.
2. Know that branding matters
Job applicants today actively seek ways to engage with companies at different levels. As such, it is crucial for your company to build your brand, especially online, where prospective hires can learn about your company’s vision, offerings, and culture.
It is also crucial that each online engagement between you and prospective hires be positive. For the most part, that means carrying a unified message across the different online platforms that your company uses.
3. Watch out for passive candidates
Apart from actively focusing on job seekers who submit their applications to your company through different platforms, it is worthwhile to include passive candidates in your recruitment efforts.
Passive candidates are people who are currently employed and are not actively seeking new jobs. Although they are not active in their job search, your company can entice them by offering them an attractive position and compensation package.
These candidates may follow your online presence across different platforms, and for the most part, their interaction ends there. But once you have an opening available in your company, these candidates will take a step further by researching your company and its culture.
The chief advantage of recruiting these candidates is that you won’t be working against other companies. Furthermore, you can tailor-fit your offer to them once you have found the right candidate.
4. Consider employees as company ambassadors
Employees are a vital recruitment tool that are severely underutilized in many companies. But how, exactly, can your employees help in recruitment?
For starters, your employees know your company and are fully aware of the culture and what it means to be working there. Second, they have their own networks that you can tap into for recruitment.
One of the best ways to utilize your employees is to use them as ambassadors. You can give awards to top performers and ask them to star in your recruitment videos.
When new positions open up, your employees should be among the first people made aware of these. You can then enlist their help in spreading the news about your new job openings.
A new approach
The combination of the availability of online recruitment tools along with the expected dominance of millennials in the job market necessitates the retooling of approaches to recruitment companies normally use.
Today, it is not merely enough for companies to simply look at a pool of candidates and select the right person for the job.
Taking into account the changes in the job search landscape, companies should pay attention to how they are perceived by job searchers.
Equal attention should also be given to streamlining the recruitment process, making it easier for potential recruits to access necessary information. Something as simple as a recruitment FAQ can enhance job applicant’s overall experience with your company and can have a positive impact that can cascade down to other potential recruits in the future.
As the job market continues to evolve, as influenced by different factors, so should companies tailor their recruitment strategies in order to attract top talent.
Simply waiting for the right candidate to walk through your office doors is no longer enough. Take active steps toward retooling your recruitment efforts, and you will be rewarded in the near future.
David Mackenzie, a recruitment professional with over 20 years’ experience in the field and a record of entrepreneurial accomplishment, is Managing Director and Head of HR at Mackenzie Jones. As the Group MD, David is responsible for the overall direction of the Mackenzie Jones Group, including Mackenzie Jones, MumsAtWork, MENA Solutions, Simply Digital and ThinkTech.