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Candidate Attraction (or Talent Magnetism) in a Digital World

Candidate attraction? Do you not just mean finding the right job board?

Nope. Let’s face it… as much as we’ve always relied heavily on job boards to amplify branding, and to reach relevant candidates, they aren’t as effective as they once were. These days, candidates have more choice, and they don’t feel the need to sit on job board databases, trawling through lists of (mostly) irrelevant vacancies.

So, what’s a recruiter to do? How are we supposed to reach new, relevant candidates, engage with them, and encourage them to click apply, or talk to us as they used to?

We have to rethink our approach. The good news? There are plenty of channels to tap in to.

Social Networks

We’re all aware of the disruptive power of social media. It has fundamentally changed the way we interact with one another online; it’s fluid, dynamic, and reactive. Candidates, especially younger ones who have grown up with social networks at their fingertips, are hanging out online creating rich talent pools for recruiters to tap into.

According to the Aberdeen Group, 73% of 18 – 34 year olds found their last job through a social network. Bear in mind though that not all social platforms are created equal.

89% of all recruiters report having hired someone through LinkedIn (10,200,000 applicants found jobs via this platform). But recruiters reported hiring only 26% of applicants via Facebook, and even less (15%) on Twitter.

In general, the use of social media for recruitment has grown by 54% in the past 5 years. But reaching the right audience requires a considered approach. So, think carefully about the type of candidates that you want to work with, and make sure that the social networks you use are relevant to them.

Get Found Online

Think about the last time you booked a holiday, arranged to stay in a hotel, or bought anything over £100. Bet you started your research on Google. So it should be of no surprise that 30% of all Google searches, about 300 million per month, are now employment related.

To be successful online you need to make sure that your website and more importantly your jobs are easily found. A thoughtful use of SEO is a good place to start, alongside creating and sharing exciting jobs for candidates to find.

You can always see how you are doing by using sites like Alexa or another one of the online ranking sites - many of them will allow you to compare your ranking against your competitors. You’ll quickly see areas to improve upon.

Retarget Old Candidates

It’s also worth reconsidering old candidates, ones that may be passive now, but with a gentle nudge, could become active job seekers once again. You should explore your database and see if there are any relevant CVs that could be retargeted. Savvy recruiters could even use technology to predict when candidates could become active again.

For recruiters, this is an excellent strategy. These candidates aren’t easily found, and you worked hard in the past to get their data. It’s also worth noting that this type of candidate may be a wild card, and other employers/recruiters won’t have access to this information. So leverage it to your advantage. And if you built a good relationship with this candidate to begin with, they’ll welcome a catch up call or email from you.

Use Your Network (Other TEAM Members)

TEAM membership comes with distinct advantages. You can work with other recruiters, sharing industry knowledge, and most importantly, placing candidates more effectively. Say you find yourself with an excellent candidate outside of your niche and one that you’re unlikely to place, you can reach out to another member with the right connections. Both of you can come to an arrangement and split the fee.

A network like TEAM exists outside of the usual channels of client/candidate communication, and is in many ways one of the best resources that a recruiter can have. It is based on trust so when you have a job to share you are getting candidates that your partner should know inside out not just a name on a CV.

Strong Branding

There’s no point in broadcasting job vacancies if your employer brand isn’t magnetic enough. You need to have a strong identity, one that shines through from all branded communications, in order to convert candidates straight into your database and into the waiting hands of your recruiters.

In order to ensure that you’re truly attractive to candidates and that your talent magnet is well and truly turned on, follow these steps:

  1. Develop your agency’s brand values so that every candidate will feel privileged if one of your recruiters reaches out to them
  2. Write great advert copy 
  3. Create a fantastic, branded candidate journey
  4. Build an excellent reputation: don’t mess candidates around, be honest, and maintain good communication

Seek Out Honest Conversation

At the heart of it all there’s a job that needs to be filled. That’s how simple it is. Candidates want to find vacancies that suit their skills, and they want to work for a company that’s relevant to them. In order to attract candidates, you need to create job adverts that are honest, that resonate, and that sparkle with clear writing.

Job boards still serve a purpose, but now you have to think about social networks, search engines, talent communities, and your brand too. The job hunt has diversified and your everyday tasks have to take this into account. But don’t forget the importance of old fashioned networking. A good conversation is still the beating heart of the recruitment industry.

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Wendy McDougall - Firefish Sofware

Email:    Tel: 0141 648 8520