June 14, 2022

5 ways to find the right candidates

Finding the right candidates isn’t easy; recruiters often post a job and find themselves swamped by applications which are not suited to the position. While most recruiters may think that this is a product of candidates mass-applying to jobs with little to no consideration, what if we looked at the way we source our candidates?

Nabih Haidar

Indeed, candidates frequently apply for jobs in volume. However, to believe that candidates give little consideration to their applications is misleading. The current state of the candidate experience forces jobseekers to apply for a multitude of jobs, as candidates have an 8.3% chance of getting a job interview from a single job application.

In its current state the candidate experience is broken, which makes it harder for talent to find jobs and for recruiters to find the right candidates.

1 — Apply Recruitment Marketing

Before you think “I’m a recruiter, not a marketer”, recruiting marketing doesn’t require you to be a marketing expert. Recruitment marketing is the notion of applying marketing principles to your recruitment campaign to boost your talent engagement and attraction, employer branding, and candidate retention.

For now, we’ll be looking at how you can use recruitment marketing to better source your candidates. We’ll be looking at your job posts, your candidate engagement, and a little something called a Job Distribution Matrix (JDM) to give you what you need to find the best candidates.

2 — Mind your Language, Write Clear Job-posts

Your job post is the main way you communicate the opportunity with potential candidates. A confusing job post will lead to an array of applications, some relevant and others less-so.

For instance, a new recruitment trend is to give alternate titles to certain positions (i.e., UX Ninja instead of UX Designer). As the competition grows over candidate attraction, recruiters attempt to differentiate the position in order to attract more candidates.

Photo by Ron Lach from Pexels

Albeit a marketing-oriented trend, avant-garde job titles can cause confusion, resulting in either decreased applications or an increase in irrelevant ones. Confused applicants will skim past your job title without paying much attention to your offer, and the ambiguity may lead candidates who are not a fit to apply regardless.

If well implemented, this recruitment tactic can greatly aid in reaching your target audience. To best understand what language should be used to communicate with candidates, it is best to establish a targeted candidate persona.

3 — Establish Candidate Personas

Persona building is a marketing method used to devise the best strategy to communicate with a target audience. In this case, your persona would be your ideal teammate, i.e., the candidate you’re looking to hire.

Establishing a target persona allows us to better reach the candidates we want to meet and gives us a better idea on how to reach them. Persona building entails conceiving of a person with hopes, aspirations, fears, and pain points. Different personas require different communication methods, and persona building allows us to establish the relevant channels in which our campaigns will be activated, facilitating the attraction and engagement of potentially compatible candidates.

Picture candidate sourcing for a social media manager position, and ask yourself the following questions: Where would you post that job? Would you emphasize a social media campaign or utilize traditional job boards? What language would be more accessible on the job description? Would you communicate with them the same as a software engineer, a warehouse clerk, or an IT consultant?

Think of it this way, your product is the job you are offering, and candidates are your consumers. Persona building allows you to find the optimal people to hire and work alongside your team.

Here’s a visual template to help you establish your candidate personas:

Now that you have a clear persona in mind, you also have a clear idea on how and where to find them. List down the mediums you’ll use to activate your campaign based on what is relevant to the job position. You can build a JDM to have a clear understanding of your campaign’s direction.

4 — Set up a Job Distribution Matrix

So what is a JDM? A Job Distribution Matrix (JDM) is an optimal way to establish channels, activate campaigns, and analyze progress. A JDM is a database of compiled avenues you can utilize to promote your opportunity, which can include resources such as:

  • Relevant groups on social media platforms
  • Specialized job boards
  • Ambassadors and influencers to contact
  • Academic mediums for students and alumni within an industry

You can download our JDM template by clicking here.

Tip from the author: When it comes to building JDMs, I like adding separate sheets for social copies and spending budgets for ad campaigns. This makes it easier to have content to post on social media groups, email templates, and private reach-outs adapted to the different targeted personas.

5 — Nurture your candidates

Recruitment is an inherently human experience. The candidate experience’s current state emphasizes the importance of placing people at the heart of the process.

Keeping in mind the inherent human-to-human aspect of recruitment, there could be a potential marketing play for aspiring recruiters. The following mode of thought may be a little unorthodox, however it could prove to hold a certain value.

We frequently think of recruiters as the “middle man” between candidates and organizations, as they are often caught in somewhat of a twilight zone between B2B and B2C practices. Yet, why don’t recruiters think of themselves as a product, and the candidates consumers?

When you’re sourcing candidates for a specific position, why let the ones who did not get retained go? Regardless of hiring decisions, spotting potential in candidates ought to be a goal. In this regard, the candidates who have not been retained could be referred to different yet compatible opportunities.

You already have the candidate data, and you’ve already done all the hard work. When you establish a talent community, you create your own repository of pre-vetted candidates. When positions need to be filled, you’ll have a database of willing and capable candidates ready to go, all the while being a positive resource for their careers.

Think of it this way; recruiters who care for and nurture their candidates will improve their own brand. In turn, more candidates will be inclined to seek the recruiter’s services since they understand that you care for your candidates, and they might even tell their friends!

You can also get paid for referring your interview finalists to compatible positions. Vela’s peer-to-peer recruitment platform rewards you for helping your candidates thrive and for being a resource by paying you a commission for every candidate you help get placed within the Vela network. By introducing RORI (Return on Recruitment Investment), Vela rewards recruiters who care for their candidates and refer instead of reject.

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