Still placing “Help Wanted” ads?  Posting to job boards?

You may be missing out on the best candidates.

Job seekers have changed their search strategies tremendously in the past few years.  To attract the best and brightest, your recruiting strategies need to keep pace.

In today’s competitive market for talent, you need to make your job openings instantly and easily accessible to candidates. While job postings and ads should remain part of your recruiting mix, social media and other emerging technology are proving to be essential tools for recruiters.

So meet your candidates halfway.  Find new ways to create more interactive experiences and connect with them where they work and play.  Stay ahead of the curve by learning how to use these emerging media that are changing the face of recruiting:

Mobile Technology.  Roughly 83 percent of Americans 18 and older own a cell phone.  Nearly half of them (44 percent) use their mobile devices to get access to the internet.  This statistic highlights a huge opportunity for recruiters to reach potential job seekers anytime, anywhere.  Applications are virtually limitless:

  • Develop a “smart phone friendly” website that facilitates job searches and applications.
  • Integrate QR codes into other marketing communications, pointing job seekers to your job listings.
  • Send text alerts about upcoming job openings, recruiting events or major company news that signals growth.

LinkedIn.  Leverage the resources and massive audiences of established social media sites like LinkedIn.  Since there is no cost at all involved, it’s one of the simplest and most inexpensive ways to become involved in new recruiting technology:

  • Start a group to easily create a central place for potential candidates, customers, partners and friends to participate in conversations about your brand.
  • Develop and broaden your personal network of professionals.  No matter how far technology advances, referrals continue to be a reliable source of high quality candidates (including passive job seekers).  When you have an opening, send out a referral request to your network.
  • Search for candidates using keywords.  LinkedIn now allows you to actively search member profiles based on the critical skills and experience you require.  Use keyword searches to further develop your network and reach out to both active and passive job seekers.

Video.  When it comes to recruiting, video makes a huge difference.  CareerBuilder customers receive a 34 percent greater application rate when they add video to their job postings.  But despite its overwhelming ability to influence and engage people, video remains a sorely underutilized recruiting tool.  Advancements in video technology, however, are making it easier and more cost-effective to rationalize adding it to your recruiting mix:

  • Create a video that properly brands your company and gives potential candidates compelling reasons to work for your organization.  Consider including employee and/or client testimonials, a tour of your facility, special event footage, interviews with executives and information about how your company is socially responsible (i.e., participates in green initiatives, gives back to the local community, etc.).
  • Make sure your video is viewed.  Add the video to your homepage, job postings and social media; use QR codes to direct job seekers to it.
  • Weed out irrelevant candidates.  Video allows viewers to virtually meet your employees and executives.  It can actually streamline your recruiting process by helping potential job seekers decide for themselves whether or not they may fit in your organization.

Twitter.  Twitter can help you contact candidates in real time by instantly broadcasting or “tweeting” available jobs.  If you have a Twitter account:

  • Conduct a relevant keyword search on Twitter to identify potentially qualified candidates, especially when recruiting individuals with highly specific skills.
  • Make your job posting tweets stand out by using hashtags (#).  Hashtags allow candidates to filter and find information on Twitter – if you include a hashtag, your tweet becomes instantly searchable.  Potential examples you might consider using are: #job, #jobpost, #hiring, #career, #NAJ (Need A Job).  You can include more than one hashtag in your tweets, but remember that you are limited to 140 characters.
  • Send out tweets announcing recruiting events or other important company updates that properly position your organization in potential candidates’ minds.

Facebook.  No matter how many applicants you have in your database, it can’t compare to the number of potential candidates on Facebook.  Here are a few ways to incorporate this technology into your recruiting efforts:

  • Post available jobs on your wall.  This may seem obvious, but not everyone does it.  Be sure your posting contains information on where/how to apply and encourages people to share the posting with friends.
  • Post a Facebook Ad.  If your current efforts aren’t delivering the desired results, consider advertising on Facebook.  With its laser-like targeting ability, Facebook allows you to choose the exact audience you want to see your job posting ad (e.g., by age, sex and other specific keywords).  You can pay per click (how many people clicked on your job ad) or pay per impression (how many people potentially saw your ad) and set how much you are willing to pay.
  • Build and reinforce your brand.  In addition to using Facebook as a direct recruiting tool, you can also leverage it to continually build and reinforce your company’s brand.  Unlike LinkedIn, Facebook is intended for both social and professional use; as such, it provides additional opportunities to engage potential job seekers and keep your company top-of-mind.
    While it’s always important to maintain a professional image, it’s also okay to have some fun on Facebook.  Even when you’re not recruiting:  pose questions that may appeal to job seekers; provide links to high quality career guidance information; post pictures of your employees in action (with their permission, of course), so job seekers get a feel for what your company is really like.  Connect with people on Facebook regularly, and you will develop a network that can support and enhance your recruiting efforts when you ultimately have a need.