4 Ways to Target the Right Job Candidates

Finding and hiring the right candidate is a difficult and costly task for any company. It involves advertising, sifting through mountains of resumes, and conducting numerous interviews, all of which eat up a staff’s already busy schedule. Some experts estimate the costs of filling a position can range from 8 percent to 20 percent of the position’s annual salary for the first year.

Merely posting a job and waiting for the perfect candidate to appear is a strategy unlikely to yield results. Considering there are about three unemployed persons for every one job opening, it’s likely your inbox will be flooded with resumes for every open position.

So how do you target the right talent, eliminate the wrong ones, and connect with the best and brightest faster? Here are a few ways to zero in on the right candidate pool:

Use social media tools. Social media is a great way to connect with candidates and to isolate top quality thought leaders in your space. To find these people, it requires a little research and effort. This does not mean merely posting your open positions on Facebook and Twitter.

You must do your research to determine where top quality candidates are spending their time online. Are they taking part in a specific LinkedIn discussion, Twitter chat, or posting on a certain blog? Knowing your ideal audience inside and out will allow you to customize your social strategy in a more effective way, leading to better quality candidates in your pipeline.

Become a valuable member of networking communities. Once you’ve determined what networks you should be targeting, it’s time to become a valued member of these networks. It’s not enough to drop by and drop off a job posting. To really connect with the right talent and expand your candidate pool, you should be contributing in a meaningful way.

Take part in ongoing conversations about industry-specific topics. Share your experience and expertise in communities, and don’t be afraid to weigh in on discussions. The people connecting and sharing top-quality thoughts will also be the active job seekers and passive talent your recruitment efforts should be targeting.

Remove barriers for passive candidates. Recruiters love passive candidates. You already know the candidate can perform job functions at a high level, since they’re already in a position showing off their capabilities. The problem with passive candidates is their limited amounts of available time.

It can be hard to connect with these candidates and it can be even harder to convince them to drop everything for your opportunity. If you want to target the passive candidate talent pool, you need to lower or remove the barriers keeping them from connecting.

You can connect with these candidates by targeting talent communities or conducting video interviews, allowing even the busiest candidates to record short answers to your interview questions. If you want to connect with great candidates, you need to make it easy for them to reach out and learn more about the opportunity.

Encourage employee referrals. Perhaps the best talent pool is completely hidden in the networks for your current employees. Encourage employees to make great recommendations by keeping everyone in the company in the loop regarding positions and the qualifications needed. Provide incentives by offering great perks, whether it’s an extra vacation day or a referral bonus.

Finding the best candidates often means knowing where to look. If you focus on targeting the right candidate pools, you can ensure you never miss out on top talent again.