Online recruiting strategies: How job seekers find you

If you've seen the Bing "search overload" commercials, you've no doubt realized and laughed about how reliant we've become on search engines and the Internet. Searching for a job is no different, and I think many job seekers are having a tough time.

Why? Because when they execute their online recruiting strategies, many companies don't stop to think about how they are going to be found by job seekers.

A recent analysis of job postings by Jobs2Web showed that while large job boards attract more potential candidates, a company's job site provides fewer, more qualified applicants to wade through. What this says to me is that job seekers go toward what they know -- the biggest, easiest, well-known companies in their industry. That's great, but what about a mid-market or smaller company?

Unfortunately, many small- to mid-sized companies rely on big job boards for their jobs, only to get inundated with resumes or to not get qualified applicants (remember the Jobs2Web analysis?). Or worse, your 10 jobs are lost in the midst of the big companies with hundreds of listings.

For many companies, the problem is that they're paying more money to the job boards, spending more time going through resumes, but still not getting jobs filled.

What's the answer? The short answer is to not only think like a job seeker, but to spend time experiencing what a job seeker might go through to find you. Some things to think about and explore:

  • Networks. Think about who your candidate associates and networks with, and look for ways to join their conversations on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. (Check out these five steps to creating a social networking strategy for more ideas.)

  • Industry. For your industry, who are the trusted sources of information? What online trade associations would a candidate want to join or follow? What national associations are prominent in your industry?

  • Locations. What types of local online resources might a candidate search? What local organizations or trade associations for your city or region have an online presence?

  • Type of positions. How will your candidate have access to your jobs? Many have access to computers but don't know where to look, or don't have time and resources to scour the Internet looking. Look for ways to put your jobs in places where they work online or in publications that interest the type of worker you seek.

  • The mobile workforce. Think about how your jobs are searched, viewed, and accessed on mobile platforms. How do they connect with you via phone, smart phone, or iPad?

The long answer is to think like a marketer. You must tailor your online recruiting strategy to put your company's information in front of qualified potential job seekers. This is done through a good content strategy and search engine optimization.

As my colleague wrote in a recent post, getting quantity when posting jobs is fine, but who wants to go through all those resumes? Having a recruiting strategy that targets the right job seekers can save you time and money.

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