4 Proven Ways to Reach Your Ideal CandidatesWe published this on August 3, 2016,
Most Recruiters have a specialism of one kind or another. The positions you’re hiring for – and the ideal demographics of those hires – are bespoke to your business.
But in an era where everyone’s recruiting strategy looks the same (“try LinkedIn and Indeed!”), how can we broaden our net to reach more of our ideal candidates?
It’s a question I get asked a great deal – and here are four answers that I imagine will really help you to broaden the reach of your recruiting team.
By Running Targeted Social Media Adverts
Everyone’s focus seems to be on LinkedIn, Glassdoor and Indeed. It’s as though these are the only sites with mass reach that can be used to influence a candidate. So let’s turn our attention for a moment to the incredible targeted reach that social media offers your business.
Here I’m going to be talking about Facebook, although the rationale could be applied to any of the social sites that allow you to run advertisements and target these at a specific demographic.
Now consider for a moment the huge impact that Google advertising has had on the world these last 15 years. Almost overnight they provided a means for companies to advertise themselves to appear at the exact moment that someone had decided they wanted to find something. No wonder that was a pretty powerful formula for making high-value sales – and that companies were therefore willing to pay advertising dollars for.
Targeting your ideal audience on Facebook
But something similarly powerful has been happening these last years, it just hasn’t been as widely discussed. Social media sites are collecting a wealth of insights about each of us – and allowing advertisers to target their advertisements to be seen just by the specific demographics that the business wants to reach. For recruiters, this is transformative. Consider for a moment:
– With Google PPC you used to advertise for people searching for a certain type of job (without being able to specify what types of candidates were of interest)
– With PPC on social media you can now advertise to the exact types of candidates of interest to you for your current vacancies
I’m sure you can clearly see that the prospects of reaching the right types of candidates for your business are greatly enhanced by switching from Google PPC spend to social media PPC spend. If you haven’t experimented with this yet – and the potential to re-target candidates too – then now must surely be the time to branch out.
By Befriending Influencers on Social Media
The second way you can reach lots of your ideal candidates is to look out for other people and businesses that don’t compete with your business – but that already reach lots of the audience that your recruitment team would like to appeal to. These social media influencers are the key to unlocking mass audience reach on your social media profiles, particularly if you can further narrow down your search to those influencers who also regularly re-share other people’s updates.
Targeting influencers is easy with BuzzSumo
BuzzSumo is a great tool for researching who these influencers are in whichever niche markets you operate in. Simply compile yourself a list of people you want to win over – and then make it your mission over the next 4 – 8 weeks to befriend them and engage with them at everyone possible opportunity. Above is a search to identify the bloggers, companies, journalists, and other accounts that are influencers among the military.
You’ll start to see the most amazing things happen. Some of these influencers will start reciprocating and you’ll see them increasingly re-sharing your posts and commenting on your updates. You may even see them start to share content from your company website without any prompting whatsoever! The potential to reach a far larger number of your target candidate audience is significant to say the least.
By Becoming Active in Facebook Groups
When it comes to professional networking, the Recruitment industry has been quite myopic and overly focused on LinkedIn Groups. Maybe that’s because so many of us are paying to list our vacancies on LinkedIn; maybe it’s because we were blinded by the sheer number of people who are members of many of the groups there.
Whatever the reason, our industry has mistakenly believed that LinkedIn is the main game in town when it comes to reaching our target audience through discussion groups.
A trend that has been underway for quite some time has been the increasing use of Facebook groups for professional purposes. This was already gaining momentum before LinkedIn changed the workings of its groups a few months ago – and that momentum has accelerated in quite a number of industries since then. So if you haven’t explored Facebook groups of late, have a hunt around for groups in your industry and you may be quite surprised by how effective a communication channel it’s now become for your recruiting team. Plus if Facebook isn’t right for your particular industry, take a look at other sites such as Quora – as examples of places where lots of your target candidate audience are congregating to discuss topics that provide the perfect opportunity for you to get your recruiting brand known.
By Posting On Niche Job Boards
Last to consider – but by no means least – is the transformation of job boards as a source of highly targeted candidate interest. Across a huge range of niche industries and markets, new entrants have been emerging and in many cases building a strong niche audience in the sectors they serve. You need only look as far as Military Job Networks for an example of a job board and professional network that’s carving out a highly focused niche audience that will nonetheless be highly relevant to any recruiter looking to tap into that specific candidate demographic (in this case, Military Veterans).
Of course, with all the media coverage around the death of job boards at the hands of LinkedIn and Indeed, it’s hardly surprising that you’ve overlooked this otherwise obvious source of candidates. But before discounting the job board route, be sure you’ve re-familiarised yourself with the range of job boards now serving your industry and the audience figures that they’ve been able to build. You may find yourself rather surprised by what you uncover.
Tony Restell, Founder of social media agency Social-Hire.com. Having worked with job boards, recruitment technology companies and recruitment agencies, Tony is one of only a handful of social media experts with specialist knowledge of our sector. Follow Tony on Twitter at @tonyrestell.