5 Proven Strategies to Increase Candidate Flow

By Sara Pollock

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Recruiters with truly successful hiring rates all have one thing in common, they think differently. Thinking outside the box is a necessity to gain a competitive edge in recruiting. In fact, 31% of recruiters say their number one obstacle is a shortage of candidates.

Even when a lot of applications come through for a position, many may be a poor fit or under qualified. That’s why, with the ever-growing presence of media in our lives, many recruiters are changing the way they seek out candidates.

#1- Ditch the Standard Job Posting 
How many jobs ads are featured on a website like Monster or Indeed? According to a 2017 survey by Statistic Brain, there is an average of 4 million jobs posted online every month. Facing those odds, it can be difficult getting job ads to stand out. Don’t throw job ads out the window completely, because all it takes is a little tweaking to get them to shine.

Instead of posting the standard “job title — description — salary” job ad, write a brief description of the company and then add a personal note to the applicants. Use words that reflect your values and will stand out from the crowd: “We’re looking for driven, power-seeking, stop-at-nothing individuals who can contribute to the company’s success.”

Remember that the right person can learn new skills for a specific role, but the wrong person can’t be forced into company values or culture. At ClearCompany, we believe that every role has a mission and we promote the mission or goals rather than basic responsibilities. Making sure that every candidate buys into what we are trying to build from day one ensure that we are only hiring people who are passionate about the work they will do here.

Another approach we’ve seen work quite well is to utilize non-traditional media, like employer videos or podcasts for example. Consider a quick Facebook Live session walking around your office or post an impromptu interview with a hiring manager. Speaking of social media, are you posting visual job ads on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn? Taking little snapshots of employees chatting, working at their stations and collaborating together will give potential candidates an inside look into your company, with a simple photo taken on a phone. Apps like wordswag allow you to quickly add text and icons to the photo if you need to create a more polished or branded look.

Are your employees buying into your employer brand? Download this whitepaper to get them on board!

#2- Host a Hiring Event 
In addition to an understanding of the role, most candidates also want to get to know your culture during the hiring process. While mixing up your job posting can absolutely send a message about the type of people you are looking for, why not show potential candidates what makes your company such a great place to work in-person? Hosting an informal meet-up or networking happy hour in your office space is a great way to engage with interested candidates while showing off your culture.

At ClearCompany, we hold open houses for interested candidates across departments. We give ourselves about a month to promote and use a registration system like Eventbrite to track who is planning who to stop by. Our events are very casual — most of our employees normally attend and have a lot of fun together. We frequently get comments from candidates about how we look like such a fun place to work (we are!) and the candidates we meet at open houses are far more likely to remain engaged in the hiring process and accept an offer if extended. Additionally, we find these events get applicants to open up and reveal their true personalities.

#3- Look in Unlikely Places 
A huge number of candidates looking for jobs via job boards. For example, our Applicant Tracking System is processing 200,000 new applications every day. Unfortunately, every recruiter on the planet knows to look on the big players (and they do bring good candidates), so in a candidate-driven market, competition is high. The solution is to start looking outside job boards, in places you might not normally think to search. As an example, the use of social media for recruitment has grown 54% in the past 5 years.

Think of what platforms your target candidate is using and what events they might attend. If you’re looking for young creative types, the artist’s haven DeviantArt is a great place to look. If meeting candidates right away is more ideal, try local art shows or exhibits.

Another good place to look is the group event platform, Meetup.com, where you can look for candidates out in the real world. There are groups for web developers, writers, educators and more. In contrast to social media, a Meetup group presents the opportunity to interact with potential candidates face-to-face.

#4- Dream Big 
We see many recruiters feel they need to limit themselves to passive recruiting. Instead, you might need to actively seek out A-level talent.

Use LinkedIn, Facebook or other social media outlets to target the company’s ideal candidates. LinkedIn’s search function, for example, offers the opportunity to search for candidates who have exactly the right skills. With a quick message, it’s easy to gauge a candidate’s interest. Whether the chosen candidates are currently looking for a job or not, the results will be surprising. In fact, 84% of candidates would consider leaving their current company if another company with excellent employer branding offered them a job. Don’t forget to sweeten the pot: A small, personalized gift (a set of pens for a graphic designer or a monogrammed notebook for a writer), goes a long way toward showing a candidate they’re wanted.

#5- Innovate Always 
The world of recruiting is always evolving. The methods change as technology and culture changes, which means, while these ideas might kick things up a notch for now, they won’t work forever. The best thing you can to do keep recruiting creative is to never be satisfied with the current method: Always push forward and look for unique ways to discover candidates.

This article originally featured on the ClearCompany blog.

About Sara Pollock: 
As the head of the Marketing department, Sara makes sure that ClearCompany’s message, products and best practices reach and assist as many HR practitioners as possible.

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