We all know it is insanely difficult to fill job positions right now. Roles that used to bring in hundreds of applications within a day of being posted, are now barely getting attention from candidates. Because of this, many of us in human resources roles, have never had to proactively source candidates. Today is different. It’s an absolute necessity for human resources leaders to strategically position their companies to attract talent, while proactively recruiting candidates.
I lead the People & Culture department at PlanOmatic and have hired 14 new candidates during the first quarter of this year, marking a significant increase in hires since we have 53 total employees. While recruiting candidates this year, I’ve learned a lot of lessons along the way. Here are four tips to help human resources professionals proactively attract talent during the Great Resignation.
Enhance Your Online Presence
Before reaching out to prospective candidates, make sure you have an online presence that will impress. Your LinkedIn profile should be up to date with at least a professional photo and your current role. If you want to stand out from the hoard of recruiters reaching out to candidates on LinkedIn, having a profile with a strong brand presence and love for your company is appealing. If your company can provide branded banners, professional and consistent copy about your company, professional headshots, and content for you to “like” or repost, this will be appealing to candidates. It makes your company look well-resourced and shows that employees are engaged and are proud to represent their company.
At PlanOmatic, we encourage our staff to post our open roles, general company content, and interact with each other’s LinkedIn posts. In addition, our team will post shout outs to one another for promotions or major accomplishments. Candidates will see your company engaging with one another, and it showcases the staff’s great relationships to one another and the company as a whole.
Find Candidates Through Connections
Referrals or face-to-face connections are the best way to find candidates, but the hardest part is getting the conversation started. If you can start the conversation with someone through a mutual connection, a referral from a current employee or your personal network, you have bypassed the most challenging step with that candidate.
The possibilities for where you may discover candidates are endless and, while you do not want to be irritating, it is important to keep recruiting top-of-mind if the right opportunity presents itself. Some great places to find candidates include:
- Past or current acquaintances that you follow on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
- Personal interactions with individuals that provide excellent service in the real world.
- Lists of individuals who have been laid off – companies or organizations will often provide these as a public link for human resource managers to help out their laid off staff.
- Alumni associations – tap into your alumni association to identify great talent.
Expand Your LinkedIn Candidate Search
Typing in a position title such as “customer service manager” on LinkedIn’s recruiting platform will pull up hundreds of thousands of results. Here are some tips for expanding your talent search.
- Look for companies with a similar culture and search for candidates who currently work or previously worked there. I look at “Best Places to Work” lists, find companies with similar sizes and start there. I also use my knowledge of where my current staff have worked before. Where have some of my really solid hires come from?
- Expand your title search. Research lists of similar titles to what you are looking for. Are there titles or roles that do a slightly different job but have a compatible skill set? What are similar companies calling this role? This can help with your candidate search. Candidates might be rejecting your role because they have never heard of a “Photographer Experience Lead” but a “Field Operations Lead” is something they recognize.
- Get to know your industry. Hiring people with industry experience is a huge plus. Keeping a running list of companies who work with your clients or “play in the same sandbox” is a great way to refine your search.
How Best to Contact Candidates
There is no magic subject line or email that will get potential candidates to respond to your inquiry. However, providing clarity and transparency into the role and an easy way to schedule a phone conversation has worked best for me, including these techniques:
- Create a short and concise email that states the job title and a few summary sentences of what the role entails.
- Include a call to action in the email. I put my Calendly link in the message. If someone is scrolling on their phone, and tells themselves that they will get to your message later, there is a big chance they’ll forget. With a Calendly link, they can schedule a call with you immediately.
- Attach or link to a detailed job description with salary included. If you aren’t including job details and salary, other recruiters are, and those are the offers those candidates will explore.
Most importantly, shift your mentality when reaching out to candidates from thinking the person should “be so lucky” to work with your company to selling the position. You want every candidate to leave the conversation excited about working for your company.
Stephanie Smith is the senior manager of people & culture at PlanOmatic, a provider of photos, floor plans, and 3D to the single-family rental industry with speed and at scale.