Post-it note with light bulb drawn on it, representing a recruitment idea

11 Recruitment Ideas That’ll Fill Your Open Positions

Need recruitment ideas? In this blog post, we’ll share 11 suggestions to help you source and recruit for your open positions.

You’ve got good positions open and no qualified candidates to fill them.

You’ve had job ads up for months, but the number of applications you received has been underwhelming and you don’t have any interesting leads.

If that sounds like you, then your recruitment strategy likely needs an update. It might be time to go back to the drawing board and explore some new options.

Here’s a list of suggestions to get you started.

Recruitment Idea 1. Reassess Requirements

Let’s start with the basics. If your job ads aren’t getting much traction, it’s possible that you’re asking for too much in terms of skills and experience.

Ask yourself if all of the requirements in your description are really essential and whether some of the “must-have” skills you included could be picked up on the job.

Recruitment Idea 2. Rewrite Job Descriptions

Read your job descriptions from the perspective of a job seeker. Would you be inspired to apply?

Chances are, you wouldn’t. Most job descriptions are often yawn-inducing, self-centered ads that neither persuade nor inspire.

There are ways to solve that.

  • If your description is too wordy, vague and full of jargon, rewrite it in simple, clear and concrete language. Don’t emphasize skills and qualifications – describe real job needs.
  • If it is trying to be too cutesy or clever, rewrite it so they don’t put off certain people from applying. Strive for a balance between the need to be compelling and on-brand and the need to be clear and inclusive.
  • If it fails to sell the job, fix that by describing the challenges and opportunities involved and including the benefits and perks of the job.

Recruitment Idea 3. Improve the Application Experience

What percentage of candidates complete your application process? How many quit before hitting send?  

If a significant number of job seekers are abandoning your application form, it could mean a few things:

  • Your form is too time-consuming to fill. 
  • It’s not optimized for mobile. 
  • It includes required questions that candidates don’t want to answer. 
  • There’s a technical problem you’re not aware of.

Even if you haven’t been tracking this and other recruiting metrics, if any of the above issues are true for your form, then you have work to do.

Collaborate with your company’s design and development teams to improve the candidate experience starting from the moment they apply for a job. Consider learning about and using metrics to make your recruitment more data-driven.

Recruitment Idea 4. Revamp Your Careers Page

In 2017, the Society for Human Resource Management surveyed organizations of all sizes in all industries and found that 85% of them used their websites as a sourcing tool. 

How’s your website helping you with sourcing and recruiting? Do you have an informative and inspiring careers page?

The best careers pages paint a clear picture of what it’s like working for the organization. They list the company’s core values and the perks that come with working there. They often include video testimonials. 

For inspiration, check out Careers at Airbnb, Pinterest Careers and Mailchimp Jobs.

Recruitment Idea 5. Create a Strong Social Media Presence

Social media isn’t just essential for marketing products and services – it’s also an effective tool for strengthening your employer brand, a recruiting best practice.

Companies of all types and sizes benefit from sharing their culture and the behind-the-scenes of what they do on platforms such as LinkedIn and Instagram.

For inspiration, look to tech giants Facebook and Google. They regularly use a mix of great visuals and employee-generated content to showcase their positive, inclusive company cultures.

Depending on the size of your organization and the frequency with which you recruit, it might even make sense to create social media accounts that are centered around careers and recruiting.

Look to Marriott Hotels’ social media recruiting strategy for what to do – they pretty much set the benchmark on how to use social media for creative recruitment.

Recruitment Idea 6. Get Referrals

More: Interview confirmation email templates

Referrals are the simplest, most effective path to hiring great candidates. And by great, we mean cheaper and faster to hire, easier to onboard and easier to retain.  

In companies with excellent referral programs, recruiting is everyone’s job. You can find a 6-step guide to building an employee referral program here

Even if you can’t build a referral program yet, you can find a way to make company employees aware of open positions and encourage them to refer candidates.

Recruitment Idea 7. Create a Recruiting Video

Think recruiting videos are only for large companies with big budgets? Think again. You can create an amazing recruiting video using only your smartphone. 

The basic rules for recording professional-looking videos on your phone are:

  • Always position your phone horizontally, never vertically
  • Avoid buzzwords and corporate speech
  • Avoid noisy spaces
  • Think of ways to illustrate what people are saying with images

For more tips, check out LinkedIn Talent Solution’s helpful 3-minute video tutorial, Making a Great Recruitment Video is Easier than You Think.

Recruitment Idea 8. Don’t Wait for Candidates to Come to You

Up until now, you may have been posting jobs and waiting for candidates to come to you. If that’s the case, then it might be time to start sourcing. 

Sourcing and recruiting are different. Sourcing is proactively searching for qualified, interested and available candidates, even when there isn’t an immediate hiring need. Recruiting is guiding candidates through the job process.

If you’re new to sourcing, start on LinkedIn. Use it to identify and connect with top talent through groups, intros from shared connections or by directly reaching out.

For more suggestions, check out these 11 Recruitment Sourcing Strategies.

Recruitment Idea 9. Find Creative Ways to Source Candidates

How can you use what you already have in place – your product packaging, your email signature, your own employees – to help source more candidates?

Take inspiration from these innovative recruiting strategies from Apple and Ikea:

  • Apple famously used unique recruiting business cards to source candidates for their customer support team. When an Apple employee received outstanding service, they would hand the service provider this card.
  • When Ikea was faced with the challenge of hiring hundreds of new staff in Australia, the company placed career leaflets inside each package delivered in the country. The leaflets contained instructions for “assembling a career” at the Swedish retailer, as this video shows.

Recruitment Idea 10. Organize a Competition

Sometimes, a competition is just what you need to identify highly-skilled candidates.

“While top candidates will walk away from recruiting processes that feature in-depth online assessment, they love opportunities to showcase what they can do, and contests and challenges provide that opportunity,” writes Dr. John Sullivan, HR thought-leader.

In his article Contest Recruiting: There’s No Better Way to Find Elite Talent, he explains the advantages of recruiting through contests and competitions and shares several interesting examples.

Recruitment Idea 11. Immediately Hire Anyone Referred by Another Employee

Founder and former president of CD Baby Derek Sivers had an unconventional recruiting strategy that he described in his book “Anything You Want – 40 Lessons From a New Kind of Entrepreneur.” 

“I’d just ask my current employees if they had any friends who needed work. Someone always did, so I’d say, ‘Tell them to start tomorrow morning. Ten dollars an hour. Show them what to do.’”

The theory behind it, says Derek Sivers, is that you can’t know what someone is like on the job unless they’re on the job.

While Derek Sivers’ strategy likely isn’t realistic for a traditional corporate environment, the idea of seeing what someone is like on the job is something you can try to replicate.

That’s more or less what Basecamp does. All of the tech company’s hiring processes include giving candidates paid projects to work on. This, says Basecamp CEO Jason Fried, reveals more about candidates and their skills than resumes ever could.

How to Fill Your Open Positions – Takeaways:

  • Make sure the basics are covered. Review job requirements to make sure they’re realistic.
  • Rewrite job descriptions. Make sure your application form is effective.
  • Invest in employer branding. Your social media accounts and website can be powerful recruitment tools.
  • Get referrals. Recruiting may be your responsibility, but that doesn’t mean you have to do all the sourcing on your own.
  • Don’t wait for candidates to come to you. Be proactive in sourcing passive candidates even when there isn’t an immediate hiring need.
  • Find creative, inexpensive ways to source and target candidates using what you have.
  • To identify candidates with hard-to-find skills, skip the job board and launch a competition.
  • To see what a candidate can really do, pay them to complete a project.

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