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Big brands have it made. If you’re a Facebook or Google, people would kill to work for you, so you often get your pick of the litter.But for the 99% of companies who aren’t household names, it’s hard enough finding bodies to fill seats, never mind attracting top talent.
But, thanks to the rise of social media, employers can solve this age-old problem with a new way of thinking, and networking.
Go Beyond the Job Boards
According to this year’s CareerXroads Source of Hire Report, less than a quarter of last year’s hires came from online job listings. And, the reality for small or unknown companies relying solely on Monster, CareerBuilder or other job sites to find candidates is that the big companies are outspending you. If you’re a start-up in Silicon Valley you might post one ad while Facebook has a thousand. So your job posting is going to get seen one in a thousand times. Not exactly the best odds for finding the top talent in your market.
If you’re just advertising on job boards, you’re missing three-quarters of the talent pool. Also, by most estimates, data from the big companies using both CareerBuilder and Monster suggests there is an 80% crossover between those audiences. Meaning, the same candidates are on both sites. If you give up one of these outlets and redeploy that money elsewhere, you’ll open up a whole new opportunity without giving up very much.
So where else should you be looking?
Social Networks – It’s Who You Know, and Who You Don’t
The Source of Hire Report also found that nearly 65% of all job openings are filled through internal employee movements and referrals. Clearly, finding the right hire is all about making the right connections. Every employer wishes they could get more referrals from employees, but the problem with word-of-mouth job soliciting is you’re bound by the friendships of your staff.
To widen their net of qualified candidates, companies are increasingly, and wisely, turning to social media as a referral based recruiting tactic. By working LinkedIn and Facebook, employers can boost their odds of finding prospects in their market. Social networks let you get the word out to friends of friends of friends, with a low cost per hire.
This is a great start, but it’s a one-at-a-time hiring model, and still requires quite a bit of work to find the right talent. And, since tools like LinkedIn and Facebook aren’t designed to help you find a large number of people quickly or efficiently, you’re by no means reaching all the possible, viable candidates in your market. Currently, the number of hires coming from LinkedIn is still minimal.
But a new breed of professional social recruiting networks can circumvent these challenges. Recruiting solutions like Jobfox connect employers with job seekers who want to work at their company. The advantage for employers is that you’re building up a network of the professionals that care about your organisation. Jobfox was built to be a high scale service, enabling you to network hire for all your positions, not just those high paying exceptions where you use LinkedIn. Some people want to work for large corporations, while others would love to get in at a small emerging company. Social recruiting lets you focus just on those candidates who are interested in you, and helps you reach them.
What’s innovative about this new way of networking is, it’s no longer about who you know. It’s about the technology you use to find people with the skills and experience you want. Now, you don’t need to depend on employee referrals or social media connections to find prospects or invite people into your network. We give you access to all the people you should know (even if you don’t), and allow you to network with all of them. Over 7 million professionals have joined our service because they’d like to be connected with recruiters and know what’s going on in the job market. Our networks are built across the entire marketplace. Suddenly, you’re able to solicit job referrals from friends of everyone in a specific profession. It’s every employers dream.
Be Proactive instead of Reactive
I have yet to meet a hiring manager that wasn’t in “urgent mode” to fill a position. They usually answer the “how fast do you need someone” question with “yesterday.” When tactics like job boards, employee referral requests and other low-cost searches fail, many companies must resort to headhunters and resign themselves to paying fees up to 30% of the first year salary for the position.
That’s why it’s a good practice for employers to build a pipeline of candidates ahead of time. This way, you can avoid the urgency, and hedge your bets of finding talented prospects on a short timeline. When you get the call saying, “I just got budget approval and need 4 sales people now,” you can say, “Well, I have a network of 200 sales people. We’ll get this done quickly for you.” Clearly, being proactive puts you in a much better place than if you were just getting started.
Admittedly, building a network of people that you might not need for another 3 months would take a tremendous amount of discipline for the recruiting professional. But social recruiting sites like Jobfox do much of the legwork for you. Our automated network builder looks at millions of people, based on your pre-set criteria of skills and experience, and tells you who you should network with.
Building a pipeline keeps you connected to the top talent in your market so when a request for hires comes in, you’ve hit the ground running. And, you can work your social network to get those coveted referrals that so often fill seats.
Experiment to Find a Winner
It’s clear that Social Recruiting is the future. But, in the future, there won’t just be one product. When I founded CareerBuilder back in ’95, people thought there would be one winner, the “Microsoft” of job sites. But that didn’t happen. Now you have CareerBuilder, Monster, The Ladders and a slew of generic electronic classifieds.
It’s a mistake to think LinkedIn or Jobfox is going to win it all. When I was growing CareerBuilder, the conventional wisdom was only one site would prevail. In reality 5 or 6 sites like Monster, The Ladders, and Dice also survived. The same thing will happen in social recruiting; companies will use multiple services. I recommend using an experimentation model. Pick 2 or 3 recruiting methods and you might end up finding you are building an arsenal, rather than a single solution.
You have to keep on top of what’s going on. In this electronic age, things are changing all the time. Social Recruiting may be the wave right now. But in the future, anything is possible. Explore your possibilities and it will be easier to find the right people.
Who knows? They might even find you.
Rob McGovern is a 20-year technology and media industry veteran with a passion for helping people with their careers. Prior to his role as founder and CEO of Jobfox, he was the founder and CEO of CareerBuilder.com, one of the world’s largest online career sites.