recruiting job candidates

Recruiting job candidates: 5 tips for picky prospects

Job candidates who have hard-to-find skills can be picky about where and how they work; recruiting job candidates like these can be equally complicated.

Positions that require specific certifications are always challenging to fill, as are industries where employees are in high demand, such as engineering, nursing, skilled trade work and accounting. The higher level the position, the harder it is to find qualified candidates.

As a small business, you’re probably wondering how you can attract your share of the candidates. Once you’ve conducted a job analysis and determined that you’re ready to hire, here are a few tips for finding that elusive employee.

1. Advertise strategically.

Placing a targeted job ad shouldn’t take too much time, so start here. You’ll feel like you’ve started the search with little effort.

In order to reach a specific group of qualified job candidates, you’ll want to advertise on niche sites. Look for job boards within a specific industry when recruiting job candidates like these. For example, if you need an oilfield technician or petroleum engineer, you might look at Rigzone or

You also can target specific groups on LinkedIn and national job boards such as CareerBuilder.

Every niche industry should have its A-level job sites, B-level, and so on. The better the site, the more respected it will be within the industry and the more traffic it will get from quality candidates. But, those more respected sites will likely charge more for ads. Your advertising budget should be worked out ahead of time.

2. Make your website user-friendly.

If you’re looking to fill one or two jobs, the career portion of your website isn’t overly important. But if you’re looking to fill a number of openings, it’s crucial.

Make the application process on your website as easy as possible. A process that is too clunky may turn off candidates from your company. This may be the first impression that a candidate has of you and your company – make it a positive experience.

Also, as we become more reliant on our mobile devices, it’s essential that your site is mobile compatible. Adding features such as job alerts and social sharing will make the site more appealing and keep candidates optimistic about working for you.

3. Develop strong networking strategies.

Networking events can be a good way to meet qualified candidates, but they may not be equally effective across all industries. Not all recruiters or hiring managers will be willing to take the time to attend them, so you may be one of only a few people at the event looking for good employees.

Seek out professional organizations that cater directly to your targeted employee pool and attend their events. For example, if you need engineers, attend a National Society of Professional Engineers luncheon as a visitor. You can find many of these types of professional organizations through an internet search.

You might use sourcers – professionals who creatively search for job candidates and mine resumes – to help you reach out to industry experts for referrals. Or if you’re looking to develop talent, you could approach a local college that will connect you with top performers.

4. Advertise the perks of the job.

You want to entice job candidates with what you have to offer. While you’re probably not going to provide nap rooms or on-site hairstylists at your company, you should focus on the things that set you apart from the competition. Include these positives in your job postings.

Do you have awesome benefits? Can you afford to offer bonuses based on profit or performance? What about your company culture? What about working at your company makes it exciting, rewarding or interesting?

Maybe you’re in a position to offer flexible hours and telecommuting. If not, you could focus on the types of projects that employees get to work on and the positive work environment.

5. Get HR and recruiting help.

Small businesses that can provide big-company benefits, such as affordable employee health insurance, will have a leg up on the competition when it comes to decision time for these hard-to-find employees.

Learn more about recruiting job candidates who are perfect for your openings by reading our complimentary e-book Building a better team: how to attract, retain and hire top talent.

Building a Better Team: How to Attract, Recruit and Hire Top Talent, Issue 5
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