Small business secrets to recruiting staff on a budget

Traditional recruitment avenues like online job boards may be a good start in your recruitment journey. But there are other, more targeted and cost-effective channels employers shouldn’t overlook in finding the right talent.

If there’s one thing that can be guaranteed, it’s that top talent are on social media, and they’re doing it well. The recruiting of candidates via social media is an increasing part of the hiring strategy for businesses, but now it’s time to make it a central focus.

Spreading the word on social media when you’re recruiting can be a great way to widen the reach of your advertising, and you could find people you wouldn’t otherwise stumble upon.

For example, we found that traffic from Facebook adverts to a company’s website was much higher, at approximately 17 per cent, than that of traditional job boards like Seek, sitting at only 2 per cent.

So do you think you could find your next hire through Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? If you are using those channels the right way, yes you can.

1. Share, share, share

Share your job openings across all of your social media channels. Every time you post a job on a board, share the link with your network.

You never know who you could reach through your connections and, in turn, their own connections. If one of your friends or followers likes or shares the role you post, you will reach a much bigger crowd.

Word gets around fast, and you may find yourself with a few great referrals.

2. Headhunt on LinkedIn

LinkedIn, as a professional network, is a huge database of talent just waiting to be plundered. It has a handy job board where you can post your ads and is a great platform for your employer brand presence.

In my opinion, though, the best way to use the platform is to hunt for people who match your criteria, then personally contact them. If you’re looking for your next business development guru, for example, use those key words to search and make your selection.

Beware: some candidates expect a higher salary when they’re headhunted. But if they’re the right candidate for you, it might be worth taking the hit!

3. Spend your dollars on Facebook

Facebook is the most successful recruiting tool we’ve seen in our client campaigns so far – even ahead of LinkedIn.

The network has a special feature allowing businesses to post extremely targeted advertising campaigns. By being as specific as you possibly can, you can build a profile of your ideal candidate, according to criteria such as location, languages, title, workplace, and even interests and hobbies.

The advert will then appear in the news feeds of all those who meet your criteria, which allows you to reach a very specific crowd.

A carefully planned and targeted advertising campaign means you’ll reach candidates who are much more relevant to your business and role, rather than just posting an ad on Seek for anyone to see.

A Facebook advert also means you can reach out to passive job seekers, who may not be actively looking but could be tempted to consider a move if they see something interesting pop up.

4. Challenge candidates’ creativity

Other social networks like Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat can also be excellent platforms for businesses to evaluate candidates’ creativity.

If you’re a marketing agency, for example, you can launch a campaign on Snapchat challenging applicants to come up with imaginative introductions. Then sit back and wait for the applications to come through on your phone.

If you’re recruiting for customer service roles, why not ask candidates to send in a YouTube video CV? This would allow you to review how they present themselves and get opinions from peers before having them in for an interview.

5. Build a ‘careers’ page

Whatever tools you decide to include in your recruitment strategy, all your social media shares and ads should point to a great careers page. This can be either a stand-alone page or site dedicated to recruitment, or a part of your existing website. There are companies that can help set this up for you.

Applicants want a fast and easy process, whereby they can apply from their mobile devices on-the-go. So a platform on which it’s easy to navigate and apply for a role, even on a mobile device, is essential.

Candidates also want to know why they should choose your company. Employer branding is very important. So make sure your careers website – or recruitment page – includes why you’re a great place to work.

For example, candidates love watching videos about the places they’re applying to, to get a feel for the culture, the team and the directors. You can even produce it yourself. Grab your phone and go around the office, interview your current employees on why they love working with you. Then post it on your careers page and ads – job done!

Sharon Davies is founding director of Talent Propeller, which offers a range of online tools to streamline the recruitment process and create cost and time savings for clients.

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