TECH, BUSINESS AND CAREER INSIGHTS

3 Strategies for Networking with Job Candidates

By: TSP Blog | @TSProckstars

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When recruiting talent, startups often compete with larger organizations with far fewer resources. Leveraging your professional network can boost your hiring efforts and be an efficient and cost-effective way to source qualified job candidates. Whether utilizing social media or hosting virtual events, networking with job candidates looks a lot different in the digital age.

At its heart, recruitment has always been a people business and networking will continue to be a constant. It's estimated that 80% of jobs are never advertised, but are filled by a contact in someone’s network. Below are three strategies for networking with job candidates.

LINKEDIN AS A SOURCE FOR NEW HIRES
As an interconnected network of experienced professionals, LinkedIn enables you to post job opportunities to capture active job seekers. In fact, 75% of people who recently made a job switch used the platform during their decision-making process.

For hiring managers and recruiters, LinkedIn sourcing just makes sense. The platform’s core purpose is to enable individuals to make professional connections. Users are in a different mindset when they log onto LinkedIn. They are primed and open to conversations about their career. LinkedIn boasts members from all 500 of the Fortune 500 companies and has members in 148 different industries.

There are several ways to engage with users but one way, in particular, is discussion groups. This feature allows professionals in similar fields to regularly share information. Use the LinkedIn question and answer section to pose questions and invite contributions and feedback. It’s a great way to establish relationships and identify potential candidates to help fill your current and future positions.

Take a few minutes each week to participate and leave comments in these virtual communities. This will help cultivate your network. When the time comes to post a job opening, consider privately messaging key contacts in your network.

EMPLOYEE NETWORKS AS A STRATEGY
When you recruit from within, you save substantially on recruiting costs. Recruiting expenses add up and promoting internally will create a low-cost hiring strategy for your company. By tapping into the network of your current employees, you can save money and time recruiting.

Make your hiring needs widely known to employees and share open positions with members of your professional network. It’s important to be clear about the job title and provide a brief list of skills and qualifications required. Not only is employee recruiting faster, but it often leads to candidates that are more skilled for the job.

Consider starting an employee referral program as a part of your recruiting strategy. This is a way for employers to encourage employee recruiting participation through rewards to refer qualified candidates. It’s a popular strategy because recruiters have long known what research confirms, employee-referred new hires tend to be better performers than non-employee referred to new hires.

HOST EVENTS
While it may feel like recruiting events are old school, they’re actually more prevalent than ever. Getting to know your candidates provides a more accurate depiction of a person’s character, personality and experience beyond their resume.

For companies that recruit from local colleges, hosting an onsite recruitment event can be a great way to get candidates excited about the office and offer the opportunity to meet potential future coworkers. A well-organized event can propel your company to the top of college graduates’ preferred list of employers.

Similar to having a seamless candidate experience throughout the hiring process, recruitment events should also be a good experience for visitors. Ensure a smooth check-in process and a detailed schedule. Any employees who are involved should also be friendly and willing to answer candidates’ questions. Every interaction at the event influences a prospective candidates’ opinion of your company, so remember to keep it professional.

By creating and maintaining connections with key professionals, you can develop a large pool of talent to draw from as needed. There are a plethora of ways to garner the attention of new hires, from the internet to good old fashioned face-to-face interaction.

It’s crucial to take advantage of as many of these options as you can to create multiple channels of communication from employer to employee. Doing so will provide you with the best chance to find a qualified hire for your organization.

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