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Online recruiting strategies to attract the always-on candidate

Online recruiting strategies to attract the always-on candidate

Email advertisements, text messages, job boards, mobile apps—your company has job postings everywhere. But how can you or your staffing agency use these technologies and platforms to get the candidate’s attention?

Even when those prospective employees are “always” online, it takes more than technology to get to them. The experts say one-to-one contact remains the top recruiting method. In other words, it’s about a personal connection. For many tech types, however, social media is about as personal as they will get when it comes to work. So here are some online recruiting strategies for reaching that always-on candidate.

It takes a personal touch

“We use the gamut of sourcing technologies—all the social media, traditional job boards, and so on,” says Jody Rummel, vice president of human resources at staffing firm Yoh. “But the true meat of what we do—making personal contact—is what has been important for decades, so we err on the side of reaching out.”

Timing is one online recruiting strategy for one-to-one candidate contact. To hook promising talent, recruiters try to get personal fast. “We have substantial traffic applying directly through our website,” says Jim Caporrimo, regional vice president for greater New York City at Adecco Staffing. “Recruiters will reach out immediately for a brief phone conversation to find out what the candidate is looking for, because in staffing you can lose a candidate in minutes.”

For candidates in any industry, the personal touch matters. Even software engineers expect recruiters to reach out to them where they live—online. But tech talent also wants real-time conversations about who will be working with them.

“Technology plays a huge part in our business, but the personal touch is critical regardless of industry and who we’re trying to attract,” says Caporrimo. “We attract candidates via social media, then pick up the phone and create a more personal experience.”

Technology is great for turning up potential matches, but a high-touch approach gives many staffing firms their competitive edge—especially when looking for high-volume roles in their online recruiting strategies.

“There are specific corporate roles that we will recruit for regularly,” says Rummel. “That requires a lot of first-hand contact.”

Referrals are a person-to-person phenomenon

Among other online recruiting strategies, Yoh uses its network to find additional candidates among people they know. According to Rummel, personal referrals confirmed by a real-time conversation help to cut through the electronic thicket of messaging and notifications.

When a talent firm makes an offer that appeals to candidates looking for something different, it’s also a chance to broaden the universe of employment arrangements. HourlyNerd, for example, uses algorithmic hiring methods in its niche pairing business professionals with consulting projects.

“People choosing to work on our platform are people who have chosen not to go the full-time route,” says CEO Patrick Petitti. When evaluating soft skills, like communications and management, he says the company uses real-time conversations with candidates. That opens opportunities for referrals, too.

Build a reputation for effective candidate evaluation

If your firm develops a reputation for making good matches using the right mix of sourcing technology and high touch, your candidate pipeline will grow itself. “To be good at consulting requires a different skill set from just being a smart person,” says Petitti.

“We make sure they’re a fit, which sometimes means getting on the phone,” he says. There’s almost always a candidate interview.

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