5 recruiting ideas to grow your small business

You likely already have recruiting methods that work for your business, and we’re not suggesting you throw those away. Instead, think of adding new techniques to make your hiring process even more effective.

Here are some creative recruiting ideas employers can use to help attract the best applicants and provide the best candidate experience.

1. Show that you move with the times

2020 — who saw that coming? When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, companies had to move quickly to adapt to the new normal. For some, that unfortunately meant furloughing staff.

For others, that meant a company-wide work-from-home policy. While it’s been a tough adjustment for everyone, some companies have handled the move terribly, and some have shone.

Businesses that can move quickly, be flexible, and think outside the box are always going to find it easier in these kinds of uncertain conditions. And showing that you are that kind of company is a great way to showcase your company’s strengths and attract passive candidates.

You just need the employer brand to showcase these qualities, which we’ll discuss below.

2. Differentiate your brand and hiring process

Once upon a time, LinkedIn was full of companies that showcased their fun sides with pictures of after-work margaritas, foosball tables, and hikes.

They practically screamed, “We’re fun and cool!” But in the end, these companies all seemed the same. What actually made any of these companies different? And did potential candidates and existing employees even like or want these perks?

If you want to stand out in the crowded hiring market and appeal to potential candidates, you need to be different, whether it’s through your social media accounts, your careers portal, or the way you ask applicants to apply. And by being different, we mean remaining in a way that’s true to your values.

If you’re a fully remote company, you could showcase your employees’ home office spaces. Or you could showcase how your company is making a difference to people’s lives.

3. Customize your hiring process

Candidate experience is everything; you cannot afford to annoy your applicants if you want to hire the best people.

  • 72% of job seekers report sharing their negative candidate experiences online.
  • 55% of job seekers report avoiding certain companies after reading negative online reviews.

If you want to enhance your candidate experience, you need to customize the hiring process for each open position. If you’re using HR and recruitment software it’s not hard to do.

For example with Breezy HR, you can set up a new candidate pipeline for each open role and save these as templates. You can also automate the next best actions for each of your pipeline stages.

This means that you never leave candidates in the dark about what is happening with their application, and the hiring process moves much more quickly through the pipeline.

4. Use social media and online forums

The best social media recruiting strategies borrow heavily from marketing. You need a buyer persona (in this case, an ideal candidate persona). You need to know which channels your ideal candidates use most, and you need to know what kind of language and imagery you should use in your job ad.

Even the layout of the application form and the questions you ask should be targeted.

Some applicant tracking systems (ATS) include functionality that can help. Zoho Recruit can help you create targeted social media campaigns based on location and audience.

With the Facebook Job Postings functionality, candidates can apply to a job without leaving Facebook. With the LinkedIn functionality, candidates can apply on LinkedIn or through your careers portal.

5. Let your applicant tracking system to do the hard work

Manually sourcing candidates is a headache, but luckily, an applicant tracking system (ATS) can take care of the heavy lifting. Most ATSs post to job boards for you, but many have much more targeted and advanced talent acquisition capabilities.

For example, Workable’s artificial intelligence (AI) functionality can find high-quality candidates who are right for the job much more quickly than if you tried to do it manually.

Its AI-powered Auto-Suggest feature searches public online profiles to find candidates who match the skills and requirements you have specified in your job description.

It then helps you create highly targeted campaigns on channels such as Facebook to make these people aware of the job and encourage them to apply.

This article was originally written and published on Fool.com by Karen McCandless and has been edited for clarity