The recruitment process can be difficult at times, no matter what industry you’re recruiting for. However the smartest recruiters amongst us are building those valuable relationships and making those industry connections all the time, wherever they can.
Most recruiters tend to have certain applicant services that they use and rely upon – most of these being paid for. But the most effective recruiters invest just as much time and effort in free methods too – as quite often these methods can progress to much more promising contacts and long term leads for them.
Remember, there are plenty of places you can source applicants for free, and here are some of the best:
LinkedIn is the best social network for professionals and job hunters, and many people (when they’re searching for a job) turn to LinkedIn as their first port of call. On LinkedIn you can actually search through people’s profiles using keywords such as their job title, industry and even job-status. This makes it incredibly easy for you to approach people – as you’ve got a certain amount of information already supplied to you about their professional history. A great tip, if you’re not on an upgraded version of LinkedIn, is to see if candidates link out to their other social profiles such as Twitter and Facebook. If they do – you may be able to contact them on those social media profiles instead – which some people prefer.
Facebook may not be an obvious choice, but there are many Facebook groups that people join and become part of if they’re currently unemployed or looking for a job. You’ll be able to approach people this way for free. Another great option is to set up a company page, advertising any job opportunities that may come available. These will then be broadcast onto people’s newsfeeds that have already taken an interest in your page. Although this method does not perhaps have the highest ROI – it can be highly effective if the right person at the right time spots your status update.
3 Industry job fairs
Many industries host job fairs, so take an active interest in the industry you’re hiring for and whether these happen in that community of people. If so – it may be worth attending a few regularly, because the more people who get to know you, the more likely they are to get in touch should they begin searching for a job or position within your field. Think of all the people who attend these get-togethers that you could potentially approach and network with – all of them somehow related to the industry you’re hiring for, and all (clearly) looking for work. It’s like a gold-mine of candidates at your fingertips.
Another social network that allows you to search and track down potential candidates using keyword searches is Twitter. You can search people’s tweets using the normal twitter web page, but if you install a plug-in called Tweet Deck, onto your Chrome browser, you can actually track multiple keywords at once and create different feeds for different terms and phrases. For example, if you’re searching for two different roles, one based in London and one based in Manchester – you can track the tweets from those two different places. People are always talking on Twitter, and if people are job hunting – they’re probably tweeting about it – so make sure you get involved in the conversation. Find your competitors on twitter too and look for people who have been interacting with them recently – these people may be looking for work.
5 Student websites
Student websites and university websites usually have free job boards online where you can post jobs – so these are a great place to start as it won’t cost you a thing. Students are one of those rare niches that are filled with enthusiasm too – so make sure you keep the relationships you’ve built strong. A graduate you talk to today may be at the top of their game in a few years – so always keep those contacts fresh and positive.
6 Student graduate fairs
As I mentioned above, students and graduates are always looking for jobs – so don’t miss out on connecting with all those potential candidates. Do a quick call round your local universities and ask when their job fairs are taking place, chances are they hold a couple of year. Most will let you come along for free to recruit and network – so don’t miss out on this chance. A graduate may not be right for you if you’re hiring a senior role – but if you end up hiring for a junior position the next month, you’ll have someone to call straight away. That in itself is hugely valuable.
7 Other recruiters
It’s not just about networking with potential candidates – good recruitment is about networking across the whole industry. Get in contact with other recruiters, and find out what roles they’re hiring for. Sometimes, you’ll come across great candidates but not have anything suitable. On those occasions – other recruiters might be able to use them instead.
8 Industry conferences
Conferences are a fantastic place to network with people in the niche you’re hiring for, and it’s a great chance to talk to them and build those relationships in a more casual setting. Hand out your business cards to everyone you meet, and the chances are – the next time one of those people changes job, they’ll think of you first. Just ensure you make a good impression – and a lasting one. Which means, the drinks are on you!
Whilst not completely free, Gumtree only charges tiny fees compared to most job sites. You can write a specific job ad, put it into a specific category and wait for the candidates to get in touch with you. You’ll be surprised at how many great leads you can get through Gumtree – so make sure you tailor your job ad specifically, and put as much information in there as possible. The more information you give, the better your replies will be.
If you’re hiring in the creative fields, rather than hospitality (say hotel jobs for example) then Pinterest is a fantastic place to start looking and contacting prospective candidates. For some people Pinterest is simply another social network – but for many it is a place to display and proudly show-off their design work and portfolio. Keep and eye out for these kinds of profiles – because if you like the work they’re displaying on their Pinterest profiles, you’re probably going to like their professional outlook too. So they may make a great person to interview (and eventually hire).