Most economists believe a country reaches full employment when 96 percent of its population has a paying job. The United States passed that mark last week. So, if you’re in the recruitment advertising business, how do you find enough quality candidates to keep up with employer demand?
While it’s true that the demand for talent is bringing previously discouraged workers – those who stopped looking for a job – back into the hunt for employment, the supply of quality candidates is at an all time low. A site that can deliver applicants, therefore, will not only see business go up in the near term, it will build a reputation that will keep customers coming back in the future.
So, how exactly does a site reinforce or, better yet, expand its candidate flow in such a tight market? First, it must do more than what it has always done in traditional markets when there were more candidates available, and second, it must rely on a range of initiatives rather than a single silver bullet to turn up the supply.
Here are some options worth considering:
If you aren’t already, include a frame around all job alerts that encourages recipients to pass along any job that isn’t right for them to anyone they think might be qualified and interested in the opening. But don’t brand the suggestion as a “job referral program;” instead, brand it as an opportunity for friends to help friends.
If your site offers more services for job seekers than job postings, start touting those services to the widest possible audience. Use social media messaging, search engine marketing and old-fashioned press releases to get the word out. Monster, for example, recently did just that, touting its improved search algorithms so it’s easier for job seekers to find the right job, a resume assessment tool and more.
And, if your site is simply a “marketplace” that offers nothing but jobs, revise its content to attract more interest during a full employment labor market. That means adding features and functionality that will appeal to active – but now much more picky – job seekers as well as the much larger population of employed and mostly passive prospects.
Reach out and establish partnerships with new sources of candidates. These might include:
• College and university alumni organizations. Many of these groups will already have established relationships with other sites, but can be induced to listen to another if the value proposition is right. So, don’t broach a partnership until you’ve thought through what you can bring to the table that other sites can’t and how that will help the organization’s members enhance their career success and/or the association generate more income.
• Professional societies. Take the same approach as outlined above for college and university alumni organizations, but focus on both regional and large state chapters as well as the national organization. In addition, consider adding a sweetener to your partnership offer – commit to exhibiting at one or more of their annual conferences or conventions. Yes, that incurs a cost, but it’s probably less than what you’re paying for arbitraged traffic and could launch a relationship that serves your site well even after the candidate market loosens.
• Military and veterans publications. There are many such publications, so it’s important to do your homework and determine which are most likely to serve your site best. For example, some focus on a specific branch of service, while others target everyone in uniform. Some are geared to military spouses, while others serve the Guard or Reserve. And, perhaps most important, some may entertain an in-kind arrangement, while others will only accept paid advertising.
In today’s recruitment advertising market, success will go to those organizations that are willing to adapt to the reality of a candidate shortage. There is no silver bullet, however, so that will mean undertaking a number of initiatives to open new channels of candidate acquisition.
Food for thought,
TAprose and Job Board Journalist by Peter Weddle are brought to you by TAtech: The Association for Talent Acquisition Solutions.
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