You’ve posted your roles on more job boards. You have a referral program in place. You’ve updated your career site. It seems like you’ve done it all and you’re still struggling to bring in more applicants. If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. 2021 was a really tough year for hiring, and 2022 is shaping up to be no different.
The good news is that there are job seekers out there (as evidenced by the growing workforce participation rate). It just takes a bit more creativity and out-of-the-box thinking to reach and connect with them. At Hireology, we work with thousands of customers across industries that were hit hardest by the pandemic — such as automotive, health care, and hospitality — so we’ve seen first-hand what it takes to stand out and attract more applicants in today’s tough hiring market.
So we thought we’d share what some of our most successful customers are doing to boost their applicant pipelines. See if you can add one or two of these tactics to your strategy as we head into the new year:
Gamify your employee referral program
If you have an employee referral program in place, that’s a great start. Among Hireology customers, referrals represent nearly one in every eight new hires. But the only way to achieve numbers like these is to maximize participation among your existing employees. And that requires getting really creative with how you structure your program and market it internally.
One way we’ve seen customers find more success in their program is by gamifying it, which means treating it like a competition to motivate folks to participate. You can do this in a number of ways:
- Public leaderboard: Create a public leaderboard and track how many referrals each member of your team submits. Reward the top five participants each quarter with an extra cash bonus, more vacation days, or a special lunch or happy hour. The simple act of making this list public along with a prize for the winners can motivate people to embrace their competitive side. And of course, it’s much easier to track referrals per person with a system like EmployUs that powers your program and tracks your metrics over time.
- Tiered programs: Some companies have found success by structuring their referral program into different tiers or levels based on how many people they’ve referred. As folks move up into different tiers, they might get a higher bonus or extra SWAG (e.g., free sweatshirts) per referral.
- Social media competition: Social media can be a great way to reach more potential applicants, so some companies choose to create a game out of posting an open role on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter. For example, maybe folks can earn a point for every time they post a job on social media and then they can cash in their points for bonus checks or other freebies. With EmployUs you can take this even further by providing each employee with a unique URL and tracking exactly how many referrals come from each person’s social media posts.
Connect with local tech school or college programs
One way to become top of mind among the newest members of today’s workforce is to reach them before they even graduate from their tech school or college programs. This is particularly useful if you’re looking to hire for roles that require very specific training or skills — such as CNAs or automotive technicians. Form a relationship with relevant departments at local schools and see if you can set up a physical booth on campus or come to speak in class. That way you can start to build your reputation as a great employer before folks even enter the job market, giving you a leg up over competitors.
Join niche LinkedIn or Facebook groups
While it’s important to have a presence on today’s popular job boards, these sites are growing more cluttered and expensive each day. Plus, in certain industries (like hospitality) job seekers are more likely to rely on word-of-mouth to seek new employment opportunities rather than third-party sites. So supplement your job board integrations by reaching your target audience more directly within niche groups on Facebook and LinkedIn (e.g., a local bartenders group). You can join these groups, leave a message about your open roles, or connect with individual members. It’s also a great way to get to know your target audience a bit more and better understand their needs and challenges.
Attend virtual career fairs
Virtual career fairs aren’t going to end when the pandemic does. We’ve learned over the last two years that some aspects of our jobs can be done more efficiently online. On top of this, today’s workforce is increasingly made up of younger folks who are extremely digitally savvy. So make these virtual networking events a regular part of your recruiting strategy. Find the events in your area that are popular with your target audience and make sure you have a consistent presence at them.
Recruit via text message
Gone are the days of cold calling or emailing potential candidates. People don’t answer calls from unknown numbers and everyone’s email inboxes today are cluttered. Break through the noise and directly text folks who you think would really make a great fit for your roles. People are much more likely to read and comprehend your message when it comes through via text, making them more likely to respond or at the very least remember the name of your company for future opportunities.
Promote what makes you unique beyond pay
And lastly, every company is trying to stand out these days. So promoting your pay range alone isn’t going to differentiate you anymore. What else do you offer that makes you stand out on top of the salary or wage you’re offering? Things that may seem small to you might really make a difference to job seekers today, such as free uniform dry cleaning, transportation reimbursement, or relocation bonuses. Perks like this that make people’s lives easier and working conditions better can really go a long way in standing out in a crowded job market.
When hiring is tough, you can’t rely on the same recruiting techniques you’ve always used and hope for better outcomes. You have to experiment with new strategies and determine over time what works best for you and your unique roles. And what better time to start than at the beginning of a new year?
Hireology can help. Our all-in-one recruiting, hiring, and employee management platform makes it easy to reach more candidates and move them through your hiring process fast. Sign up for a free demo today to learn more.