Editors Note: For the last 16 days of December, SourceCon will be resharing our most popular articles from the year.
Research shows that job boards on average gather 43% of all applications companies receive for new job openings. But while job boards may have the highest number of applications, their conversion-to-hire rates fall drastically behind other sources of hire like employee referrals and company career sites.
Employee referrals may only account for 7% of all job applications, but they contribute nearly half of all actual hires. Career sites, for example, gather approximately 32% of all job applications and account for 21% of all hires. Job boards, on the other hand, only contribute 15% of all actual hires.
Does that mean job postings are dead? Probably not. Job postings may not be going anywhere anytime soon. But what these stats do show is that, if you want to attract and hire top talent more efficiently, you need to diversify your recruiting strategy and go beyond job postings.
Let’s take a look at a few more reasons why a job posting shouldn’t be your sole recruiting tactic:
Reason #1: Job Posting Is A Passive Strategy
No, I don’t mean a strategy that attracts passive candidates… quite the opposite. Posting job openings online, whether to job boards or job aggregator sites, is great for SEO purposes when individuals are searching for jobs or for information about your company, but it can’t be your only recruiting tactic.
This is because relying on postings alone creates a reactive recruiting environment where you’re relying on the candidates to self-qualify with limited information, causing the need to continually re-evaluating the qualifications of the job to match the candidate pool coming in, rather than proactively targeting the best talent into those positions.
It’s a passive strategy on the employer side because the only effort required of you really is to post the jobs then wait for candidates to apply. Does anything in business work well that way? Is this the same strategy your marketing and sales departments use to attract customers?
Today’s top talent is highly sought after and competed for, and if your competitors are out there actively engaging and recruiting them, would it make sense for your organization to sit and wait for these candidates to come to you? Even if you’re a Google or Apple, these highly sought-after candidates will likely get multiple offers from your competition who is actively out there proactively recruiting them. You will miss and lose these top candidates to your competition if you are only working with a passive recruiting strategy.
Reason #2: Job Posting Has No Control Over Candidate Quality
Posting a job is like casting a wide net. If you are trying to catch a crab, chances are you can catch an unwanted fish instead. Yes, you do list the qualifications, skills and experiences you are looking for in a job posting, but anyone can still apply, regardless of whether they have those qualifications, skills, and experiences or not.
While today’s ATS systems are sophisticated enough to help you screen for under or unqualified candidates, you don’t want to rely on luck or hope that you will get an A-player candidate in your application pool.
Attracting and hiring the best talent is critical for any companies to perform well, and you want greater control over your ability to do so rather than relying on a “post and pray” strategy, which hands over 100% of your control to job applicants, luck and hope.
Reason #3: Job Posting Does Not Attract All Qualified Talent
According to LinkedIn’s 2015 Global Talent Trends report, only 30% of the global workforce is active talent, meaning these individuals are actively looking for new career opportunities. What this also means is that your job postings are only reaching 30% of the available talent. Keep in mind that this 30% accounts for under and unqualified candidates as well.
What about the other 70% of the market? Since passive candidates are not actively looking, they may not even see your job postings. And even if your job postings do reach them somehow, it is unlikely that they will take action if they are not looking (yet) or are happy in their current position.
But just because they are not ready or actively looking for a job right now doesn’t mean they won’t be one or six months down the road. If you rely solely on job postings as your recruiting strategy, you are missing out on opportunities to reach and build that 70% of the available workforce into your talent pipeline for future openings.
3 Effective Ways To Attract And Hire Top Talent
So how do you go about diversifying your recruiting strategy? Here are three things you can do that will help improve your recruiting results.
Tip #1: Build Your Talent Pipeline
One of the best ways to hiring top talent is by proactively identifying, attracting and engaging qualified candidates with the desired skills, experiences, and cultural fit, so you have a healthy pipeline of quality prospects when new jobs open up.
Unlike job postings, you can target all qualified talent, including passive candidates who are not actively looking for new opportunities. Sourcing is also about keeping a relationship with your silver and bronze “medalists” – those who were your second and third runner-ups for past openings.
You’ll also want to stay connected with rejected candidates who didn’t make it to the final round of interviews. Just because they were not a good fit for one job, it doesn’t mean they won’t be for another role in the future.
So follow up with your candidates regularly and stay up-to-date on their job search status, career goals, and interests, and offer to share information about your company and latest projects to keep them engaged and interested in joining your organization.
With the right timing or job opening, you have all the qualified candidates ready in your talent pipeline for hiring managers to interview, even before you officially post the job externally. Posting a job should not be the primary or even first step but one of the last in your recruiting strategy when other sources for talent like your internal CRM, ATS, employee referrals, and sourcing efforts have failed.
Tip #2: Tap Into Employees’ Networks
There’s a reason why top organizations make over 50% of their new hires through employee referrals. Research shows that referred candidates are faster to hire than traditional candidates – on average a referred candidate takes about 29 days to hire, whereas a candidate through a job posting takes about 39 days to hire.
Not only are there significant time-saving advantages, referred candidates are also cheaper to hire compared to candidates hired through job boards or agencies. For example, if an agency charges 15% of a new hire’s first-year salary, we’re talking about $22,500 for a $150,000 hire. Even if you give out $3,000 employee referral bonus for a successful hire, that’s $19,500 in savings! With job boards, not only do you have to pay for the job posting services, but you also have to take into account the time and costs involved in having your recruiters screen, interview and coordinate with jobs applicants.
Research also shows that 46% of referred employees stay for at least one year after they were hired, which is far higher than the 22% non-referred talent hired through job boards. As well, studies have found that employees who successfully referred a candidate stay with the company longer.
Employee referrals are one of the most effective ways to source and hire. If you don’t already have an employee referral program, it’s time to build one. If your existing program isn’t working, it’s time to look into how you can improve it to boost your recruiting strategy. Because every employee is a recruiter for your company.
Tip #3: Develop Your Employer Brand
According to the latest CareerXroads Source of Hire Report, nearly 30% of all companies surveyed say at least half of all candidates apply after visiting the company career site. The recent Candidate Experience Research from Talent Board also found that company career sites are the most valuable and preferred source of information for candidates when researching an employer.
That means your career site is the first stop for candidates. The content you have on your career site needs to be as relevant, specific and compelling as it can be, to help candidates self-screen themselves, which ultimately increases the amount of qualified applicants coming in and filtering out candidates who may not be a good fit. Here are some additional tips to help you build an exceptional career site.
A recent Glassdoor survey found that 79% of job seekers are likely to use social media for job search, and this figure is even higher, at 86%, for younger job seekers in the first 10 years of their career. What this means is that if your company isn’t on social media yet, or is already on social but isn’t active, you will want to add it to your employer brand strategy.
You need to have a presence on the platforms where your target candidates are. If they are active on social media, you can use those channels to promote your employer brand content and new job openings, helping you attract and engage qualified candidates who you otherwise could not reach with job postings.
Start by building your candidate personas to figure out which social channels and platforms your target candidates are most likely to be on, as well as the types of content that will resonate with them. It doesn’t make sense to be spending time and resources on channels or platforms your target audience isn’t even using.
For example, if you’re trying to recruit tech talent, you’ll likely have more success by focusing your sourcing and hiring efforts on platforms like Github or Stack Overflow, rather than simply sending out InMail messages and posting jobs on LinkedIn.
You want to be present and active on the social channels and platforms where your target candidates are already spending their time, then attract and engage them through authentic employer brand content that gets them excited about the idea of working for your company.
In today’s competitive job market, relying on job postings as your sole recruiting strategy just won’t cut it anymore. If you want the very best talent, you need to have a multi-channel recruiting and employer brand strategy to find, nurture and convert qualified candidates into hires for your company.