Have you heard? For four straight months this year, the number of open jobs outnumbered the people out of work in the U.S. If you’re like most in the talent acquisition biz, you’re probably feeling the squeeze of this historically tight labor market. There are no signs that this trend will slow down soon, which is great news for workers but makes our jobs even more difficult and crucial.
There is no other way to put it, things are brutal (especially when it comes to high-skilled labor).
Job boards, referrals, and even LinkedIn are all less effective than they used to be. While LinkedIn now boasts more than half of a billion users, recruiters are simply competing against each other for all the exact same candidates (who probably already have a job anyway). In this record-low era, some users are so bombarded with recruiting messages, they are just ignoring them altogether.
Fatigue is just part of the reason recruiters are investing fewer resources into professional platforms this year. Don’t get me wrong — according to Jobvite’s Recruiter Nation Survey, about three-quarters of talent acquisition pros still say LinkedIn is their network of choice for recruiting — but that’s down significantly from 92% who said the same last year. To combat this, recruiters have to get more creative with how they reach candidates online, including new strategies for engaging candidates where they actually are.
- Increasing the use of video on popular apps like Instagram
- Deploying “brand ambassadors” to websites where candidates hang out, and
- Introducing mobile careers site applications and text recruiting for the smartphone generation.
Video killed the text-based careers page
When it comes to recruiting, video is no longer a “nice to have” — it’s essential. Candidates today are doing more shopping before they apply, and video can be a fast, eye-catching tool to get your employer brand info out there. Anything that makes it easier for candidates to understand who you are and what you do resonates well today.
Video job ads, employee experience montages, or leadership insight clips can be just the personal touch needed to stand out from the sea of competition. Plus, video lends itself naturally to social media, and can be used to attract candidates on popular channels such as Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. That means a higher potential to reach larger audiences and drive further engagement.
Behold the brand ambassador
Today, you need to be super-customized in your approach if you want to land the best talent. It’s less about broadcasting to a huge audience, and more about engaging the few quality candidates. To make that happen, you need to recruit awesome employees as brand ambassadors for your company.
Transform your biggest fans in the form of managers, developers, sales team members (you name it) into a task force of mini-recruiters and sourcers that can find their peers online and engage them. By figuring out where the conversations are happening and where candidates are hanging out, you can have your team develop more organic, authentic relationships.
Even something as simple as your brand ambassadors being the ones to reach out on LinkedIn can vastly improve the chances that a candidate will respond.
Mobilize your recruiting strategies
Depending on how you approach it, mobile can either be a major missed opportunity or a big, new talent pipeline. The largest segment of the U.S. workforce is now Millennials, and (along with their younger siblings in Generation Z) they expect to engage where they spend most of their time: on their smartphones. Most companies still don’t have a careers page that is mobile friendly, so that’s a big opportunity for you to stand out.
Given this love for mobile devices among younger workers, incorporating a text strategy into your core recruiting efforts also seems like a no-brainer. Overall, Americans check their phones on average once every 12 minutes, and up to 80 times total throughout the day. So, there is a pretty good chance that your message will actually be seen (as compared to email). And with text capabilities now being built directly into recruiting software, it’s never been easier to strike up a new conversation or follow up.
Desperate times do not call for desperate measures when it comes to building your talent pipeline. No, when things are this tight you just need to work out smarter, not harder when it comes to your recruiting efforts. With some adjustments to your strategies, sourcing techniques, and how you’re allocating time and resources, you can still work it out during this talent crunch.