Need help finding your next employee? Great news, small businesses have never had more options when it comes to recruiting and hiring employees. Today you can use both the traditional print and grassroots avenues of sourcing candidates as well as a host of digital recruiting tools. Each tactic has its place, but which ones are best for your hiring needs? Use this guide to determine where and how to advertise for your next open position.

Digital Recruitment Tactics

1. Online Job Search Engines and Job Boards – General

Description

The digital recruiting and job searching landscape has evolved from job board sites, like CareerBuilder.com, to job search engine sites, like Indeed.com. Online job boards pull from job ads provided to them by employers with open positions. Job search engines take this one step further, serving results to job seekers by not only presenting open jobs posted to their site but also by including results pulled from company career sites and other online job boards. Small businesses can work both types of job sites into their recruitment strategy by posting and paying to further promote their open jobs.

Examples

CareerBuilder.com, Craigslist.com, FairyGodBoss.com, Glassdoor.com, Indeed.com, Monster.com, ZipRecruiter.com

Pros

Large reach

Sometimes free to post

Cons

May inundate you with unqualified applicants

Good for –

Skill types: All

Skill levels: All

2. Online Job Boards – Niche

Description

Like general digital job boards, niche job boards provide a job seeker destination to search for open jobs across various companies. The difference, of course, is that niche job boards present a specialized focus like engineering, opportunities with flexible hours or even the energy sector. The niche job board you choose will depend on the role you’re hiring. Is it an IT position, try Dice.com. For entry-level roles, consider CollegeRecruiter.com. Check out the examples for more.

Examples

Entry-level Jobs + Internships: CollegeRecruiter.com, Internships.com, Youtern.com

Unique Perks: CoolWorks.com, FlexJobs.com, GoodFoodJobs.com, WeWorkRemotely.com

Part-Time/Temporary/Seasonal/Freelance/Contract: FlexJobs.com, Snagajob.com, Upwork.com

Tech Jobs: Dice.com, Stackoverflow.com, CrunchBoard.com, Jobs.Mashable.com, ITJobPro.com

Finance Jobs: efinancialcareers.com, OneWire.com

Energy Sector Jobs: energyjobline.com

Engineering Jobs: Engineering.Jobs

Healthcare Jobs: HealthcareJobsite.com

Non-Profits: Idealist.com

Marketing: Mediabistro.com, Jobs.PRSA.org, Talentzoo.com

Sales: SalesGravy.com, SalesJobs.com

High-Level Experience: HeadHunter.com, TheLadders.com

Pros

Reach a specific audience

Can find more qualified candidates

Sometimes free to post

Cons

Can be more expensive

Good for –

Skill types: All

Skill levels: All

3. Social Media Sourcing

Description

Social media is increasingly integral to candidates’ job searches, especially for people under 40 who most often use LinkedIn and Facebook to research potential employers. This makes your social media channels great places to not only extend your customer-facing brand, but also your employee-facing brand. Share your open positions on your social media pages along with a peek at your company culture and the best perks of working for you. You can also proactively search for and reach out to people who look like they’d be a great fit for your position based on their profiles, interests and experience.

Examples

LinkedIn

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Pros

Allows for personalized candidate insights

Free to use

Cons

Time-consuming

Good for* –

Skill types: All

Skill levels: All

*While this tactic can work for all skill sets and skill levels, you may want to use it for only highly-skilled, hard-to-find roles due to its time-consuming nature.

4. Paid Social Media Advertising

Description

While sharing your open positions is free on social media, you can opt to increase your reach (the number of candidates who see your job ad) by putting some budget behind promoting your open positions. Many social media channels offer advanced targeting to get your ad in front of the most qualified candidates’ eyes.

Examples

LinkedIn

Facebook

Twitter

Pros

Can offer advanced targeting options to reach people with the skills and experience you need

Cons

Can be expensive

Great for* –

Skill types: All

Skill levels: All

*While this tactic can work for all skill sets and skill levels, you may want to use it as a later resort and only for highly-skilled, hard-to-find roles due to the expense.

5. Career Site

Description

Career sites are typically hosted as a section of a company’s general website, though some enterprises build separate websites. This section of your website is a great place to share more information related to your employer brand, like culture and perks, as well as your open positions including how to apply.

Pros

Free

Allows you to control the narrative

Great way to build your employer brand

Cons

May have a smaller reach

Great for –

Skill types: All

Skill levels: All

6. Virtual Job Fairs

Description

These online job fairs take place at a certain time and place, albeit a virtual location. They may focus on a specific geographic location, skill set or industry and often include chat rooms and web conferencing to help job seekers and employers connect. As a small business, you likely won’t host your own virtual career fair, but can pay to attend ones open to the public. Research ones that align with your hiring needs. Candidates typically upload their resume prior to attending and can be either matched with employers based on their experience or can choose which virtual booths to visit. Depending on the set-up, you may need to provide some information ahead of time such as a description of your company, a high-res logo and open job descriptions.

Examples

Online-Job-Fairs.com

VirtualJobScout.org

VeteranRecruiting.com

jobfairsin.com/online-virtual-job-fairs

Pros

Connect and communicate with active job seekers

Often specialized

Follow-up options are often included

Cons

Limited number of attendees

Limited to a time and place

Good for –

Skill types: All

Skill levels: All

Offline Recruitment Tactics

7. Job Fairs

Description

These events help job seekers and companies with open positions connect in a physical location. Like virtual job fairs, they can be focused on a specific industry or skill set, or they can be more general in nature but include a narrowed audience such as soon-to-be college grads or military veterans. Research career fairs that focus on your specific hiring needs and plan to attend those. Prior to the event, be ready to share information about working for you and prepare a way to capture candidates’ information, communicating how you plan to follow up.

Examples

College and university career fairs

Trade organizations

Local job fairs

Pros

Speak in-person with active candidates

Schedule or conduct interviews on the spot

Cons

Requires pre-planned booth set-up

Limited to attendees

Limited to a time and place

Good for –

Skill types: All

Skill levels: All

8. Referral Programs

Description

Often the best hires come by way of a current employee’s referral. Why? Your current employees understand your culture and working style, so they understand the type of person who’s likely to do well at your company. Tap into your employees’ networks and encourage this efficient way of recruiting by creating an official referral program. Offer bonuses or perks to employees who refer someone you end up hiring – but consider attaching a specific amount of time, such as three months, prior to awarding the bonus.

Examples

Awards for employees who refer a hired candidate could include:

Cash award three months after hire

Giftcard or certificate three months after hire

One day off three months after hire

Pros

Likely to receive qualified candidates

Likely to find good cultural fits

Cons

Potential to offend someone if you don’t hire their referral

Great for –

Skill types: All

Skill levels: All

9. Traditional Print Advertising

Description

The traditional classified ad in a print publication used to be a hallmark of recruitment marketing, and while its importance has diminished, it still can be effective for the right type of role. Small, local media outlets can be a great way to generate excitement about your small business’s hiring plans, and trade publications can help you reach a specialized audience.

Examples

Local newspaper classifieds

Business journal classifieds

Trade publication classifieds, like Logistics Management

Local radio stations

Pros

Reach a specific audience

May be inexpensive, depending on the publication

Cons

May have limited reach

May be expensive, depending on the publication

Great for –

Skill types: All (for special skills, look to trade publications)

Skill levels: All (for higher-level candidates, look to trade publications)

10. Networking

Description

Good old-fashioned networking skills are nowhere from going out of style. Whether attending an industry event like a trade show or a local meeting of entrepreneurs, always keep an eye out for people who would be valuable additions to your company, even if you’re not currently hiring. Get people’s contact information and stay in touch. Not only would these be great people to offer potential roles to, but they also have their own network from which they can recommend candidates, so next time you have an open position don’t forget to reach out to your own network.

Examples

Local trade networking events

Hackathons

Happy hours

Trade shows

Pros

Free

Meaningful connections

Cons

None

Great for –

Skill types: All

Skill levels: All

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