In order to find top talent to fill the most important roles at your startup company, you'll most likely want to advertise that you're hiring those positions online. But finding, recruiting and hiring rockstar employees isn't as simple as slapping a quick job description on a random job board online and hoping a needle will spring out of the haystack.
"If you want the best talent out there, you have to make an impact in the digital space and you have to stand out," says Allyson Willoughby, general counsel and senior vice president of human resources at Glassdoor, a popular jobs and career community website based out of Sausalito, Calif.
Give yourself an informed head start with these 10 important questions to ask when searching for viable candidates online:
1. What should I do first?
Once you've defined the position and the ideal type of candidate, your first move is to carefully craft a standout job description, says Brendan Browne, LinkedIn's director of global talent acquisition. It's equally important to showcase your organization's personality and culture in the description as it is to clearly communicate the position's requirements and responsibilities.
"All too often job descriptions turn people away because they're super sterile and overly clinical," Browne says. "Get creative and make yours stand out by letting your company's personality really shine through."
Some other aspects of the job to describe in compelling detail include: job title and tasks, skills and qualifications, company overview, the location of the job, salary range and benefits, employment type (full-time or part-time) and contact information.
2. What are the top paid job sites?
There are dozens of fee-based career-focused websites that can easily put your employment listings in front of millions of job seekers. The best-known and most reputable are LinkedIn, Indeed, SimplyHired, Glassdoor, Monster, Dice and CareerBuilder.
All of these deliver applicant responses directly to whichever email address you tell them to, but generally not for free.
3. What will it cost?
Fees and pricing structures vary. For example, Indeed offers pay-per-click (PPC) job listings, which typically cost between $0.25 to $1.50 a click. The more you spend per-click, the more often your listing will be seen. You can set budgets for each Indeed listing, adjust your spending as you go and stop your ad any time.
At Glassdoor, you'll pay a flat $99 fee to list a single job opening for 30 days, with the option to pay more to promote your listing. Premium pricing is available through individual quotes. Monster charges a one-time fee of $375 for a one month-long job posting, with prices dropping for each additional listing. CareerBuilder offers per-listing pricing as well, starting at $419 for a single month.
LinkedIn prices job postings based on the geographic location of the available position. To find out how much it costs to post a specific job, go to the Post a Job page and specify the job location at the bottom of the page. You can buy a single 30-day LinkedIn job posting or you can purchase a five-pack or 10-pack of job credits for a discounted price.
4. Are there any free job listing options worth considering?
There are a glut of no-cost, freemium-style online job listing services, but most, like Jobvertise, come with a host of cumbersome caveats. These often include limits on the number of resumes you can view, the types and number of search criteria you're allowed to use and other annoying restrictions. Many won't even show you potential hires' contact information. Overall, these free services are best avoided.
You could, however, consider posting a free job ad on Craigslist. Keep in mind, however, that the caliber of candidates you probably hope to attract are more likely to take you seriously if you invest in reputable, paid career websites that they know and trust.
5. How many websites should I list my job openings on?
Willoughby recommends only posting to two or three listings at a time. "Otherwise it's redundant," she says. "Why spend the money on multiple listings when you don't have to?"
Instead, she suggests seeing how well your job listings on each platform yield strong applicants over time. If not enough candidates -- or, worse yet, entirely mismatched candidates -- are streaming in, it's time to switch to a different service.
6. Can't I just go after ideal candidates directly on LinkedIn?
There's no reason not to. Posting job openings online isn't the only way to reel in the perfect hire. You can also pursue active and passive job seekers by performing detailed advanced searches of professional profiles on LinkedIn and expressing interest in them.
To do this, go to LinkedIn's Home page and click on the word "Advanced" to the right of the main search field. From here you can enter multiple keywords directly related to the skill sets your perfect candidate should have. You can also search first-, second- and third-degree LinkedIn connections and non-connections by specific industry, job title, school, location, current company and industry.
If you discover someone who looks like a fitting match, you can contact the person via LinkedIn InMail. To access InMail, and to see expanded LinkedIn profiles and perform even more advanced profile searches, you'll need a LinkedIn Premium account. It costs $39.95 per month for an annual subscription or $49.95 for a monthly.
7. What are niche job sites and which ones are best suited to my industry?
SmartRecruiters, a San Francisco-based all-in-one recruiting software solution company, recently found that 62 percent of available positions are posted to niche job boards and websites, which continue to grow in popularity among job seekers.
There's a niche job site for nearly every industry. Here's a sampling of some popular ones you might consider posting openings on:
- Healthcare -- Health Callings, Absolutely Health Care, HealthCareJobsite
- Technology -- IT Job Pro, Dice, CrunchBoard
- Media -- Mediabistro, JournalismJobs, paidContent
- Sales -- Sales Gravy, SalesHeads
8. How long should I list job openings online?
Typically until you find your ideal candidate, which can sometimes take several weeks or even months, depending on the response and compatibility of the applicants you attract.
In the meantime, Willoughby suggests that you refresh your job listings by "changing them up and keeping them exciting" with fresh, new words and information at least every 30 days. If not, they could get stale and cause job seekers to suspect that no one wants the job.
9. Should I create a career or jobs page on my company website?
Yes. It should be dedicated to highlighting your available positions and the various benefits of working for your company. You should also build a company page on LinkedIn that lists job openings.
And don't forget to mobile-optimize your career page. "We've found that 80 percent of job seekers are using mobile devices to search for jobs," Willoughby says, "so it's critical to make it easy for them to navigate and interact with it from their tablets and smartphones."
10. How can I incorporate social media into my candidate search?
Encourage your current employees to share your company job postings across their own social media accounts, including Facebook and Twitter, and especially LinkedIn. It not only helps spread the word about openings that need filling, Browne says, but also communicates a vote of confidence in your company from someone they know or are associated with.