We’re all familiar with the traditional candidate sources such as employee referrals and job fairs. But if you’re not getting the results you want, it’s time to look at some new options. With new trends in recruiting and changes in the workplace, there are new pools of talent to explore.
However, all candidate sources are not equal. The type of employee you find on a job board will be different than the one you receive through a referral. It’s important to understand what types of potential employees are available from each source, the benefits they bring with them and how to reach them.
Here are four new candidate sources and how to use them effectively:
1. Former employees
Feelings are changing about rehiring old employees. In a 2015 report from the Workplace Institute and WorkplaceTrends.com, over three-quarters of surveyed HR professionals and almost two-thirds of managers said they are more likely to take back an old employee than they were in the past.
Former employees, also known as boomerang employees, are employees who leave a company and then return in the future. They have inherent benefits, including having to spend less time and fewer resources onboarding and training them.
With boomerang employees, you already know what type of employee they are. If a top sales-team member left for a higher salary, that doesn’t mean you can’t woo them back to work for you. It’s worth the effort to try to get a high performer to return.
Keep tabs on top talent that has moved on to new opportunities. Follow their progression and get a feel for their level of satisfaction. If it seems like they’re unhappy with the new company, reach out to them by email or LinkedIn and see if they’d like to meet up for coffee to talk about the options waiting for them back at your company.
Be prepared to give them what they weren’t getting from you in the first place. Perhaps you still can’t up their salary, but if another reason they left was a lack of challenging work, ask them what other responsibilities they’d like to take on.
2. Website visitors
Job seekers are taking the time to research a potential employer by checking out their websites. They’re looking for what the company does and what it’s like to work there.
These job seekers are coming to you. They are interested in your company and what you are doing. This will make engaging them as potential employees easy, as long as the content on your website actually reflects your workplace.
It’s important to give job seekers the information they want on your website. Don’t just include current job postings, give them information about your company culture with a brand video or testimonials from your current employees.
Let them communicate their interest by providing your recruiter's contact information in an easy-to-find place. That way, they can send their resumes and begin to build a relationship that will allow you to find a place for them in your company.
Related: 4 Tips to Hiring The Right Candidate
3. Social media (besides LinkedIn)
Everyone knows that LinkedIn is a great way to find out about potential employees and to connect with them. But a lot of recruiters are ignoring other social-media platforms. The 2014 Jobvite Social Recruiting Survey surveyed more than 1,800 recruiting and HR professionals. Only 26 percent of respondents said they had hired a candidate through Facebook and 14 percent through Twitter.
Talent of all backgrounds use social media as part of their job searches, which means sharing job openings on social media can reach a variety of talent.
Using social media to look for candidates can also help you judge a job seeker’s interest and involvement with your industry. If you start noticing the same Facebook member leaving thought-provoking comments on industry posts, consider contacting them.
If a potential employee stands out to you on social media, follow them. Their tweets and posts will give you a better idea of who they are. Also, tweet and post your job posts on social media. That way, even if talent isn’t actively looking for new opportunities on job sites, the openings at your company will still show up on their feed.
4. Your customers
It might seem odd to cross the line between customer and employee, but why wouldn’t you want to consider someone who buys your product as a possible employee?
The nice thing about turning customers into employees is they already believe in and support your company. If they’re willing to spend their money to be part of what you’re doing, think about how excited they’d be when you offer them a salaried position.
The best way for you to tell your customers about your job openings is your newsletter. Including links to job posts not only shares the opportunities you have available, but also shows customers they mean more to you and that you’d like for you to be part of the team.
What other new candidate sources have you found that work for you? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.