5 Ways to Target the Right Candidate Pool

157010958Targeting the right candidates is essential when it comes to hiring the right person and streamlining your recruiting process. Between a competitive job market and a flood of candidates, you can’t really afford to take a scattershot approach to hiring talent.

If you promote your open positions without targeting the right candidate pool, you can end up overwhelmed with resumes, drowning in a pile of qualifications. A recent survey by Beyond found 75 percent of HR managers had trouble filling open positions because applicants didn’t possess the right qualifications.

The skills gap, combined with an overwhelming demand for positions, can have even the most savvy recruiter feeling the pressure. Merely posting a job and waiting for the perfect candidate to appear is a strategy unlikely to yield results. Considering there are still about three unemployed persons for every one job opening, it’s equally likely your inbox will be flooded with resumes for every open position.

So how do you target the right talent, wade through the wrong people, and connect with the best and brightest faster? Here are a few ways to zero in on the right candidate pool:

Use social media tools. Social media is a great way to connect with candidates and to isolate top quality thought leaders in your space. To find these people, it requires a little research and elbow grease. You’re not going to find top quality candidates merely by posting your open positions on Facebook and Twitter.

Do some research to determine where top quality candidates are spending their time online. Are they taking part in a specific LinkedIn discussion, Twitter chat, or posting on a certain blog? Knowing your ideal audience inside and out will allow you to customize your social strategy in a more effective way, leading to better quality candidates in your pipeline.

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Become a valuable member of communities. Once you’ve determined what communities you should be targeting, it’s time to become a valued member of these networks. It’s not enough to drop by and drop off a job posting. To really connect with the right talent and expand your candidate pool, you should be contributing in a meaningful way.

Take part in ongoing conversations about industry-specific topics. Share your experience and expertise in communities, and don’t be afraid to weigh in on discussions. The people connecting and sharing top-quality thoughts will also be the active job seekers and passive talent your recruitment efforts should be targeting. As a bonus, now that you’ve interacted with these superstars you already have a more personal connection.

Target the tech-savvy. Technical skills are on the rise, so to target the tech-savvy candidates you need it might be time to adopt new tech solutions. While there are three unemployed persons for every open position, in the STEM fields there are instead 1.9 open positions to every one candidate.

Using HR tech, from cloud services and responsive ATS to video interviewing solutions, is a great way to show candidates your company is fluent in technology. Speaking a more technical language in the hiring process is likely to attract a more tech-savvy candidate pool, and convince them to take the plunge to apply for your positions.

Remove barriers for passive candidates. Recruiters and HR pros love passive candidates, and it’s not hard to see why. You already know the candidate can perform job functions at a high level, since they’re already in a position showing off their capabilities. The problem with passive candidates is their packed schedules.

It can be hard to connect with these candidates due to a jammed calendar, and it can be hard to convince them to drop everything for your opportunity. If you want to target the passive candidate talent pool, you need to lower or remove the barriers keeping them from connecting.

You can connect with these candidates by targeting talent communities, then spend more time working around the schedules of the best and brightest people. Or you could use video interviews to time-shift the interview process, allowing even the busiest candidates to record short answers to your interview questions.

If you want to connect with great candidates, you need to make it easy for them to reach out and learn more about the opportunity. Focusing on highly targeted candidates and using new tech tools can allow you to connect with passive talent with far less hassle.

Encourage employee referrals. Perhaps the best talent pool is completely hidden in the networks for your current employees. Encourage employees to make great recommendations by keeping everyone in the company in the loop regarding positions and the qualifications needed. Incentivize the process by offering great perks, whether it’s an extra vacation day or a cash bonus, for great candidates who become top notch employees. The right candidate pool might just be closer than you think.

Finding the best candidates often means knowing where to look. If you focus on targeting the right candidate pools, you can ensure you never miss out on top talent again.

What do you think? How do you target great candidate pools? Share in the comments!

MORE: Candidate-centric recruiting is changing the world


Josh Tolan

Josh Tolan
Josh Tolan is the CEO of Spark Hire, a video interviewing platform. Learn more about using video interviews for staffing and connect with Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter.

Josh Tolan

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