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Creative Recruitment: How We Find Our Employees

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First, it’s important to understand the key factors when it comes to the state of workers in the United Kingdom based on a recent survey of 12,000 workers. Here’s the reality:

  • One in four workers will be looking for a new job this year because they don’t feel valued.
  • 47 percent said they would prefer a friendly workplace over a 3-percent pay rise.
  • Even workers who “like their jobs” are still searching for new employment because they feel that something is missing.
  • More than half of survey respondents cite having friends at work as being very important to them.
  • A quarter of those polled admits to staying in job positions because of friendships.

The words straight from the mouths of workers make it clear that people are seeking workplaces where they feel valued. What’s more, relationships are connected with better rates of employee satisfaction and retention. These insights should be on the minds of recruiters as they curate creative, innovative recruiting strategies to attract talent.

Why Creativity Matters in Recruitment

Recruitment has changed as the world has changed. One trend that anyone who has been in HR or recruiting for a while has noticed is that networking has never been more important. The transparency factor created by GlassDoor and other websites that reveal and rank company culture through the lens of current and past employees is one example. In addition, platforms like LinkedIn are allowing people within industries to sync up organically. For recruiters, tapping into that organic element of connecting with talent is crucial when handling creative industry recruitment, creative tax recruitment, and more.

Seven Tips for Acing Recruitment Using Technology, Networking, and Creativity

1. Spend Time Where Talent Spends Time

As a recruiter in a specific industry, it’s important to know where candidates gather on the Internet to share knowledge, network, and connect with their peers. In fact, recruiters shouldn’t exclusively be interested in interacting with potential candidates when they’re in the process of collecting resumes. Being an active participant on websites and boards related to an industry is important for building relationships and rapport. If handled correctly, recruiters will have highly qualified candidates approaching them when they’re thinking of making a leap to a new job. For instance, a tech recruiter should spend time on sites like Stack Overflow to get on the “inside” of the development community. Recruiters can even take an ultra-casual approach by putting themselves out there as participants on niche boards like Career Guidance on a platform like Reddit. It’s acceptable today to find recruits in informal places as long as the recruiter sticks to company guidelines and policies for conduct whenever they go online. Find out about the latest trends in Social Media Recruiting here.

2. Build a Relationship With a College or University

There is something to be said for catching talent on the rise. That’s one of the reasons why establishing a relationship with a college or university that has strong programs associated with the industry a recruiter works in is such a good idea. What’s more, this strategy also helps to boost the recruiter’s professional image. Colleges and universities are always generally very eager to form relationships with companies that hire because they are invested in boosting their post-graduation employment rates. Simply reaching out to ask if one can host a talk or luncheon to discuss the field they work in, their company’s culture, or any other relevant topic with any students who may be interested in attending can lead to big things. Recruiters can then pass along their contact information to invite students to inquire about openings after graduation. Generally, this works best if a recruiter can build a relationship with a school located near their business. However, a college or university that’s not local may volunteer to fly a recruiter out if they see it as an important opportunity.

3. Get Artsy With Creative Recruitment Ads

Many job seekers today want to work with companies with soul and personality. That’s why this next tip for creative recruitment is so satisfying for everyone involved. Yes, it’s true that job searchers have mostly gone digital in recent years. However, that’s exactly why falling back on a grassroots favorite is so genius. A recruiter can make or commission some artistic, eye-catching recruiting flyers that can be posted in coffee shops and transit stops and all around town to catch people who may not be “actively” searching for new employment. There’s actually a twist to this one. Recruiters can strategically place their flyers in a coffee shop, lunch spot, or transit route that they know employees of their top competitor frequently visit. While they may not be able to single out that talent pool online, they can get their eyes on job postings if they pin flyers where they will be seen.

4. Cater to Mobile Job Seekers

Every recruiter needs to “apply” for a job they’ve posted online through their company’s recruitment portal to see what it’s like! A little self-audit to ensure that an HR portal is offering a smooth virtual experience for applicants is important. More than half of people who are applying to jobs online are doing it through their phones. Data from GlassDoor shows that mid-career job seekers in their career primes actually do the bulk of job searching on their phones. That means that recruiters could have savvy, qualified applications scrolling right on past because their clunky systems are making it hard to get from screen to screen or upload documents. If applications aren’t being accepted on a mobile-friendly HR page yet, it’s time to get that fixed!

5. Host a Recruiting “Happy Hour”

If a recruiter’s goal is to connect with applicants without going through the formal process of conducting interviews, nothing is better than an informal event. The great thing about hosting a happy hour is that there’s never the feeling that anyone is “wasting their time” the way it sometimes is with interviews that require interviewees to take time off. With a happy hour, a recruiter is bringing people in after work hours. They’re also providing the benefit of hosting a general networking event that brings together people from the same industry. The way to run a recruiting happy hour effectively is to have managers with vacancies present to conduct on-the-spot interviews with candidates that prove to be impressive and match nicely with company values. Getting the “introduction” out of the way is also a nice strategy for making the official interview in the office more productive and direct.

6. Do a Six-Month Call With Candidates Who Are Rejected

The painful trope of “keeping a candidate in mind” for future positions once they’ve been rejected is probably one of the worst aspects of the recruiter-candidate relationship. It doesn’t have to be that way! If someone was good enough to make it through the final round of interviews, they’re probably worth considering again. Unfortunately, resumes and contact information are often scrapped instead of being curated for future use once a position is filled. This means that the very useful tactic of reengaging qualified past candidates is overlooked. Why not be the one recruiter who actually lives up to the promise of “staying in touch” by following up with each candidate six months after the final interview? This is actually a very resourceful strategy because a recruiter who does this is able to gather data regarding where former applicants are eventually hired to get a feel for industry trends. Doing this for every job role a recruiter is tasked with filling is going to give that recruiter some pretty rare insights. What’s more, that recruiter will now have “an army” of talent working for various competing companies with who they’ve stayed friendly!

7. Establish an Employee Referral Program

This tip really ties in well with all of the wants and needs regarding friendly work environments being expressed by employees in today’s new economy. Creative recruitment companies would do well to borrow a little bit of inspiration from sales departments. After all, recruiters are essentially selling what a company offers to employees when trying to fill positions. Everyone who works in sales knows that customer testimonials are among the most effective strategies for makings conversions. When used by marketers, up to 78 percent of brands find that referrals bring in excellent leads. More than half of marketers who use referral strategies say that referral programs have a lower cost-per-lead than other channels. Recruiters who understand the power of referrals could be tapping into the power of “the testimonial” to bring in the best talent with less effort!

A company’s own enthusiastic, excited employees who have been motivated to become brand ambassadors are the best recruitment tools that far too many enterprises aren’t using. There’s no need to build a referral program from scratch. Tapping into a well-designed platform that makes it easy to share job openings with internal employees can reduce the time spent posting and advertising openings. Yes, starting an effective referral program that draws in talent that would otherwise be impossible to gather is as simple as utilizing a platform that provides employees with job information they can spread. By offering monetary or experiential incentives, internal employees become the eyes and ears for finding the best job candidates. In addition, the value of trusting employees to recruit future team members is that this policy creates a company culture where employees feel valued and empowered. That means that a recruiter is actively building a future talent pool while honoring the existing one!

Download our Employee Referral Benchmark Study to find out how other companies use referrals in their recruitment strategies.

Final Thoughts on the Future of Creative Job Recruitment Agencies

“I am convinced that nothing we do is more important than hiring and developing people. At the end of the day you bet on people, not on strategies,” American businessman Lawrence Bossidy famously said at the height of leading global brands like General Electric and Honeywell. This same attitude is one that recruiters should be carrying into every new employee search! It can be extremely easy to begin seeing applicants as “cogs” that are needed to fill specific roles that enable an organization to operate. However, the human side of recruitment demands that recruiters see applicants through the lens of how they can integrate into a company’s culture.

Workers are increasingly searching for companies that offer a company culture that sees and values them as “human” every step of the way. Research shows that employees who don’t feel connected and valued ultimately leave. They take talent, experience, and connections with them each time they jump to a competitor who can fill those needs. The best way to demonstrate that a company is a great place to work is to carry that “human” theme into the recruitment process. Creative recruitment agencies are tapping into grassroots recruiting and referral-based candidate leads because this is what top talent demands. Building a better workforce through creative recruitment means finding and keeping people who want to show up.

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