If you pick the most appropriate listing services and plan your strategy, you can reap great benefits from online recruiting — including quick access to lots of qualified candidates.
There are three major avenues in online recruiting:
- Online classifieds and job boards – You can advertise your job openings in the online equivalent of classified want ads and wait for jobseekers to contact you.
- Resume banks – You can browse online resume sites for likely candidates and contact them yourself.
- Social Networking Sites – These are immensely popular resources for active and passive job seekers, and professionals who are hiring.
If you want to try out online recruiting, one way to test it out would be to buy an online version to go with your next print classified.
Some papers may automatically list your ad both online and in print, but many large urban papers often charge a separate fee to list in both. Some major newspapers — but few smaller papers — offer online job listings separately.
When a paper offers online-only ads, the advantage over the print-online combo (besides a lower price) may be the extra space: the online-only ads often allow unlimited word count.
Another option in the realm of newspaper classifieds is specialized publications. Industry journals and trade magazines carry employment listings, and this can be a good way to target relevant professionals who are more likely to be qualified, certified, and engaged in the work you need. And most such publications also have online listings, in some cases for an extra cost. If you’re tired of the flood of unqualified applicants that come from some general Internet postings, a vertical publication may be the route to take.
While classified ads advertise everything under the sun including employment, on the Web you will also find online-only sites that focus entirely on employment ads, with no print publication as part of the mix. Some of these are also free, so it’s easy to experiment.
There are also online services that charge a fee for helping you recruit people online. The cost of some of the paid job-listing services can be similar to that of running a print ad with your local paper, and like newspapers, the costs can vary by city.
Although companies do post to free online job boards for upper-level management and highly-paid technology jobs — engineers, information technology folks, Web designers, and technical project managers — these positions don’t usually get the most traction there. If you’re looking for an executive, or someone with a technical specialty, you want to look at the for-fee job sites and the recruiters.
For all the jobs that range between entry level and upper management, however, the free job Web sites are a good place to start. These sites include Craigslist (there is a small charge for submitting job listings in certain major cities); Lycos Classifieds; and Indeed.com.
For-fee online job posting services typically provide space on their site where you can organize the resumes that are sent in response to your ad, and offer tools to help you edit and manage the job ads that you post. That can be a lifesaver if you’re posting many jobs at once. These services include Monster.com, Careerbuilder, Yahoo! Hotjobs, and others.
There are free resume databases online, but the well-known online services (Monster.com, CareerBuilder, and Yahoo! HotJobs) charge employers for searching their databases. For jobseekers, it’s usually free to post resumes.
With resume databases, in addition to seeing resumes from those actively seeking new jobs, you’ll also be courting more passive job seekers who may have posted their resumes just to see what kind of job offers they might get. Since you will be the one approaching the candidates instead of the other way around, you’ll be in the position of having to interest each candidate in what your company has to offer. And, of course, other recruiters are combing the same pool of candidates.
Here again, the effectiveness of this service depends on the industry you’re in, the position you’re trying to fill, and where you are. A free trial with the big resume databases will give you some sense of the number of resumes that turn up for your criteria. (The contact information will be hidden until you pay.)
The sites that charge for resume searches offer multiple ways to access live customer support to ask questions, and somewhere between the sales push and the customer service you can often get a feel about how well your needs are likely to be met by that company’s resume database.
Social Networking Sites
As part of a long-term recruitment strategy, you may want to put a little time – and perhaps some money – into a networking process that could link you up with job candidates months or years from now. These online networking services are actively used by professionals at all levels, including executives. Here are two “social networks” that might be of use; there are numerous others.
LinkedIn can provide additional ways to network and possibly find employees by referral, especially for upper-level jobs in the technology sectors. It’s a professional network, focused on allowing people to connect with anyone who might share a professional interest.
You sign up then invite friends, colleagues, and associates to join your network. As your network of contacts grows, you are indirectly linked to your contacts’ contacts. When you’re looking for a job candidate for a role that’s hard to fill, you can ping your Linked-In colleagues and ask them to pass along your request.
Using this “degrees-of-separation” approach, you might be able to find some people you’d never be able to reach through job ads. And since they are colleagues of your colleagues, they come better recommended than an over-the-transom resume.
It’s free and it grows virally, but it takes some time – identifying those you’d like to invite into your LinkedIn circle, and getting to know those who pass your way. It’s also a two-way street, so you’ll occasionally be helping a colleague in their searches.
This could be a great resource to use in tandem with other recruiting strategies. LinkedIn could also be helpful for learning more about a candidate if you can find people in your extended circle who know them (though it’s not a background check per se). There’s a feature where people can “endorse” one another on the member profiles, indicating some level of professional credibility or good reputation.
There are other networking and referral services that promise to narrow down the field of candidates sent to an employer. Some may charge a monthly subscription fee, and may make more sense if you have a lot of upper-level positions to hire for.