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By Sanjay Khatnani, Managing Partner, J2 Solutions

It’s an employee’s job market. The Covid-19-fueled labor shortage continues to be felt by businesses small and large across nearly every industry. By now, this simple truth has become abundantly clear. Employers are desperate to fill roles while job seekers have the pick of the litter.

As an employer in the post-COVID era, you may have already begun to shift your mindset around how to make your company a more attractive place toThe Rules of Recruiting Have Changed work—from redefining your company culture to offering remote work options to retooling your compensation strategies—but how do you get their attention in the first place? How can you bring in the volume of job applicants to fill those vacant roles that continue to grow?

I’ve recently been doing a lot of thinking (and research) on the matter. In today’s digital era, with Gen Z-ers joining the job market and millennials moving up the ranks, traditional communication models and recruiting efforts are no longer appropriate. Job seekers are becoming savvy in how they’re finding jobs, and we need to get more savvy in how we find them.

In other words, we need to meet them where they are today. (Hint: they’re not hanging out on the online job boards).

Five effective tactics to reach and attract job applicants in 2021:

Attract through social media:

You use social media to attract customers, right? Why wouldn’t the same principle apply to job seekers? Applicants today are looking for clues about a company before they even pursue employment opportunities. Where do they go for that information? Social media. With that in mind, be sure your social sites positively reflect who you are as a company. Post pictures of your workplace or your employees, share info about your company’s more attractive benefits, applaud team members for their accomplishments, post videos, and more. You might even encourage your employees to share your content on their sites to convey a vibe of unity. Add some levity to your postings to infuse some color and personality. This is your place to shine; use it well!

Learn through social media:

Just as job seekers can learn a lot about you from your social media presence, you can do the same with them. Take to their LinkedIn profile page to get a sense of their qualifications and job history. And beyond the resume-type info, try to also glean information about their interests and personality to get a sense of how they might fit into your company’s culture.

Embrace text messaging:

The sad truth is that most people prefer to communicate via text rather than phone. The same idea holds true in the job market. Research shows that the vast majority of text messages are read. With the help of a texting platform, you can easily reach out to candidates and initiate a two-way dialogue via text. But there is an art to it: Keep your message brief, simple, and to the point. And make it personal! Using their name alone will radically increase the chances of your message being read. Or go a step further and include something about their specific skills or background. Close your text with a call to action. And above all else, don’t be a hound! You will surely turn candidates off if you send message after message.

Keep the process moving:

Gone are the days of the four-month interview process. These days, you need to strike while the iron is hot. Job seekers aren’t waiting around for you to respond, schedule that interview, or make a decision. They are moving and shaking—and if you don’t act quickly, someone else will.

Institute an employee referral program:

Employee referrals continue to stand the test of time when it comes to finding and hiring talent. By incentivizing team members to recommend candidates for open positions, you not only build your pipeline of qualified candidates, you also attract those who are more likely to be a better cultural fit, more engaged, and less likely to leave. But this is not your traditional referral program of the 90s or the early aughts. Today’s employee referral program lives on social media—and for good reason: it’s easy and expansive in reach. The key is to make it as effortless as possible for users to share. Consider crafting a customizable message for employees to use across LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and more.\

The rules of recruiting have changed—and they continue to do so as technology, market conditions, and the human psyche evolve. As employers, we need to stay current with the latest trends and strategies, understand our audience of candidates, and target them in a way that’s most meaningful to them.

What are some successful recruiting strategies you’ve used to keep your recruiting efforts fresh and alive?

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