Not everyone can afford (or wants to pay) $300 or more to post a job on one of the premier job boards like LinkedIn, Monster, or CareerBuilder, and few recruiters (outside of agencies) have the time to proactively mine resume databases for talent. Given this, let’s look at some creative and unique ways to distribute your job postings to increase the flow of candidates into your applicant tracking system.
Before you start thinking about job distribution, make sure you’ve developed a job description/posting that stands out. Avoid the trap of using a template that reads like a congressional law. Come up with some colorful language that will make your position and company stand out from the pack. Take a look at the job descriptions that Boston-based video hosting company Wistia comes up with for inspiration. Add images and maybe even video to your text to really grab people’s attention. Can you use job titles that nobody has thought of before (“Ambassador of First Impressions” vs. “Receptionist”?) We all know that crappy content, even with the best distribution, will only go so far, so make sure you take time to do something different with your job descriptions.
One company that has made “engaging job descriptions” its core mission is Ongig. Its platform appears to make it easy to to develop job postings that are more content-oriented and likely have a better chance of being shared. It even makes the number of “eyeballs” on the posting a primary element of the post itself.
There’s a special social media strategy you can employ if you take a little bit of time, that won’t cost you a penny. Specifically in the world of Twitter, there are at least two or three (often many more) Twitter users who are successfully aggregating followers who are passionate about even the most obscure and specific topic.
For instance, take the programming language JQuery. If you are looking for a Front-End Developer, run some searches on Twitter to find the Twitter users with JQuery as part of their handle and who have decent size followings (a quick search on Google turned up @Jquery with 90k+ followers). Tweet them your job posting directly (i.e. use their @ handle in your message) and ask them to retweet. Make sure to use a relevant hashtag (in this case, #jquery) so your tweet/link can be found in searches. You’d be surprised how often Twitter users will re-tweet your message if its relevant for their audience and you ask politely.
If you’re lucky enough to live in one of the cities (like Medford, Oregon) where Craig doesn’t charge for job postings, you can use good old Craigslist. There’s really no reason not to. You’d be surprised how relevant the site continues to be (I’ve made a few placements from candidates sourced through this channel, though don’t tell any of my clients that.)
I’ve heard of recruiters running PPC ads on Google for their job postings around specific keywords in specific cities. Going back to the Jquery example, if your front-end developer role is in Seattle, you can bid on keywords like “JQuery” or ‘JQuery tutorial” in Seattle only, and expect that at least a few of your clicks will come from developers who might be interested in applying for your job. With PPC campaigns, you can set your budget and watch closely how your ads are performing (i.e. conversions), but only do this if you understand how the PPC world works.
Services that syndicate your jobs to multiple job boards with the click of a button, like ZipRecruiter, often offer a free trial, and even if you becoming a paying customer, the rates are reasonable. This is a good way to cast a wide net with your posting and see what kind of results you get, for minimal expense.
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One technology that I used for a while, Jobaline, has recently taken down its service — it was integrated with Zoho Recruit, the applicant tracking system I use, and allowed me to run job campaigns through their network and only pay for their candidates whose resumes I felt would be a good match for my job. This pay-per-pick approach came in handy when working on a budget, we’ll see more players taking advantage of this model in the future.
Ask your employees to share your job across their social networks. If you are a Jobvite or TheResumator customer this is easy to do; you can even give your employees their own login to set up auto-publishing of your job posts to their networks, and track any referrals that come through each employee back to that employee. Offer incentives/fees for successful referrals and you’ll have your own little affiliate program running for candidate generation (which in my mind is no different then the lead generation that online sellers do).
Though I haven’t attempted it, you can distribute a press release through one of the online services like PRWeb to try and generate traffic for your job opening. This would work especially well if there is a compelling story behind the hire: i.e., a fundraising round, or a new technology breakthrough, or entering into a new market. It sort of kills multiple birds with one stone. If you go this route, don’t use your job description as the release. Wrap it into the release and provide a link (preferably one that you can track to see how many applicants actually show up through this approach). If the release is well-written and compelling, there’s a good chance you’ll get some press too.
Above all else, make sure that when your prospective candidates reach your job posting page, either on their laptops, smartphones, or tablets, that it’s written with some flair, and offers more then the standard templated job description. With a little creativity, you can find plenty of ways to bypass the big job boards to get your job postings distributed.
What creative strategies not mentioned here have you used to get distribution for your job postings?