I’m a Business Owner: What Recruitment Options Are Available to Me?

Whether you’re a CEO of a large business, a director of a startup, or an entrepreneur looking to grow your business, there will inevitably come a time when you’re looking to hire new employees. But what recruitment options are available to you — and which ones should you use?

Did you know that 80% of available vacancies aren’t advertised? So, how can you expect to attract the right candidates? You’ll significantly increase your chances of finding the right person for your job if you adopt a multiple-strategy approach; that is, using multiple means at your disposal to ensure potential candidates are aware of your business.

Company Branding

Company branding and brand identity: they’re those oft-used buzzwords thrown around by marketers and businesses, without actually delving into what they are, or what they mean. But it’s arguably one of the most important aspects of your business. Your brand encompasses everything your company is. What are your values? What are your goals? And what’s your reputation?

You need to have an awareness of your brand identity because it’s the one thing that separates you from your competitors. Everyone recognises the yellow “M” of McDonalds, Colonel Sanders of KFC, and the Starbucks logo. But how does this affect how you recruit?

Company branding isn’t only effective for earning custom, but it’s key for finding strong candidates for your vacancy, too. Having a strong brand — one that not only knows its values, but also makes them accessible to everyone else — will not only make people want to work for you; it will help you find the right people for your position. You’ll attract those that share the same values you espouse and have the skills and attitude to work you’re seeking.

Employees want to work for a business that knows its goals and what it’s aiming for. If you as a business don’t know what you’re setting out to achieve with your product or service — whether that’s providing unparalleled customer service, or selling products that provide value to their customer’s lives — then how can your employees expect to be able to contribute to achieving that? This core difference between having brand awareness and not is that with one, you’ll be able to attract people excited about your business who understand your mission, which will inevitably lead to more productivity.

Social Media

Social media has grown exponentially in recent years. If people are looking to praise your business, the places they’re going to go to are your social media channels. Inevitably, people may also complain to you via a public platform, but it’s the best place to demonstrate to your customers (and potential employees) how you deal with unhappy customers. Social media is a valuable tool for increasing awareness and traction, but also for recruiting, too.

Using LinkedIn

LinkedIn has always been the preferred choice for social recruiting. Its target users are professionals and it’s used as a means to connect with people in the same or similar industries. Recruiters use it to source new talent, while individuals use it to showcase their abilities. The entire platform is built around the premise of broadcasting experience and qualifications, and users can even gain testimonials from their former clients, employers or colleagues. With that being said, it’s no surprise that 79% of candidates hired through social media come from LinkedIn.

So, how can you use this platform to extend your brand?

It’s so important for any business to have a presence on LinkedIn and maintain it over time. Encourage your employees to like your page or, if you run your company yourself, earn testimonials from past clients. This establishes your expertise. You can take this up a notch by posting and sharing relevant articles which secures an authority in your industry or niche.

However you advertise your vacancy, either through social media or job boards (which we’ll go into later), LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to assess your candidate’s profile and determine whether they’re a good fit through their experience, qualifications and references.

Don’t Neglect “Passive” Candidates

Looking back at our previous statistic that 80% of vacancies aren’t advertised, it’s time to look at passive candidates. There are a couple of reasons why this is the case. Typically, candidates either approach companies themselves asking about potential vacancies (which is why it’s so important to monitor your social media and prospective emails), or potential employees are approached by a business.

Passive candidates are those not actively seeking work, so they are likely to be currently employed in a similar position and possess the skills that you’re looking for. With active candidates, however, it may be the case that they have been unemployed for a while or, if applying for an entry-level position, may require significantly more training until they’re confident in performing their job independently. There’s a reason why passive candidates require 17% less skill development than those actively seeking work.

To make the most of passive candidates, all you need to do is maintain an active presence on social media. Recent studies revealed that over 2.3 billion people worldwide are registered on social media. This means there’s an absolute goldmine of talent on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn ready for you to target. But it’s not just a case of advertising your vacancy online; it all comes back to brand awareness. If someone’s comfortable in their current job, chances are they won’t willingly come to you unless you have something to offer. A solid marketing strategy can make all the difference, alerting experienced candidates to your company.

Innocent Drinks is a great example of a company that doesn’t just focus on promoting its brand. It connects with its audience, coming across as personal and fun. Take this example:


This tweet alone has already earned well over a thousand retweets, putting it in the feeds of people who may have never been previously aware of them.

As so many say, “content is king”, and though the phrase may be the bane of business people and marketers the world over, you can’t deny that there’s some truth to it. Creating relevant, even funny content that gets noticed and shared not only increases your brand awareness, but you may just find it appearing on the timeline of your perfect prospect.

Job Boards

While social media is constantly growing, this doesn’t mean that more traditional forms of advertisement don’t work. Contrary to popular opinion, jobs boards are far from dead. Jobs boards are still searched by millions of people every day, and those actively searching for jobs will be utilising them in their search. How can you stand out when posting on a jobs board? The answer is simple.

If you’re recruiting in a very niche industry, consider a niche jobs board. Today, many jobs boards cater to certain industries or locations. If you’re targeting employees in a certain county, chances are you’ll find a suitable jobs board. If you’re looking for candidates for a construction or medical job, there are also jobs boards that focus solely on your industry. Take advantage of these, as you’re more likely to find those possessing the skills and experience you’re looking for.

The Importance of Making Your Candidate Want to Work for You

This is perhaps the most crucial step of them all — and where a combination approach comes into play. Only when you can attract talent who want to work for you will you truly benefit from your recruitment strategy. This can only happen when you have a solid company branding, a presence on social media and advertising your vacancies as and when they arise.

But how else can you make a people want to work for you?

A recent survey found that 65-68% of job seekers will accept a lower salary if employers make a positive impression during the hiring process, have exceptional reviews, or have received positive press. While this is comforting to small businesses that possess this but not the budget to provide a higher salary, this doesn’t mean you should scrimp on employee benefits if you’re in the position not to. An increasing number of employees are motivated by job benefits, perks and the ability to work flexibly, so if it’s something you can offer, it’s a surefire way to increase employee productivity and wellbeing.

But What About When It Comes to the Interview Process?

As much as the interview process is an opportunity for a potential employee to sell themselves to you, it’s just as much a chance for you to sell yourself to them. Asking a candidate what they’ve done may provide you with plenty of information about them, but it doesn’t allow them to get a gist of how you and your company operate. Instead, consider providing a problem that they have to solve — one that would pop up during their time working for you. You’ll get valuable information on how they’d act, but it also allows them to determine whether they’d be comfortable in that situation and whether they can see themselves working for your company. If a person comes to the table enthusiastic about you and ready to learn, even if they don’t get the “right” answer, you may see that they’re just as viable a prospect.

When it comes to recruiting only the very best for your company, there’s nothing wrong with being a geek. A geek assesses all the options available and uses technology to achieve their aims. How are you using technology to recruit for your business?

Bio: Ron Stewart has worked in the recruitment industry for thirty years, having owned companies in the IT, construction and medical sectors. His current project is Jobs4Medical, helping job seekers and recruiters find and promote medical jobs in both the UK and abroad.