It's 2009. Do You Know Where Your Talent Is?

April 1, 2009

The job I had just prior to coming to Digett almost didn't happen. After discovering the listing in the San Antonio paper (that's a wood-fiber display device, for some of you), I did what any other modern job seeker would: I went online to check out the company. I was horrified to find practically nothing. The only online presence they had was a one-page "website" that was actually hosted on another organization's site.

This was a large company with plenty of tech resources—not to mention that it was 2004, by which time the value of the intertubes was well known. In the end, I decided that a paycheck was more valuable than tech purity, but it still required a leap of faith. These days, that company has a full-blown web effort with job posts galore; sadly, they're still a few steps behind.

Smart companies don't just put their "Help Wanted" signs online

Attracting the right talent requires more than the bare minimum, even if the numbers say there are plenty of potential employees on the market. After all, getting more applications doesn't necessarily mean you're getting better applications. Slapping your job postings on your site or the large online boards may garner attention, but a little more effort can bring better results. A few services you might consider:

  • Craigslist. Ok, so this isn't exactly new or cutting-edge. Craigslist is, however, one of the most-visited sites on the web, and there's a good chance it's outpacing your local paper. Besides, it's free.
  • Twitter. If you're actively and honestly participating in the Twitterverse (and using the right hashtag), you'll find a quick mention of a job opening will get retweeted far and wide. You may never know who will respond.
  • Blellow. This San Antonio endeavor is causing a buzz by smoothly blending social networking and the freelance job market. All the cool kids are there.

Just spread your wings and discover new lands. If you're relying on the ol' standby recruiting techniques, you may be getting standby applicants.

It takes more than a better billboard, Mr. Boss Man

Spreading the word about your company's opportunities in innovative ways is only one half of the equation; otherwise, I wouldn't have used my own experience as a vehicle for this post. Advertising to recruits is one thing, but engaging them is quite another, and the best talent will be interested in learning just as much about your organization and its culture as the pay and benefits.

Beef up your website to impart details that reflect what your organization is about, as it's the first place many interested candidates will go. While you're at it, make it easier for seekers to express interest by allowing them to upload resumes or apply online. If you take the above suggestion and use Twitter to promote a position, make sure you stick around to answer any questions that come your way as a result.

A little extra effort on your part will go a long way toward reaching those employees who will provide value and benefits over a longer period of time. The best part is that you won't have to keep re-advertising the position.