Skip the Job Board: Here’s How to Leverage Your Network’s Network

socialnetworkBeing a recruiter is all about that moment when you find the right person for the right job. But for every amazing candidate you find who is a great fit, there are dozens (if not more) of unqualified candidates taking time and attention away from your search. So many hours are lost to sorting resumes and eliminating candidates who aren’t even close to being a good match. Is there a way to spend less time sorting out the bad candidates, and more time getting the good ones into their dream role?

Yes, there is. Stop posting your jobs on job boards.

Posting jobs online is a great way to draw in a huge number of candidates; unfortunately, it’s not a great way to draw in the kind of qualified candidates you want. Instead, it requires a huge amount of sifting and filtering, and continued posting for recruiters – who are already under time pressure from clients to fill the position – to find the right candidate.

But how can you fill a job without posting a job listing? Is there a way to spend your time that brings in fewer candidates, but who are all more likely to be great matches for your client’s company? Oh yes. It’s all about drawing on the power of your network and your network’s network, and letting them bring the candidates to you.

Get Social

Using social media is one of the best ways to turn the volume way up on your candidate search. Sharing the title of a job opening and a link to the company’s “About Us” or “Jobs” page is a great way to quickly get the candidates already in your network excited about a job. It’s also a good way to share a job with people you know who may know someone who would be a great fit for the company and role.

After all, in your career you’ve probably connected with tons of candidates, hiring managers, other recruiters, along with your family and regular social circle. If you’re connected to all of these people on social media, they’ll be the first to know about the position, and they’ll have a fast, easy way to let you know they – or someone they know – are interested in the role.

Using social media narrows the field of people responding to you and allows you to draw upon the power of the best people you’re already connected with. This can help reduce the number of “random” applications you get, improving the quality of the candidates you get, and saving you time while improving your odds of making an outstanding placement fast.

Talk Their Ear Off

Posting a job listing on a board and calling it a day just won’t cut it in the war for talent. The best recruiters are always on the lookout – and making sure other people know they are too. It goes without saying that you should be networking heavily as a recruiter, so make the most of that energy by telling anyone who will listen about your latest opening.

You’ll draw on the same power your social media presence has – but you’ll maximize your outreach by sharing the job with new people at events (who you’re not already connected with on social media) and those who aren’t active on the sites but still have access to amazing candidates.

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When someone asks you how it’s going, tell them — then mention you’re especially preoccupied trying to fill a ______ position at AmazingCompany, Inc. After all, you never know who just found out that their brilliant friend/former employee/college roommate is looking for a new job.

Focus On Specific Job Boards

If you must post a job description, let the candidates filter themselves by putting the listing on a specialized job site as opposed to the more generic sites like CraigsList. Post on a job board specific to the kind of professional you’re looking for and you’ll cut down the number of resumes you get from spammers and people who just don’t fit at all.

Need a software developer? Post on Hacker News, 37signals, or StackOverflow. Take the listing to the candidates you want and you’ll have the best odds of those candidates being the ones who reply.

However, if you’re using the power of your network effectively, you can do some of your best sourcing without ever having to post another online job description. The more active you are in networking, the more credible you’ll appear to your colleagues and potential referrers, which means you’ll be sent even better candidates and jobs in the future.

Of course, not every candidate you get from this method will be a perfect fit; after all, recruiting is an art, not a science. But if you leverage your network and referral opportunities wisely, you’ll drastically cut down the amount of time spent on time-wasting resumes coming in from job boards, and get to faster, better placements in no time.

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3 Comments on “Skip the Job Board: Here’s How to Leverage Your Network’s Network

  1. Superb article – thank you for sharing!

    I’d just like to add in one more strategy – integrating social recruiting into employee referral programs. The same benefits sharing jobs via a recruiter’s own networks are quadrupled when expanded to the entire workforce. Plus, referral programs are a proven source of top talent.

    1. That’s so right! Referral candidates almost always cost less to hire, they onboard faster, and stay longer. Great point — and one more people should look into. Thanks!

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