July 20, 2018

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Target Your Recruitment Market

How do you find employees when you need to fill a position? Do you place a help wanted ad in the classified section of your local paper, then wade through tons of applications, phone calls, or resumes— finding few to none who meet your needs?

There are many other ways to recruit managers and other employees in addition to the classifieds. But do you choose the ones you can afford – or will be easiest to do? Not if you want to recruit the best employees. Recruiting is a sales and marketing process. In the marketing of your company’s products and services, you choose marketing strategies that will attract the customers who can most use and therefore want to buy your products and services. Why waste money on customers who don’t want to buy? It works the same with recruiting.

Recruiting is simply marketing your company’s employment to potential employees. If you use recruiting methods that will attract the employees you want who can "most use" and therefore want to "buy" you as an employer, you’ll attract only them and spend a lot less time and money.

So, how do you choose the recruiting methods that will be most successful, save time, save money, plus bring you the candidates you want? It depends on who your market (your potential employees) is! Here are a few ideas to choose from. WARNING - only use them if they are the right ones for who you’re seeking (e.g., posting signs at soccer games is a cool idea but only if your target market of potential employees are people who go to outdoor sporting events). Try these ideas:

Special services that help recruit special target employee groups. If you find that your target group of employees include people who have been in the military, interns from universities, college students, professionals, or people with disabilities, each of these groups have organizations that you can call to help you recruit. Look in your local phone directory under Career Counseling, Job Placement, or the word describing your target market).

Customers! Lots of organizations have found that their customers are part of their target employee group. Pizzas by Marchelloni in the U.S. advertises the ability to work in their company on their pizza box. Schwann’s, who sells ice cream and other frozen foods door-to-door, puts information about their organization and working in their organization on their order form. Starbucks puts information about working in their company on business cards that they give to their customers — most of whom are professionals.

Improve awareness of your organization. Produce literature about jobs in your organization in general and distribute it to local universities. Make short training manuals that double as training tools for your current employees and also show candidates what the job’s all about.

Women and men returning to the workforce are great possibilities. Your own past employees, or others who—after child-rearing or recovering from an injury—want to return to the workforce. You can conduct seminars to prepare people for the job. You do the training at your organization, they see what a great place your organization is to work, and they want to work for you!

Direct mail and ads. You can send out letters or surveys to your target group of employees by using mailing lists, information from clubs, professional associations, or even magazines. Of course you can still place ads, but start with the benefits of working in your organization instead of the facts about the job. The ad can be general, telling about what it’s like to work in your organization in general (as opposed to a specific job), hooks them on the benefits of working with you, and will cause them to call you to inquire about openings. Where you’ll place the ad is determined by what your target employee market reads. I’ve even recently seen some information about working for a specific company on a billboard (only useful if you think your target employee market drives that road). Finally, stories that tell about working in your organization in the media, whether it’s on television, the radio, or in newspapers or magazines.

Career days or job fairs at colleges or local community colleges if your target employee market attends these institutions. Be sure to go out and work the floor and meet the people instead of sitting at your booth waiting for people to come to you.

Your employees. You can pay recruiting bonuses to your own employees. Be sure to train them on how to present the benefits of employment to your target group of employees.

Brochures. We certainly use a lot of brochures for our products and services with our customers. Use them to attract people to come to work in your organization too. They can be paper brochures, the traditional type, or they can be video or audio. You can even develop your brochures/video/audio together with other organizations in your geographic area to save money.

Outplacement companies. There are companies full of people who’ve been involved in a downsizing or other layoffs. Any one of these may be the perfect employee for you.

Swapping or sharing. This works particularly well with your part-time employees and seasonal employees. If you need a part-time employee and the candidate you attract wants to work full-time, you may lose them to somebody else with a full-time opening, or they don’t even apply because you don’t have a full-time opening. Another company may be having the same problem. Why not get together with other employers who have part-time jobs and get some of these people working for both of your companies, which creates a full-time position for them. Same with seasonal employees. Go to people who employ people in the opposite season and make a full-time, regular position out of this between the two companies.

The internet also has many sites that are helpful in recruiting employees. Your own web site can contain information on how great it is to work for your organization!

These ideas and an unlimited number of others may be the right ones for you. Use only the recruiting methods that will attract the employees that will meet your needs.

-Carolyn B. Thomson
Carolyn B. Thompson is the President of TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC., a customized training and HR consulting company that helps small and medium sized organizations enhance their ability to recruit, inspire and retain quality employees and improve performance through training.
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