Using Search for Talent Acquisition: How to Get Your Job Openings in Front of the Right Candidates

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It’s January – a time when businesses focus on the year ahead. They determine what resources they’ll need to meet their objectives, and thus, hiring is heavy, and competition for talent is fierce.

We typically think of search as a medium for customer acquisition, but it is also widely used by candidates searching for jobs. Similar to the approach we take for customer acquisition, search for talent acquisition involves optimization and distribution.

Build a keyword list
The first step in getting your jobs in front of the right candidates via search is to develop your keyword list. Your list should include:

1. Personal attributes of ideal candidates
2. Key performance indicators and success metrics of the most successful people in the position
3. Reasons candidates would want to work for your company (perks that make you stand out)

Put yourself in the mind of the job seeker. What terms will they be looking for when searching for the ideal job? Be as specific as possible by using appropriate industry jargon to help eliminate fringe candidates, and to give you the best chance for receiving resumes from the most ideal candidates.

Write a job description that is compelling, unique, and shareable
If we’ve learned anything as search marketing professionals, it is that content is king. That content comes in many forms. Treat your job descriptions as you would your product descriptions. Include as many of your relevant keywords as possible, write compelling descriptions that catch the reader’s eye, and include audio or video to give your job description some personality. A small audio snippet from a hiring manager or company executive gives a candidate a sense of what to expect if he were to work at your company. It also gives your description a personality and gives readers a reason to like, share, repost. Your goal is to have a candidate say “this job is me,” or “I know someone perfect for this job.”

Create unique landing pages with optimized URLs for each job description
Just as it is vital when creating product and other website pages, so too is it vital to create unique landing pages for your job descriptions. As with any piece of optimized content, your URL should have plain English phrases using the position title. For example, would be a preferred URL for your online marketing manager job descriptions.

Establish links to your job description from relevant sites
Where do your candidates search for jobs? An easy way to determine this is to do a general search for the position you are seeking and see what comes up. Most likely, the top sites are general job boards, industry-specific job boards, associations, colleges, newspapers, and more often, social media. Make sure you link to your job description from as many high volume sites as possible to give your site relevant link authority.

Leverage social networking to get the word out
According to the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, 72% of online adults use social networking sites. Networking, whether social or otherwise, is a vital component of the job search. You must be where the candidates are. Many candidates, in fact, may not be active job seekers. Social networking sites are a great way to find passive job seekers who may not be actively searching, but who would welcome a job change. Sites such as LinkedIn, allow you to search for candidates who match the qualifications and experience you are looking for. Other sites, such as BeKnown from Monster, and even Facebook are reaching out to job seekers and recruiters alike, trying to capitalize on the social networking phenomenon. Facebook’s Graph Search allows recruiters to find the skills, education, or experience that fits a particular job opening. Leverage to 100+ million users of these sites to find the ideal candidate.

Search is a built-in component of your marketing mix. It should also be a part of your talent acquisition mix.


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