Online recruiting can use a variety of tactics. The basics include posting open positions on job boards — or listing them with professional associations that maintain a resume bank of job seekers in a specific industry or area of expertise.
Enhancing the company website
For effective online recruiting, small businesses should also keep their own websites up to date, and the sites should be inviting to job seekers. In addition to its product and service information, the site needs to make clear why the firm is a great place to work. For example, the "About Us" and "News" sections can emphasize the benefits of the company's work environment.
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Using social media for Internet recruiting
In recent years, small businesses have been finding that professional networking sites such as LinkedIn — and, increasingly, social networking sites such as Facebook — provide great opportunities for online recruiting. In many cases, the best candidates are already employed. So these networking sites offer a way to get in touch with passive job seekers who are not actively scanning job postings.
Avoiding the pitfalls of online recruiting
However, small businesses need to be aware of certain limitations and pitfalls when participating in online recruiting. For instance, the major job boards are typically tapped out by other employers looking for candidates. And hiring managers should be cautious when reaching out to individuals they encounter online. That's because the digital equivalent of a cold call — such as sending an unsolicited email to promising candidates — can be counterproductive. Individuals voluntarily post professional information to these online sites, but many prefer to be contacted through mutual acquaintances or by people who are already in their networks.
Maintaining the personal touch
Keep in mind that Internet recruiting efforts should augment, not replace, traditional one-on-one personal contact. These crucial contacts should still include outreach to potential candidates through networking events and campus job fairs, as well as relationships built with reputable recruiters. Direct contact helps employers and candidates better understand each other's needs and build a rapport. And working with a dedicated recruiter makes it much easier to reach individuals with the specific skills a small business needs.
There's no question that Internet recruiting has helped small businesses seek out new talent. But the deeper nature of personal relationships is simply not available online. Therefore, the most successful hiring strategies combine both the high-tech and high-touch approaches.