Why the Internet Still Works Best for Recruiters

In spite of all the bad news and worse projections, the Internet remains an extremely important resource for recruiters. Here are a few tips on making it work better for you and your clients:

  1. Treat candidates as customers, not subordinates. The Internet candidate is still in the driver’s seat. Even in a slowdown, it’s easy for candidates to find a new job, especially if they’re in the top 20%. Treating candidates as customers always made good sense. The slowdown makes it a requirement.
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  3. Make sourcing and staffing a priority. While everyone recognizes the importance of hiring the best, little proactive time is devoted to the effort. It takes time up front to do in right, like any important project. Work with your clients to develop a sourcing plan defining the candidate profile and possible links.
  4. Speed Counts. The easier it is to find the candidate, the faster you have to respond. There are still great candidates looking for jobs on the Internet – but everyone else wants them. Move quickly to get your fair share. Make sure your client’s internal hiring process can support the requirement for speed. If you can’t call, phone screen, and interview candidates within 72 hours, you’ll lose many of the best.
  5. Ads are more important than resumes. There are still five to ten times the number of candidates looking then there are resumes posted. How you write and manage ads will directly determine how successful your e-cruiting efforts will be. Make sure your ads are visible. Even a dull ad with good visibility will outdraw an ad that’s hidden.
  6. Compelling ads will generate more traffic than typical ads. Ads describing the past will not draw as many candidates as those describing the future. Prepare compelling ads that describe the benefits to the candidate for working for your firm. Focus on where the candidate is going, not where she’s been. Highlight what the person will be doing, not what the person needs to have. Put your best stuff in the first two lines of your online ad. If this is captivating, they’ll read the rest. This two-liner will stand out in the summary list generated by search engines.
  7. A career-oriented website is a must-have. Every potential candidate will check out your website first. Tell a compelling story. Make sure it answers the question, “Why would a top person want to work here?” Describe the value-added and benefits gained by working at your company.
  8. Expand your reach using one degree of separation. Use networking to leverage your e-cruiting efforts. Good people know other good people. Get referrals at forums, from current team members, vendors, customers, and business associates, even from your candidates. If you have more than one spot open, ask the best candidates for referrals. We still get over 50% of our best names from other candidates we’ve met over the Internet.
  9. Recruiting is marketing, not selling. Create a compelling opportunity and candidates will then sell you. Stay the buyer. Make the candidate earn the position – it has more value this way. When the decision to accept a job represents a strategic opportunity, compensation becomes secondary. Create an opportunity gap to increase interest. Make the candidate earn the right to move to the next step. Don’t compete on money – compete on opportunity. This is how you’ll win the counter-offer game.
  10. Get creative. You’ll need to work harder, and be on the leading edge of advertising and marketing to gain visibility and awareness. Swap meets, job fairs, radio, and online learning are a few ways to lure prospects to your candidate-friendly website. Apply the principles of speed and importance once you’ve found the a few choice prospects.
  11. Don?t let the good ones get away. Once a person checks out your web site, stay connected. Use your site as a central point by adding value. Provide something other than a job as a reason for a potential candidate to visit and come back. Give away things like free downloads and job-specific advice. Conduct surveys and host discussion groups. Also, ask for referrals, provide a career search agent, or provide a friend. To get more people to check you out, be sure to register your job description pages (with plenty of keywords) – not just your home page – with all the major search engines.


Lou Adler is the CEO and founder of The Adler Group – a training and search firm helping companies implement Performance-based Hiring℠. Adler is the author of the Amazon top-10 best-seller, Hire With Your Head (John Wiley & Sons, 3rd Edition, 2007). His most recent book has just been published, The Essential Guide for Hiring & Getting Hired (Workbench, 2013). He is also the author of the award-winning Nightingale-Conant audio program, Talent Rules! Using Performance-based Hiring to Build Great Teams (2007).


1 Comment on “Why the Internet Still Works Best for Recruiters

  1. One of the reasons that I find the internet works so well for recruiting is because so many people use it rather than in spite of that fact.

    A virtual database of contact information for millions of people, the internet is the fastest place to locate candidates. Lou makes some great points in his article. And if you aren’t using the internet yet, you probably aren’t making as many placements as you could be.

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