If you have a recruiting problem, there are a million “recruiting solutions” out there, but small businesses with small budgets are increasingly using creative recruitment activities to attract the talent. From job fairs to referral bonuses, to the use of social networks, more companies are looking beyond the job description when seeking fresh talent.

One of the most popular ways of finding employees is to offer recruitment bonuses to employees who can find appropriate candidates. These could be old friends or new acquaintances, and it is generally presumed that employees will select an individual with the right type of knowledge, experience and personality. While it might seem like an obvious choice, it can backfire when friends encourage their friends to apply for positions which don’t necessarily suit or appeal to them.

Another is to snap up talent straight out of education, particularly through the use of internships and traineeships. After working for free or expenses for a month or two, a decision can be taken as to whether they are appropriate to be taken on full time. Advertising in publications read by students is a popular way of finding keen, young candidates with high aspirations.

There are so many ways of advertising jobs online, it’s easy to see why traditional publications are experiencing a decline. Advertising online opens up positions to a much wider audience, meaning that a business can pick and choose from a much larger pool of potential candidates. With the many networks and recruitment websites available, it’s easier than ever to find individuals with very specific sets of skills and specialisms.

Many companies miss a trick on their own website, in that they miss the opportunity that it presents for recruitment. Your homepage might be aimed at potential customers to buy or learn about products or services, but it’s easy to include a page listing job opportunities. It offers candidates the opportunity to learn about a business as they read the job description, and is treated by savvy companies as a key benefit of having a website.

Key to be being able to plug recruitment gaps is having a record of rejected candidates and ex-employees. They might not seem like ideal candidates, but previous applicants at least exhibit and enthusiasm to enter the business and ex-employees will come with the benefit of previously gleaned knowledge and experience. This approach to recruitment can also influence the process, in treating failed applicants with more care, increasing the chance of their willingness to accept the position at a later date.

John McE writes articles on a number of subjects including professional recruitment services, recruitment solutions and the role of a recruitment specialist.

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