Sometimes to find the perfect candidate for your open position you have to think small. That’s what niche recruiting is all about. As job boards boom, recruiters are starting to realize that specialization is actually saving time and money. With current unemployment hovering around 8% in the U.S. according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, any open position is going to garner a good number of resumes.
This avalanche of resumes could range the spectrum from qualified to woefully wrong for the position. Niche recruiting can help to cut down on the pre-screening process since the target is to get more qualified resumes right from the start. You’ll be focusing on candidates that are both the most qualified and the most passionate about their career field.
The following are some niche recruiting tips that will help you sort the best from the rest.
1. Specificity in the job description
Recruiting for a niche position starts with the recruiter, after all. Make sure that you’re being very specific about the job description at hand. List out the qualifications necessary and whatever skills and experience the candidate should possess. Be concise and to-the-point because your niche candidates aren’t just looking for any job that comes along. You’re recruiting people already interested in your career field, so feel free to use specific language and jargon. If they don’t get it, they’re probably not right for the position.
2. Know your job seeker
Recruiting for a niche position means that job seekers will often share attributes. Are they more technically minded or more creative? Knowing information about the typical job seeker in your niche will allow you to tailor the outlets you use to advertise your position. It will also allow you to seek out your ideal candidate in the places they most often visit, both online and off.
3. Get specialized
If you post your job listing on one of the huge job boards, you’re going to get a lot of responses. Some of them will be from great, talented candidates uniquely qualified for the position. However, more will be from candidates with no relevant experience at all. Sorting through these resumes will take a good chunk of time, even if you only spend about 6 seconds apprising a resume. So what’s a better way to let qualified job seekers know about your position?
Getting specialized could be the answer. Take that job listing and share it with a community or network of individuals looking for opportunities in your career field. After all, that’s what networking is for! Sharing your job posting within your networks will help you to find the most qualified candidates. It’s likely you’re not the only one who knows about these communities; motivated, career-minded job hunters have surely already found them. This will help to significantly cut down on the initial weeding out process.
4. Get social
Social media is a great way to connect with niche job seekers. With 66 percent of online adults on one or more social networks, there’s a good chance that great candidates have found their way to social media. Social media also allows for greater self-selection based on interest and career aspirations. Candidates interested in your niche will most likely be following a lot of the same companies and people. They’ll also be reading a lot of the same blogs and attending the same events. Tools like Twitter chats are invaluable resources for finding the plugged-in job seeker. You know the individuals putting time and effort into growing their niche networks will put the same time and effort into your position.
5. Prize creativity
The best job candidates are the ones who can think outside the resume. Job seekers who expand their job hunts in new and creative ways will similarly be able to expand the business of their companies. These professionals are motivated and not hemmed in by rigid thought patterns. Job seekers are finding tons of creative ways to apply for jobs, from infographics to video resumes. For instance, a candidate that sends in a video resume is more likely to be a creative problem solver in the office. Candidates who find ways to work their career niche into innovative applications are showing their passion.
Josh Tolan is the CEO of Spark Hire, which combines a video job board and online interviewing platform to enrich interaction between job seekers and employers.