A golden rule in marketing is to know your target market and make sure every message is addressed to them directly. Any promotion that reaches an audience who will never buy from you is considered a wasted investment. The same holds true for your job postings! When you promote open positions, whether paid or free, are you thinking strategically to make sure it's being seen by the people you need to see it? Here are two major factors you need consider:
Before jumping on the most popular job boards because that's where everybody else is going, consider carefully whether or not the people you're trying to recruit are visiting there. Many job boards will claim to be all encompassing and nation-wide, but when you do your research, you may find that some have greater success with certain skills or geographies. Instead, look at all of your options:
Major Job Boards - These are great if you need a lot of applicants and want to make sure the masses are seeing your job. However, they may not be the right option for very niche roles or senior-level people.
Niche job boards - The opposite of major job boards, niche job boards focus on a specific skill, for example, just IT. Professionals who want to avoid the clutter of a major job board often start at niche sites.
Social media - Your LinkedIn Network may not be filled with professionals you want to recruit, but there are groups on LinkedIn piled with people who have the skills you want. At the very least, you may be able to get referrals. The great part about social networks is that if you choose to advertise, they have capabilities to zone in and target the exact people you want, based on skill, geography, title, or industry.
Print - Most articles you read today will tell you newspaper is outdated, but has it past its course for your potential employees? There is still a demographic that is not technical or internet savvy; don't miss out on their brilliance because you didn't promote your job to them.
Agencies - When you don't know where to post your job, start speaking with the right agencies. They're specialists and have massive networks. Like the job boards, there are agencies with a broad scope and a niche scope. Choose a few that work best for you.
Events - Who says you need to advertise your job? Networking events are filled with professionals and, if you do your research, you'll know exactly what types of skills they have. Start meeting people and gaining referrals today.
Even when you're in the right spot, if the message isn't right, you'll never attract and/or keep the attention of the right people. Review the entire job description and pay careful attention to:
The title - Does it accurately describe the role? Does it seem too junior or too senior? Is it too vague?
The requirements - You want the perfect person, but are you asking for too much? Are you not asking for enough?
Key words - Use key words, lingo and technologies that your target audience understands. This will filter out those who are unfamiliar with it, and show your desired employees that they'd be working with a company who knows their skills.
Knowing and marketing to your target market is as critical in recruiting as it is to selling. When you don't think strategically, you risk getting few applications or, worse, getting way too many useless resumes because you opened up the job to the entire world. How strategic are you when posting jobs?