How to Attract the Best Candidates

Advice from the Leading Niche Job Boards

The leading niche job boards offer the most efficient and effective media to advertise job openings. Yet, whereas most recruiters are very satisfied with the response they receive, some companies do far better than others. The response to job listings for similar positions in the same town can differ widely. Some companies just manage to attract more talented candidates.

Are you marketing your jobs effectively to job candidates? Are you taking advantage of all the services that a job board offers? Many companies can do better on both counts. Firms that merely churn the waters hoping to hook the right fish, won’t benefit as much as the ones that constantly evaluate what bait is best.

"Those that take the time to write informative, appealing job descriptions, with exciting company profiles will trump their competitors every time," says Don Firth, a founder of NicheBoards.com, a confederation of 12 niche job boards that target specific industries and professions. “The job boards in our group work hard to provide the top quality candidates to our clients,” says Mr. Firth. “We know it’s in the best interest of our clients and our job boards to evaluate what’s working and to determine how we can be of greater help.”

Mr. Firth is also the creator of two of NicheBoards member Web sites, JobsInLogistics.com, which serves the logistics / transportation industry, and AllRetailJobs.com, which posts jobs from the retail sector. Business at those companies and many other leading job boards have spiked in recent months, a sign that the employment market is once again growing after a three-year slump.

"There's a heightened competition for talented employees", says Bill Gaul, the founder of DestinyGrp.com, a NicheBoards member. "When an economy starts rebounding, no one wants to feel that they’re going to miss out on the best employees,” says Mr. Gaul, whose job board helps companies hire ex-military personnel. “That makes it especially important that they’re getting results from their job boards.”

How can you get more from your job board? Advice from NicheBoards members include:

  • Think about where you’re posting your job: Top niche job boards categorize jobs by industry and profession. This enables companies to reach exactly the right audience and not a broader cross-section, which may lead to unwanted queries by candidates lacking appropriate skills. "Your ad isn’t going to be lost in the ocean," says Don Firth of JobsInLogistics.com and AllRetailJobs.com.

  • Write appealing job descriptions: One of the advantages of Internet job postings is that you have plenty of room to describe the job and define the requirements for qualified candidates. We have long passed the telegram style of newspaper ads. Short, non-descriptive job postings may result in candidate apathy or a heap of unqualified responses. These days, candidates crave information about job requirements and working environment. What skills are needed? What are the qualifications? What is the compensation? What is the work environment? What are the benefits? Does a firm emphasize training and development? Job descriptions are also an opportunity for companies to market themselves favorably. A well-crafted job ad suggests that a company cares deeply about the types of workers it wants and pays careful attention to detail.
  • Create an exciting company profile: Craft a company profile within the job ad to demonstrate that this is a company that leading candidates will be proud to work for. Describe the company's culture and history. Emphasize key features, such as management training, growth opportunities, healthcare and other employment benefits.
  • Market your company more aggressively: Many Niche boards enable clients to post a company logo on their homepage. The logo links to a firm's profile and/or a list of their jobs. This separates these companies from the pack. NicheBoards.com member, Brian Weiss, the founder and president of Jobs4HR.com, the leading job board for human resources, encourages customers to time their marketing efforts to special events, such as job fairs and open houses where they’ll be meeting potential workers. This is a powerful way to increase the brand awareness of your firm.
  • Use the resume database wisely: Niche boards have more targeted resume databases and attract specialized candidates who are unlikely to have their resumes on the generalist boards or spattered across the Internet. Most have features to let recruiters search by job category, location, experience, salary and education. This focuses in on the short-list of candidates. But in addition, review the skills and experience needed for the job. Do you require specific knowledge of a software system, such as SAP? If so, use SAP in the keywords to narrow down the field. Do you want to poach from your competitors, who may have well-trained candidates that would benefit your company? Then use their names in the keywords to see if you can land a coup.
  • Communicate with your niche job boards: In most cases, the owners, executives and customer service staff of niche boards know their industry, markets and professions better than anyone else. If you're not speaking with your job board, you're missing an opportunity to learn from experts. Niche job boards understand how to reach job seekers. Ask their advice, make use of their insights.

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