The New Tools of Job Recruiting

Raise your hand if you’re just a little tired of all the talk around “generational differences,” millennials, baby boomers, Gen Z,  et al. The reason for all this chatter though is that the rise of younger employees, coupled with new technology, has led to some significant changes in how businesses function. Case in point, recruitment.

The days of placing a classified ad in the newspaper are long gone. Digital tools like websites and social media are among the most common places for job seekers to discover a new opportunity. And with talent shortages becoming more and more of a problem for HR professionals – 46% of businesses said they had difficulty filling positions in 2018, up 7% from 2013 – catching the attention of the right candidates is especially important.

Want to make sure that your company is up to date on job recruiting in the 21st century? Follow these three tips.

  • Get (mobile) optimized: More than three in four U.S. adults use a mobile device to access the internet, according to Unfortunately, not all sites are optimized for mobile devices, which helps them load faster and appear more legible on a smaller screen. And this is a problem if you want someone to check out a job posting. More than half of people will click away from a site if it takes more than three seconds to load. You can also go the extra mile and optimize the application process, which, granted, is more of an investment on the IT side. That said, only 36% of companies have this feature, which could help you stand out among the competition.
  • Be socially inclined: When asked what are their most effective recruiting strategies, 47% of businesses said social media. This tied an older – and more expensive – practice, using a recruitment agency, and beat out traditional advertising (44%) and even improving compensation for the position (42%)! It isn’t junior positions that are being filled thanks to social media. Every job-level category (executive, management, non-management hourly/salaried) has seen an increase in recruitment via social since 2011.
  • Target the right people: On one hand, all the data that sites like Google and Facebook gather from users is disconcerting, but when you want to advertise job openings to individuals with specific skill sets, it can be a tremendous asset. LinkedIn in particular allows you to target professionals with specific job titles and years of experience in a certain industry. Digital and social advertising for job positions also allows you to get in front of passive job seekers, who aren’t necessarily actively looking for a job, but could still be inclined to click on an opportunity if it sounds intriguing enough.

Don’t forget about your interns

While it’s more of a strategy for more junior positions, hiring managers are placing a greater emphasis on their intern programs to identify the right candidates early on and to help put them on a track for successful long-term employment.

When developing a sophisticated and competitive intern program, here are several best practices to consider:

  • Give them a plan: Younger employees need help seeing where they can go within an organization. Instead of a vague, “If you work hard, the sky’s the limit” motivator, develop career tracks that give them a clearer step-by-step vision of how they can progress with your business – and why they should seek full-time employment after the internship has concluded.
  • Consider the same perks you give full-time employees: Benefits like housing assistance and relocation stipends have shown to be a great, and expected, recruitment tool for regular hires. If you aren’t including this for your interns, it might be time to start. And even if this issomething you’ve been doing, be sure that these benefits are competitive and not simply just checking a box.
  • Help them get connected with each other and their surroundings: Adding some networking functions so your interns can get to know each other is a great way to help build camaraderie. Marisa Johnson, global HR manager for Textron, noted she creates special Facebook groups for Textron’s interns to help them find apartments together and answer each other’s questions. Giving them a tour of their new city also helps them get more connected and comfortable with your company’s location.

It was frequently noted that student interns are more loyal, which can go a long way toward improving your retention goals. If you haven’t already, take some time to see how you can expand your talent acquisition strategies to include this important group of workers.

Creating a culture that stands out against competing offers

Once you’ve got the right candidates sending in their resumes, you need to ensure your organization’s culture aligns with what top prospects want. Deloitte’s 2016 Millennial Survey points to career development as one of millennials’ top reasons for seeking a new job. (It’s worth noting that millennials make up more than a third of the U.S. labor force.)

Another Deloitte report, 2017 Human Capital Trends Report, outlined the company’s “Simply Irresistible Organization™ Model” – five key areas that make up a positive employee experience.

It’ll take some time, but focusing on these will help position your company as an employer of choice among your top candidates:

Meaningful work – It’s important for employees to feel that their work has a purpose. That starts with helping them feel empowered and giving them a sense of trust and autonomy regarding their work.

Supportive management – Employees who believe their managers are invested in their career and outline clear and transparent goals tend to thrive in their position.

Positive work environment – Not surprisingly, people like to be recognized for their work, as well as see a diverse and inclusive workplace.

Growth opportunities – If people don’t have a clear and plausible vision for how they can advance within your organization, they likely will find another that can answer that important question.

Trust in leadership – Starting at the top, employees need to believe that those in charge are truthful and transparent about the company, its mission and purpose.


When you make a hire, you want to be sure that you’re getting the best candidate out there, not simply the best candidate who heard about the job. Embracing a stronger social and mobile strategy, along with looking at your intern and employee engagement programs, can have a significant impact on your ability to recruit and retain the top employees.