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Right now, our big challenge is recruiting. What can we do to attract more candidates to our jobs?

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If you’re short on candidates, you are not alone. The skills gap is very real, and staffing and recruiting firms are finding it increasingly difficult to fill their job openings. So what can you do?

Go back to the 4 R’s of recruiting:

  • Recruiting new talent
  • Reactivation of former candidates
  • Referrals
  • Retention of current associates

Recruiting – get more response to your jobs

Understand that there is no “silver bullet” of recruiting that magically makes more qualified candidates appear. It a tight labor market, you have to get your jobs in front of more people—and you have to make people want to work for you more than they want to work for someone else. Here are few ideas to help you boost recruiting response:

  • Get better jobs!
  • Write more compelling job descriptions.
  • Rethink your approach to job titles – think of them as headlines – make your job titles stand out.
  • Optimize every job for search engines.
  • Push your jobs to job aggregators.
  • Sponsor jobs on aggregator sites.
  • Push your jobs to social media.
  • Market your jobs more effectively throughout your website.
  • Manually share jobs on LinkedIn groups and other place where talent hangs out.
  • Build a stronger employer brand in your local market through community involvement, advertising and PR.


In the old days (pre-internet) reactivation meant getting every recruiter into the office for an evening call blitz—literally calling every candidate in ever filing cabinet to see who was available. Today, reactivation can be done more easily with tools like:

  • Email
    • Job alerts when you post new positions to your website.
    • Candidate newsletters.
  • Social media
    • Start a talent community on LinkedIn or a private networking site like Ning.
    • Create an alumni group for people you previously placed.
  • Marketing automation
    • Create automated campaigns to nurture candidate relationships – from remembering birthdays and service anniversaries to promoting hot jobs, automation is an easy way to keep in touch with every candidate in a more personal manner (without having to make thousands of calls).
  • Texting
    • Get candidates to opt-in to “hot job” alerts.


Almost every staffing firm has some sort of referral incentive program. But few of them are effective. If you want to get more referrals:

  • Ask more often – incorporate asking for referrals into more places in your service process
    • On your website
    • On your application
    • During and after interviews
    • Immediately after you place a candidate
    • On check-in calls
    • At least once per month via email communications
    • In every email and text job alert
    • Each time a recruiter follows up
  • Offer better incentives – think bigger rewards, even if there is a smaller chance of winning
  • Email
    • Job alerts when you post new positions to your website
    • Candidate newsletters


In a tight labor market, your candidates have lots of options. To fill more job orders, keep your best people working for your firm. Retention is mainly about being more proactive to determine when assignments are ending, and then getting your associates to agree to their next assignment before the current one is even done. Some companies are getting more aggressive about retention by skill marketing candidates before they come off of assignment – via calls, emails and even a Talent Showcase on their company website.

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