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Talent Acquisition

How to Snowplow the Competition and Nab The Best Hires This Winter

The holidays have come and gone, snow is falling, and winter is upon us. Although you may want to curl up by the fire and ease up on candidate sourcing, you don’t have a second to lose. The war for talent, unfortunately, never takes a break.

I know what you’re thinking. “There are tons of applicants per job opening! I don’t have to try that hard, right?”

While that may be true, consider this statistic: Only 1.5 percent of hiring leaders believe that hiring will become less competitive in the coming year. That’s right, 1.5 percent. If you pair that with the fact that 77 percent of the employed workers are either seeking a new job or would be open to hearing about one, you potentially have some stiff competition on your hands.

So, how can you snowplow your competition this winter and make sure you’re the one candidates are looking at in 2014? Check out these tips:

1) Be completely transparent.

It’s time you opened the lines of communication and become completely transparent. It’s what job seekers want, it’s what will make you distinct among your rivals, and it’s what’s going to give you a more positive brand image.

Studies show that 75 percent of workers who applied to jobs using various resources in the last year said they never heard back from the employer. If you fail to get back to job seekers, you essentially push qualified candidates into the arms of your competition. Remember, if you don’t play the game correctly, someone else likely will.

How to snowplow the competition: Create more in-depth job descriptions to show what sort of company you are, what you’re looking for, and what the perfect candidate looks like. Provide contact information so job seekers can reach out to you with questions.

2) Go on campus.

Think career centers can’t provide you with the candidates you’re looking for? Think again! According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), nearly 93 percent of recruiters reported using the services of career centers. In addition, NACE found that student organizations, department chairpersons, and faculty members were also popular hiring sources: nearly 75 percent of respondents used each of these types of resources.

How to snowplow the competition: Stand out! Attend career fairs, hand out organizational pamphlets, tell your story, and give students and young professionals a way to follow-up with you.

3) Leverage mobile.

Did you know about 26 percent of job seekers use their mobile devices for career-related purposes? An additional 59 percent could imagine doing so, but only 13 percent of employers have a mobile version of their career website. So, if you don’t have mobile capabilities, such as a mobile career site or job postings that are mobile-friendly, you could be losing out on some great candidates.

How to snowplow the competition: Experts suggest that on top of having a mobile career site, use QR codes, text alerts, mobile tracking tools, and apps to attract the attention away from your competition.

4) Get to know your candidates.

Peering into the mindsets of your candidates is a great way to understand how they tick. While your competition may be picking applicants by skillsets, it goes beyond professional capabilities. Candidates actually have to fit and vibe with their team in order to be productive. They also shouldn’t be that virus that can infect teams and dampen relationships.

How to snowplow the competition: Using methods like informational interviews, you’ll be able to see who will be able to work well within your company culture and who can help your organization grow.

While competition is tough and the right candidates few and far between, use these steps to snowplow your rivals this winter. Doing so will ensure you nab the right hires who can help your organization to reach new levels in 2014 and beyond.

What do you think? What are some other ways to snowplow the competition and nab the best hires this winter?

[author image="http://thehiringsite.careerbuilder.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Val.jpg" ]Val Matta is the vice president of business development at CareerShift, a comprehensive job hunting and career management solution for university career centers and HR professionals that gives job seekers complete control over their search. Connect with Val and CareerShift on LinkedIn LinkedIn.[/author]

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