How to expand and diversify your candidate pool

There is certainly no shortage of professionals looking for work right now. With our nation facing unprecedented times in the midst of a pandemic, it may seem like the world is your oyster when it comes to your candidate pool.
Except that more candidates doesn’t necessarily mean a wider, more diverse candidate pool. In fact, more professionals flooding the market can actually make it more difficult to find exceptional talent!
It’s absolutely a great time to diversify and expand your IT candidate pool. But, to really expand your access to exceptional talent with the right skills and background to help your business reach its goals, consider following this advice:

Ask for referrals. 

It’s funny, because this is probably THE most obvious piece of advice available. Yet, many organizations fail to effectively create — and most importantly, implement — a strong referral program. 
In fact, often a referral program is carefully crafted, then set aside to “do its job.” 
For most organizations we talk to, you can imagine how that turns out…
Not many referrals. 
Asking for referrals is simple and powerful. It shows that you value your employees and their opinion, so it can not only help your recruiting efforts, it can positively impact your employee retention.
Having some “skin in the game” can provide extra incentive for your employees to refer their most highly-qualified friends and family. From money to vacation time to gift cards, there are a range of options to consider. If you want to know what your employees will gravitate toward the most? Ask them! 
See the trend here? Involve your team – they’re more invested than you might realize!

Change your job postings.

If you’re not attracting the types of candidates you’re hoping to add to your candidate pool, your job postings may be to blame. 
In many circumstances, your job postings serve as the initial introduction to your company. They’re also tasked with providing enough of a description about the role and your company to entice the right candidates to apply.
That’s a tall order!
But for many companies, job postings are a bit of an afterthought. They often state too much, overwhelming candidates and diluting the strongest messages, or they don’t say enough, not providing enough incentive to apply. 
Not sure where to start? Talk to your marketing department or resource. Job postings are advertisements! Your ideal customers are elite talent. Marketers can help you change your POV on job postings and write to convert, rather than simply to “post.” It’s a subtle shift in mindset and skill, but one that can have a huge impact on your results. 

Better leverage social media. 

It’s safe to say that just about any candidate you’d like to hire is on social media. They may not be incredibly active on every platform, but they’re out there. And they’re open to hearing from you!
In particular, using LinkedIn can have a tremendous impact on expanding your candidate pool. While sharing job links, company news and career advice from your company page is helpful, the REAL power comes from your team sharing, posting and engaging with content. 
At a minimum, your recruiters should be active on LinkedIn. Not spamming or soliciting, but adding value, sharing content that’s interesting and helpful for talent, and building their (and YOUR) reputation as a trusted resource and potentially, a great place to work.  
Candidates who enter your pipeline through this type of social engagement have a much stronger grasp on your culture and value prop, and are much more likely to convert.

Partner with a recruiting firm. 

Of course, the easiest way to instantly and dramatically expand and diversify your candidate pool is by partnering with a respected, trusted recruiting firm. The right recruiting partner will have an expansive network of talent (often across the country) that not only has the skills and background you’ll need for key positions, but that has strong relationships with that network. Engaged talent is more excited to join your team and contribute to your results. When you choose the right staffing partner, you can see and feel — and most important, MEASURE — the difference. 
Here at Matlen Silver, we’re extremely proud of our incredible network of talent. We value our contractors and candidates, and they know it. In fact, our candidate NPS is about 300% higher than the average in our industry. They know that we value them and their contributions, and that we work with amazing clients who similarly value talent. 
Want to expand and diversify YOUR candidate pool right now? We’d be honored to join your team as a strategic partner. Contact us to learn more.

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