Here we look at all the avenues available to identify, attract and approach the best candidates.

Use Your Own Database

Your  Customer Relationship Management (CRM)  or Application Tracking System (ATS)  should always be your first launch point for candidate touchpoints. However, in order to successfully use your database to identify the most appropriate candidates for vacancies, you will have to ensure that every applicant you add is correctly imputed, tagged and notes added where appropriate. A well-managed database will be what sets up apart from your competition. Your consultants and recruiting staff need to understand and buy into this.

A regular campaign of re-engagement with your database is worth the effort. Updating jobseekers with relevant salary and industry information positions you as thought leaders and will encourage them to not only keep you updated but also to keep you front of mind so they are more likely to engage on job opportunities.

Make the Most of Job Boards

Posting opportunities on job boards should form a crucial part of your recruitment process. If you operate in a niche then you probably already have good relationships with your main job boards, however, always keep up to date with new entrants to the market and what they may have to offer.

Many job boards will also have add on services available such as a searchable CV database or job alerts which should be leveraged as well.

Advertise on Your Own Site

Even if your site is not a massive  magnet you should consider it the first launch point  for your job advert and then use that to link out in other media. Create a compelling job advert that as well as being posted on your site will sit on the relevant job boards .  In addition the job adverts can be leveraged to share across your social  media  and  referral  networks

Compelling Job Avert

The job advert  is  totally different  from  the job description and it’s amazing how many recruiters  make  the  mistake of sharing a job description online instead of a job advert or writing a job advert which doesn’t sell the role. Where the job description should be very much focused on your needs and wants the job advert  is  a  tool  by which to attract the best job seekers. However, without a well thought out job description it’s tricky to get the advert right. Avoid the tired cliques and instead talk about why you are an employer of choice and what you are able to offer. Think about all the ways in which you are different from the competition, consider elements like company culture and progression opportunities and ensure your job advert stands out accordingly.

Always ensure that the job title you advertise with is attractive to the jobseeker. If you use some obscure or technical job titles you may want to consider ditching these for the job advert and instead use something which is engaging, recognizable and where possible aspirational for your ideal candidate.

Social Media

Obviously social media is going to be a massive resource for identification, attraction and engagement with candidates. Ideally you will have spent time building your networks in the areas your candidates are most likely to spend their time. LinkedIn doesn’t work for all markets, so you’ll be investing time in understanding the relevance of Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and even sites like Snapchat. It’s old news that job adverts should not be broadcast but instead relationships built. Use the search facilities on these sites to find clusters of relevant individuals and build relationships with them. Locate the thought leaders in the space and ask for their advice too. Yes, it is fine to post your most engaging adverts, in an appropriate way, but that should be less than 10% of what you do on these networks.


To best identify relevant candidates you’ll also need to focus some time on more broader web searches. Using Boolean logic to create search strings which can help you find the profiles of relevant individuals who are not actively on the job market. If you have a strong business and personal profile these people are more likely to engage with you when you approach.


This comes down to an investment of time in your LinkedIn profile, which 99% of potential candidates will search before taking your call or replying to your email, and a broader brand online. Recruiters should produce content showcasing their expertise which can be shared as LinkedIn article as well as on their own websites. Be visible at industry events and then write about them afterwards. Engage with the gurus in your space so they connect with you in a visible way. A LinkedIn profile and no online presence is going to make the candidate engagement piece so much harder. If everyone in your sector knows you then even the most passive candidates will take the time to talk with you.


Never stop building your network. Being a contingency only reactive recruiter is the hardest job in the world. Being a retained, recruiter of choice in a niche sector you OWN is the easiest.

Always be connecting, engaging, authoring, speaking, networking and being prepared to give as much as you take. Blend old school with new technology and only stay ahead of the curve if you can see it going in the right direction. Use your own database for easy wins and then broaden the net.

Finally, don’t fall at the final hurdle; the interview process. There are two main mistakes made at this stage; a process which put so ” the best candidates and/or an interviewer who can’t identify the best candidates. Always prepare before seeing candidates and remember you are selling your opportunity as much as you are assessing their suitability.