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It’s a VERY tough labor market. Less than two-thirds of Americans are participating in the labor force. The unemployment rate is low (Virginia’s is currently 4.3%) and new jobs are created every day, which means there are more jobs right now than there are people looking for jobs. In addition, so-called “enhanced unemployment” has also taken away incentive and motivation to move from unemployment to employment for most unskilled and low-skilled workers.

But never fear, there is light at the end of the tunnel and we are here to give you hope and encouragement (and some recruitment marketing tips) so you can find that “needle in a haystack” and get fully staffed again.

The overarching advice is “Seek and ye shall find.” Mathew 7:7 is a powerful and memorable verse from the Bible. Look eThe overarching advice is “Seek and ye shall find.” Mathew 7:7 is a powerful and memorable verse from the Bible. Look everywhere and be persistent in your efforts and you will be rewarded. You CAN find new hires in an extremely tight labor market.

Here are five successful recruitment tactics we have used to help our clients:

  1. Ad Creative: Does your ad have your logo in it? Are the images fresh and friendly? Recruitment ads are all about people, so put your smiling, happy people in your ads! 
  2. Ad Messaging: Your messaging should be more about your culture and the benefits of working with great people, as opposed to the dry, “by the book” way your HR department writes it currently. Hiring a receptionist? Put “Hiring Director of First Impressions” in the title of the ad. Do you play trivia on Tuesday nights as a team? Put it in the ad!
  3. Ad Placement: Are you putting job ads in front of job seekers or people who already have jobs? If you are currently advertising on Indeed, you are targeting people who are looking for jobs. LinkedIn is a place where most already have a job, and they might be looking for another. Facebook’s ad platform reaches almost everyone and it’s very affordable, especially for entry-level positions. Fun fact: ​​70% of job seekers are searching for opportunities on their mobile device (probably while they’re already at work) so make sure you are placing digital ads on mobile ad platforms.
  4. Ad Audience: Many businesses do not know that job ads fall under EEOC guidelines, which means you cannot show bias in advertising in race, religion, national origin, color, sex, age, genetic information, or disability. But you can put your ads in front of audiences more likely to apply to an open position. For example, if you’re hiring a cook, you can target a Facebook post in groups of chefs…or to people within a certain radius of your restaurant…or to people who like your restaurant on Facebook…or to people who list they like cooking in their profile. 
  5. Be Bold: Hold open interviews or walk-up interview times. Put a QR code on your brochure, menu, flyer, or receipt. Or put up an old-fashioned Help Wanted sign. (Caution: Every Lowe’s and Home Depot in RVA has sold out of these, so you might have to make your own.) Send an email to all of your customers advertising the job. Put your job ad on one of your company trucks or a big billboard.