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Motivating Employees: HR tips for getting employees motivated and engaged with your company.

Recruiting for 2015

Finding just the right person for a job is the constant challenge for small businesses. Even if you have the benefit of up-to-date training, high-tech tools, and good common sense, you can often face an uphill struggle. You’re either inundated with applications—many from unqualified candidates—or you’re left with such a small number of suitable applications that they can’t be confident of finding the best person for the job. 

CareerBuilder recently conducted a study of jobseekers and recruiters and came up with some tips for frustrated recruiters.

Things to know
Go mobile. One tip for recruiters is to optimize job search websites for mobile devices. “Mobile job search is growing at an accelerated rate, and employers who aren’t mobile-optimized are missing out on key talent they need to find quickly,” CareerBuilder said in a statement on the study’s findings. The survey found that 65 percent of jobseekers searching for jobs on their smart phones or tablets will leave a website that isn’t mobile-optimized, and 40 percent form a negative opinion of a company with a site that isn’t designed for mobile devices

Reputation counts. Salary speaks to jobseekers, but so does an employer’s reputation. The study found that 68 percent of those surveyed said they would accept a salary five percent less than what they considered their lowest acceptable figure if the employer made a great impression during the hiring process. Positive reviews online and positive press also were cited as reasons to accept a lower salary.

Create an employment brand. Most workers surveyed said a company’s employment “brand” plays a very big or at least somewhat of a role in their decision to seek work with the organization. But just 38 percent of employers said they believe their organizations have a clearly defined employment brand. The company’s culture and reputation for treating employees well is the brand that attracts talent.

Stay in touch or pay the consequences. CareerBuilder found that 62 percent of jobseekers don’t feel the organizations they’ve applied to have been responsive. That’s alarming since an earlier study found that jobseekers who don’t hear back are more likely to stop buying products from a company that ignored them. The study found that 56 percent of employers said they don’t respond to all candidates or acknowledge receiving their applications, and 33 percent said they don’t follow up with people they’ve interviewed to let them know they didn’t get the job.

Be flexible. The study found that applicants are craving flexibility. Seventy-two percent of workers said they consider whether a company offers flexible schedules when considering a job offer, and 44 percent said having telecommuting options is important.

Using social media
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more social media outlets offer opportunities for recruiters. In a survey focusing on social media’s role in recruiting, CareerBuilder found that 39 percent of hiring managers looked up job candidates on social media during the hiring process. But recruiters are doing more than just looking up people’s profiles and postings. The seemingly endless number of ways social media can be used means that recruiters can position themselves to attract potential employees.

CareerBuilder suggests “gamification” as one way to promote an employment brand, thereby enticing desirable candidates. CareerBuilder points to employers that increased their visibility by getting their companies mentioned in popular games played on social media. An example is the Marriot hotel chain, which created a game to challenge players to solve workplace problems in a hotel setting.

Recruitment videos posted on social media sites also can attract the attention of jobseekers.

In addition to using social media to attract candidates, it can help recruiters ferret out strong applicants. Facebook’s new Open Graph search is enticing to recruiters eager to run targeted searches, such as “accountants in St. Louis.” Open Graph searches can turn up candidates matching the search criteria who have some kind of connection to the searcher, either because they have “liked” the searcher’s page or are somehow connected to someone who has.

When a candidate makes it to the interview stage, social media can provide a face-to-face meeting even if interviewer and interviewee are miles apart. Interviews via Skype or Google+ Hangouts let all parties see each other and perhaps feel better acquainted than they would just talking by phone. Both platforms accomplish the face-to-face meeting, but CareerBuilder points out the advantage of Hangouts since users don’t have to have special software installed on their computers. Either way, video interviews on Skype or Google+ Hangouts can eliminate the expensive step of flying candidates in.