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Talent Attraction Strategies that Work

Are you relying too much on Social Networking for talent attraction and forgotten the potential power of your career website?

Wherever you look for information on recruiting staff and attracting talent, you will find varying opinions on the use of social networking to attract talent. Passive candidates are those that are not actively looking. These are the Holy Grail of candidates for recruiters, who are racing to build relationships with them and start a dialogue between you, your employer brand and these potential employees.

The use of LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites has increased exponentially in the last 18 months. Talent attraction is now a booming business for many consultancies delivering support and advice in this area.

But... STOP and THINK

Candidate and talent attraction strategies are much broader than social networking. A lot of time and effort can be focussed into targeting those elusive, passive candidates, when there are thousands of potentially suitable candidates, actively looking, who would apply to your jobs if only they could find your vacancies.

Take a step back and look at your candidate attraction strategy and start with some simple analysis.

Look at your career website

Your career site should be one of your primary sources of candidates.

If you’re a global brand your company is probably on the ‘target list’ for many, but not all, local candidates. If you’re not on this list, they need to be able to find you and then be made aware of your vacancies and why they should want to join your business.

Google & Search Engine Optimisation

Google should be your primary referrer of candidates.

Over 85% of web users open Google as their starting page. Approximately 65% of job related searches on Google include job title and location, so this should be one of the most important considerations for your career site.

Think of Google as a global filing cabinet with web pages stored in folders using keywords to identify the content. Make it easy for Google to find and identify these key words on your website and classify your web pages. The page title, URL and Meta description should be the first items to be linked to the page content. For example, with vacancies this should include job title, location, sector etc.

A simple test is to enter your job title and desired location as a search phrase in Google and see who is advertising suitable jobs.

Next take a look at the job search results and a vacancy on your career website. In the majority of cases the page titles will be “Job Details” or “Job Search Results”. If you then use these terms as search phrases in Google it’s easy to see why so many career websites aren’t working effectively. The result is a seemingly infinite list of pages from company career websites, which will never be found by ‘normal’ job seekers on Google. How many candidates would use “Job Details” or “Job Search Results” as search terms when searching for jobs in Google?

69% of people using Google click on the first 4 links

Make sure your job is one of those.

Career Website Usability

When a visitor arrives at your career site, remember they are a potential employee, this means it is essential that information is easy to access and engaging. Most visitors to a career website will, first and foremost, want to know if your company has any current vacancies that may be suitable. The job search should ideally be on the home page and should include the option to browse for vacancies using links such as job function; e.g. Finance, Sales, IT and Procurement. This is not only intuitive for a visitor, but also search engines use these as sign posts to find vacancies and classify them.

Provide clear information on the culture of your business and what it’s like to be ‘Part of the Family’. At HotLizard, our experience has shown that information based on real people and their work experiences are more interesting to visitors than ‘traditional corporate information’. Include images, videos and news as this will continue to engage the visitor and aid them with their decision making process.

Integrated Applicant Tracking Systems

If your job search is integrated with one of the large, well known ATS or ERP systems, chances are that your career website or vacancy search is using your ATS provider’s domain and a web address such as . Alternatively the vacancy search functionality is provided through an i-Frame. Neither of these methods of integration will help your vacancies to be indexed effectively by Google. If you’re not sure just check the URL when you carry out a job search, if it doesn’t change you’re using an i-Frame.

The good news is that most ATS and ERP systems already either provide integration with a multi-posting service, such as Broadbean or Idibu, or can provide a datafeed of your vacancy information direct to the website. Choose a web development company experienced in the recruitment sector, such as HotLizard, and you will find that they already develop websites that can integrate with a wide variety of systems using these simple and cost effective methods.

Candidate applications are managed simply with candidate information moving seamlessly from the website to your ATS. Through their own profile on your website, they are provided with Jobs by Email and Jobs by RSS to keep them updated on new opportunities.

Talent Attraction through Social Networking

A well developed career website will be central to your social networking strategy and will form the hub from which information can be distributed. RSS feeds are the secret to your distribution channels; whether these are new vacancies, news articles, or comments from a Blog, RSS ensures the rapid distribution through Twitter, Newswire services, LinkedIn, Facebook and others. Complement this activity with the addition of various social media buttons to your career website’s content, such as Facebook’s ‘Like This’ and your viral talent attraction marketing will start to rapidly evolve.

Social Networking offers the opportunity to target relevant individuals. As with any marketing, a mass market approach will not be as effective as a targeted campaign. Set up groups in Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook and distribute relevant news, comments and vacancies direct to them. Doing this will increase engagement with your candidates and maximise the referrals back to your career website.

With your website acting as the hub, and by automatically updating your various groups and feeds on your chosen social networking sites, your talent attraction starts to work more efficiently allowing you and your recruitment team to focus on key individuals or target specific groups.

Monitor and Measure Results

The internet is a truly transparent and measurable marketing environment, with Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools providing a wealth of free functionality for your business with information on where your applicants are coming from. These candidates can be tracked through your website and the recruitment process, providing clear information on which media not only generates the best applicants, but what your return on investment is.


To summarise here are the key areas which will increase the effectiveness of your company’s talent attraction:

  • Make sure that vacancies and relevant pages on your career website can be found and indexed correctly by Google
  • Design your career website with the candidate’s journey in mind, make it intuitive.
  • Integrate your ATS with your website with more effective methods, using vacancy feeds or a multi-posting service
  • Make your website the hub for your social networking
  • Monitor what works and maximise its potential


HotLizard is a leading online technology and marketing solutions company with highly specialist expertise in the recruitment and corporate staffing sectors. Its suite of solutions and services include recruitment website and job board software , design and development, software solutions for corporate and vendor management, SEO and marketing consultancy services.  

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