The Search for Prospective Employees

Recently, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) published findings from a July 2021 study that showed over 40% of workers were “actively searching for a new job or planned to over the next few months”, while a similar number of HR professionals said “their organization has seen much higher turnover in the last six months”. Statistics from the Department of Labor proved this to be accurate as 4.3 million American workers – about 2.9% of the national workforce – left their jobs during the month of August 2021. Many have termed this period of change in the workplace the “Great Resignation.”

As business owners and HR managers attempt to replace these departed employees, many find it difficult to recruit and retain new talent. In many cases, traditional applicant streams like “Help Wanted” signs and online job postings are not as fruitful as they have been in the past. Positions that may have been filled within days in the past are now taking weeks and months to fill. While there is no set formula for recruiting and retaining high performing employees, below are a few less-common tips and tricks that hiring managers should consider in their search for prospective employees.

Employee Referral Programs

Consider developing and implementing an employee referral program to leverage your employees’ personal connections. SHRM describes employee referral programs as a “cost-effective way to tap into a large, qualified labor pool of passive job seekers.”

An ideal candidate may not be actively searching for a new job, but if recruited by a friend or past colleague, they could end up applying for your open position. In this way, employers can – for a low cost – offer the ability for current employees to act as employee recruiters on behalf of the company. For maximum effectiveness, simplify the program structure, provide clearly defined incentives to employees for referring hired employees (such as gift cards, extra paid time off, or cash bonuses), and consistently remind employees of the employee referral program as positions become open. Don’t forget that any compensation provided to employees through an employee referral program may need to be taxed as income – if you’re a My HR Professionals client, simply reach out to our team if you have any questions on how to record this in the employee’s payroll history.

Community Connections

Evaluate your local community for opportunities to search for prospective employees. Attend community job fairs and partner with your local schools and universities that might be able to provide you access to viable candidates. Universities typically have a dedicated Career Services department that can help you gain access to students that are looking for work while in school or in anticipation of graduating. In some cases, an internship arrangement might be ideal. It could benefit the student/employee by providing relevant work experience and school credits while allowing you to hire a short-term employee while vetting them as potential permanent employees.

If you’re not located near a university, seek to build relationships with your local high schools. Although the career services that secondary schools offer are typically not as robust as that of a college or university, building relationships with your local schools can also be an excellent way of building your employer brand. This may allow the opportunity to attend school-sponsored job fairs or speak with Career Preparedness classes.

Social Media

Finally, utilize social media! Pew Research Center found that as of 2021, 72% of the public uses social media. While platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn offer job posting functionality similar to other online job boards, you can extend the reach of your job postings by utilizing features like social media groups and paid recruiting advertisements to promote your open positions. Online advertising company WordStream had tremendous success in utilizing paid recruiting advertisements on Facebook because of the ability to tailor their recruiting ad to Facebook users that were located near their office and met the experience qualifications for the job. Although these ads require a monetary investment, they also present an opportunity to expedite your hiring process, and as the old adage goes: time is money!


If you’re looking for help publishing your open positions to more job boards and streamlining your hiring process, reach out to My HR Professionals about our partnership with JazzHR! JazzHR is an applicant tracking system that allows you to post to multiple job boards while only creating a single job posting, then catalogues all applicants in a single interface where you can review and select candidates to progress through the applicant process. Auto-generated emails make applicant communications a breeze by notifying applicants when they have been removed from consideration or have been selected to advance in the interview process.

Written by: Kyle Arnold, Client Services Director

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