The resumes aren't coming in. No one is opening your LinkedIn InMails. Agencies can't produce candidates. If you didn' know it before, you do now: You'e trying to hire for a hot job.

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The resumes aren’t coming in. No one is opening your LinkedIn InMails. Agencies can’t produce candidates. If you didn’t know it before, you do now: You’re trying to hire for a hot job.

Every industry has them. The in-demand job might require a niche skill set or experience a high turnover rate. No matter what the cause, candidates who have hot skills or titles generally know their worth — and are aware that they have the upper hand.

It takes a lot of effort to get them to talk to a recruiter, let alone convince them to leave their current job. The candidates want to know: Beyond the salary and perks, what’s in it for me? Too often, recruiters and hiring teams lose sight of the fact that the recruiting process is a two-way street — candidates are evaluating your position, company and team just as much as you are looking at them.

You need a clear plan of attack when filling these roles. Start with the job posting, which is not to be confused with your internal job description. Your external posting needs to be compelling. View it as a marketing tool to sell in-demand candidates on your company.
It shouldn’t be merely a list of responsibilities and requirements; it should be a snapshot of an interesting role that intrigues candidates enough to open the door to a conversation. Tell them what they want to know:

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• Why the job is interesting or challenging
• How the position will help them grow
• What the team and corporate culture is like
• What they will learn
• What they will own

Your posting should tell a story of how the candidate will fit into the business, why the position is crucial for the growth of the organization and what kind of impact the person can have.

When you do engage candidates, make sure you can tell the story and answer the same questions. Not knowing the job, team, product/service or company well is the kiss of death to your budding relationship with them. If you don’t care enough to ask those questions of the team, why should they?

Make sure your marketing department works with you to create a strong employment brand, including social media channels. Keep collateral (i.e., links, videos, analyst reports, white papers, testimonials, articles) up to date with positive news and buzz about your organization.

Candidates typically want to know a company’s position in the areas of social responsibility, green/sustainable business and community involvement. Is the employer an industry leader or a trendsetter? All of this information should be part of a recruiter’s arsenal.

Personalize your recruiting efforts. Involve your hiring managers in the process by asking them to post LinkedIn updates with job announcements; candidates often prefer their first line of contact to be a hiring manager rather than an HR professional. Participate in online forums that are pertinent to your industry.

Manage a recruiting blog for your company — a great job for interns, if you have them.

Create a voice that speaks to candidates as something more than just a corporate entity.
Get your employees involved in the recruitment process. Everyone wants to work with friends. If you don’t have a robust employee-referral program, this is the single best reason to implement one. Employees are your best brand ambassadors, and helping to find new hires can give them a sense of ownership and pride. The higher your employee-referral hire rate, the more satisfied your employees tend to be.

Make sure that every employee referral, regardless of whether the candidate is a good fit, gets the courtesy of a phone screen or email conversation.

Finally, be accessible. Answer emails and messages as quickly as you can. When recruiting for hard-to-fill positions, you can’t afford to lose momentum or drop the ball.

Take the time to answer any question a candidate may have, and don’t get frustrated if one gets away. If you’ve been polite and attentive, you’ve built the foundation of a relationship that could pay off down the road.