By Jessica Miller-Merrell


Be sure to check out part 1 of our 2 part series.


As human beings, we crave community. It’s not just something that enhances our favorite hobbies, vacations or work life. As I mentioned in part one of this series, it’s usually what makes those hobbies vacations or work worthwhile and enjoyable. This is just as true in recruiting as it is in our personal lives. Candidates want community, and believe it or not, recruiters need it too.


A sense of community connects candidates, helps recruiters ensure better hires and creates a tie to the organization that makes the job acceptance decision easier. It also creates reasons for candidates to come to your talent network or careers site when they’re looking for information and job search resources instead of flocking to the nearest job board website.


Overcoming the hidden competition

When it comes to the candidate marketplace, I have long said that as recruiters, our biggest competition isn’t really our industry peers. It’s actually the job boards that candidates flock to. Organizations that run job boards are entrepreneurial in nature. They focus on candidate resources and relationships to help users land the job. Candidates searching for resume templates, interview secrets and salary negotiation tips will probably find themselves on one of these sites. Resources are the name of the game for these job boards, with one of the most popular features of job boards being their daily candidate job alerts. There’s nothing wrong with these  job board, and in fact they are one of our biggest tools in recruiting, but they’re not as powerful for your company as creating your own job seeker community.


In that sense, there’s good news about this hidden competitor: they lack community that connects a candidate to the organizations they hope to become a part of. They can’t put the candidate directly in touch with the hiring manager or answer a prospective employee’s quick question about a benefits plan. Sure, they can send reminders, provide resources and keep candidates in the know, but they can’t create a sense of community or establish a connection between the job seeker and recruiter.


You can overcome any type of competition by going beyond simply providing basic organizational information and truly helping the candidate, regardless of whether or not they become your employee. As a recruiter, you have the power to create a community that helps your organization establish a reputation for being a great company to work for.


What community looks like

Community comes in all different shapes and sizes. It could be a forum, like Indeed’s popular job seeker forum. It could be a customized talent network such as TalentCircles. It could be created on a social network. Whatever it may look like, there are a few things that it must provide in order for it to be successful. It should offer access to your company’s recruiting team so candidates can get the answers they need, allow candidates to interface and give them a reason to be there, as I mentioned in part one.

Fostering community among job seekers and recruiters is one of the best ways to engage candidates, gain an edge on the competition and keep potential job seekers coming back. It’s a worthwhile investment for your talent acquisition team.

TalentCircles is the most comprehensive candidate engagement platform on the market. Take a product tour or request a live demo today. 

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology anthropologist specializing in HR and recruiting. She’s the Chief Blogger and Founder of Blogging4Jobs and author of The HR Technology Field Guide. You can follow her on Twitter at @jmillermerell. 

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