Different ways to attract, nurture and hire top talent online

Below is a follow up to one of our previous posts "Are you maximising the new wave of online talent communities?"Ok, so you’ve built up your social communities. You’ve got a Facebook following. You’ve got a bunch of followers on Twitter and you’ve got various groups with numerous members on LinkedIn. What now? How do you build and nurture these communities of top talent into ‘potential candidates’?

Remember if a candidate isn’t ‘actively looking’ for a role it doesn’t mean they’re not engaged with your company. If they are following you socially it means that they’re interested to hear more. So it’s your job to nurture the good ones and convert them into active candidates or brand advocates so they’ll let their peers know all about you.


One size doesn’t fit all

Start to think about segmenting your communities into what suits your organisation or specialty and this will allow you to adapt your content accordingly.  For example, the approach to getting a graduate interested in your opportunities will be very different from that taken with a senior candidate.  So start thinking by skill-set, geographical location, level of expertise or even preferred social media channel and you can focus your attention on who to convert into an ‘active’ candidate. Perhaps you could attach a desirability rating on each person that you are targeting by checking out their social fingerprint and online background to ensure the time spent communicating online will give you a return.

Why would I want to work for you?

So once you have the candidates that you are keen to convert, start to think about what you think they would want to hear about you. What do you offer that is different to their current employer? What is it really like to work at your organisation? Can you demonstrate this culture through photos or video or your employees or working environment? Could you offer a better career? Better projects? Establish what you as a company do well and what your company values and ethos are and keep these in mind when considering your approach to each.

But above all don’t just focus on the money or remuneration benefits as generally these won’t make someone move, but they might make them stay. The top candidates are more interested in any new clients or projects the employer has just won. Is the challenge available better than where they are now? Somewhere that’s active and winning lots of new business has the potential to provide plenty of new challenges.

Establish contact but don’t be too pushy

Like anything it’s important not to scare them away because as always it’s all about balance. Any big sell or headhunting type approaches online could potentially put them off if they have highlighted that they are not open to these types of approaches. With their online profile they’re now very much in control so if you sell to them straight away without building up a relationship then you might just annoy them and they could quite easily stop ‘following’ or ‘liking’ you.

Neil Purcell, MD at Talent Works recently said on the subject, “Generally you are engaging with people 6, 9 or even 12 months before they are looking to change jobs, but people are more savvy when it comes to engaging with companies earlier.”

So after you’ve initially ‘wowed’ them online and adopted more of a longer term approach you’ll then have a better chance of developing the relationship further by:

  • Letting them know how often you plan on getting in touch (and sticking to it)
  • Maintaining ‘consistent’ communication
  • Providing them with useful information such as any exciting developments coming up at your company, any opportunities which might be right for them in the future or any relevant job seeking tips such as ‘How can they make themselves more marketable to employers?’


Would you agree with the above? How are you nurturing your top talent online?

Jonathan Gordon

Jonathan is a creative SEO account manager with a background in online marketing. He loves helping businesses improve their online presence through SEO.

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