Niche Recruiting for Hiring Specialized Talent

October 30, 2014 4:33 pm Published by Chris Fields


Recruiting! It’s all the rage.

Whenever I ask human resources professionals and managers, what’s their number one problem today, the answer is always “Recruiting and Retention.” There is a link between recruiting strategies and retention numbers, so the lesson is to be mindful of where you look for talent.

So where should you look for talent?

Right now many recruiters believe a LinkedIn Recruiter account makes you a recruiter but I’m here to tell you that there is more to it than that.

DYK, there are hundreds of job boards? No, seriously, literally hundreds of them. We all know Monster, Career Builder, Indeed, Glassdoor and SimplyHired but here a list of the top 100 job boards. Click here for the list.

This list includes something new in the recruitment game – the niche job board. The word “niche” has a few meaning but the one that best fits the context of this discussion is, “a distinct segment of a market”.

Job boards above have been around for a long time. For instance Monster was created in 1999 and it experienced its highest ranking in 2006. CareerBuilder was founded in 1995 and reports to be the largest online employment website on the internet. But that’s being challenged by which was launched in 2004 and claims to have over 140 million unique visitors every month.

Here’s the issue with those guys – they’re old. Being first to the market and being around for decades, they are overused and exposed. Everyone posts job ads on those sites and most job seekers go to those sites first, loading their resumes, and applying for anything they see. With all those users it is nearly impossible to differentiate your company or yourself as a recruiter from all the other “post and pray” recruiters.

This is just one reason why you should consider using a niche job board, which targets a certain industry or community. For instance, have you ever heard of “CrunchBoard”? They target tech savvy employees who read things like TechCrunch, TechCrunch IT and other technology based sources. There is basically a niche job board for every industry imaginable; truckers, restaurants, retail, healthcare and marketing. The list truly goes on and on.

The advantages of niche is that it’s a much more controlled group of specialized talent – so you find high quality candidates with the skills and education that you need. This saves you a ton of time.

There is another component to niche recruiting – it doesn’t necessarily have to be a job board at all.

LinkedIn is the largest professional network yet it only has 250 million users which is small when you consider social networks like Facebook with 1.3 billion users and Twitter with anywhere from 400 -500 million users. There are plenty of jobs posted on LinkedIn daily.  As a professional resume writer, job coach and HR professional it surprises me when job seekers do not have a LinkedIn account.

Speaking of social networks and niche recruiting, one of the fastest growing recruiting trends is to use Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

Twitter, the micro-blogging site which allows you to connect and share information with anyone in world, 140 characters at a time. Jobs are being shared and talent communities are targeted through the use of hashtags.

We love pictures – Instagram and Pinterest are proof.

Instagram is a photo and video sharing site with over 300 million users and one of the most downloaded social media apps around. Companies are experiencing a growth in sales by posting pictures of their products, services and organization culture online.

The interesting thing that we are learning is people who look at positive corporate imagery want to work for that company. So naturally, companies are using Instagram to post activity, ask for “likes” and share job postings. Have employees tag their friends and increase referrals through Instragram.

Pinterest is a photo pin board site where users share images of various photos, posters and images with each other. Pinterest’s users are 65% female and cover many creative and artistic industries. Recruiters are now “pinning” job ads.

There are millions of people trolling the major job boards everyday just blindly applying for jobs. However if you only want the best of the best who will fit your organizational needs, then consider going with a niche approach. Using a niche job board or a social media network as a niche recruiting tool could be just what you need to target your idea employee.

What niche recruiting tools do you use to hire top talent? Please comment below, I’d love to hear!



This post was written by Chris Fields

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