No one needs to tell you that talent acquisition is hard work. And despite a hyper-pressurized job market, no one’s cutting you any slack, either. 

But even with mounting competition and limited resources, every HR pro can still land great talent.

Here are five essential talent acquisition tactics that don’t require a big budget, straight from the business and HR gurus at SHRM and FitSmallBusiness.

Check your reputation

Before you set out on your candidate search, it’s crucial to examine your company’s image from an outside perspective. Google your business name and see what people are saying.

If there’s not much out there, you’ll need to address that. Start by asking trusted employees to leave good reviews on sites like Glassdoor.

Another way you can manage your reputation is through social media. Make it easy for candidates to find you online through their social networks.

Make the workplace attractive

Once your internet presence is sparkling, you’ll want the physical workplace to match.

Even if things look great, there could be areas that need attention. Ask your employees for their thoughts on how you can improve the workplace. Little things like snacks in the breakroom or moving furniture around can make a big difference.

It’s also worth examining your benefits and compensation to make sure you’re on par with the industry standard. A visually pleasing workplace is important, but the best pay and benefits you can offer will attract great candidates by itself.

Streamline application process

It all begins with the job post. But before you write it, have a clear image of who you want in this role. Remember: A lot of skills can be learned, but traits like reliability and work ethic can’t be.

When writing the job posting, it’s important to strike a balance between being detailed and brief. You want candidates to understand what the job is, but you don’t want them to skip the post because it’s too wordy.

The same goes for the online application process. One out of five job seekers will abandon the application if it takes longer than 20 minutes to fill out. Make the process as quick and painless as possible.

Interview thoughtfully

After sorting through all the applications and getting rid of the obvious nos, the question of who to interview becomes tricky. You don’t want to waste your time, but some candidates can end up surprising you.

A great solution is to have brief phone interviews before inviting candidates in. You should keep it to about 15 minutes and just focus on basic information like work history. This will help eliminate some contenders.

It’s important to remember to treat candidates like you would a customer during this process. Keep in communication with them, and be kind and attentive. Regardless of whether they receive an offer, you want them leaving with a positive impression of the company.

Always think ahead

Remember to keep turnover top of mind and plan accordingly. Did you have promising candidates who didn’t quite make the cut? It’s always a good idea to hang on to their information in case of unexpected openings.

As you know, the search for great candidates never ends, so it’s important to keep that pipeline full. Another great place to look is your internal talent – the next open position could be filled by someone already working for you.

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