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Expand your candidate pool with targeted recruiting

HR Improving recruiting messages

If your company is sending the same recruiting messages to all candidates for jobs, you may be repelling the best talent. That advice comes after a study by Gallup researchers found stark differences between what different people look for in jobs.

In the Gallup Business Journal, researchers Nikki Blacksmith and Yongwei Yang point out that highly educated people place the most importance on a company's mission and culture. They also prize working for an innovative company more than do those with lower levels of education. The study also found that applicants looking for full-time work place heavy emphasis on pay, long-term benefits, and advancement opportunities, compared with those seeking part-time work.

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These aren't startling findings, of course, but the researchers stress it's important to shape your company's appeal to candidates according to those desires. They cite a retail company that found its part-timers were looking for a fast-paced, energetic environment and the opportunity to build strong, collaborative relationships at work. So the retailer changed its website, brochures and other recruitment materials to convey the sense it offered such a workplace. Soon after changing its message, the company saw job applications increase.

The researchers recommend you identify important positions that have a big effect on your company and study your best employees to find out what attracted them, as well as interviewing high-quality applicants to better understand their motivations. Use the themes that emerge in your recruiting messages.

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About the Author
Management columnist

Harvey Schachter is a Kingston, Ont.-based writer specializing in management issues. He writes Monday Morning Manager and management book reviews for the print edition of Report on Business and an online column, Power Points. More

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