A huge challenge in the building products industry is a lack of quality applicants, especially if you’re looking for someone with 5–15 years of experience.
One of the ways to address this is with a bigger pool of qualified applicants. And creating a larger pool requires getting more eyeballs on your job openings—the more people who see your job opportunity, the more people who will act on it and the greater chance more of those applicants will be of the quality you need.
There’s a lot of advice out there on how to weed people out of the applicant pool. But we don’t have the luxury of having a giant pool right now. So, we need to focus on how to get more people into the applicant pool. Having so many applicants to choose from that we would need to think about weeding them out would be a wonderful challenge to have, but it’s not one that’s likely anytime soon in the LBM and building products industries.
So how do we get more eyes on our opportunities and how do we get them to take action?
The easiest thing you can do is to post your job opening in multiple places. Posting it to your local association job board and calling it a day won’t cut it. You need to be posting to your website, to Indeed, to social media, via colleagues and friends—anywhere your target audience might be looking or accessible. The more people who see it, the more applications you’re going to get. And within that, you need to make it easy for them to apply—click on a link or visit a URL, upload their resume, or fill out a form, and submit. The more steps they must take, the more likely they are to stop the process. One of those places you should expand your applicant pool is on social media. Social media, particularly pay-to-play opportunities, not only helps you expand your audience, but also allows you to target your ideal candidates specifically.
Facebook is an easy tool, and it’s one that most people are on. If you pay for ads on Facebook, it’s easy to target down to niches and locations to ensure you’re showing up in front of your desired audience. But Facebook now skews to the older crowd, so if you’re looking for entry-level or similar hires, like Gen Z or younger Millennials, they’re less likely to be there. Next-gen applicants favor Instagram, TikTok, SnapChat, and others. Or if you’re looking to diversify your employee base to include more women, Pinterest might be a good platform to target.
This doesn’t mean you have to become a TikTok or Instagram expert; it means you need to connect with your marketing department or leverage an outside agency to help you use those platforms. Instead of marketing your company or your products, you’re going to market your job opportunities to get in front of younger candidates.
Social media is a critical component to reaching potential job applicants. But it’s important to recognize that where you’re hanging out isn’t necessarily where the people you are hoping to hire are hanging out. Take some time to think about your ideal hire—where are they likely hanging out and how can you get in front of them?
The simple fact is: You need more eyes on your openings, you need to be thinking about the right place to reach your ideal hire so you’re putting the message directly in front of them, and you need an easy way for them to apply and express interest.
Once the applicants start rolling in, then you can focus on narrowing down your options to the best fit for the company.
About the author: Rikka Brandon is a nationally recognized LBM recruiting and hiring expert, and bestselling author. She helps building products business owners and leaders solve their recruiting and retention challenges with strategy, best practices, and access to experts. Whether you’re looking for inhouse training and coaching for your team or an expert to provide consulting, you can learn more about working with Rikka at BuildingGurus.com/NRLA.