Charitable nonprofits in Ohio are suffering from labor shortages that impact their ability to deliver vital services to the community. What was once a challenge for social service agencies has become a crisis, with job vacancy rates as high as 20%-30% for hard-to-fill positions like social workers and childcare workers.

Attracting suitable candidates for hard-to-fill positions can be an enormous source of frustration and worry.  With the right marketing recruitment strategy, you can help your organization stand out and fill roles quickly with actionable techniques that will pique the interest of active and passive job seekers.  

Here are 13 practical tips to improve your marketing recruitment efforts:

1) Define your organization’s brand. Across your website and in all job postings, clearly define and articulate what makes your organization unique to attract candidates who align with your values, culture, and mission. Your brand should excite people about the job opportunity, their career path, and joining your organization. Attempt to humanize your brand by adopting a personal and relatable communication style that builds connections and trust.

2) Write engaging and catchy job descriptions. First impressions matter. A well-written, straightforward, and catchy job description will help encourage the right candidates to apply. Using a clear job title, speak directly to the candidate describing their role, tasks, and qualifications while selling the position and your organization.

3) Create a dedicated recruitment landing page. Whether you’re posting a job opening on Google Ads, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Indeed, these platforms don’t offer enough opportunity to explain a position, benefits, and company culture adequately. Creating a landing page specific to the job you seek to fill allows you to develop more compelling copy, include engaging videos, and convince candidates to take a desired action.

4) Optimize your website’s “Careers” page. Look at your current Careers page and ask yourself whether it is SEO-optimized, user-friendly, and visually appealing. Make sure your text is easily digestible, includes the right keywords, and is separated into clear sections with combinations of short paragraphs and bullet points. Use photos to showcase your team and your office. Don’t forget to include a meta description on the back end with relevant keywords.

5) Use strategic keywords. Identifying the most popular keywords related to your job position will increase organic search volume. Use words and phrases people will most likely search instead of – or in addition to – narrow job titles. For example, if your primary keyword is “Child Protective Specialist,” consider adding the secondary keyword “Child Social Worker” as a more commonly used search term. Don’t forget to add local keywords such as Cleveland or Columbus to increase visibility.

6) Embrace video content. Videos are highly engaging and an excellent way to attract more applicants. In a short amount of time, you can shine a spotlight on a career and feature employee interviews, office tours, and behind-the-scenes glimpses of your company culture that help tip the scales in your favor. Videos can be shared on your website, social media channels, and job postings.

7) Leverage social media. Establish a strong presence on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Share interesting content, including job openings, employee stories, industry news, and company updates.

8) Use data-driven strategies. To make the most out of every dollar you spend, track metrics like website traffic, application rates, and conversion rates. Analyzing data will reveal which listings and platforms perform the best so you can drop the ones that aren’t yielding results and adjust your media strategy.

9) Get creative. A recruitment ad should be creative, personal, engaging, and laser-focused on the needs and desires of your target audience. Generally speaking, you should strive for a branded campaign with visuals that make you stand out from the crowd and content that lets applicants know how they will fit into a specific role within your organization. Having an overarching theme will guide your messages and increase brand awareness.

10) Simplify your application process. A simple and streamlined application process can make all the difference between a person submitting an application or passing on your organization altogether. You will drive qualified candidates away if your online application is too time-consuming or complex.

11) Allow for remote work. One of the outcomes of the pandemic has been a rising demand for remote work. Offering employees strong benefits with at least some remote work arrangement shows them you are flexible and value a healthy work-life balance. Employee job satisfaction is a key criterion for job seekers and a catalyst for productivity and retention.

12) Engage passive candidates. Passive job seekers (those not actively seeking a job) are often open to a new job if the right opportunity presents itself. They may have the skill sets, experience, or educational background that make them a perfect addition to your organization.

13) Target the right individuals. Sure, you want to cast a wide net, but make sure you’ve determined your ideal candidate’s qualifications, demographics, and online behavior before investing in any ads. Know which social media platforms your target age group participates the most. Sprout Social is a great resource for understanding social media demographics. If the role you are trying to fill requires a bachelor’s degree, take advantage of rich targeting opportunities to hone in on audience interests, degrees, and fields of study

Hopefully, by implementing these recruitment strategies and getting creative with your campaign efforts, you’ll meet your hiring goals and build a strong team committed to fulfilling your organization’s mission.

Linear Creative is an established digital marketing agency with 20+ years of dedicated nonprofit marketing experience. Our proven recruitment strategies for social service agencies, government agencies, schools, and healthcare providers are designed to achieve desired results while simplifying the recruitment process.