How Companies Can Hire Outstanding Candidates – A Practical Example

Well-known companies rarely have a problem fielding enough applications for their vacancies. Smaller companies, startups, or even lesser-known medium-sized companies however, often do have a hard time trying to find suitable candidates for their open positions.

This is especially true when it comes to filling positions that require a high skill level, or very specific aptitudes – a problem that both large and small companies face. Most often, a headhunter is called in to find the right people which can cost a lot of money. The disadvantages lie in that employing a headhunter can burn a massive hole in the budget, and finding the right candidate, through the right network often largely relies on luck.

Companies that haven’t had much luck so far in attracting the right candidates can significantly increase their likelihood of getting a strong response by making some simple changes. One easy method is to actively position themselves as an attractive employer. A study from the Corporate Executive Board shows that companies can increase the “quality of hire” by 9%, just by implementing a strong employer brand.

Setting up a career site and writing clever vacancy announcements are important to strengthening the employer brand. But the decisive factor for lesser-known companies is about selecting the right channels by which to access suitable job seekers. It’s not a question of where to find the most people, but where to find the right ones.

A Clever Strategy is the Be-all and End-all

Recently, the question of how a largely unknown company might come by highly specialist staff haunted Emin Mahrt, founder of the events startup, Abend [German for ‘evening’]. He called us and said, “I need a Senior AngularJS Developer – what should I do?” To solve his problem, we planned the following strategy:

1. Position your job posting correctly

The first step is to write and design an optimal job posting. Because Abend doesn’t have its own career site, Emin unceremoniously posted the job ad on Facebook and after some consultation with us, implemented some elements of employer branding. Although we recommend that even smaller companies have their own career pages – you get to capture the candidate directly on your own page and save on third-party platforms – under the circumstances, we had to come up with a quick and targeted solution.

2. Customise an attractive company profile

The second step was to optimise their corporate presence on our platform. Companies can integrate their logo, a background image, a company description, links, an Instagram feed, and job openings into their Jobspotting company profile. The more compelling the design, the better for appealing to great candidates. After all, the users who land on a company profile are generally already candidates relevant to your vacancies.

3. Boost Brand Awareness

As Abend AG remains a largely unknown startup, we had to be mindful in the third step to cultivate a higher brand awareness. With a premium job posting, a highlighted company profile in user’s Jobfeeds, and highlighted posts in emails to relevant candidates, we continuously generated attention for the young company over a four week period. In addition, we promoted Abend to a selected audience on Facebook, thus increasing visibility and enabling a further reach.

The Results Speak for Themselves

The results of the campaign show that the strategy worked. 471 unique candidates saw the job posting a total of 2,947 times.

Of these, 50 candidates showed strong interest in the job post. The conversion rate thus lies at 11% which is about four times higher than the yield from other platforms. These candidates are also active job seekers – i.e. candidates that have already proactively started their job search using Jobspotting. At the same time, they already have the skills required for this vacancy.


Other candidates were reached through Facebook. Again, we ran a hyper-targeted campaign that not only increased the range and visibility of Abend, but managed to access qualified, relevant potential candidates that aren’t actively seeking a job, too.

Following that, we featured Abend AG’s Jobspotting profile, which generated extra visibility and resulted in 300 additional visits to the profile.

Premium profile Abend

The result of the campaign: Emin had not only very good, but very relevant applications arriving on his desk. He could opt for an outstanding candidate who met the ideal requirements after a relatively short space of time. The job posting was not displayed through other channels or providers.

The Recipe for Success

While many platforms advertise with the goal of reaching a huge mass of job seekers, we take a different approach. We consider how many job seekers with the required skills are active where the company is looking. This means that candidate relevance is at the heart of our campaigns.

Companies are additionally invited to cohesively present themselves as an attractive employer not only in the job advertisement but through all their channels, such as their own website or other online platforms. The combination of premium job post displays, a highlighted company profile and targeted Facebook advertising provides a lesser-known company with the necessary coverage and attention.

Through this approach, Emin Mahrt of Abend AG received some great applications, and more importantly found a candidate who was the exact fit for the position!

Image credit: tec_estromberg, CC BY 2.0

Article republished from Jobspotting and updated Nov 14, 2017.

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