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Ann Arbor Spark

May 16, 2018

5 ways to increase awareness of your job openings in Ann Arbor

So, you’ve got a job posting on your website, or a sign posted in front of your building. It’s on all the job aggregators, and now you’re just swimming in applicants. Right? No? Is it not working out like that?

If you’re like many companies, finding new talent is a hustle, and an increasingly challenging one as the unemployment rate continues to drop and job growth continues. Companies are working to differentiate themselves, to increase their brand awareness and company profile, and overall — Work. At. It.

So we’ve put together a list of some things companies can do to help get the word out about their job opportunities — obviously this is not a comprehensive list, but just a few ways businesses in our backyard are working on this challenge.

Doing the basics:

Basics here mean posting your jobs on your website, with a link that is shareable via email and social media, and ensuring it’s on the major job aggregators (e.g. Indeed, CareerBuilder, ZipRecruiter, etc.). By the way, SPARK has a targeted, curated job portal that gets significant traffic each month as well.

Basics also mean getting the wording right to attract the types of people you want – with specific skills and specific cultural fits for your organization.

OK, a few other ways:

1. Present at, host, or sponsor a meetup or participate in industry-wide events. We like to say, “The meetup culture is strong in Ann Arbor.” There are tons of meetups around the region, things like — A2 New Tech, Tech Trek, Manufacturing Day, or just review a list of curated (tech) meetups here. Here are some examples of what some companies are doing as well:

2. Get your pricing & benefits (“perks”) right: Always a topic for discussion, but be sure to continuously benchmark and adjust (when necessary) your pay structures and benefits. We’ve seen a lot of movement in wage structures recently, so it’s worth paying attention. A couple of things to consider when getting your pricing down:

  • Ask us (SPARK can do a review of data to determine wage data in specific job categories)
  • If you have relationships with temp agencies, ask them — many of them keep track on wage data and will share it with you
  • Check regional wage studies. SPARK conducted one last year focused on the tech sector, and many chambers of HR groups conduct them as well
  • Check with the BLS about wage data

3. Build (and maintain) academic relationships: Getting in front of students is great — even better is presenting info to them as experts in a certain field, or about a certain topic. Work to get to know faculty/staff at universities and colleges. There are some great business “front door” organizations like U-M’s Business Engagement Center or EMU’s BusinessLink programs. Be sure to check in with Washtenaw Community College, Michigan Tech, Kettering, MSU, and places outside of Michigan. Here are some other examples and programs to consider:

4. Convert your traditional job postings into video job postings: It’s become a cliche, but video is the future of the Internet. Human beings, apparently, just love videos, and you can do some pretty compelling things. Think about creating a video outlining life at your company, or even outline what the day in the life of a [insert job title] is all about at your company. Some examples. Be creative!

5. Ask for referrals from the people that know you best — your current staff. Use referrals from existing staff; incentive them to help you get the word out. Consider a structure that could help encourage both high number of referrals, as well as quality referrals.

Extra Credit:

  • Join a recruiting meetup or tap into the events through your local HR association (like LAHRA or GAASHRM
  • Connect the dots with Michigan Works! To find new avenues to get the word out about your job openings, and explore training and resources you may not have considered.