Digital Recruitment Strategies For A Competitive Candidate Market
4 minutes | Posted 16 November, 2023

It’s a great time to be a job candidate in Canada. There’s both a surge in job vacancies plus a low unemployment rate. Stats Can has even reported an additional 64,000 jobs were added in September, reflecting a robust economy. Low unemployment implies top talents are already employed, and for those actively looking for a job or a job change, there’s a plethora of jobs available in the market for candidates to choose from. The downside to this positive scenario is the challenges it presents for businesses, particularly small to medium-sized ones.

Recruiting top talent is crucial for small and medium-sized businesses to thrive in today’s competitive job market. To effectively attract and engage candidates, it’s essential to implement digital marketing tactics and strategies. Here are some key approaches you can use to recruit top talent for your business:

First: Understand Your Candidate Markets

Before diving into your talent acquisition strategy, it’s vital to understand your target market. Recognize the difference in candidate markets and tailor your recruitment efforts accordingly. Different strategies attract different candidates, and understanding this will help you allocate your HR budget effectively. Consider two primary candidate categories:

  • Active Candidates: These job seekers are actively looking for work opportunities. They range from the unemployed to those who are currently employed but unhappy or seeking a change.
  • Passive Candidates: These individuals aren’t actively seeking new job opportunities but may be open to the right one if it comes along. They make up the majority of the workforce. Your job is to capture their attention and sell them on your company and role.

Digital Recruitment Strategies for Active Candidates

Timing is crucial when targeting active candidates. Here are some effective digital recruitment strategies to attract active candidates:

Job Board Postings: Having a good understanding of job board algorithms helps you tailor your job copy and maximize ad visibility. Prioritizing highly relevant keywords and appropriate role titles helps your listing rank higher in the search results, and ensures it is seen by more active candidates.

  • Expert tip: Be sure to relist your posting every few days or weekly, to ensure it revisits the front page.


Social Media Engagement: 41% of hiring managers believe social media is one of the best places to source candidates. Leverage platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to share engaging and visually appealing content about company culture. Regularly post job openings with relevant hashtags and encourage employees to share job posts in their networks.

  • Expert Tip: It’s all about consistency. If you can’t log in daily, aim to at least log in once per week and be sure to actively engage with comments and messages from potential candidates.


Mine your database: Searching for new candidates doesn’t have to start from scratch each time. If you’ve put in the work to cultivate an engaged talent pool, it’s an excellent place to start looking for candidates. These candidates are already acquainted with your organization’s processes, providing a warm foundation for future engagement. This is where a recruiting platform comes in handy. Scout Talent’s :Engage software platform, for example, is built to help you kickstart your active candidate search by tapping into your existing talent pool.

  • Expert Tip: :Engage assists you in building a talent pipeline of great candidates for future roles, reducing the time to hire and your cost per hire by targeting previous applicants. It also enables you to find the skills and experience you need within your own candidate pool.


Mobile-Friendly Application Process: It sounds simple but when overlooked, it can cost you applicants who currently have multiple job listings to choose from. In fact, almost 70% of 2021 Job Applications Were Made from Mobile Devices, underscoring the rise and importance of having mobile-friendly options. Additionally, it’s equally important to optimize your company’s website as applicants are very likely to take a look at your company info on their mobile during the review and application process.

  • Expert tip: Play the role of a candidate and test your website and application process for yourself on mobile. If you enjoy it, and find it easy to navigate then more than likely your candidate will too.


Digital Recruitment Tactics for Passive Candidates

While active candidate tactics are relatively clear-cut, the landscape shifts when considering passive candidates. Here are some effective tactics to engage passive candidates:

Digital Headhunting: Utilize platforms like LinkedIn for digital headhunting. Optimize your LinkedIn profile, define search criteria, join relevant groups, and post job openings. Engage in personalized outreach by sending tailored connection requests and messages to potential candidates.

  • Expert tip: Use the skills, qualifications, and experience required for the role you want to fill and use that as search criteria. By doing so, you can efficiently filter through potential candidates and target individuals who closely match your needs.


Networking and Relationship Building: Actively participate in industry forums, conferences, and professional networking events. Engage in meaningful conversations and build relationships with professionals in your field. Focus on industry-specific forums and networks relevant to your business.

  • Expert tip: Focus on industry-specific forums and professional networks relevant to your business but don’t be afraid to occasionally check out adjacent industries or ‘like’ industries.


Employee Referrals: Leverage your existing employees as brand ambassadors. Encourage them to refer potential candidates from their networks. Employee referrals are powerful as they come from trusted sources within the company.

  • Expert Tip: Consider implementing a referral program with incentives to motivate employees to actively participate in the recruitment process.

Create a Positive Candidate Experience

To attract top talent, all your digital recruitment strategies should create a positive candidate experience from the beginning to help turn a “no” into a “yes”. Ensure transparency by involving a diverse interview panel that represents different perspectives within your organization. Stick to a short timeline and communicate promptly with candidates. Even if a candidate isn’t a fit, it’s important for your Employer Brand, defined as your identity and reputation in the marketplace, to inform them of the outcome and minimize negative experiences. Candidates who don’t hear back from a potential employer can become active detractors of your organization. Open and honest communication throughout the process minimizes this risk and ensures that your candidates have closure.

Once you attract your ideal candidate, you have the power to easily create a positive candidate experience. In a fiercely competitive market, implementing these digital marketing tactics and strategies while also emphasizing all that you do differently, uniquely, and better can set your company miles ahead of the competition.