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Recruiting In 2021: Advice On What Works

As featured on  07/27/2021

KeyMedia Solutions applies 25+ years marketing experience to drive a strategy-first approach in digital advertising. 

There is one conversation I am having every day — within my leadership team, with clients and with colleagues. It revolves around the same question: What can we do to recruit the talent we need?

This year has been one like no other when it comes to talent wars. I’ve heard it dubbed the year of “the Great Resignation.” According to research by Microsoft, “41 percent of the global workforce is likely to consider leaving their current employer within the next year.”

As a digital marketing firm, we have been on the front lines helping organizations promote open positions, recruit and secure applications to fill their vacancies. Here’s what we are seeing and learning about what’s working from these endeavors.

Rethink How You Talk Up Your Positions

How you talk about the positions matters. Employee benefits, company culture and social responsibility are of high importance to job seekers. Be forward-facing with the company values, employee life and community involvement, and bury the technical jargon.

Update Your Website’s Careers Page

You can invest hours of time and resources to drive candidates to your job openings listed on your website. But if the page is a bland listing of job titles and duties, you probably won’t convert these visits to applications. Include employee testimonials. Share photos from company events and gatherings. Make the applicant feel as if they already belong. For some companies, this may mean that the page includes different languages.

Use Incentives To Turn Your Employees Into Recruiters

Entice your employees into sharing and encouraging friends and family to apply. I’ve seen offers of a $1,000 employee bonus for each referral hired, bonus days off and internal recognition programs. Do what will motivate your current employees into action.

Spread The Word On Social Media

Post about your employees, your culture and your community activities on your social media pages just as much as you post about your products and services. Many candidates look at these pages before making the decision to interview or accept a position. Your recruitment posts should include a slant toward lifestyle and benefits. Use bright, eye-catching photos that align with your employees’ lifestyles.

While we post all open positions on our company Facebook page, we have learned that this site works better for general labor, entry-level positions and part-time positions than it does for higher-level positions or those that require specialized skills. Facebook is also a great place if you have a large, active following or have been successful in engaging groups of individuals that would also make strong candidates for the positions you have open.


Instagram is a strong option if you are looking to recruit teens and young adults. Make sure your posts are more visual and less focused on the copy. Video testimonials work really well. Just be sure to include a link to the careers page of your website in the description or comments.


LinkedIn works extremely well for recruiting professionals as well as managers and executives. Think outside the job board here. Join community groups and share postings there. Search your networks and community groups to find candidates with the specific skills or experience required, and then send them private notes with a link to the position you are inviting them to apply for.


YouTube can provide a unique, noncompetitive environment for finding your next employee. Short videos that showcase your culture, employee life and corporate events can entice new applications in a way that other placements simply cannot compete with. Create short videos (think 15 to 60 seconds) that feature employees, showcase training opportunities, highlight community belonging and build excitement about the work. Publish these on your YouTube channel, and ask others to share them. The videos can be repurposed on other social channels and on your website.

Use Job Boards

Yes, it is still important to post positions on job boards. We’ve had success in finding candidates through them. The key is to make sure your post is identifiable enough so that a candidate understands what the job is but is also interesting enough to stand out from all of the others. Select a common job title for the position, but use the description to get creative and show your brand personality. Lately, it has also been helpful to include a salary range/hourly pay range within the posts.

Make The Most Of Your Connections

Your organization likely already belongs to various groups and associations — this is as good a time as any to make the most of your connections. Ask them to share your open positions on their social pages, forum pages and websites.

Sprinkle In Paid Media

In 2021, we are not seeing the same volume of applicants as in previous years. To fill the gap, our clients have been allocating a paid media budget to supplement the efforts detailed above. This includes promoted videos on YouTube, Snapchat and TikTok for recruiting those in the 16- to 30-year-old range, as well as online banner ads targeted to specific neighborhoods and demographic profiles, streaming radio ads on Pandora and Spotify, and paid search ads on Google and Bing.

Your Greatest Recruiting Tool Is Retaining Your Staff

It is highly likely that many of your best employees are being propositioned by other companies or recruiters right now. You have two options: work to retain your employees or get aggressive about replacing them. If you choose the first option, spend focused time and energy on building a culture that makes them want to stay (and pay them fairly). Or pay them aggressively enough that other companies will not be able to compete.

There isn’t one solution that will apply to all companies trying to recruit new employees. This is the time to test new recruiting tactics to find ways to fill the open positions within your organization. Resolve yourself to the fact that it will likely cost more and take longer than it has in the past to solicit new applicants. Welcome to the year of the Great Resignation.

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