To attract quality job applicants, recruiters agonize over details such as job listing keywords, titles, and descriptions. Some take a headhunting approach and use LinkedIn filters and InMail messages for targeted cold outreach. Sponsored display ads and paid job listings, recruiting events, and social media scouting are among other common strategies companies employ to hire new talent. Increasingly, recruiters are turning to an unconventional platform, Slack, to level up their recruitment process and increase the number of quality applicants they receive. Best of all? Recruiters are leveraging Slack at no additional cost.
While Slack was originally meant for internal communications, the use case and capabilities of the messaging platform have evolved to facilitate global networking discussions, opportunities to securely invite external parties into branded channels, integrations with application tracking system (ATS) software, and more.
In this article, we dive into popular Slack strategies recruiters employ to source talent, ways companies use Slack to keep candidates engaged through the hiring process, and how Slack streamlines internal hiring-related communications.
As the go-to platform for business communications, there are tens of millions of active users on Slack. This means recruiters and hiring managers have access to a huge network of potential employees. Of course, finding qualified candidates in a cost-effective and time-efficient manner is important.
Below are three popular ways recruiters use Slack to source talent and get started:
Join interest-based Slack channels. These can include industry groups, networking forums, and skills-based communities where recruiters are more likely to interact with professionals with relevant backgrounds and the necessary qualifications for their open positions. While many members are not actively looking for a new job, engaging with talented professionals in their favorite Slack channels may be your best opportunity to recruit elusive talent and passive candidates.
Create an open channel within your company Slack. Invite applicants to get to know your brand through an open company channel on Slack. Some recruiters may create a temporary Slack channel as part of a campus recruiting event or job fair, giving potential hires another forum for learning more about the available roles and company culture. Others may host a Slack channel to engage batches of applicants at a time with invite links on job boards and their careers website. Employers can also schedule times when key stakeholders are available in public Slack channels to engage candidates, giving prospective hires more access to their future peers and upper management.
Build a referral network. Since it is time-consuming to participate in dozens of different Slack workspaces throughout the day, hiring managers can develop relationships with group admins and moderators who can help refer qualified candidates. Set up an incentive program for Slack referrals and provide the group admins and mods with a summary of job openings and links candidates can visit to learn more.
In today’s competitive market, hiring the right talent requires a combination of recruiting strategies to target active job seekers and passive candidates through various means of outreach. It also helps provide potential hires with easy access to hiring managers and human resources staff who can answer questions with fast, personalized responses.
The team at Slack produced a guide on How Slack Helps You Recruit Smarter. In it, they point out several useful features such as the ability to:
Coordinate interviews and set reminders
Facilitate interviewer feedback
Receive update notifications regarding new candidates, approvals, referrals, and candidate progress
Approve or deny job offers before they are issued
Create candidate-specific channels to consolidate discussions regarding specific hires
Ultimately, hiring teams enhance their Slack experience by integrating apps for recruiting and leveraging a platform they are already familiar with to save time and declutter their inbox.
Another resource to reference is Slack’s Recruiting Mini Guide. The article covers:
What good recruiting looks like
What candidates want in the hiring process
How Slack’s channel-based messaging platform offers a new approach to managing recruiting and human resources
The advantages of sharper recruiting
While recruiters are likely already familiar with Slack as a general internal communications tool, there are key techniques they can practice to increase their odds of sourcing exceptional talent and facilitating a safe and smooth hiring experience.
Maintain professionalism at all times. Professionals may be accustomed to sending their coworkers casual remarks and funny GIFs over Slack. Of course, when interacting with candidates or posting publicly on external channels, it is crucial that recruiters and hiring managers are more polished with their messages. Therefore, it is best to maintain professionalism in all candidate-facing and public communications to attract the best applicants and avoid making a bad impression.
Abide by posting guidelines in external Slack channels. Every Slack community has its own rules regarding self-promotion and sharing job openings. Avoid spamming external channels with open positions and aggressively headhunting members in direct messages. Instead, participate in thoughtful conversations, provide helpful resources, and find appropriate times to share job listings.
Pin messages and bookmark links. New members may feel overwhelmed when joining a Slack channel for the first time. Provide them with a warm welcome and helpful introductory resources through pinned messages and bookmarked links so they don’t have to scroll and backread. Candidates can also easily reference these assets as they make their way through the hiring funnel too. Recruiters can highlight unique aspects of their company culture, employee reviews, available job openings, typical steps in their hiring process, and more.
Establish working hours. Since Slack is available 24/7 and applicants might only be online to chat outside of working hours, especially if they are already employed, it is important for recruiters to openly communicate company working hours and typical response times. This step helps set communication expectations for candidates.
Set content moderation parameters. To ensure the safety of public channels for all participants, recruiters should work with their technical team to filter out sensitive language. Additionally, you will want to turn off @here, @channel, and @everyone tags to avoid unnecessary notifications.
Slack may be a new medium for recruiters to adopt, but it expands an employer’s ability to hire highly qualified candidates. Being active and present in other Slack communities also makes it easier to spread more awareness about your brand, company culture, and available job openings. Recruiters and staff responsible for finding new hires can use Slack as an innovative solution for leveling up their hiring process by increasing the number of candidates in their funnel. Slack even provides the opportunity to open the virtual doors of your offices to prospective hires, especially as many employees have transitioned to permanently remote work.