4 Ways to Increase Your Candidate Pool

My LinkedIn Daily Rundown feed started out today with “Jobs are cutting experience requirements….” Reporting that, “an extra 1 million jobs were opened up to candidates last year with “no experience necessary.’”

There is a lot of buzz about the hot job market now with the unemployment rate at a pre-recession low.

But what do you do to fill jobs in this economy?

As the Daily Rundown suggests you can:

  • Lower requirements.Whether it be experience, education or skill requirements, lowering them can increase candidate pools. I often find that job descriptions have qualifications in them that really aren’t “required” to be successful in the role.  Do a job analysis and figure out if you can and should lower your requirements. Some more food for thought on this can be found here.

In addition, we suggest:

  • Eliminating requirements. Doing a job analysis may show you that you not only need to lower requirements, but eliminate them all together. One thing I’m finding more and more employers considering eliminating a totally clean criminal history. Opening yourself up to hiring ex-offenders may be a wise move. To learn more about the Second Chance Initiative targeted at helping employers and communities navigate through the advantages and also challenges of hiring ex-offenders, read more here.

Lowering and/or eliminating requirements may require more skills-based training for new hires, but if you focus on hiring for fit and diversity (will dimensions instead of skill dimensions), you may end up with better employees anyway.

  • Raising your wages. More on that here.
  • Sourcing better. Pursue passive candidates instead of posting and praying.Pick up the phone and call people, do a search for potential candidates on LinkedIn, send an email to your professional contacts.  It isn’t rocket science. Attract interest by creating interest beyond your job posting on Indeed.


All of these efforts lead you to be able to fish out of a different pond than one(s) you’ve been fishing in.  And sometimes the best catches can be found in the ponds that aren’t overfished.


How do you increase your candidate pools to make better hires?

Mary Ila Ward

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