How to Cast a Nationwide Job Net

The broader your recruiting reach, the greater your chance of finding ideal candidates. Fortunately, there are many tools to help you search nationwide.

Job boards

Job boards are websites where you can post your open positions. Typically, you would pay a fee to have your jobs listed. y are two of the biggest general job boards. Niche-oriented boards focus on a particular industry, such as technology, healthcare, or legal services, or specific job categories, such as entry level, temp jobs, or executive positions.

Job search engines

Job search engines aggregate job listings from many different boards and employer websites. Also, keep in mind that search engines may have millions of listing because they compile from multiple sources. Like job boards, there are niche job search engines that limit searches to specific industries or careers.

Social networks

A recent study by recruiting technology provider Jobvite found that 94 percent of recruiters use or plan to use social media to hire new employees. LinkedIn, which has become a personalized job board, is the most widely used network, followed closely by Facebook and Twitter. Hiring managers use social networks to get a sense of a candidate’s personality and cultural appropriateness. Employers also like to confirm facts stated on resumes and in interviews.

Professional groups

You may already belong to several professional associations related to your field. These groups can be a good way to meet people with the specific skills you’re after. Attend meetings, read the publications and newsletters, make note of people who are accomplishing things and who look like good candidates. If you stay involved with the group’s activities and establish visibility, you will have more credibility when you reach out to people with job offers.


Large firms are finding that it saves money and time when their own employees refer people for jobs. An analysis done by Ernst & Young found that referred hires perform better, stay longer, and are quicker to integrate into company teams. Consider rewarding employees for making good referrals. According to the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), 50 percent of employers offer a formal employee referral program. To help maintain engagement and interest, create a program that recognizes and rewards referrals at several levels, such as a quality referral (even if it does not result in a hire), or a referral that results in a hire within a specified time frame. Incentives can be cash ($1,000 – $2,500 is a common range according to, gift certificates, trips, or meals.

Job fairs

Like job boards, job fairs can be large generic events with many different industries and businesses on the floor. They can also be more focused niche gatherings. A job fair requires a lot of your time to man a booth and may not be the most efficient way to meet candidates.  If the fair is local, it could be a good way to meet prospects in your immediate geographical area.


Newspaper circulation is dwindling across the country, but many businesses still place help wanted ads in their local paper for a targeted approach to finding candidates. Many large newspapers have significant online resources with robust site search functionality.

Walk-in applications

If you run a storefront-type retail business, you might go the old-fashioned route and put a help wanted sign in the window. You never know, the ideal candidate may be one of your customers walking through the door.

Game Plan

It’s easy to become overwhelmed with the sheer number of ways to tell the world about your job listings. Take a good look at the type of employee you are after and determine if a focused approach would work best. First, try the internal referral method as that takes the least amount of effort. Beyond that, use several different methods to reach the broadest potential audience. Once you craft your job description and posting, it’s easy to submit it to multiple boards, search engines, and social media sites. Keep in mind your capacity for reviewing and screening queries. The more you broadcast your needs, the more buried you may become with responses.
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