How to Use Search Engines to Source Top Talent

How to Use Search Engines to Source Top Talent

Did you know that 300 million Google searches a month are employment-related? That’s a whopping 30 percent of all Google searches. With candidate sourcing methods becoming more expensive, optimizing your online presence can provide a stellar alternative to traditional recruitment methods. Recruitment agencies are understandably the only solution when you’ve left it to the last minute, but instead of taking an ad hoc approach, wouldn’t it make more sense to consistently grow and attract your own talent network? Why not invest some serious time into your online presence, so candidates can find you instead of the other way around? The secret lies with optimization of your online content so that search engines can do some of this marketing for you.

Optimize Your Career Pages

Within the last few years, at least 80 percent of Americans have used online resources in a job search. And this proportion grows daily. Properly optimizing your career pages communicates vital information to search engines about your brand and matches your key areas, indexing them with relevant results. In short, optimizing your online content allows potential talent to find you more easily.


Choosing keywords carefully is crucial for attracting your ideal job seekers. We’ll talk more about optimizing specific job posts later, but your career landing page should provide the clear answer to what job seekers want. For example, perhaps they are looking for the best publishing company in the world, in which case your unique selling proposition, accolades and awards will all be strong keywords you can use to attract talent through search engines. Imagine your perfect candidate, and then match keywords with what that person might be looking for.


Aesthetically, your career page should be clean with plenty of white space. On average, visitors will skim the content of a landing page within seconds, scanning headings only briefly before moving on. This means that the vast majority of the text you’re toiling over is completely useless. In a world where creating a visually pleasing web page isn’t too difficult, potential candidates will expect any forward-thinking company to impress if they’re worth their salt at all.

Count Your Clicks

Eighty percent of readers never make it past the page headline. You need to be reducing your visitors’ clicks as much as possible in order to maximize the impact of your content. On the plus side, being forced to boil your brand message down to one page or less is an exercise in precision that will result in a message with greater clarity and potency. Although the three-click rule once took webpage design by storm, it’s now been relaxed. Still, as a general rule, the fewer clicks, the better. Make it super easy for a candidate to get from A to Z, and potential talent will be less likely to escape your grasp.

Optimize Your Job Postings

People are very likely to enter specific search terms (such as job titles) to seek out particular vacancies through a search engine. To catch this talent and lead them to your career pages, you must have optimized your specific job postings. Doing so, through careful use of keywords, will lead candidates to your careers page. Voila! You achieve brand recognition and get direct applications with relatively little effort.

Optimize Your Company Pages

Clarify Your Unique Selling Proposition

Your company page — or entire company website — can be a powerful tool in the recruitment process. Individuals who are not even thinking about making a move but search for the “top 10 law firms in Los Angeles” can be led to your page if it’s properly optimized. Make sure your company has a clear identity that is supported by strong keywords within the headers and body text. Within seconds of landing on your website, a visitor should know exactly what it is you offer and why you’re better than the rest. Keywords might include top pay and benefits, office locations or other significant selling points. So when someone searches for these USPs, and you’re ranked highly for those factors, you’ll be easily found.

Convert, Convert, Convert!

If you’ve successfully guided someone to your page from a search engine, congratulations. Now make sure you impress the visitor! If you do, the individual is more likely to seek out opportunities to work for you. Just like that, you can create a potential candidate out of thin air. And with candidates more likely to approach you directly, you’ll save time, money and energy usually spent on the recruitment process.

What If I Lose Candidates?

I know what you’re thinking. It’s all well and good to have tons of people applying, but what if the timing isn’t right? What if top candidates are visiting and we don’t have the exact jobs for them? First of all, this is an amazing problem to have. We should all be so lucky. True, you might end up rejecting some candidates, but what you need to keep in mind is that you’re creating an invaluable network for you and your candidates. Approach the process with professionalism, and keep in touch with potential candidates. Not only will this raise your reputation in the market, but it will also keep people positively engaged with your brand. And should a vacancy arise where you suddenly need that one person, you already have him or her in your network, just one telephone call away. That’s a win-win.