Let’s cut to the chase: recruitment is hard – really hard.

From CVs that paint an overly flattering picture of the candidate to last minute references that dash your hopes, finding the best employees for a social enterprise is challenging.

Recruitment and the way in which people search for jobs has evolved considerably in recent years. The dominance of social media, rise of the millennial generation and seismic impact of the gig economy has created an eclectic – if confusing – job market for both employers and employees.

In this blog, we’re going to list four ways you can find the best talent for your social enterprise. It’s time to cut through the noise and missed opportunities and find that perfect candidate…

1. Embrace the gig economy

Some are calling it a ‘pre-industrial revolution’, but that’s a little unfair. The gig economy has had it’s fair share of detractors thanks to recent unsavoury news surrounding the likes of Uber and Deliveroo, but the fact remains that it’s growing – fast.

For instance, in London, the gig economy has grown by more than 70% since 2010. Clearly, people are favouring flexible working arrangements over long-term employment contracts, and that could benefit your social enterprise considerably.

If there are areas of your business that simply don’t require someone to be in the office every day of the week or are likely to only exist fleetingly, an external freelancer might be the best option.

2. Focus on work-life balance and company culture when developing roles

According to a study by Deloitte, 44% of millennials would leave their current employer because of issues around work-life balance and employer flexibility.

That means as a business looking for fresh talent, your social enterprise needs to show a desire to invest in each individual. This is why you should think about leadership skill development, flexible working options and developing a culture that is at ease with the modern workforce.

Thankfully, social enterprises are usually inherently capable of creating working environments like this, which is why yours should be of particular interest to people searching for work in your industry.

3. Take advantage of new recruitment tools

There was once a time when the only routes into the job market were via recruitment agencies and job board websites, but we now have an abundance of technology that offers a direct line to potential new hires.

LinkedIn is a prime example of a vibrant community in which you can find the best people for your social enterprise, but Facebook, Twitter and industry-related forums are great hunting grounds, too.

Job seekers know how important it is to build and maintain personal brands online, and their activity on social media should offer you the perfect starting point when sussing out potential candidates.

The line between a person’s digital profile and it’s real-life counterpart continues to blur as people move the bulk of their social interaction to the digital realm.

And remember – this search goes both ways; job seekers will spend just as much time checking out your social enterprise online during their search. Make sure your digital presence is as active as theirs!

4. Work the referral system

According to LinkedIn, 48% of recruiters believe employee referrals are the most important channel for quality hires. And this is unsurprising when you consider that a referral hire is usually going to be far more cost-effective than placing an advert on a job website or within the local press.

By offering referral incentives and tying those rewards to longevity, you’ll start to find the best talent and reduce employee turnover at the same time.

Wrapping up

Look beyond the traditional job boards; with a bit of invention and a desire to embrace the digital economy, you’ll find stellar talent that would otherwise have passed you by.

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