Post-pandemic we have seen the market for professional and skilled workforce get harder. Employees are going to take longer to apply for the right position for them as they are going to spend more time researching employers and be cautious with their next move. Now is the time for Tribal Governments and Tribal entities to get out in front of candidates with the right messages to attract and engage candidates. Have a conversation about what you’re looking for in an applicant and what is an applicant looking for in an employer. Tribal entities and governments need to utilize their people in their advertising.
Investing in recruitment is an investment back into your community and placing that individual in the best possible job for them. Tying job opportunities in such a way that you attract the right applicants with the right skills. With the rise of social media and the digital world, Tribal Leaders must adapt new ways to recruit employees. In this article, we will discuss how to assess your current recruitment system and how to reach job seekers digitally.
1. Make Applying for Jobs and Managing Jobs Easy
Make sure your website and job portal are mobile-friendly. To offer a positive experience, your website and job portal should be responsive and mobile-friendly across all platforms and devices, including tablets, mobile, and desktops. During 2021, 67% of job applications were completed on mobile devices, according to a report by Appcast. 
Applicant Tracking System
Utilizing an applicant tracking system will help streamline not only communication but organizing past candidates that might be good potential candidates for other future positions. An applicant tracking system (ATS) is software for recruiters and employers to track candidates throughout the recruiting and hiring process. An ATS recaptures people that are already interested in the brand, not only to keep them engaged but to present new opportunities that they may not have applied to before. Taking the time and investment to set up an ATS correctly is worth it in the long run.
Some tribes, especially governments, aren’t using any kind of applicant system. We’ve seen some partners only utilizing email – no tracking system. Without a tracking system, there’s no way for them to capture a bunch of data at once and aggregate it all together into one system. So if it’s on somebody’s email drive, going back and finding who applied to the last jobs or inviting them to come back and apply again, becomes a longer process.
How to Choose an Applicant Tracking System
We encourage Tribes to review their current processes and workflows and see which applicant tracking system suits them best. Consider what they’re looking for in an ATS and what you’re hoping to get out of it when assessing an ATS.
- Review current providers out there
- Ask neighboring Tribes what they use
- Attend national or regional conferences that have ATS vendors
- The goal is to help extend the reach to get more jobseekers, at the same time your applicant tracking system should:
- provide metrics on the applications coming in such as how long does it take to complete an application, drop off rates?
- review filter and sort applications
- Onboarding for employees
- I-9 compliance
2. Increase Your Candidate Reach
Ensure you’re active on social media. You want to be reviewing and creating content weekly, which includes creating posts, engaging with the community, commenting, and responding to messages. Post employee events, employee perks, work-life balance, programs that participate in with the Tribal community, showcase their intern program, and spotlight employees. We always advocate having a separate page outside of the Tribal Nations page for employment so you can highlight what it’s like to work there that’s outside of the messaging that is on the Tribal nations page.
Make sure your company is represented across all social platforms such as:
- Instagram – Instagram content is an opportunity to reach a younger demographic.
- Facebook – You’ll reach a wide range audience.
- LinkedIn – Link your tracking system to LinkedIn to help with job postings.
Glassdoor – Glassdoor offers insights into the employee experience by providing a platform where employees and employers can write reviews of what it’s like to work for the company, interview questions, salary information, photos, and branding.
Indeed – Review the company profile and take ownership if you haven’t already.
Google – If you’re looking for talent take advantage of the job search functions on Google. Edit job descriptions so the keywords are optimized for Google. Employers can connect their website to Google and it will optimize your job postings for Google. This is a great tool to ensure your job postings are getting in front of the most people possible.
3. Referral Programs
Employee referrals are probably the most efficient and cost-effective hire that a Tribal entity can make. For referral programs you want to make sure you’re offering a good incentive, it depends on the industry, but I’ve seen bonuses in the thousands of dollars before. It’s not there hasn’t doesn’t have to be a certain number, but it needs to make sure it offers a payout that is going to be attractive for your employees.
4. Local Universities and Colleges
Connect with local universities and community colleges to host meet-up events for college students, if you’re looking to attract that workforce. A lot of Universities are a part of the platform called, Handshake – an online recruiting platform for higher education students and alumni – within their state or local area. As an employer, you can sign up on Handshake and can access universities and not only post your jobs there but engage with students for potential jobs. With Handshake, you get access to students and alumni.
If your local community college isn’t signed up for Handshake you can reach out to the career services department or student services.
5. Virtual Job Fairs
Job fairs aren’t as attractive as they used to be, but it’s good to be there representing if there’s something in your area just for presence, but job fairs aren’t the same as they once were. We believe you can do more and reach a wider target and be more engaged through setting up these online platforms and social media.
As a company, we recommend hosting your own virtual job fair through Google Meet or Zoom. Market to your database and social platforms to join your virtual job fair. Your virtual job fair is an opportunity to be a marketing pitch on why someone should apply for your position such as:
- Intro to the company and opportunities
- Employee testimonial of what it’s like to work there
- Job descriptions
After the job fair, you want to have a way to capture the attendees afterward whether that’s a survey with their contact information, or a link back to the website to apply for a job. If any of these methods aren’t working well, switch it up and see what else could work for you.
As social media and online communication become increasingly dominant, digital recruiting is a prime opportunity for your Tribal community. Assess your current recruitment system and utilize this five-step process to attract and engage new candidates.
 Oladipupo, Solomon. “Almost 70% of 2021 Job Applications Were Made from Mobile Device.” Recruiting Daily, March 3, 2022, https://recruitingdaily.com/news/almost-70-of-2021-job-applications-were-made-from-mobile-devices/
Dustin’s career in Human Resources has spanned over 14 years within Tribal Gaming and Government with the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation (Kansas). He has been responsible for providing support to all levels of management and employees, including, but not limited to, providing guidance on employee relations issues, conducting evaluations on policy violations, performance management, devising and implementing policies and procedures, developing compensation plans, and maintaining Employee Handbooks.