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In March, U.S. job openings rose to a record 11.5 million, revealing the ongoing impact of a national labor shortage spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a recent report from the National Federation of Independent Business, 47% of small businesses still had job openings they were unable to fill in April, with 93% of those businesses saying that they had no or few qualified applicants.

Businesses across the country continue to struggle to find workers to fill open jobs. While the labor shortage itself is a complex issue with many contributing factors, today’s brands have one surprisingly effective outreach option when it comes to recruitment.

Whether the goal is to boost awareness, sell a product, or hire the right employee, influencer marketing can open the door for authentic brand engagement that gets results.

woman sitting at a desk in a pink blazer holding a coffee cup and working on a laptop computer. A Stronger Recruitment Strategy

Influencer marketing can help brands enrich their recruitment strategy by reaching out to future employees in the places they already are: social media platforms.

There are now more ways than ever for workers to search for jobs outside of traditional job sites and advertisements. Partnering with the right influencers can raise employer visibility while also leveraging the trust and credibility built up over time between an influencer and their followers.

Consider the difference between an open job position published on a job-search website, and a brand-aligned influencer sharing their own personal take on the benefits of working for an organization. A few examples:

  • Parenting-focused influencers sharing how they are able to work flexible part-time hours for a ridesharing brand
  • College student-athletes promoting local holiday retail opportunities for a national athletic-wear brand
  • Eco-minded supermarket brand employees communicating their genuine job enthusiasm along with their employer’s environmental actions and values
  • Beauty/self-care influencers promoting openings at a national beauty retailer along with personal commentary on training, benefits, discounts, etc.

Essentially, influencer marketing helps brands reach potential candidates with personalized, relevant messaging that goes far beyond traditional job descriptions.

Geotargeted Candidate Outreach

Geotargeted influencer campaigns can reach potential job candidates by incorporating the influencer’s location, as well as their associated influence within that location.

Influencers can share openings from local, regional, or national brands through a “local’s lens” by adding their own relatable commentary. Properly vetted local influencers can drive the right kind of interest by connecting with like-minded audiences and sharing employer brand benefits.

People are often prompted to try out a new restaurant or product in their area when someone in their social circle recommends it. Geotargeted influencer outreach can lend the same power to recruitment messaging, driving the right kind of awareness for job openings.

Brand Building Through Recruitment Outreach

Brands that collaborate with relevant influencers for recruitment campaigns can help strengthen employer brand awareness and affinity over time.

While marketers tend to associate influencers with promoting specific products and services, their endorsements can expand and deepen brand identities. Influencers can raise awareness for specific job openings while also contributing to a brand’s overall presence in meaningful ways.

Today’s influencers are skilled content creators who know their audience inside and out. Who better to showcase job opportunities to a potential new talent pool, while also encouraging genuine brand/consumer connections and points of engagement?

Some brands may discover that the best influencers they can find are already in their ranks. Encourage passionate employees to become brand ambassadors by sharing career opportunities in their own social circles.

Don’t be afraid to get creative: content shouldn’t be limited to a link to a job ad. Think outside the job-description box with ideas like virtual office tours, influencer-shared information on how a company walks out its values, fun peeks into company culture, short- and long-term training and development opportunities, and more.

In the end, there’s no one easy solution for the ongoing labor shortage, but influencer marketing offers a uniquely effective recruitment strategy for brands to connect with potential employees. With so many job seekers and available jobs right now, candidates are looking to cut through the noise and find the personal commentary and relevant recommendations that will ultimately inform their job-hunting decisions.

This article was originally published on Fast Company as a Fast Company Executive Board post.