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Most Creative Ways to Recruit New Employees

Most Creative Ways to Recruit New Employees

Recruitment can be a drag–just ask anyone who has done it for years on end. The process is not only tedious, but there’s also a ton of wasted time and potential that could be channeled towards more productive ends. Not to mention, candidates aren’t always what they seem on paper!

There has to be a better way to go about the recruitment process, one that involves a bit more creativity and originality.

Thankfully, the web has paved the way for plenty of new, creative ways to recruit employees without sacrificing efficiency or accuracy. Let’s see what today’s executives have to say about how the recruitment process has changed, and some recommendations as well.

Leverage the Web to the Max

You guessed it – the internet will be our avenue to find the most qualified candidates around the country, and contact them in a professional, efficient way.

However, your idea of a web-based recruitment process may be limited to standard applications and job board postings. As it turns out, there’s so much more out there, even on standard sites like Indeed and LinkedIn.

“LinkedIn is increasingly becoming a very strong place for companies to develop their talent plans, their recruitment plans, and so there are ways in which we can track some of the momentum there,” said Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn.

The key difference here is creating a welcoming space online that actually encourages new recruits to test the waters and get involved. This is a major contrast to the nameless, faceless application process that typically takes place.

“You want your company to have an air of prestige and professionalism, but also be approachable to new recruits at the same time,” said George Fraguio, Vice President of Bridge Lending at Vaster. “Demonstrate that you’re willing to field questions and open up the floor for messages. Be conscientious and don’t discredit people on first impressions. That’s how you build up a good reservoir of candidates to choose from when it’s time to decide.”

Many recruitment strategists are taking an “outbound marketing” approach to their plan, meaning that they focus on creating value and attracting applicants organically.

“The more positive stuff you share and showcase about your company online, the more great candidates you’ll have to choose from,” said Amanda E. Johnson, CEO and Chief Marketing Officer of Nailboo. “It starts with a fun and productive company culture and exudes through everything you post on social media and beyond. It shines through in every interaction with customers. People can tell intuitively whether a company is a good place to work, and they catch on.”

The modern web is also perfectly suited for live events, which are more popular than ever in the business recruitment world. Build up the hype around an event and bring people from far and wide to discover more about your company.

There will surely be some worthy connections made in the process.

“Hosting a virtual event is a great way to recruit new employees,” said Rob Chang, CEO and Director at Gryphon Digital Mining. “Not only will you be able to meet local applicants, but it’s also a great way to meet potential candidates who live out of state. While telling them about your company and the specific roles available, it’s also a good way to find out about them and the skills they have to offer. This may also help attract candidates who are on the fence about applying.”

Tap into New Networks

Job boards are unreliable and filled with less desirable options.

The best candidates are found in unexpected places, and networks that aren’t being tapped by thousands of other competitors.

“Your next employee can come from an unlikely place, like your social media following or a partnership you’ve been nurturing with another company or media outlet,” said Jared Hines, Head of Operations at Acre Gold. “There’s no shame in reaching out to people to talk about an offer or just floating the idea out there in a casual way. The way that people move between jobs is more carefree and there isn’t a stigma about it, so give it a shot. There are talented people everywhere, sometimes hidden in plain sight.”

Industry-specific job boards are absolutely underrated for discovering candidates that already have an interest in your field and know what they want from their next position.

After all, the best applicants are the ones with a clear vision for their future – all you need to do is align your goals and make it happen.

“The problem with mainstream recruitment sites is high quantity, but low quality,” said Boye Fajinmi, Co-Founder and President at The Future Party. “Industry insiders know that the most effective recruitment efforts happen in a much more targeted environment with people who you know are already qualified. That’s how you strike gold without wasting your time.”

Today’s top companies also know that colleges and alternative education platforms are rich with eager candidates ready to enter the workforce.

Graduates may be slightly less experienced, but they are willing to dive right in and take on new challenges, often at more reasonable starting salaries.

“We’re seeing a huge shift in the education system, with a sharper focus on preparing young people for next-gen employment demands,” said Adam Mitchell, CEO of SponsorPulse. “There are bootcamps for full-stack software development, certifications for marketing analytics, and tons of courses on sales and general business acumen. This is the best time historically to find recruits – you just need to know where to look and be open to considering different avenues that may not have been there a few years back.”

Incentivize and Engage

It’s one of the fundamental laws of economics: human beings respond to incentives. To take advantage of this dynamic in the recruitment process, identify the most compelling incentives for your target audience and watch your funnel of top recruits begin to fill.

“The most common incentive structure for recruiting is the referral system, which is tried and true for a reason,” said Gabrielle Mustapich Co-CEO at Hardpops. “It usually works best by encouraging employees to bring in new people, then rewarding them with a bonus if the agreement works out for six months or a year. This may not be a flawless system, but it works wonders if you’re trying to fill spots quickly during periods of rapid expansion for your business.”

Many companies still lean heavily on the old-school methods of internal recruitment – that is, looking within their own ranks to discover the next round of managers, supervisors, or higher-level employees that can take on more responsibility and be rewarded accordingly.

“Your next superstar team leader or project lead may be already working within your company, and you don’t even realize it,” said James Shalhoub, Co-Founder of Finn. “A great way to start this is to open up dialogues with high-performing employees and discover what they envision for their futures. Then, you can plant the idea that they can rise the ranks, and that sparks a fire for them to advance. It’s an ongoing negotiation, of course, so be amicable and tactful throughout the process.”

We know – it’s harder than ever to keep employees around in this day and age, but it can be done if companies focus on treating workers well and mapping out a future worth striving for.

“Help recruits see what’s possible at your company for the long term, not just as another pit-stop in their careers,” said Alex Czarnecki, CEO and Founder at Cottage. “This shifts the dynamic in a way that benefits both your brand and the applicant. Disengaged candidates will naturally filter themselves out and you save a lot of headache. Plus, you end up with employees who really want to be there and shine.”

Take it to the Real World

With so much emphasis on social media and job sites, we sometimes forget the power of real, face-to-face interaction in the recruitment journey.

Don’t discount the impact of meeting someone in person, shaking hands, and learning more about their vision and vibe in real time.

“People everywhere are craving human interaction after recent events, and this is an opportunity to make a big splash in your recruitment efforts,” said Alvin Oommen, Founder and CEO of OXFORDhill. “It’s 100% better than applying to something online and doing video conference interviews. Real connection is where it’s at.”

Look no further than your local university events or job fair to connect with promising candidates who are ready to jump into the working world.

“Students are a significant group to recruit from because they are considering their career path and looking for jobs,” said Indeed CEO Chris Hyams. “Working with universities, departments, and professors to reach students through job fairs or virtual events can help you find new employees. Having a section of your company’s website dedicated to students or recent graduates can help attract more students to apply.”

Recruitment, like all parts of business, is constantly evolving with the times. These creative strategies will help make your next round of recruiting hassle-free, effective, and fun.


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by Rebecca Jones // Contributor to Businessing Magazine.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.