Creative Recruiting Strategies That Work

Both employers and job seekers have grown tired of the same old recruiting process. Posting jobs via social media has become commonplace. LinkedIn is cluttered with recruiters near and far who may or may not be actively hiring. Job boards are the industry standard, but applicants often find this route impersonal, with hiring managers hidden behind a technology barrier. Exploring creative recruiting strategies is the only way employers in today’s job market can reach qualified job seekers and stand out from the competition.

Spend time searching the web for open job listings, and you’ll find a wall of recruiting noise, from poorly designed websites to months-old listings. Nearly half of recruiters say they’re having a difficult time finding qualified candidates for open roles. Is it a lack of experienced job seekers or a struggle to get the word out to the right people?

Implementing out of the box recruiting strategies may be the key for many employers in this tight job climate. You don’t necessarily need a viral video or witty hook to get the resumes flowing, but creative thinking will help cut through the sea of job listings. Here are a few ways to reach candidates beyond the traditional recruiting routes.

Host a hiring “happy hour.”

Part networking, part recruiting event, onsite gatherings bring candidates and hiring managers together for plenty of open discussions without the stress of a formal interview or application process. Invite job seekers to mingle and gain a greater understanding of your employer brand and overall hiring plans. Regular monthly gatherings help to develop long-term relationships so that when a position opens within your company, you’ll already have a short list of viable candidates.

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Connect with college career centers.

College career centers are valuable in employer outreach, particularly when companies are looking to hire entry-level candidates. Internal school job boards help to advertise positions as they become available while college career counselors work with both student job seekers and recent graduates to find and secure new jobs. Increase your chances of job seeker referrals by building long-term relationships with local schools, partnering on career fairs and professional networking opportunities throughout the year.

Reach out to previous applicants.

Over the course of your hiring process, you’ve hopefully kept track of applicants who were qualified for the position but didn’t make the cut. Mine those database contacts for job seekers who fit criteria for current open roles. Previously-vetted candidates are already familiar with your hiring process and may be eager to discuss additional opportunities whether they’re actively looking or not.

Establish an employee referral program.

Inside connections can move a potential candidate to the front of the pack. With an established employee referral program offering employee bonuses for referred candidates who complete the hiring process, you’ll have your current employees doing the leg work for you. Referred candidates are hired at a record rate compared to those discovered using traditional recruiting methods, saving companies a whopping $3,000 or more in hiring costs per candidate.

Create new eye-catching content.

Job seekers are interested in learning as much about your company as they can before applying – and accepting – a new role. Using video to capture your company’s story offers another level of insight for candidates looking for a new workspace. Highlight your company’s culture by recording snippets of events and initiatives. Capture quick Q&As from satisfied employees to share on social media, YouTube, and your company website. The right creative content will inform, inspire, and help to develop an enthusiasm for your brand.

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Explore additional promotional opportunities.

With many companies struggling to find qualified candidates, it may be beneficial to partner with other organizations in expanding your reach. Co-hosting events with a company in a complementary industry increases your chances of reaching job seekers who fit your needs. If you’re a non-profit organization, pair with a traditional for-profit business – and vice versa. Event sponsorships can aid in bringing additional recognition to your brand.

For a select approach, determine where your target audience is most likely to frequent. Some companies have found success in reaching out via alternative digital platforms like Snapchat and Reddit. As the use of smartphones continues to accelerate, text-based applications and interview screens have seen a rapid rise as well, with brands like CDW reporting an 87% increase in applicant response.

With a tight job market, creative recruiting strategies can be the difference between a timely hiring process and an endless search for talent. Expand your outreach and you’ll expand your candidate pool.