Drawing interest from the cream of the crop top-shelf candidates to join your company is the objective of any strong management team. That sounds great, but finding them can be the most troublesome, and sometimes even stressful, part of the process. Get creative to find some of the strongest talent out there before someone else snatches them up, and without getting in a rut.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 13 million Americans are looking for jobs right now. It can be overwhelming to sift through stacks of applications to make sure you are getting quality candidates. Try these non-traditional tactics to get creative, and who knows? You may even find yourself having quite a bit of fun in the process.
1. Capitalize on Your Current Employee Base
It is likely your employees already have their own business cards. Here’s a new spin on that. Print out business card-size cards with your company name, contact information and website printed on them. Add the words ‘”Now Hiring” and “Tell them ______ sent you!” on them. Your employees often interact with like-minded people. Let them know they should pass these out when they meet someone they dub to be a good fit for your team. Perhaps you can even provide incentives for them to refer people to your company. This also shows trust in your employees to bring people to your team. That brings us to the next point.
2. Employee Referral Rewards System
Hiring someone referred by a current employee is always preferable. You know your current employees understand the company culture best. They are the best people to give an honest opinion about your organization, and to tell a prospective employee whether or not they would be a good fit for your team outside of professional skills. Incentivize them to refer people from their own network with cash bonuses, or even iPads or gift cards if your company is able to.
3. Set up Shop Elsewhere for a Day
Think outside the realm of job fairs. As reported in Forbes Amy Rees Anderson, CEO of MediConnect Global, Inc., wanted to find new hires with experience. Anderson went to areas with companies whose values she admired, and of which aligned with her own company. She set up an RV and wrapped it with the words “Now Hiring” written in big letters along the side of it. Wait around lunchtime and have employees handing out flyers and talking to potential candidates as they walked past. It is a way to do more pointed hiring with your company.
4. The More the Merrier
The natural interactions in a corporate environment happen in groups. See how potential employees would act by finding them in-group settings. Go to networking events. There are many types of these hosted by Chambers of Commerce and other networking groups. Go to an alumni event hosted by the University you or one of your employees went to. Test out city-wide networking events or career fairs. Make a point to talk to multiple people at once.
Don’t stop going to these events after you enter the interview process, either. Have your colleagues join you in a room with several candidates, and have a discussion all together. See who stands out. You would be surprised by how quickly you can tell who is a team player, who is a leader, and who may not take initiative in a group setting. Build a document in your project management tool with common questions and necessary requirements, and have the team weigh in on the candidate’s readiness.
5. Remember, This Isn’t a Game of Hide-and-Seek
Being a recruiter oftentimes means receiving a pool of candidates from job boards and your career site in your applicant tracking software, and then choosing the best ones. But what if you try turning the tables to finding your own perfect candidate. Several job networking sites exist nowadays that allow you the convenience and ability to curate your own dream candidate. Check out LinkedIn and source candidates on Meetup.com first, but consider researching on Facebook and Twitter as well.
Reach out to potential candidates on the networks where they are most active. It is personal, and takes away from the often very passive experience of the application process. If it fits your organization’s brand, as well as the job description you are hiring for, go ahead and research their social media accounts.
6. Connect with the Scholarly Community
Think outside of your geographical community and do some research on Universities known for the qualities or job title you are hiring for. In our digital world, there is no need to restrict yourself to local candidates. Cozy up to college deans or university professors. Call them and ask about their top students. Having their non-biased opinion is invaluable, not to mention the fact that hiring new graduates means they are likely competitive candidates eager and ready to jump right in to a new role.
Keep this relationship, and you will continue getting the cream of the crop in terms of candidates as soon as they are ready to graduate. It may even help you get in contact with a school’s career center, places dedicated to helping the most motivated students in job placement.
So forget the job boards, billboards, and “now hiring” signs in your office window. Reach out to your team, friends, and colleagues. Brainstorm ideas or build upon the ones above. Most importantly, think outside of the box and don’t take matters too seriously when in the business of attracting people to you. Remember, if you aren’t enjoying finding candidates, they likely aren’t enjoying being recruited. The whole experience should be a positive one for both parties.
Neha Tandon is a writer for TechnologyAdvice. She is a graduate student of journalism at Syracuse University. With a background in marketing, PR, and advertising, her true passion is for business journalism.