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Employee Engagement | 5 minute read

4 Creative Recruiting Ideas HR Leaders Should Invest In

August 27, 2015

The innovators who change the world all have something in common: they think differently. Individuals like Jobs, Gates, Carnegie and Bezos have developed and originated ideas, markets and technology that were, by others, unimaginable. How did they become such innovators? Simply put, they used an alternative approach of thinking. In my opinion, “alternative thinking” is the backbone of advancement and has an infinite amount of value when developing a method for alternatively sourcing candidates. Recruiters use alternative recruitment methods to contact individuals thought to be unreachable, and there is no “one size fits all” alternative method of sourcing; it hinges on the recruiter, the employment brand and the talent community.

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When innovating your recruiting strategies, you must realize and respect the cultural shift of online socialization and understand the psychology profile of the person you are sourcing. Empathy will help you find the right place and community where potential candidates are socializing. When developing a social sourcing strategy, you naturally develop an understanding of an individual or community, opening the barrier of communication. In order to become an industry leader, alternative sourcing methods must constantly be innovated, examined, questioned and hacked. The first step to develop a strategy is all about how you will make the connection.

Making the Connection

To make the most effective connection, you must first have a communication strategy in place. Your communication strategy revolves around employment branding. First, define or access your employment brand and use it to your advantage. According to LinkedIn’s 2015 Global Recruiting Trends Survey, 85 percent of employers say their employment brand has a significant impact on their ability to hire top talent. Once you have a grasp on your employment brand, you can begin to develop branded communication.

Targeted Social Channels

Once you have created a communication strategy, it’s crucial (even before speaking with a potential candidate) to understand the social channels you utilize. Always remember, different individuals use different online sites for different reasons. I recommend the use of multiple social channels for communication throughout the week. By doing this, I'm able to collect the data and discover which channel yielded the best results – known as split-testing. Niche job boards like Career Athlete, Careers In Food, Dice, Media Bistro and Sales Gravy are examples of where you can find communities of candidates actively seeking out new opportunities.

When diving into niche job boards, there are tactics to utilize to generate results. Creative Boolean strings, x-ray search, and recruiting bars will help you find your target candidates. Recruit'em is a tool that will generate appropriate x-ray searches. It is your job to identify alternative keywords to include in your search. Boolean strings are straight forward, but digital recruiting rapidly changes, which is why I stress the importance of consistently educating yourself. This is, by far, the most important piece of an alternative sourcing strategy.

Talent Communities

By going beyond traditional job boards you will be able to find top talent hiding all over the web. Social sites like LinkedIn, GitHub, About.me and Meetup are just a few examples of where you can directly use your alternative communication strategy to start a dialog with a talent pool. According to SourceMob.com, the most interested jobseekers – many of which are passive candidates – will have the opportunity to engage one-on-one with your recruiters, demonstrating their true value and capability to fulfill the requirements of a posted job. So, develop recruitment strategies based on what engages the audience, categorize members to prepare for segmented content and assess which candidates should be recruited now and which should be nurtured.

Relationship Building

Once you have begun assembling your talent community, start to build rapport and nurture relationships. Successful recruiters are passionate about what they do; be consistent with your employment brand, and capitalize on your communication strategy to the talent community. Provide value to the online community with your communication strategy; this will bait and hook future candidates.

Alternative sourcing begins with a mindset. The ability to think differently depends on you and the success of a digital sourcing strategy will be determined by your aptitude to develop your skills in recruitment.  There is no “one size fits all” strategy, however there are steps to take that will yield success. At the core of recruitment is human connection; now with the abundant shift toward online socialization, how will you adapt? How can you evolve in a rapidly changing industry, and what tools can you find to harness the power of social networking?

We invite you to share your creative recruitment ideas and alternative recruitment methods in the comments section below.


About Theodore Stenger

Ted is a sourcing specialist at WilsonHCG. He graduated from the University of Tampa with a degree in entrepreneurship and his knack for thinking outside-of-the-box led him to start a small consulting company of his own. With experience in content creation, Ted has an understanding for modern marketing and advertising and how it is integral to the recruitment process. Currently residing in the Tampa area, Ted grew up in New Jersey. He has a passion for the outdoors, particularly surfing and skiing.