Recruiting Ideas Outside the Box: Unconventional Strategies for Talent Acquisition

Recruiting Ideas Outside the Box: Unconventional Strategies for Talent Acquisition

Key Takeaways:

  • To ensure recruitment success, companies should optimize their recruiting content so it targets the top talent hiring professionals are seeking.
  • By utilizing recruiting ideas outside the box, talent acquisition teams can maintain an adaptable and efficient recruitment program to connect with highly sought-after talent.
  • Employing a creative approach to recruitment can effectively engage both active and passive candidates. To identify the most suitable candidates, recruiting experts should navigate to where the top talents reside and utilize a mix of relevant content to capture their interest.

In a tight labor market where employers must fiercely compete for the best talent, recruitment teams must use a combination of hiring methods to reach their goals for candidate quality and quantity. But with candidate needs and expectations changing over time, hiring tactics that worked just a couple of years ago may no longer be as effective.

Organizations today can benefit from a mix of both tried-and-true and unconventional recruitment methods, including new strategies for branding, social media recruiting, and advertising. By experimenting with recruiting ideas outside the box, talent acquisition teams can keep the recruitment program nimble and effective in reaching the most hard-to-find talent.


10 Recruiting Ideas Outside the Box That Work

With more than 1.5 unfilled positions for every US job seeker, organizations and recruiting teams can’t afford not to try new methods for attracting talent. And while organizations may feel they’ve tried everything, there remain creative recruitment marketing ideas for uncovering previously hidden sources of talent. Some of these methods may yield a smaller number of individuals to add to the talent pool than others. Still, when done right, they have the potential to provide higher-quality applicants who are a better match for the organization

Here are some recruiting ideas outside the box that can help employers find and engage talent:


1. Update Job Titles and Descriptions

For some applicants, the job posting is their first point of interaction with an employer. As a result, the posting should be both informative and engaging, so candidates feel excited about applying. By creating guidelines for all job postings that use consistent language and formatting, employers can avoid turning candidates off and losing them to competitors. Some suggestions include:

  • Use descriptive titles that reflect actual job responsibilities rather than terms such as “rockstar” and “ninja,” which can come across as gender-exclusive and unprofessional.
  • Avoid buzzwords and industry jargon some candidates may not understand.
  • Generate a broader pool of applicants by considering which qualifications may be preferable instead of required. 
  • Be concise (descriptions up to 300 words have a significantly higher application rate than longer descriptions).

recruiting ideas outside the box


2. Enlist Employee Ambassadors

Since employees experience their company’s culture every day, they make excellent resources for candidates. With the help of employees who can share the reality of their day-to-day work lives, organizations can build brand awareness and convert more candidates than with employer-generated branding alone. In fact, LinkedIn research found that employee networks are ten times larger than their employer’s. As a result, jobs shared by employees on the platform produce 30% more job applications.

Tip: Employee ambassadors are a valuable component of any employer’s branding efforts. For maximum leverage, recruitment teams can show their ambassadors how to create and share employee-generated videos


3. Partner with Influencers

Employers today already use social media to reach a targeted audience of potential candidates. By adding influencer marketing to the mix, they can potentially engage an even broader pool of talent. After all, people are more likely to trust those they know, and influencers are uniquely positioned to deliver messages that resonate with their followers. 

One study found that 88% of consumers have been inspired to purchase something based on what an influencer said. In recruitment, utilizing influencers provides employers with new opportunities to share their brand message and build awareness about available opportunities. When the message is shared by an influencer people trust, candidates will be more likely to engage and take action.


4. Create Custom Filters on Social Media

Using filters on platforms like Instagram and Snapchat helps to boost brand recognition with potential candidates. Recruiting teams can use filters to boost interest in recruiting events in specific locations, create a buzz around a new store opening, and give viewers an authentic view of the organization. Filters don’t just inform and provide candidates with a view into the organization’s employee experience; they can also be fun and make content much more shareable. Some employers have even used augmented reality filters to help prospective candidates visualize themselves in the company uniform or in the office working on a project. These and other types of filters can go a long way in providing an extra bump in brand awareness to spark candidates’ interest.


5. Find Niche Platforms Candidates Already Visit

Job boards aren’t the only places employers can find the ideal candidate. Prospective employees can also be found on platforms and within communities that reflect their interests and skills. Examples include:

  • Specialized LinkedIn and Facebook groups
  • Podcasts
  • Industry events and trade shows
  • Professional associations
  • Niche websites and newsletters

These can all be great places for employers to post open roles and place job ads. By being where the candidates are, recruiting teams can expand their talent pool with more individuals who possess relevant skills, knowledge, and expertise.

Tip: Relying on just a handful of advertising platforms can cause organizations to miss out on candidates. But with the benefit of programmatic job advertising, it’s possible to cast a wider net and reach candidates across a broader spectrum of traditional and niche platforms.

recruitment marketing strategies


6. Explore Out-of-Home Marketing

Not all recruitment marketing happens on the internet. For example, talent acquisition teams can find success with offline marketing on billboards, radio, public transportation stations, and gyms. Any place where potential candidates are already spending time can be a great place to build brand awareness and engage future applicants. Additionally, since out-of-home marketing happens off of job boards, it can be an excellent source of candidates who aren’t actively looking for a job. And considering that as many as 70% of candidates are passive, this type of recruitment marketing could be a complete game-changer for employers interested in trying new recruiting ideas outside the box.


7. Revamp the Employee Referral Program

Organizations with an employee referral program can attest to the advantages it brings to their recruitment program, including a lower cost-per-hire and a pool of candidates who already have brand awareness before they ever speak to a company recruiter. However, the benefits of employee referral programs are not automatic. One study found that while 72% of companies use an employee referral program, only 4% realize its full potential.

To get more mileage out of the employee referral program, employers can look for opportunities to make improvements, including:

  • Increasing the referral bonus or adding non-cash incentives such as time off, preferred parking, and company lunchroom benefits
  • Advertising the referral program internally among existing employees
  • Educating employees about the different ways they can find and make referrals
  • Streamlining the process to make it easier for employees to submit a referral


8. Establish a Boomerang Recruitment Strategy 

In a challenging labor market, candidates come and go, and sometimes, so do employees. However, organizations can expand their talent pool and find a ready source of applicants by engaging past candidates and employees. By developing a strategy for welcoming back boomerang candidates and hires, employees can keep these individuals on the recruitment radar and determine where they can be a potential fit. 

Nearly half of people who are disappointed in their new job would consider going back to the one they left. Given this reality, organizations can benefit from using retargeting and re-engagement strategies to reach former applicants and employees who may be interested in returning.

recruitment strategies


9. Make it Even Easier to Apply

With unemployment in record-low territory, candidates have many options for where to apply. Organizations can stand out from the competition by making the application process straightforward, mobile-friendly, and easy to navigate. By making some improvements to the application process that save candidates’ time, it’s possible to chip away at the 80% candidate drop-off rate that plagues many organizations.

Here are some of the specific changes recruitment teams can make to streamline the application process:

  • Allow candidates to apply without entering login credentials in the applicant portal
  • Automatically parse data from candidate resumes and LinkedIn profiles so candidates don’t need to re-enter it
  • Enable “Easy Apply” solutions wherever possible
  • Reserve questions about work experiences and qualifications for the interview stage


10. Attend Networking Events

Whether virtual or face-to-face, recruitment events add the human element and help to bring a company culture to life. They also help recruiters get to know prospective applicants on a deeper level, providing more context than what’s in an application or resume. 

Aside from company-sponsored events, talent acquisition professionals can attend networking events hosted by industry and professional associations. They can also engage young talent through events on college campuses, and expand their network by sponsoring and attending events hosted by local community organizations.


Achieve Success With Outside-the-Box Recruiting 

In today’s job market, conventional recruiting methods are often not enough. By trying new recruitment tactics that reach previously untapped sources of talent, employers can win in recruiting and find the talent they need for growth. 

For help getting started, the team at Recruitics is here to help! The Recruitics team can provide customized recruitment marketing solutions to help organizations attract candidates smarter, faster, and more competitively.

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