In a previous post, we’ve discussed the importance of using your hiring process to identify the best applicants – those who are more likely to stay with you in a productive capacity for a longer time. None of it works, though, if those people never make it into your recruiting pool. Whether it’s because of a recruitment budget that’s been cut, a campaign that focuses only on younger candidates (especially for minimum-wage, hourly positions), or assuming your target recruitment audience is currently unemployed, you might be missing out on some amazing candidates, therefore shortchanging your business and depriving yourself of the benefits of a great employee. All it takes is a little creativity and a willingness to change up your recruitment strategy.

Start at Home

If you don’t have an employee referral policy, start one now! You can get great insights into potential employees based on who refers them.

Also look to your company website. What does it tell a potential employee about your company and employee culture? Make sure job openings are listed there, and that the process of submitting a resume is easy, intuitive, and relatively fast.

Expand Your View

If you’re looking to recruit a great employee, keep an eye on an overlooked group: the already employed.  Network at professional events, trade shows, or even in your personal life – are you looking for a great customer service representative? Give out your card to someone who offers you spectacular service! If you’re looking for someone in your IT department, ask the person who helped you out at the local electronics store or with your latest cell phone purchase to give you a call if they’re interested. Your experience as a customer gives you keen insight as to how someone would perform in a similar capacity if they worked for you.

Expanding on the employee referral idea, get your current employees involved in this as well – ask them to find exceptional employees they run into, and to send them your way!

Rewind and Review

Did you have a candidate who was neck-and-neck with your ultimate hire? Give them a call back for new openings. You can also call back applicants who turned you down for previous positions – perhaps that one wasn’t the right one for them, but if they were someone you wanted on your team before, it won’t hurt to give it another try!

Get Creative

Place ads in targeted areas (Facebook and LinkedIn, for example, will deliver you two very different audiences, as will radio ads in the morning versus mid-afternoon), and try to identify what would appeal to your ideal candidate. Think unconventionally! If your products go home with the customer, then you could include open job positions with the product, as IKEA Australia did – a move that resulted in more than 4000 job applications and nearly 300 new hires. Several companies have successfully used contests and challenges to bring in new hires. Amy Rees Anderson, the founder and Managing Partner of REES Capital, turned an older RV into a mobile hiring center; by wrapping the RV in a “We’re Hiring!” banner and parking it near companies she was targeting, she had instant access to employees as they came and went. This idea could also be used on college campuses, or near major transit hubs to catch commuters on their way home from work.

What works in one industry might not work in another, and the people who know your company best are already available to you. The best solutions might already be at your fingertips – put together a team of your best employees to brainstorm recruiting ideas. By making this an interdepartmental team, you’ll likely come up with some new and creative ideas to attract top talent, and ensure you have only the best to choose from when hiring.