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Creative Recruiting Strategies for Finding Top Talent on a Tight Budget

The latest US Bureau of Labor Statistics data reported unexpected growth in jobs in January, with an unemployment rate falling to 3.4%, a data point that is astonishing economists. Because of this incredible growth, companies are getting creative with their recruiting methods to prevent hiring freezes and avoid a reduction in force to show that even though there was a growth in jobs, they are still hiring. Check out these creative recruiting strategies, and consider giving them a try.

Employee Referral Program

An employee referral program can be one of the creative recruiting strategies you use, and referred candidates are quick to hire and often more motivated to stay at the company longer. Additionally, a referral program boosts employee morale and brings in candidates you may have yet to be able to reach otherwise.

You should create a clear-cut referral policy outlining the steps of the referral process. To start the process, you can send a company-wide email to employees asking for referrals. Ensure you highlight the job description and clarify what you are and aren’t looking for.

Often, employees like to know how the referral process is going and if the person they referred is making it through. Thank them and communicate your appreciation, regardless of the outcome. Often, a referral program will have some reward for a successful referral, which will motivate employees to refer the right person.

An example of a successful employee referral program is Accenture, which allows candidates to join their program by connecting their various social media accounts and connecting to people they already know at the company.

Social Media

It is impractical for any company to be in the dark regarding social media. Having a social media presence is incredibly impactful on many aspects of company communication and outreach, but it can also significantly impact recruitment success. 

Social media like Twitter, Instagram, or even TikTok can show your company’s authenticity and give a more personal look at why you’d want to work there. Where an Indeed or LinkedIn post can feel edited and commercialized, a social media post can feel friendly and inclusive.

A social media manager running your social media accounts can significantly help to recruit. An excellent social media manager will know where to reach out, how to make posts that get the most attention, and who to reach out to. A company on social media needs to know its target audience, who they’re looking to connect with, and how to approach them.

Additionally, using social media to recruit can help companies increase diversity–social media can often reach underrepresented populations.

An excellent example of social media-based recruiting is McDonald’s, which used Snapchat to allow candidates to send a 30-second video resume to be shared on the company’s hiring portal.

Virtual Job Fairs

Job fairs have been popular in person for a long time, but recently there’s been an increase in virtual job fairs. Online job fairs let you reach even more candidates at once with an even faster and more substantial hiring process.

You can use a webinar format, where candidates can ask questions and listen to the job qualifications in a structured layout. You can also have virtual chat rooms, teleconferences, or email exchanges to get the word out about your job posting.

Virtual job fairs are easier for already employed candidates looking to change. They’re more reachable in terms of access, especially if your job fair is accessible to folks on mobile devices. 

Companies like Salesforce, Nestle, and T-Mobile use vFAIRS, a virtual job fair website, to host job fairs and reach out to candidates globally.

On-Demand Talent (ODT)

Gig or contract work can be a great way to hire candidates for a temporary project. Contract work allows your company to engage more economically while sourcing the best talent. 

On-demand talent sourcing has been growing substantially in the last few years due to a need for highly skilled talent in a brief period. Gig-based hiring can easily hire top talent for specific projects quickly without bringing on full-time staff. 

Freelance or gig-based employees also have more flexibility in their personal lives, which increases employee morale. Contracted employees have more time to care for family obligations, can work from home, and have more autonomy than in a traditional in-office setting.

Big Silicon Valley companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Uber use contract and gig-based work to increase profits and hire a more extensive and diverse employee base.

Paid Apprenticeship Programs

Paid apprentices can undergo on-the-job training that prepares them for full-time employment at your company. This is a great way to allow skilled and diverse candidates to experience the industry firsthand and help streamline employees into full-time work.

Apprenticeship programs help foster new workers into the fold by skilling and reskilling professionals and providing practical skills for your company. They can also help foster company community and belonging, improving morale and enticing employees to stay and grow.

Google offers a tech apprenticeship program that candidates can enter for either 12 or 20 months, where they acquire on-the-job skills and training and even a certificate.

Finally, it’s essential to use your data on the source of applications, source of hire, and the best candidate-to-interview ratios to identify which channels work best for your top hires. This should be evaluated frequently because things are moving so swiftly in the talent marketplace that your best source of applications today could be your worst next week. 

These creative recruiting strategies could make all the difference when hiring in a job seeker’s market. We hope you give these a shot and they work out for you!