Every company recruits candidates differently due to a variety of factors like industry, company culture, work location and recruiting teams. Recruitment also changes by open role, time of year and urgency of the hire.
Rather than define a specific path you should follow, we’ve gathered 31 examples of creative recruitment strategies that companies across the nation have utilized to hire top talent. Take note of their ideas and consider adding them to your own toolbox.
Alexandria Jacobson contributed reporting to this story.
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Table of Contents
- Start With The Basics
- Optimize Your Careers Page
- Share Company Culture on Social
- Create In-Depth Recruitment Content
- Film a Recruitment Video
- Build A Talent Community and Reach Passive Candidates
- Utilize Niche Candidate Networks
- Answer the Tough Candidate Questions
- Revamp Your Recruitment Events
- Take Advantage of Search Engine Tools
Start With the Basics
Before creating a recruitment strategy, certain tasks are critical for any success. Check out some of the creative recruitment strategies top employers are implementing today.
What is a Recruitment Strategy?
Review your Recruitment Metrics
Before you can start revamping your recruitment strategy, you need to understand what’s currently working and identify areas for improvement. In order to do that, you need to take a look at your recruitment metrics. This will allow you to set attainable goals and determine which strategies will help you reach them.
Set Recruiting Goals
Once you know your pain points in the recruitment process, you can strategize ways to improve your efforts moving forward. If you’re having a hard time getting candidates to apply, try new job board platforms or host a hiring event. If it’s taking months to fill a position, tap into different networks or offer your team a higher employee referral bonus. There are numerous strategies you can implement, but you want to ensure you’re making the most of your efforts by setting goals and planning how to reach them.
Invest in Recruitment Tools
If you’re not currently utilizing recruitment tools to simplify your recruiting process, consider the investment to help you save time and money. Whether it be a video interview platform or a full applicant tracking system, these tools help streamline and automate certain tasks, so your team can focus on other aspects of the recruitment process. As more companies adopt hybrid or remote workplaces, it is important to make sure your company has robust tools to conduct any virtual interviews.
Optimize Your Career Page
Having a well-crafted careers page is non-negotiable. It really is an essential element of every recruitment strategy for a few reasons. First, candidates expect to find a careers page on your website. Second, it’s a great resource to promote open roles, share content and provide information on the company’s mission, culture and benefits. Here are a few other companies that have included unique material to make their careers pages pop.
1. Focus on the Career Page Fundamentals
WP Engine’s career page includes all the essentials from the company’s core values to internal diversity statistics, awards they’ve won as an employer and plenty of opportunities for candidates to learn more about the company and their career opportunities.
2. SHARE EMPLOYEE TESTIMONIALS
Employee testimonials allow candidates to hear directly from potential colleagues about what it is like to work at your company. Turbonomic provided testimonials in the form of 10-20 minute podcast episodes.
Not only are podcasts becoming more and more popular, but listeners can actually hear the voice and emotion behind what the employees are saying — something that’s lost in written testimonials. The same goes for video testimonials. This provides in-depth insights into your employees’ backgrounds, personalities and the roles they’ve held at the company.
3. Provide Candidate FAQs
Most companies receive similar questions from candidates, so Glossier cut out the middle person and provided an FAQ section so that candidate questions can be answered before applying.
The application process is different for every company, so put candidates at ease and let them know up front when they can expect to hear back from the company and where they can find further information about specific roles. Answering such questions also helps both recruiters and candidates save time spent communicating information that could be clarified on the website.
4. Start More Conversations with Chatbots
Intel created a chatbot specific for candidates to help them learn more about the company in an engaging and interactive way. When you first land on the page, the chatbot pops up and asks candidates if they have any questions regarding the company as an employer.
Depending on what candidates ask the bot, they receive tailored responses with further information on culture, benefits and their unique hiring process. In this example, we asked the bot what it’s like to work at Intel, and they directed us to this company culture video.
The chatbot is a great use of an automated tool that helps candidates ask questions anytime, anywhere and receive answers immediately without the waiting that comes with interacting with humans in different time zones. This also saves recruiters a wealth of time answering basic questions that can be answered on the careers page or with a chatbot.
Also, if you’re not currently utilizing recruitment tools to automate areas of your recruiting process, you may want to consider doing so to see where you could save time and money.
Share Company Culture on Social
Social media recruiting is still very much alive and well. Here are a few companies that have leveraged social media as a way to attract passive candidates on the platforms they spend the most time on.
5. Feature Employees on Instagram
Headspring embraces social media and is not shy to show off its personality and culture with employee highlights, team outings and celebrations across the board. They’ve also use the Instagram Story to share their core values along with various events their company held.
6. Create Recruiting Social Channels
To take their social media recruiting to the next level, Fast Enterprises created specific recruiting social media accounts that clearly target job candidates. Their handle @FastEntCareers helps users distinguish this account from any business accounts. They post content solely about their company culture, recruiting events, employee spotlights and any open roles.
Create In-Depth Recruitment Content
Creating in-depth content about your company is a great way to provide candidates with solid insight into your organization that goes beyond the basics.
Many companies have started to write long-form blogs about various topics candidates may want to learn about during the recruiting process.
7. Share Your Current Projects
Klaviyo’s engineering team stays connected with engineering candidates by writing regular blog articles on projects their team is working on. This helps candidates better understand what they could be working on if they join the team, and it reassures them that their engineering team is an industry leader.
8. Give Employees the Spotlight
Sift takes employee testimonials to the next level with these in-depth employee spotlights that allow candidates to get to know their team on a more personal level. Beyond their role in the company, the blog covers personal interests, hobbies, passion projects and everything in-between.
9. Post on Medium
Facebook may be known for its shares, likes and comments, but sometimes the company branches outside of the platform’s own user community by sharing recruiting content on Medium.
This article is from the perspective of a specific product manager’s experience. As a massive company, every department (and individual) will interview differently, so a generic guide doesn’t fit. Instead, it’s best to provide candidates with the most helpful information for their specific situation.
Film a Recruitment Video
While they may require a bit of time and effort, company culture videos are a great way to provide easily digestible content that can be shared and repurposed across platforms and for any new role that opens up. Here are a few different videos to get your creative juices flowing.
10. Start with the Basics
A brief 30-second recruitment video, like this one from Broadcom Infrastructure Software, could easily be repurposed on social media, the company website or even as a TV advertisement. It’s quick and clever, leaving candidates wanting more, which they can get by checking out the company’s careers page.
11. Stand Out by Being Quirky & Inclusive
12. Don’t be Afraid of the Unexpected
Social Talent took a slight twist with their recruitment video. Instead of asking for testimonials on why employees love working for the company, Social Talent catches everyone off guard by asking them why they hate their job.
They start the video with a statistic that 70% of people hate their jobs, and then they asked real employees what they hate about working at Social Talent. By the end of the video, you discover that these people are not part of that 70%. It’s an unexpected twist that draws the viewer in and showcases the company’s fun culture.
Build A Talent Community and Reach Passive Candidates
A talent community consists of candidates that have shown interest in and maybe even interviewed with your company, but for whatever reason, they were not a fit for a role at that time. Rather than whisk these candidates out the door to never be seen again, here are a few ways to keep in contact with passive candidates so that when a more suitable role opens up, they’re the first ones to know. If you find a great candidate in your talent pool that you want to invite to an interview, try out this email invite template.
13. Provide Job Alerts
No matter your company’s size, you won’t always have open roles for top candidates. But that doesn’t mean you should simply accept the fact that you’ll miss out on elite talent.
To bridge the gap, ThoughtWorks allows candidates to sign up for job alerts, so they’re the first to know when a role that fits their interests and experience becomes available. This allows the company to keep warm leads informed and in their talent community, so they always have interested candidates in the pipeline.
14. Allow Anyone to Apply Anytime
Zappos is known for being at the forefront of unconventional company culture. Instead of waiting for roles to open up, they want interested candidates — no matter their skill or background — to sign up as a ‘Zappos Insider.’ By providing their name, email and career of interest, Zappos is able to send out tailored emails with information on open roles and company culture to individual candidates.
15. Encourage Employees to Boomerang
Kronos values its employees so much they encourage those that leave to return to the company in the future, also known as “boomeranging.” They have a specific Boomerang section on their careers page to help past employees navigate their next career with the company. They also help explain why they built a culture that supports employees to pursue their passions outside of the company and return when the time and opportunity is right.
16. Establish an Employee Referral Program
Some of the best candidates are lingering within your employee’s networks. To incentivize your team to reach into their networks, create an employee referral program, like Ondeck’s referral program that offers payouts to anyone who refers a candidate that is hired.
Utilize Niche Candidate Networks
You probably have a rhythm down for posting jobs on your careers page, LinkedIn and a few other job boards. While many of those platforms are convenient and contain a wide network of potential candidates, it’s important to branch out into a wide range of networks to reach diverse talent on the platforms they use.
17. Create a Veteran-Friendly Work Environment
Start by doing research about how to become a veteran friendly employer with resources like Military.com and SHRM. Once you understand the basics, you may consider partnering with organizations that help place veterans and build military friendly workplaces, such as the U.S. Department of Labor and Recruit Military. Lastly, don’t limit your job postings to LinkedIn and Indeed. Break outside of your network and incorporate military job boards into your recruiting strategy like Hire Heroes USA, Hire A Veteran, Military Hire and Hire Veterans.
18. Bring Mothers Back into the Workforce
There has been a long standing stigma against people, specifically women, who have a several year gap on their résumés due to being a caregiver for children, elderly relatives or people with disabilities. The Covid-19 pandemic has further tasked mother’s with caretaking responsibilities that have led to more women leaving the workforce. Externship programs are one way to help professionals who need a stepping stone between their former and future career.
19. Recruit People with Disabilities
Most companies have an equal opportunity employer clause that insists they are welcoming and accommodating to people of all mental and physical abilities, but when it comes down to it, most companies do not walk the walk. See how you’re doing by comparing your company with the national Disability Equality Index. To make improvements, research ways you can make your workplace more accommodating, starting with the recruitment process. You can also make your careers page more accessible by partnering with organizations, such as the U.S. Department of Labor, Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion and SHRM. Additionally, there are a number of job boards specifically for people with disabilities like Ability Jobs, Recruit Disability and Disabledperson.
20. Provide Students with an Early-Career Opportunity
Twice a year Wolverine Trading reaches out to campuses across the nation to connect with students for internships. They do this through campus career fairs, which are increasingly virtual since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Students early in their careers can gain professional experience through an internship program, and in turn, companies can build a talent network of young professionals who may be a fit for full-time roles in the future.
21. Break the Stigma Behind Formerly Incarcerated Workers
In 2018, Slack started a program to help formerly incarcerated individuals find work in the technology industry. They did this by connecting with The Last Mile, an organization that provides men, women and youth with the opportunity to learn software engineering and web development skills in a number of prisons across the United States. After graduating from the program and gaining the necessary skills, individuals were partnered with the team at Slack for a year-long apprenticeship. Banyan Labs also exclusively hires formerly incarcerated people as coders and helps them to find jobs in the tech industry at partner organizations.
Answer the Tough Candidate Questions
If you haven’t searched your company on popular inquiry sites like Quora and Reddit, you most certainly should, not only to see if anyone is talking about your company, but also to connect with candidates and establish a relationship by providing candid answers.
22. Get Involved on Quora
It’s no secret SpaceX pushes the limits of technology and is constantly chasing after the next best thing — making the company a highly sought-after employer. To help answer the wealth of questions candidates have about the tech giant, their team took to Quora, a question-and-answer website, to help resolve candidates’ inquiries (under ‘Related Questions’).
Not only that, but Quora sends follow-up emails with more content to people who view certain articles to help potential candidates dive deeper into their research.
23. Host “Ask Me Anything” Sessions on Reddit
Google took to community discussion website Reddit to answer questions related to employment at the company. This inquiry posted back in 2013 generated more than 1,300 replies, 2,000 comments and has 90% upvotes. The Ask Me Anything format (as this tactic is known) is an opportunity for companies to connect with hundreds or thousands of candidates in a simple, scalable manner.
Revamp Your Recruitment Events
Recruitment events are still an essential part of the recruiting process, even in a work world that is increasingly virtual. Recruitment events provide recruiters with a chance to get to know candidates’ personalities and backgrounds beyond their résumés.
24. CONNECT WITH UNIVERSITIES
From universities and trade schools to niche boot camps, educational institutions are one of the top resources for recruiting fresh talent. Salesforce has a dedicated team for recruiting university students, called Futureforce, that works with university campuses to provide resources to help young candidates prepare for their first roles with the company.
25. Host a Regular MeetUp event
Recruiting top talent takes more than just scouting out the highest performers in your industry. To meet new candidates, get involved in groups that discuss your industry’s trends and challenges. A group called Chicago Women Developers does just that. Professional women developers get together to host regular Hack Nights, virtually in response to the pandemic, as a means of getting to know novice and experienced developers in their community. It provides a space for people to learn and support one another within their niche network.
26. Get Your Local Community Together
Recruitment events can be stressful for both candidates and the companies hosting the event. To reduce the pressure for both parties, Grubhub partnered with Built In to host an event where candidates came to their office to casually mingle with company leaders and have a few beers. Candidates have the chance to chat with the teams they are specifically interested in. This type of event removes some of the stress and formalities that come with regular recruiting events, allowing candidates to relax and have a more personalized experience — and the casual nature of these events can apply to virtual meetups, too.
Take Advantage of Search Engine Tools
It is challenging to rank on page one of a Google search. However, there are a few search engine tools and tricks that can help boost your recruitment strategy without the assistance of an SEO guru.
27. Optimize the Job Search on Google
The majority of job searches begin on Google, requiring the platform to be an important part of your recruitment strategy.
Google’s Job Search tool is a great way to get your job posting in front of candidates before they click through to a website or job board. When candidates search for a specific job title, Google will aggregate jobs in their area that match their inquiry. The best part: getting your jobs on Google is easy:
Edit the HTML of job descriptions on your website so that Google knows to crawl them as job postings. Google will help walk your engineering team through how to do this.
Jobs posted to third-party job boards may already have this HTML code on the jobs you post to their websites, so ask if your partners qualify for Google’s job search tool.
28. Target Competitor Keywords
When someone searches “Uber jobs,” the second result is for careers at Lyft. Lyft targeted a hyper-specific paid ad at the “Uber jobs” keyword knowing that anyone searching for jobs at their competitor would also likely be interested in jobs at Lyft.
29. Target Job Title Keywords
By targeting the keyword “software engineer jobs,” they are the first companies candidates see when they start their job searches. And given the level of competition for top engineers, getting an early jump on the best candidates can pay huge dividends.
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