shutterstock_160713830Looking for stronger recruitment results? Shake up your current applicant search approach.

If you’ve been focusing your candidate searches on career fairs, job listings or other traditional venues, it may be time to rethink your recruitment tactics.

You don’t necessarily have to stop using all tried-and-true methods; however, your recruitment program may yield better results — a greater amount of applications, and stronger candidates — when combined with more innovative techniques.

Today, some successful companies are utilizing a variety of creative methods to find new hires — such as engaging employees to help promote open positions; covertly scoping out local talent and even posting hidden job listings. 

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Could any of the following examples work for your organization?

Appointing Employee Paramarketeers

Large companies, according to the New York Times, are more frequently turning to current employees to recruit new ones, which helps the organization save money and fill open positions more quickly.  The Times reported in 2013 that employee recommendations at assurance, tax, transaction and advisory service provider Ernst & Young  had risen from 28 percent of nonentry-level placements in 2010 to 45 percent.

Ernst & Young isn’t the only company placing a strong emphasis on employee recruitment assistance. Dialysis treatment and supports service provider DaVita, for example — a Fortune 500 company with locations throughout the U.S. — has employed a number of social media-centric techniques to attract new workers. In addition to the company’s live Facebook chats with recruiters and interactive career map, which lets candidates search for nearby jobs, DaVita also sponsors a teammate referral program. Managers and other employees can access a networking guide and talking points to help them explain the recruitment program to coworkers on a dedicated referral program website.

Hosting Recruiting Events

11-30-15_blog.jpgDigital payment service PayPal, according to CNBC, has used hackathons — which Wired describes as a type of “group brainstorm and software-coding party,” where participants work together to develop items like new apps — to help tech industry members learn about the company and, at the same time, check out candidates’ skills.

PayPal isn’t the only organization getting in on the recruitment referral action. Other companies, including Meetup, bitly and Foursquare have also hosted weekend hackathons for nonemployee programmers and developers, according to Wired. The events can, Entrepreneur says, be a low-cost way of testing out new talent, if you tailor what the group will be working on and employ a soft sell, instead of formally approaching attendees about open positions.

IKEA’s Covert Recruitment Campaign

8-24-15_blog.jpgTo recruit employees for its expansion in Australia, IKEA created a creative recruitment campaign that involved placing instructions on assembling a career — designed to look like furniture assembly instructions — in IKEA flat packs.

Candidates were allowed to circulate the job application instructions to friends and family. The initiative resulted in more than 4,200 quality candidate applications being submitted, according to this explanatory video from the mass retailer, which also notes the program involved $0 in media expenses.

Corporate “You Have To See It To Believe It” Recruiting Efforts

Several large corporations have taken a visual approach to promote available job opportunities in short recruitment videos.

Microsoft, for example, targets researchers with glowing employee testimonials; similarly, Apple stresses the company’s emphasis on innovative thinking. (Apple has released other, similar recruitment videos for retail jobs, such as this video on the Apple Store specialist position). The videos, which are typically five minutes or less, convey what it’s like to work at the company through employees’ descriptions, which stress the excitement, freedom and prestige workers feel the company provides — a strong selling point for any job candidate who is looking for a creative, collaborative environment.

You may also enjoy reading our other related posts such as Millenials in the WorkplaceThe 48 Hour Executive Hire and Three Succession Planning Best Practices.

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