11 Recruitment Strategies to Attract Top-Rated Job Candidates in Less Time

Published: Dec 10th, 2023

What are the secrets to attracting amazing, A-player employees at a discount? Most organizations don't know the answer.

Recruiting without overspending is a life-and-death skill for your organization. That’s because there will be times when you can't outspend competitors.

I know how this sounds.

It sounds impossible. But as you'll soon see, these techniques are simple, doable, and effective. In a few minutes, you'll have the know-how you need to attract top-quality candidates inexpensively.

Ready? Let’s take a look at the best recruiting strategies on offer.

Why your recruitment strategies are so important

How many of your employees are A-players? Half? Less?

According to Price's Law, 50% of the work gets done by the square root of the number of employees.

That means if you have 100 employees, 10 of them do half of all the work in your company. These A-players drastically outperform their B and C-player counterparts. They're motivated and highly engaged. They work harder, produce more, and the work they do is of superior quality.

If your organization were filled with these employees, you’d have an extreme competitive advantage. Instead of 10 A-players for every 100, you’d have 100. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Recruiting right improves your workforce

According to Gallup, the cost of lost productivity from disengaged employees is $960 billion to $1.2 trillion per year.

Organizations with poor performers can't compete. But with the right recruitment strategies in place, you’ll flip the script on that equation. Know how to recruit employees consistently, and your new Netflix-level workforce will shine.

Four quick and easy recruitment strategies to find top candidates

Let's take a look at several fast, conventional employee recruitment strategies you can use to attract A-player candidates. These include tweaking your job posts so they get more clicks, keeping a file of solid candidates from one recruitment drive to the next, and treating applicants like valued customers.

Ways to Find Top Candidates

  • 1. Attend virtual job fairs
  • 2. Write attention-getting job posts
  • 3. Contact past "near misses"
  • 4. Use peer interviews and peer referrals

1. Attend virtual job fairs

Want to know how to recruit people faster?

First, consider this—

The traditional recruitment strategy of posting a job opening on Indeed or Monster is broken. Employees and employers alike get stuck in a massive swamp of applications, resumes, and applicant tracking systems. The process often clogs up with low-quality candidates, with many simply trying to jump through hoops to get their unemployment.

Virtual job fairs are a fast, easy way to put A-list applicants front-and-center. Job fair attendees are more likely to be engaged, serious, and hungry for work. This recruitment strategy puts you face-to-face with the best candidates, so it’s easier to get a feel for them beyond a sheet of paper.

2. Make your job posts more attention-grabbing

When you write a job post, spend a disproportionate amount of time creating your headline. Write it in a way that gets the click and grabs the reader's attention. For instance, “Remote Marketing Director” will probably get more clicks than “Director or Senior Marketing Manager,” with the word “remote” shunted to the fine print.

Next, add details, job descriptions, responsibilities, qualifications, salary, benefits info, and work location. But — keep your sentences short to keep candidates reading. Use bullet points, and separate your sections with a little white space. Avoid the “wall of text” job posting that scares off tired candidates.

Provide potential candidates with the information they need to decide if they're a good fit for your organization, and nothing more. Finally, keep your posts in tune with your brand voice, and keep your message clear and concise.

3. Contact past candidates who narrowly missed out

Here’s one of the best ways to recruit employees—

It's common for employers to say they'll keep a candidate's resume on file for future opportunities. For many employers, that's where it ends. It shouldn't, though.

Past candidates who narrowly missed out may be ideal applicants for other jobs. You’ve already done the hard work to identify these candidates (or someone else in your organization has). Don’t waste that effort. Save these candidates and ping them with new opportunities in the future.

Did you miss out on this recruitment strategy last time? Don’t miss it now. Create a spreadsheet of potential A-players and their contact info. Make it centrally available for your hiring team members and recruiting partners, so they can access it when the time comes.

4. Bring peers into the interviewing and hiring process

Another of the most effective recruitment strategies is to start with peer referrals and reviews. Many companies already use peer referrals and reviews to bring in new team members and evaluate existing ones. Adding peers to the hiring process can boost both your reach and your screening effectiveness. Your current employees have an intuitive understanding of the role. They know the type of employee who would fill it best.

Peer interviews can also give your candidates a feel for what it will be like to be part of your organization. Existing team members can answer more specific questions on the culture, technical requirements, or required training.

If you decide to use peer hiring, first reassure your employees that they're not being replaced. Set clear goals and expectations for your employees from the start. That way, they’ll know what you're looking for and how they can best help you.

Four ways to use technology as part of your hiring strategy

Technology is a necessary part of the hiring process. Gone are the days when you could sort through a stack of resumes and shepherd candidates through the system on your own. A single job posting today can attract 100 to 200 applicants. This can be overwhelming if you've posted your position on multiple job boards.

Let’s take a look at the top tech-based recruitment strategies:

How to Use Technology in Your Hiring Strategy

  • 1. Use an ATS
  • 2. Recruit on social media
  • 3. Explore niche job boards
  • 4. Pay for sponsored job listings

1. Use an applicant tracking system (ATS)

Most companies use ATS to track candidates through the hiring process. But if you’re using it the wrong way, it could be pushing the wrong candidates through your system.

To use an ATS well, take time to choose the right one. Then work closely with the vendor to fit it to your hiring method. Involve key stakeholders in the implementation, and monitor the process carefully. An ATS used in a set-it-and-forget it way will produce forgettable new hires.

Look for an ATS that’s easy to use, with strong data privacy compliance tools. Finally, don’t forget the human side of things. A recent survey on recruitment tactics found that 86% of recruiters hire faster when they're using an ATS. Even better, 78% said their ATS improved the quality of the candidates they hire. However, fast doesn’t have to mean low quality.

Once an applicant has made it through your automated system, slow down, and take the time to engage with applicants.

2. Share job posts on social media

Do you hire from social media? You should. A LinkedIn study found that 52% of candidates spend time browsing through a company's website and social media accounts. Sharing job offers on social media is one of the top recruiting ideas to generate interest with top candidates.

If they're not a good fit, many job seekers will share a job post with others in their network. This gives you access to a vast network of potential candidates. One survey found that 92% of recruiters find high-quality recruits through social media.

To start your social recruitment strategy, use LinkedIn, Twitter, and even Instagram and YouTube. All of these can spread the word about your company, your current openings, and what it’s like to work for you.

Set up a system of employee advocates who share your job listings on their social profiles. Employee advocates (together with an employee referral program) can spread the word about your openings to just the right job seekers.

3. Explore niche job boards

Niche job boards have communities of their own. These niche boards are an easy way to find a specific candidate quickly. For example, focuses on tech jobs. If you're looking for an IT support manager, web developer, or network administrator, Dice is an on-point way to attract qualified candidates.

Using niche job boards is among the best recruitment strategies if you know exactly what kind of applicant you're looking for, what you're offering, and you have a definite time frame. Here's a list of niche job boards to get you started.

4. Pay for sponsored job listings

Paying for sponsored job listings is an effective way to cast a large net. A sponsored listing on well-known sites like Indeed, Monster, or CareerBuilder gives significant reach over creating a free listing. Sponsored listings provide instant traffic for your hiring outreach. This also means that when you stop paying, the leads stop coming, too.

The added reach comes with another potential downside. Extra attention creates more scrutiny. Before you start, make sure your online reputation is where it should be. This means addressing negative reviews or feedback via Glassdoor and other review sites. You should also work to spot and address blog posts by disgruntled employees or competitors that mention your company. Use brand monitoring tools to help.

Three creative recruitment ideas to take your company further

Let’s get creative with your recruitment strategies. Here are a few think-outside-the-box ideas you can use to get more value from your hiring efforts.

creative recruitment ideas

1. Attend industry events and meet-ups

Industry events like trade fairs and meet-ups are great ways to network and recruit potential candidates. The best employees in the field often attend them, especially when they’re on the hunt for their next employment opportunity.

These events aren't all equally valuable, so pinpoint the ones that make the most sense for your organization. Not all non-hiring events allow recruiting, so focus on the ones that do.

Want to know how to recruit at job fairs? First, tread lightly. Work to build relationships, with recruiting as a secondary goal. With that focus clearly in mind, try to get hold of a list of attendees before you go, even if you have to pay for it. Solicit referrals from your employees, and ask existing team members to have a chat, coffee, or lunch with one or two attendees on your list.

Moderating, speaking, and participating in panels can put your company top-of-mind as well. Vendor booths can be a great place to conduct informal hiring chats too.

2. Use college recruiting to attract upcoming talent

Many colleges offer job fairs for specific kinds of industries and candidates. For example, Iowa State helps engineering students find employment once they've finished school.

If you're considering this recruitment strategy, make sure you can commit to it for an extended period. Colleges want employers to sign up for the long haul, and make themselves available to interested students through the year.

Most colleges will have a recruitment office or point of contact listed on their website. Reach out to them for details like the requirements needed to participate in placement programs.

3. Find passive candidates

Passive candidates are people who are currently employed and not looking for a job. These often make the best new hires, because they’re experienced, skilled, and more likely to make a positive impact at your company. To find them, leverage different social media platforms like Twitter advanced search (using keywords and hashtags) and of course, LinkedIn.

An employee referral program can work wonders when it comes to recruiting from a passive candidate pool. An astounding 78% of recruiters say their best candidates come from referrals. Offer incentives to your employees like a cash award for each new hire.

Use these recruitment strategies and tactics to boost hiring rates

Most of the recruiting strategies above can be implemented quickly. Attracting A-player employees at a discount doesn't have to be difficult or complex. Use virtual job fairs, employee referral programs, social media, and the other techniques above to hire right the first time. With the right set of recruiting ideas, tactics, and tools, you'll attract top-quality candidates at a reasonable cost point.