Thinking outside of the box for your recruiting efforts

Last updated:
February 23, 2022
February 25, 2022
min read
Jori Hamilton
creative recruiting efforts
Table of contents

Recruiting is all about discovering new and effective methods to find top candidates who will join your company. This sounds straightforward but, in reality, requires an incredible amount of critical thinking, innovation, and experimentation. 

At first, this sounds intimidating. But top recruiters embrace a growth mindset and understand the value of thinking outside of the box with new tech and methods. Of course, not every experiment will yield success, but those that do have the potential to revolutionize the way you work. 

So, here are a few ways you can think outside the box to enhance your recruiting efforts. 

Change your parameters when recruiting

Experimentation is a normal part of effective recruiting — but what do you typically experiment with? Usually, recruiters make minor tweaks to campaigns like changing the advertising content and highlighting information differently. But, what if you need to take a step back and make holistic changes to your recruiting practice?

This might sound like leaping out into thin air, but, in reality, it should be a routine part of the overall recruiting strategy

Let’s say, for example, you’re recruiting trauma nurses. Previous recruiting drives may have worked out fairly well, but you’re not regularly scoring those “star” candidates. Instead of highlighting the job role or salary band, you could change your advertising to highlight something attractive like the location — mainly if you’re working in a vacation city where trauma nurses are in high demand. By highlighting location over the job role or salary, you might start scoring candidates who otherwise would have overlooked the position. 

Of course, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time you run a new recruiting campaign. But, your goal is to make a qualified candidate think “this is just what I’m looking for.” Changing your parameters and taking a holistic approach to your next recruiting campaign increases your chances of finding well-qualified, “star” candidates.  

Hiring with investment

Potential employees used to be swayed by things like ice cream machines and ping pong tables. Some folks might still appreciate these external motivators, but, by and large, folks today are looking for employees who can help them further their careers and development

If your recruiting department has a say in benefits — which it should — then try to steer your decision-makers away from “fun” benefits, and towards employee investment plans. These are far more likely to capture candidates who may have had their careers set back a step or two during the pandemic, but still have the potential to blossom into effective, loyal employees

The nature of this investment will look different depending on the field your business works in. In general, though, educational opportunities like paying university tuition fees will always go down well in the interview room. Or, if you can’t make that kind of financial commitment, consider advertising shift flexibility so that candidates can still make it to classes without missing a day of work. 

Depending on the level of risk you are willing to take, you can even consider taking on candidates who traditionally do not qualify for a role based on a lack of experience. If you’re willing to take a risk, you might find great employees who have the knowledge base necessary to succeed through similar roles or education. This could be effective now, as many skilled folks are using the pandemic to make a career change. 

Change your interview interactions

All good recruiters know that an interview is a two-way conversation. You aren’t just grilling candidates and trying to sort those who are qualified from those who aren’t — you need to make a good impression to ensure that the best candidates will want to sign on the dotted line and join your company. 

To ensure that your interactions are effective and draw interest from top candidates, you simply must revise your interview scripts regularly. Start by axing poor interview questions. You should already be up to date on what questions you can and cannot ask legally as a recruiter, so avoid questions that hinge on things like nationality, disability, race, or religion. 

When revising your interview questions, try to frame every question in a positive, position-specific way. So, instead of asking candidates about their “biggest weakness” (a sure sign that the interviewer doesn’t know how to interview), try asking candidates about their industry knowledge, or about moments in their careers that they’re proud of. 

Experimenting with technology

If you worked in recruiting for a while, then you’ll be familiar with some marketing schemes that promise to “revolutionize” your recruiting practices and score more/better candidates. Some of the up-and-coming tech either has a fatal flaw or simply is not as effective as traditional recruiting methods. 

But, from time to time, technology is released that genuinely helps recruiters do their jobs more efficiently or with better results, including Applicant Tracking Systems that optimize and improve your recruiting efforts.

There are also AI programs that have made technological leaps in the last few years. AI has been around in recruiting for a while now, but new programs can complete more sophisticated techniques.

As such, recruiters are using AI to complete predictive analysis to assess a candidate’s compatibility with a company. You can also use AI to remove bias from your recruiting campaigns and sift through labor-intensive jobs like reading applicants’ cover letters. 

Conclusion

Recruitment is a game that is constantly changing. 10 years ago, the best employees wanted externally motivating perks like ice-cream machines and free coffee. Now, those same star employees are looking for development opportunities like work training and help with education. 

As a recruiter, you must constantly be on your toes to ensure that you aren’t left behind by the more agile or creative competition. Start by taking a holistic approach to revising your recruitment efforts with your current market insights in mind. You can revise everything from advertisement copy to interview questions at this stage. Also, consider investing in new tech like AI, which utilizes all of the data stores on your HRMS to help run a more efficient, effective recruiting campaign. 

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