Hiring Tech Talent

Looking for new hires is one of the most critical elements of running a business. With effective and reliable employees, your company output and success will skyrocket. The challenge is that there are only so many A-team players, and they’re very selective about where they devote their time and energy.

To make things harder, many companies don’t put in the necessary time to find talented employees, leading to less effective teams. Regardless of your company size or recruitment budget, you can improve your hiring. One of the most effective ways to enhance your recruiting is by finding better places to look for candidates.

However, taking creative approaches to your hiring process won’t cost you much in terms of money or time, but it can have a large impact on the quality of people you recruit. Here are nine creative and effective places for looking for new hires you may not have considered:

1. Post on social media.

You never know who might see a social post. By posting on your social media accounts — and having other employees use their personal pages as platforms to get the message out (specifically LinkedIn, Twitter and maybe Facebook or Instagram) — you open the door for many third-degree connections to find you.

There’s a high likelihood that someone in your immediate network will see your post and think of someone who’s searching for a job. In the worst-case scenario, you don’t get any additional applications — no harm done. In the best-case scenario, you get connected to people who can leave a lasting impact on your business.

2. Utilize local college professors.

If there are universities near your company, they can be great sources of talent. It’s challenging to attend and thrive at university career fairs, however: Students are inundated by different companies trying to pitch them. It, consequently, leads to most students aggregating around the flashy companies they knew about beforehand.

Attending career fairs can still be valuable, but even more valuable is befriending local professors who teach in areas valuable to your industry. They likely know some of the top talent within the student body and can make immediate recommendations or connections. This provides a much more direct method to find the best talent within a school, and it smoothes the way to a conversation.

3. Source your old applicant pool.

Look back at the old applications you have on file. Two potentially positive outcomes could occur here. The first is that you remember people you almost hired but decided not to, making them great people to reach out to again.

The second category is past applicants who have grown since their application. Doing a quick LinkedIn search can tell you what they’ve been up to and whether they might be a better fit now.

Because they already know who you are and have been through your hiring process, you’ll immediately experience less friction.

4. Use industry-specific job boards.

Classic job boards like Indeed and LinkedIn are useful for adding listings. Everyone’s doing that, though. You need to get creative and find industry-specific job boards.

If you’re looking for a sales hire, for example, there are job boards for those specific roles. Spending time in the communities where your potential hires congregate will help you find them as you look to fill spots.

5. Capitalize on an intern program.

Have you considered a company intern program? It takes bandwidth to manage, but it’s often easier than you think. This is especially the case if you have managers who would appreciate an intern’s help.

When there’s enough interest, create a program starting with just a few interns. This will push you further into the university recruiting scene, and it will supply candidates you may want to hire in the future. Interns are a great investment for your business and hiring process over the long haul. They can push your team to better think through its processes.

6. Access freelancers.

You might not even need a full-time hire. Think about the type of work you need done. Is it something a freelancer could do? If so, there are countless freelance job boards, websites and referrals you can take advantage of.

Recognizing this saves you time in looking for a full-time hire — and the money and benefits he or she would require.

7. Look into specific college programs.

It’s easier to recruit locally, especially as a smaller company. That being said, there might be university programs around the country that particularly cater to what your business does or that are known for producing students who have skills in your area.

When that’s the case, leverage these high-value opportunities. These students are highly qualified potential hires who could come in and make an immediate mark.

8. Pull resources from your own network.

As obvious as it seems, it’s easy to forget your own network. When hiring and thinking about all of the different channels you could pursue, your network (or your employees’) can get overlooked.

Spend the 20 minutes it takes to go through your LinkedIn contacts or even Facebook friends. You never know who you might find or the old connections you might be able to rekindle.

9. Target other places where your ideal employees hang out.

The best tactics for looking for new hires in bulk is to think about where your prospective hires spend time. If they’re engineers, it could be Stack Overflow, for example. If they’re community evangelists, they likely attend many events and conferences.

Thinking about these spots and how you can enter them to showcase your company can give you an advantage. These spaces are often undersaturated, meaning it’s easy to stand out and get your name in front of talented people.

Putting time into coming up with creative hiring channels is a great investment. It makes the process easier, ensuring you won’t have to go back to the drawing board if you don’t get enough applicants. Plus, these strategies for looking for neww hires will leave you with a high-quality group of candidates, resulting in better employees and a more productive company.

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Best known as an Entrepreneur and Connector. John was recently named #2 on Top 50 Online Influencers in the World by Entrepreneur Magazine as well as a blogging expert by Forbes. He is the Founder and CEO of Due.

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