5 New Ways to Approach Candidate Searching

Dec 6, 2021

man interviewing woman

Hiring is hard right now – we know! That’s why it’s so crucial to be able to take a fresh, innovative approach to finding high-quality candidates in this tough market. We wanted to share five creative tips that our True Calling Recruitment team uses that we’ve found to be successful to gain a new crowd of fantastic candidates.

1. Reach out to passive job seekers.

SHRM defines passive job seekers as people who are currently employed and not actively looking for a new job, but who may be open to a good career opportunity if one came along. We recommend targeting this group of candidates because they tend to have a very positive employment history and are usually successful in their industry.

Before sourcing passive job seekers, your company needs to ensure that your brand image and values are as strong as possible. Be actively sharing what you’re doing in the community, how you support your employees and anything else that makes your company special. People aren’t going to want to make a switch if they feel your company isn’t going to be positive and supportive.

To attract passive job seekers, we’ve found two methods to be especially helpful: networking sites and referrals. Over the years, your company will build relationships with employees and candidates, alike. You can reach back out to these connections through sites like LinkedIn or professional association websites to see if they’d be interested in your opportunity. Another great source of passive job seekers is to ask your current employees for employee referrals/recommendations. What better way to find your next best employee than from your current ones? Your current employees tend to have connections within the industry, and this is a great way to capitalize on that to draw in more great talent.

2. Connect with community college programs.

Do you know what community colleges are in your area? This might be a good time to find out! Creating a pipeline from your local community college into your organization could be a great way to find talent depending on your industry.

If you’re looking for candidates with certain technical skills or for entry-level roles, this could be a great avenue to explore. Community colleges host a variety of candidates with diverse skills and backgrounds, which could be very valuable to your company! Check out programs specific to your industry at your local community college and see if you can get into one of the classes to speak or attend their job fairs.

3. Focus on certifications over degrees (when applicable).

We encourage you to be very intentional with the things you’re looking for in potential candidates. Something to consider is Another thing to consider is to only ask for a college degree if it’s specifically required for the job function. If it is needed, be sure to explain exactly why you’re asking for this to give the candidates context. An example of where it would be acceptable to require a degree of some type would be if a medical position required certification or license from a medical program to be able to treat patients.

Don’t let a lack of a degree discourage you from pursuing a candidate. This can most often be supplemented by any quality experience and certifications they may have, and you have a great opportunity to train an eager mind in the process.

4. Get involved with second-chance employment programs.

There’s an untapped candidate pool that has been overlooked for a long while: candidates with a criminal record. Thousands of people get released from incarceration each year but are denied the opportunity to put their experience to work due to harmful biases. Therefore, we encourage you to connect with re-entry, parole, and probation departments to see if someone is looking for job placement that matches the required skills for a position in your organization.

You absolutely can conduct background checks when lawful to do so, but be sure you’re being thoughtful about how you interpret any unsavory results you get back. Just because a candidate has a criminal history, shouldn’t automatically disqualify them for the job they were being considered for. It’s important to take into account the nature of the job, the severity of the offense, and how much time has passed to make a fair and educated decision about who is best suited for the role.

To avoid any missteps when considering a background check, HR Annie Consulting powers the background check company, BackgroundBrief, where we take a “people first” stance.

5. Get your job on diverse job boards and go to job fairs when possible.

It’s time to explore more variety and diversity in the job boards you’re posting on to get your job in front of more candidates. We love the major job boards too – don’t worry! But it’s important to get into job boards that are maybe more niche or smaller that are more accessible to underserved populations in your community. This could be through local community centers, community college job boards, or any other local organizations whose goal is to support the community.

We also encourage you to get back out there at local job fairs. Many job fairs are beginning to start back up in-person again, while there are still many virtual job fairs still happening as well. Do whatever you feel most comfortable, with but don’t neglect an opportunity to get some facetime with potential candidates!

While this isn’t an extensive list of ways to attract more diverse candidates in this tough job market, it’s certainly helped out our HR Annie Recruitment Team! We hope you continue to look for ways to get creative with your candidate search, while also staying true to the values of equity and inclusion.

True Calling Recruitment (Powered by HR Annie) also has a dedicated team of recruiters who are happy to talk more about how they can assist with your hiring needs. Reach out to us to chat about it!

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