5 innovative ways to recruit top talent

Once upon a time, a cover letter and resume were your only source of info for a candidate – those days are over. Digital tools and new technologies have given us a number of new ways to evaluate potential and skills that are harder to spot on paper, such as problem-solving, interpersonal abilities, and job readiness.

Here are five innovative ways to recruit top talent for your job opening.

Test their skills

In traditional application processes, candidates are asked for work samples (e.g. portfolios or writing samples), or provided with a brief test during the interview process. However, some companies are building a demonstration of ability right into the job application process. For example, conversion marketing platform Unbounce encourages candidates to submit their application in the form of a landing page, built on the Unbounce platform (like the one below by its  former social strategist). This ensures that potential hires are already familiar with the product, and are able to use and demonstrate it to others with ease.


Open source software company Automattic takes it a step further with their hire by audition process, where applicants carry out the actual tasks that they’d be expected to complete in their job. At the end of the trial, hiring managers (and future colleagues) have a clear sense of whether the candidate is qualified and a good fit. As an added bonus, tasks like these also help to filter out people who are unwilling to go the extra mile.

Screen with digital technologies

No, not stalking them on social media (but more on that later). Tools like video screening allows you get to know candidates before meeting them in person. When using video interviews, look for the characteristics that can’t be detected through a cover letter or phone call, like body language, their sense of humour and manner of speaking, and other “soft skills.”

Go where your top candidates are

Traditionally, in-person recruitment booths at specialized events helped companies find the right talent. The modern equivalent of that is running advertising on sites frequented by your ideal candidates. Remember to think beyond the basic sites to niche or alternative venues, like Reddit and Snapchat (like GrubHub’s notorious campaign below). For example, a video game company might want to run advertisements on forums or discussion boards where people discuss the latest developments in virtual reality. Remember, you can train for skills, but not for passion or attitude. Attracting candidates who are already passionate or interested in your company’s vertical are far more valuable than people who have the skills, but no interest.


 Go beyond the written word

By supplementing your traditional job posting with more dynamic features, you are more likely to catch the eye of applicants that are thinking outside the box. Videos, like this one from HubSpot, can provide a window into life as an employee and showcase the benefits that attract top-drawer applicants. Consider implementing a video into your posting – like in our Premium Branded Design Template – or including one on your career page.


Another option for broadcasting your employer brand is podcasts. Jobs in Pods, for example, features employers, recruiters, and staffing agencies talking about their company and available positions, providing unique insight into the personality and culture of each company (at the end of each podcast, seekers are instructed on how and where to apply).

Get social

Remember: the top candidates are often already employed. Sometimes your ideal candidate isn’t even looking for a job at the moment, but it doesn’t hurt to reach out and inform them of an opportunity. One of the best ways to seek out these passive candidates is through social media. Many networking sites (like LinkedIn and Facebook) allow you to search potential candidates by job title, company, or interest. You can also search social media for the active participants who demonstrate expertise or thought leadership in their field. Through this process, you may find impressive candidates who may never have heard of your job opening or company.

By added these techniques to your recruitment strategy, you can expand your reach and improve the odds that you’ll find the perfect candidate.

See also:
New features for Workopolis’ Recruitment Centre
4 pro tips from Workopolis’ recruitment experts


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