Outside-the-box recruiting ideas to transform your hiring

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By The Fetcher Team

Outside-the-box recruiting ideas to transform your hiring

11 mins read

Outside the box recruiting ideas
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In the current highly competitive job market, employers must stand out to attract top talent. Traditional recruiting methods may need to be revised to capture exceptional candidates' attention.

To truly succeed in hiring the best and brightest, recruiters, HR professionals, and hiring managers must think outside the box and implement innovative strategies.

In this blog post, we'll explore 11 outside-the-box recruiting ideas that have proven effective for professionals across various industries.

Quote from  Alex Berghofen

1. Hire ex-consultants for mid-career talent

Enlisting veterans from top-tier consulting firms is a game-changer for attracting mid-career talent. Over the past 14 years, I've seen Fortune 500 companies, the 'Magnificent Seven' tech players, conglomerates, and scale-ups use this tactic.

Two of my Head of Strategy placements were promoted to new roles just last month. One to a Country Head role (he had been in the Head of Strategy role for over five years) and one to a Regional Functional Head role (over two years in the Head of Strategy role).

I once placed a McKinsey and Harvard alumnus in a Business Development Director role. Within two years, he was promoted two levels up to the role of his boss's boss!

Need high-caliber, mid-career talent? Hire ex-consultants.

Alex Berghofen, Managing Director, Fintalent

Quote from Rob Boyle

2. Utilize Reddit for job advertising

One outside-the-box recruiting approach I've succeeded with is advertising job openings on Reddit. Many people use other social media platforms for this, but it's been my experience that Reddit often gets overlooked, which is a shame because it can be a handy tool.

What's excellent about Reddit is that several subreddits are dedicated to both professions and cities, and some of these communities are large and active. When you buy ads, you can target them to interest them or show them to members of a specific subreddit. I'll approach this by searching for the type of role, for example, 'programming,' and looking for the largest subreddit that comes up in the results. If it has 10,000 or more members, I'll directly target that subreddit with the ad. You can do the same thing for jobs in cities with high membership subreddits.

Rob Boyle, Marketing Operations Director, Airswift

Quote from Michael Alexis

3. Interactive Mad Libs-style job listings

One unique approach we've had to recruiting is taking an interactive approach to the job listing. The job page on our website has a Mad Libs-style function that plugs the visitor's name into the company message and job listing. This approach helps the candidates imagine themselves as part of our company, creates a welcoming vibe, and promotes our fun and playful company culture, attracting candidates who are a fit. Playing with the job application process is a great way to show how innovative you are, stand out as an employer, and similarly attract standout applicants.

Michael Alexis, CEO,

Quote from Ben Lamarche

4. Innovate with coffee chat interviews

As a recruiter, I often utilize coffee chat interviews as a valuable tool to engage with talented candidates for niche positions. These interviews provide a unique opportunity for candidates to showcase their personality and qualifications in a more relaxed setting while gaining a deeper understanding of the recruiter and company. Lasting around 30 minutes, I've found coffee chat interviews to effectively streamline the recruitment process by minimizing the need for multiple formal interviews.

During these conversations, I adopt a passive role, allowing the candidate to guide the discussion, ask questions, and express their motivations for pursuing the position. Topics covered typically include introductions, backgrounds, motivations for change, company culture, role expectations, and the company's unique value proposition.

Ben Lamarche, General Manager, Lock Search Group

Quote from Amit Doshi

5. Immerse candidates in job simulations

At My Turn, one of our most innovative approaches to talent acquisition involves immersive job simulations during the interview process. We create realistic, project-based tasks that candidates may encounter in the role, allowing us to assess their problem-solving skills, creativity, and cultural fit more comprehensively.

Additionally, we have leveraged AI-driven algorithms to match candidates' profiles with our company's core values and dynamics, ensuring a more harmonious fit. By incorporating continuous feedback loops and candidate experience surveys, we also refine our strategies to attract and retain top talent more effectively.

Amit Doshi, Founder & CEO, MyTurn

Quote from Austin Benton

6. Host workshops as recruitment events

One innovative approach we've implemented is hosting creative, industry-specific workshops that double as informal recruitment events. These workshops allow potential candidates to showcase their skills in a real-world setting while enabling us to interact with them in a more relaxed environment.

We've also used social media platforms for storytelling campaigns, where current employees share their experiences and company culture, attracting like-minded talent organically. Another unique strategy has been leveraging gamification in our interview process, where candidates engage in tasks that test their problem-solving abilities and creativity.

Austin Benton, Marketing Consultant, Gotham Artists

Quote from Dylan Cleppe

7. Recruit talent from freelance platforms

One of the outside-the-box strategies I've implemented involves actively recruiting talent from unconventional sources. We've successfully targeted freelance platforms like Upwork and Fiverr, where we can find individuals with a proven track record and diverse skill sets. This approach allows us to assess candidates based on their work and previous client reviews, significantly reducing the risk of a bad hire.

In addition to conventional interviews, we use project-based assessments to evaluate candidates' fit for the role. For instance, when hiring a web optimization specialist, we ask candidates to complete a set of challenges that mimic real-life projects they would handle if hired. This method tests their technical abilities, problem-solving skills, and creativity under pressure, giving us a holistic view of their capabilities.

Dylan Cleppe, Co-Founder & CEO, OneStop Northwest LLC

Quote from Christopher Pappas

8. Engage candidates with reverse interviewing

Our approach to talent acquisition reflects our innovative spirit. One unconventional strategy we've adopted is 'reverse interviewing,' where potential candidates are given the floor to interview current team members, including myself, during their interview process. This approach empowers candidates and gives them a transparent view of our culture and operations, ensuring a mutual fit.

Additionally, we've leveraged our platform's capabilities by hosting webinars focused on industry insights and thought leadership, subtly integrated with recruitment. This not only positions us as leaders but also attracts professionals who are proactively seeking growth and learning opportunities. These methods have allowed us to connect with talent that is not only skilled but also aligns with our forward-thinking ethos, enhancing our team dynamics and innovation capacity.

Christopher Pappas, Founder, eLearning Industry Inc

Quote from Adam Wright

9. Host virtual wellness webinars for recruitment

In our workplace, we've employed innovative strategies for talent acquisition in the healthcare sector.

One effective approach was hosting virtual wellness webinars where potential candidates could interact with our team, learn about our company culture, and showcase their expertise in real time.

We also implemented a 'day-in-the-life' shadowing program, allowing candidates to experience our workplace and interact with future colleagues. This helped us assess cultural fit and gave candidates a genuine feel for our work environment.

These strategies have enhanced our recruitment process, attracting high-quality talent passionate about healthcare and innovation.

Adam Wright, CEO, Human Tonik

Quote from Matt Little

10. Creative showcase instead of resumes

An approach that's been particularly successful for us is what I like to call the 'Creative Showcase.' Instead of the traditional resume and cover letter, we ask candidates to submit a project demonstrating their skills and passion for design and lighting. It could be anything from a custom lamp they've built to a lighting design plan for an event.

This method allows us to see the candidate's technical abilities and gives us insight into their creativity and problem-solving skills. It's a conversation starter, too—we discuss their project during interviews, which helps us understand their thought process and enthusiasm for the work.

Matt Little, Founder & Managing Director, Festoon House

Quote from Elmo Taddeo

11. Organize in-person and virtual hiring events

I've found that hosting in-person and virtual hiring events has been incredibly effective for our talent acquisition. These events provide a unique opportunity to engage prospective hires and showcase our company culture. We often use breakout rooms during virtual events moderated by our employee ambassadors to allow candidates to hear firsthand experiences from our team members.

We work closely with a recruitment advertising partner to attract top talent, and we use omnichannel event promotion strategies to ensure our events reach a broad audience. After the events, we make it a point to follow up with attendees, which helps us maintain a relationship with potential hires and keeps them engaged with our company.

Elmo Taddeo, CEO, Parachute

In closing

Embracing unconventional recruiting approaches can open up a world of opportunities for your organization. By thinking outside the box and implementing creative strategies like those highlighted in this blog post, you can tap into new talent pools, engage candidates in unique ways, and showcase your company's innovative spirit.

Remember, the key is continuously evolving and adapting your recruitment methods to align with the ever-changing job market. By staying ahead of the curve, you'll attract the best and brightest candidates who share your passion for innovation and success.

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