4 Unexpected Places Where You Might Find Your Next Hire

When it comes to a recruiting strategy, the immediate direction companies turn to is job board advertisements, connecting with others via LinkedIn and talking to institutions like universities in the community.

And while that might be all your company needs to build a team, a little creativity to spice up your recruiting game is always worth considering – especially when competition is only getting tougher. Here are some surprising places you may never have considered, but could be the key to meeting your next best hire:

1. At a café or restaurant

Great talent might still not have the experience your job description asks for, which means a candidate who fits the role and organization won’t apply or will be overlooked. Baristas, Bartenders, servers, retail workers and more are all great potential hires, especially for customer facing positions.

And, companies like Quicken Loans aren't blind to the possibility that their ideal applicant may have an unconventional background, so the company asked their recruiters to observe customer service employees and offer interviews to those who made a great impression with their service skills. Industry experience deserves notice, but there’s something to be said for a go-getter with a willingness to learn skills and develop for and with your company.

2. Your morning reading material

Bloggers need paychecks too! Or maybe you still read a newspaper. Whatever the case, some of your morning routine is created by other intelligent people with families to feed and the desire to work with a company just like yours.

Observe whose work you admire or enjoy following and begin reaching out via their social channels or comment sections. Always click “like” on the same person’s industry shares? Feel like the email newsletter you receive was written with you in mind? Reach out!

You may not ever reach the “are you looking for a job” conversation, but you are building a relationship with another talented individual in the space or community. It’s possible your favorite blogger or reporter may not be looking for permanent work, but perhaps they’re open to freelancing. Hey, it’s a gig economy.

3. Online communities

Do you frequent online communities like Quora or Reddit? In this tech obsessed world, there’s a community created specifically for the professional you’re trying to hire. Seriously, open Google and type “online community for” into the search bar and you’ll be amazed at the auto fills. Here are mine:

Some of these might not suit my current hiring needs, but you get the point. Reddit and Quora separate interests and expertise up fairly well, but there are multiple other communities to join when looking for a difficult to fill position.

4. Host a networking event

The thing about hiring is that even a pristine resume can hide good or bad surprises, so we lean on phone/in-person interviews, pre-employment assignments and a probationary period to decide if a candidate or hire will actually fit within the organization. These are solid methods, but each create another hoop for your recruitment team to scale and equals more resources.

For the chance at an interview without all the other parts leading up to it, consider hosting a meet and greet night where your company can show off a little. Plan a little presentation about a topic relevant to your industry to be followed by appetizers and refreshments. The event drops some of the formality of an interview, but gives local talent the chance to mingle with your employees, see your culture first hand and drop a card for follow-up. Draw attention to the event via social media posts, traditional ads and contacting other local organizations or college campuses.

Final thought

A lot stands in the way of hiring top talent. Your hiring process can’t be too long, but shouldn’t be too short. Your employer brand has to leave the right impression. Most of the best candidates are passive and not where you’re looking. Heck, some of your biggest fans might simply be too intimidated to even apply. Don’t get caught up in the mundane, traditional hiring tactics and you might be surprised who you find hiding in unexpected places.

This article originally featured on the LinkedIn Talent Blog.

About Maren Hogan:

Maren Hogan is a seasoned marketer, writer and business builder in the HR and Recruiting industry. Founder and CEO of Red Branch Media, an agency offering marketing strategy and outsourcing and thought leadership to HR and Recruiting Technology and Services organizations internationally, Hogan is a consistent advocate of next generation marketing techniques. She has built successful online communities, deployed brand strategies and been a thought leader in the global recruitment and talent space. You can read more of her work on Forbes, Business Insider, Entrepreneur, and her blog Marenated.

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