What could be more important than attracting and retaining the talent you need to keep your company going? Nothing, right?

Attracting the brightest people to join your company is the goal of any organization, but finding those people requires creativity in your recruiting efforts.

The best candidates aren’t responding to the same traditional methods of sourcing. If you will use same sources for recruiting as you do, your organization cannot hire the best candidates and gain a competitive advantage over your competitors. Being a unique user of an effective source does provide you the best candidates and a competitive advantage.

Nowadays you need to be more proactive and unique to connect with the best talent. Below you’ll find creative sourcing strategies that will compel the candidates to apply for your company.

Use Billboards

Rent billboards near busy freeway area. This is a great way to let people know you are hiring. Make the imagery fun and catchy billboards which can draw people’s attention. At the same time keep it easy to remember.

Do you remember CareerBuilder’s “don’t jump” campaign?

This campaign won several awards as the best use of ad space on a bus. It is a perfect way to connect to the future great hires. Everywhere your future candidate goes, so do those buses.

Ask for Referrals

Employee referrals are one of the most successful sources of hire. Ask for one or two referrals from your current employees, and you will get a great list of people to hire.

Ask for referrals from the people outside the organization. Do you know Hubspot offers $10,000 to anyone who refers an ‘awesome’ developer that they go on to hire?

If you are looking for an extraordinary developer or designer put in place a similar scheme to encourage referrals. Create a ‘Refer a friend’ page on your website; it is easy to set up. For startups, you can either pay to one who recommends a friend or just offer them a one day treat in a five-star hotel.

Attend Events & Meetups

Attending non-recruiting events and tech talks is another great way to look for talent. This will also give you a chance to informally meet designers and developers and will give you a better idea of what you are looking for regardless of a CV.

You can also plan your own events and meetups. Inviting the greater community of designers and developers to your events shows how much your company values creative talent.

Conduct Mass Auditions

Invite candidates for mass auditions. Ask them to mimic the company’s operation. Set them to work on a task and ask your existing employees to observe and takes notes on each candidate. Look for attitude, confidence, and skills.

After the candidates have gone, discuss with entire staff what they have seen. The good thing about mass auditions is the team makes all the decision and it is fast. An interesting thing is you can learn more about candidates in two hours than other companies learn over weeks. And it is incredibly exciting, for both the candidates and for existing employees.

Conduct Competitions

When searching for tech talent, most of the top technology companies like Facebook, Google run some type of programming competition to attract talented people. And, these guys have huge resources to attract talented people to their coding competitions.

Coding challenges are rewriting the rules of technical recruitment, replacing career fairs and reducing dependence. Offering your own online technical contest allows you to attract individuals who are not looking actively for a job.

Open Source Code Contributors

If you are looking for tech talent, sites like GitHub offer an online repository for code where programmers can contribute to open source projects. You can look at samples of a candidate’s code before contacting them.

Send Personalized Emails

Personalized outreach beats mass mailing. Because almost everyone uses the Internet, send personalized emails to candidates. When looking for passive candidates, personalized emailing is a great strategy to attract candidates.

Look for Blogs & QA Forums

Many designers and programmers have their own personal blogs or might be mentioned on some other blogging sites. They also help people with their questions on Q/A forums (like Quora, StackOverflow). These can be a great source for discovering potential candidates too.

Final Thought

Whether you try these strategies or come up with some of your own, being innovative will help you to stand out from the crowd and put you in touch with your ideal hires. You never know where your next great hire might come from, so keep the employee referrals coming, keep your calendar full, keep your fingers typing, and keep your eyes open.