Finding and attracting qualified candidates is a challenge that’s been plaguing recruiters for years. 

While traditional recruiting methods may get you far, you need something new and creative to go beyond.

So we’ve compiled a list of 11 out-of-the-box recruiting ideas to help you take your hiring game to a whole new level. Let’s get started!

Understanding creative recruiting

Creative recruiting means attracting and engaging potential candidates in a way that speaks to them. Its essence lies in breaking away from traditional methods and approaching talent acquisition from a fresh perspective. 

It is all about coming up with out-of-the-box recruiting ideas and stepping away from the crowd. 

Job seekers today, especially the millennials and Gen Z, don’t just want a paycheck. They are looking for a meaningful experience. They want to see that you’re as invested in them as they are in you. 

A report by LinkedIn found that 83% of talent say a negative interview experience can change their mind about a role or company they once liked. 

Conversely, a positive experience can have candidates raving about the company to their peers, whether they land the job or not.

This is exactly why coming up with new and unique hiring strategies is so important in giving candidates the hiring experience they deserve. 

What are the benefits of adopting out-of-the-box recruiting ideas?

out-of-the-box recruiting ideas

1. Reach a broader talent pool

When you break free from the chains of traditional recruiting, you open doors to a wider and more diverse talent pool. 

You’re no longer just attracting those actively seeking new roles; you’re also reaching out to passive candidates who might not have considered a move until your innovative approach catches their eye. 

This expands your possibilities and gives you more options to find the perfect fit for your company.

2. Enhances a company’s brand image

Out-of-the-box recruiting ideas can be a fantastic opportunity to showcase a company’s culture and values. 

This doesn’t just attract more candidates, it attracts the right ones – those who resonate with what a company stands for, improving its brand image

3. Improves the candidate experience

Traditional recruitment methods, which can be rigid and impersonal, often exacerbate stress. 

On the other hand, a creative and unique recruitment process can transform this experience, making it more engaging, personalized, and enjoyable.

A positive candidate experience can turn your candidates into brand ambassadors. So, enhancing their experience through out-of-the-box recruiting strategies is beneficial and essential in the current competitive job market. 

4. Attracts the future workforce

With Gen Z entering the workforce, companies must adapt their recruitment strategies to appeal to this digital-first generation. 

Out-of-the-box recruiting ideas, especially those leveraging digital and social platforms, can be more appealing to younger candidates. 

A report suggests that 58% of Gen Z use online job boards and social media to find opportunities, emphasizing the need for innovative digital recruitment strategies.

5. Helps you stand out in a competitive job market

In a job market teeming with recruiters competing for top talent, creative recruitment tactics can help your agency stand out.

Potential candidates are more likely to remember a company that approached them with a unique recruitment strategy instead of one that followed a traditional and potentially forgettable route. 

This makes your agency and your client’s company more memorable and increases your chances of being a top choice for candidates.

11 out-of-the-box recruiting ideas to attract top talent

out-of-the-box recruiting ideas

1. AI and machine learning

If you want to outshine the recruitment crowd, utilize AI and machine learning in every aspect. 

One of the most significant benefits of AI in recruitment is the automation of repetitive, time-consuming tasks. 

For example, pre-screening resumes is a task that consumes a significant amount of a recruiter’s time. AI can speed up the resume parsing process, freeing valuable time for recruiters to focus on more strategic aspects of their roles.

Include AI and machine learning in your recruitment budget so that you can invest in recruiting tools like an applicant tracking system to streamline your hiring process. 

2. Gamification of the hiring process

Who said hiring has to be all work and no play? Gamification is one of the most innovative and engaging out-of-the-box recruiting ideas that have been making waves in the HR world. 

But what exactly is gamification? Simply put, it’s the application of game-design elements in non-game contexts, like recruitment.

It can provide valuable insights into candidate behavior and skills beyond what’s on their resume, helping you make more informed hiring decisions and creating a fun and exciting hiring process for them!

So, by integrating gamification into your hiring process, you don’t just fill a role but provide an experience that can engage and attract top talent, setting yourself apart in the market. 

3. Video job descriptions

The first step in hiring is often creating a compelling job description. Traditionally, this has been a written document outlining the job title, the open position’s responsibilities, required skills, and other details. 

Effective? Yes. Exciting? Not so much. That’s where video job descriptions come into play – a refreshing, innovative, and highly engaging recruiting idea.

In today’s fast-paced, digital world, applicants are more likely to watch a short, engaging video than read through a lengthy document. 

Video job descriptions are better because they offer the following:

  • Engagement: Videos are inherently more engaging and digestible than text. They can capture and hold people’s attention, making the information more memorable.
  • Authenticity: They allow you to showcase your client’s company culture, work environment, and people genuinely and appealingly. It’s a chance to let your client’s personality shine through.
  • Accessibility: Videos can be watched anywhere, anytime, on any device. This accessibility can significantly increase the reach of your job descriptions.
  • Versatility: They offer a wealth of creative possibilities. The options are nearly endless for interviews, role walkthroughs, day-in-the-life sequences, and animated infographics!

4. Social recruiting

out-of-the-box recruiting ideas - social recruiting

Social media platforms are not only for job advertisements; they’re a place to network as much as possible.

Share photos from the last team-building activity, post behind-the-scenes stories, or even create a ‘day in the life’ video of an employee. Remember, a Glassdoor survey found that 76% of job seekers want to know what makes a company an attractive place to work. 

Using social media, you can show them, not just tell them!

Social recruiting is about interaction and engagement. Encourage employees to share their experiences, comment on posts, and tag potential candidates. 

It’s not just about finding the right candidates; it’s about engaging them and making them fall in love with the company even before they hit ‘Apply.’

And let’s not forget social media ads. With targeted ads, you can put your job postings right in front of the candidates who fit your requirements.

Social recruiting is an out-of-the-box recruiting idea that can revolutionize your talent acquisition process. 

5. Employee advocacy programs

An employee advocacy program means empowering current employees to share a company’s story and employee testimonials. 

This could be through sharing company news on their social media, referring their networks for job openings, or even representing the company at events and job fairs.

When implemented effectively, these programs can create a domino effect. Here’s how it works:

  • At its core, employee advocacy fosters a sense of ownership and engagement among team members. They’re not just employees but brand ambassadors, playing an active role in the company’s growth story.
  • Next, each employee has a unique network of professional and personal contacts. When they talk about their company, its reach multiplies exponentially. 
  • Lastly, it also puts the spotlight on the team members, allowing them to showcase the human side of the company. This enhances the business’ employer brand, making it more attractive to top talent. 

6. Reverse job fairs

Traditional job fairs can often feel like speed dating. You’re making quick assessments, often based on rehearsed responses to common questions. 

This is where reverse job fairs come in to mix things up. These are events where instead of employers and recruiters setting up booths to attract potential employees, job seekers set up their own booths to showcase their skills and attract employers. 

Reverse job fairs offer a much richer, more authentic insight into who the candidates are. You get to see their creativity, initiative, and passion in action.

They also promote diversity by providing a platform for new candidates to display their unique skills and experiences. It offers an equal playing field, breaking down barriers some candidates might face in traditional recruitment processes.

Finally, the unique format can draw in potential employees who may not have considered a company otherwise. It provides a low-pressure environment for them to explore opportunities and engage with potential employers.

The beauty of this approach lies in its flexibility. It can be as unconventional or as professional as you want it to be. 

7. Diversity hiring

Diversity hiring is a powerful, out-of-the-box recruiting idea that seeks to employ individuals without bias toward their identity, culture, or background. 

This approach goes beyond just compliance with equal employment opportunity laws; it’s about understanding the significant benefits that a diverse workforce brings to an organization.

Implementing diversity hiring involves strategies like unconscious bias training for recruiters, using blind resume reviews to minimize bias, sourcing candidates from diverse talent pools, and ensuring job ads and descriptions are inclusive and welcoming.

8. VR office tours

out-of-the-box recruiting ideas

Virtual Reality, or VR as it’s more commonly known, has been making waves in various sectors, from gaming to education. And now, it’s slowly but surely making its presence felt in the recruitment world. 

One of the standout ways it does this is through VR office tours during recruitment.

This allows the best talent to experience a company’s working environment without physically being there. With a VR headset, they can take a 360-degree tour of the office, observing everything from the layout of the workspace to the vibe of the coffee break area.

This is a powerful approach to transparency. It gives candidates a real, unfiltered glimpse into a company’s culture. This can be incredibly valuable to today’s job seekers who rate company culture above salary when it comes to job satisfaction.

9. Text recruiting

Text recruiting is all about speed and convenience. People typically read texts within minutes of receiving them. A text message is personal. It cuts through the noise and creates an immediate connection.

It’s also highly efficient. It allows you to contact multiple candidates simultaneously, saving you considerable time. Instead of waiting for an email response, you can engage with candidates in real-time, accelerating the recruitment process.

Text recruiting doesn’t just change the medium; it changes the tone. You’re no longer in the realm of formal emails and cover letters. 

You’re in the world of emojis, GIFs, and casual conversation. This can help candidates feel more at ease, making their true personality and potential easier to shine through.

This approach can also be automated. You can automate parts of your recruitment process by integrating text messages into your ATS

10. Exploring niche job boards 

The first step to effectively using niche job boards like Indeed is understanding the candidate you seek. Once you have a clear picture of your ideal candidate, you can identify the job boards that cater to these specific individuals.

With an array of such job boards available, selecting the right one is crucial.

When you post on a niche job board, you speak directly to the kind of candidates you want to attract. This means your job postings should be tailored to resonate with this audience. 

Highlight the aspects of the job that would appeal to these candidates, use industry-specific language, and ensure your client’s company culture shines through.

Niche job boards often come with active communities. Participate in them. Engage in discussions, share valuable insights, and become a recognized name within the community. 

This can increase your visibility among potential candidates and position your agency as an industry authority.

11. Candidate experience surveys

out-of-the-box recruiting ideas

First things first, why should you even bother with these surveys? Well, the answer is simple – they provide direct feedback from the people who’ve been through your recruitment process.

To prepare a candidate experience survey, start by identifying the key stages of your recruitment process – from the initial job posting and application stage to the interview process and final decision. 

Aim to keep your survey concise and to the point. Use a mix of quantitative (rating scale) and qualitative (open-ended) questions to gain a comprehensive understanding of the candidate’s experience.

To ensure honest feedback, make it clear to candidates that their responses are anonymous and will be used solely for improving the recruitment process. The last thing you want is for candidates to worry about burning bridges if they provide negative feedback.

P.S. If you’re looking for an AI-powered ATS + CRM solution, then check out Recruit CRM. Book a demo now to see it in action!

Frequently asked questions

1. How do you attract and recruit top talent?

Attracting top talent is a strategic three-step process that involves creating compelling job descriptions that present role details, company culture, and benefits; establishing a robust employer brand, which is done by improving work culture, offering competitive benefits, and promoting company values through various channels like social media and company websites; and utilizing a variety of recruitment channels such as industry-specific job boards, professional networking sites, and employee referral programs. 

2. Which is the most innovative recruiting strategy?

Innovative hiring strategies depend on factors like your industry and hiring needs. Effective methods include using niche job boards, which target a specific audience and attract highly qualified candidates. Other strategies involve data-driven recruiting, enhancing candidate experience, employing artificial intelligence and machine learning for applicant screening, and offering flexible and remote work options to widen your candidate reach.

3. How can small businesses compete with larger companies in recruiting top talent?

Small businesses can use their size to their advantage by offering a close-knit company culture, more direct access to leadership, and the opportunity for employees to wear multiple hats and grow their skill sets. Additionally, they can highlight their mission and values to attract candidates who are passionate about their work.

4. How can I leverage social media for recruiting?

Social media can be a powerful tool for recruiting. Companies can use platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to post job openings, share company news, and updates, and engage with potential candidates. Additionally, social media can be used to showcase company culture and highlight employee experiences.