Talent Sourcing

10+ Creative Recruiting Sources You Might Be Overlooking

Dec 13, 2021 - Cat DiStasio

Recently, we’ve explored the various ways the Great Resignation is prompting employers to double-down on recruitment marketing and reevaluate their talent sourcing strategies. Of all the things we’ve learned, there’s a consistent theme popping up time and again. In short, it’s that a lot of the strategies you’ve been using for years will continue to be effective even as competition for top talent remains high—and other strategies have outlived their usefulness and need to be left behind.

That’s true for many parts of the talent acquisition process, including candidate sourcing. And what it means for most organizations is that now is the time to get creative—to really think outside the box—in order to find new ways to identify, attract, and engage with quality candidates. In a candidate-driven talent market, effective talent sourcing relies on creativity. When it seems like every position is or has the potential to be ‘hard-to-fill,’ TA teams need to branch out, to expand their talent pool and engage with new candidates.

To help you update your talent sourcing strategy and prepare for whatever 2022 may hold, we’ve put together a list of recruiting sources you may be overlooking. Be sure to include these in your strategy to expand your reach, help diversify your talent pipeline, and make it easier to compete for top talent. Here are more than 10 potential recruiting sources you may be overlooking, and how you can leverage them to attract new attention to your open positions.

Sources of Recruitment to Watch

1. HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities): Recruiting the students and graduates of HBCUs should be a top priority for every employer today. On the surface, this tactic clearly supports your efforts to increase diversity in your candidate pipeline but HBCUs are also a fantastic source of quality talent that you can’t afford to overlook.

2. Local, state and national workforce development agencies: Workforce development agencies specialize in helping talented candidates prepare for interviews, and indeed for work, at organizations like yours. Many workforce development agencies host virtual events where employers can tap into their talent community and find qualified candidates who are highly motivated to find the right position.

3. Student organizations: You might already be working with the career services team at your local colleges and universities, but don’t sleep on student-run associations. Student groups organized around industry interests (like STEAM) or other characteristics (e.g. Asian-American Student Union) can be a great way to get the word out about your organization’s mission and values, current openings, and career development opportunities.

4. Professional industry organizations: Many employers work with professional organizations—but perhaps fail to cultivate the deep relationships that can really help impact their talent pipeline. Think about professional organizations when you’re planning virtual events—and consider inviting organization leaders to speak at your events and promote your events among their members.

5. Sourcing marketplaces: Adding sourcing marketplaces to your recruiting toolkit helps you expand your reach, tap into new talent markets, get more attendees for your virtual hiring events, and engage with candidates you might never have met otherwise. Check out Brazen's own sourcing marketplace below to learn more!

Brazen Sourcing Marketplace CTA


6. Industry-specific job boards: They exist for nearly every profession, from mechanics to nurses to zoologists, and can help you zero in on the skill sets you need to hire. This is a particularly useful talent source for hard-to-fill and high level positions.

7. Staffing agencies: These valuable sources can help you find talent fast for near-term needs, allow you to ‘try on’ candidates before making an offer, or route candidates to you for direct hire.

8. Job boards: Yep, the ones you already use, but with a different approach. Evolve your search terms on job boards and LinkedIn, etc — open up geographic limitations, search for misspellings of job titles (here’s why), search for similar or related skill sets, and reach out to job seekers that appear to align with your needs.

9. Events, symposiums, and hackathons: Great events are always loaded with talent, and you can look at the attendees as well as the presenters as possible candidates of interest. Check out professional development events and industry conferences, and even skill or software specific gatherings—these can all be great sources of passive talent. And as a bonus, attending, sponsoring, or even speaking at events like these can help you build your employer brand within critical niches.

10. Employee referrals: Another place quality candidates might be hiding right under your nose is in the professional and social networks of your current employees. Ramp up employee referrals by sharing open positions more often, leveraging employee resource groups (ERGs) to spread the word, and adding or increasing referral bonuses for especially hard-to-find talent.

11. Your very own company career site: Many employers collect applications, look at them once, and then forget about them. Mining your talent database and reassessing candidates for new openings both now and in the future may yield surprising results.

Creative Solutions for Today’s Talent Sourcing Challenges

The organizations that are effectively combating the Great Resignation and continuing to hire quality candidates—and even growing against all odds—are the ones with creative talent acquisition teams who are continually reevaluating their talent sources, and trying out new things. You don’t have to add every single source on this list to your candidate sourcing strategy, and the best options for you will vary based on your needs and your industry. Consider experimenting with a few in the coming months, and let the results convince you of the ROI of these often overlooked but highly effective recruiting sources.

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