Innovative recruiting tactics to find new talent

With unemployment running near record lows, it’s getting harder to find qualified workers. And, worse, potential employees aren’t responding to some of the tried-and-true recruiting methods like sending a targeted message through social media platforms, such as LinkedIn.

As a result, more recruiters are going on the offensive with new, more direct methods to lure passive candidates.

“While posting on job boards offers companies visibility among active job seekers, advertising beyond these websites is key to reaching—and converting—today’s growing demographic of passive job seekers,” says Chris Loretto, VP of digital marketing firm Adtaxi.


Employers are increasingly adding text messaging to their recruiting platforms, focusing on everything from connecting to past candidates about new opportunities to asking initial screening questions before phone interviews.

It seems to be working. Candidates only open about 20% of emails sent via LinkedIn, and they largely ignore emails sent outside the platform, which commonly end up in spam or junk folders. But the “read rate” for text-message recruiting runs much higher—perhaps as high as 60% to 70%, based on data reported by software vendors.

Currently, the leading platforms for text-based recruiting are Mya and Canvas. Both rely on harvesting cellphone numbers from various sources, including résumés of job fair attendees and those who’ve posted in résumés databases.

Another reason that text-message response rates are higher than email or unsolicited calls: Responding to a text is discreet and the candidate’s current employer won’t know the person is job hunting.


Employers are also adding more video elements to their recruiting and hiring toolkit. Studies show that candidates are more likely to apply to online postings that have a job-related video included. And video in email leads to a 200-300% increase in click-through rates.

Include video in job ads, on your website, via social media and even in email correspondence with potential candidates. 63% of job seekers would rather see a video about a company’s culture than read about it.

Some leading vendors of recruiting videos: Skill Scout and VideoMyJob. (For tips to use video in hiring and onboarding, see “Video can enhance hiring process.”)


Employers looking for longer-form tools to explain and humanize job openings, company culture and benefits are creating live webinars that can run 30 to 60 minutes. Example: JobStories hosts such webinars for employers, which are broadcast on Facebook and YouTube.

Try these tactics on your job listing

Don’t mandate industry experience if possible. The study showed that more than a third of people will consider other industries. People can learn the industry through training. Plus, “outsiders” can bring new perspectives and ideas.

Market the job. You need to sell the job, being sure to hit on what matters most to job seekers. The most important factor that respondents identified is salary/compensation (34%), followed by benefits (13%), company reputation (12%), work-life balance (11%) and company culture (11%).

Keep these factors in mind when writing your job descriptions.