13 Creative Recruiting Ideas to Attract Talent

Creative Recruiting Ideas to attract talent

Recruiting in today’s environment can be challenging, but using creative recruiting ideas to attract talent isn’t hard, it just takes some analysis and out-of-the-box recruiting strategies. We reached out to business leaders and recruiters and compiled a list of the top creative recruiting ideas they’re using to successfully hire today.

We uncovered recruiting ideas for hourly employees, out-of-the-box recruiting strategies, student recruitment ideas, recruiting ideas for manufacturing, and unique ideas for recruitment event ideas.

How do you recruit creatively?

Recruiting with out-of-the-box ideas can be fun, easy, and rewarding. Recruiting creatively starts with simply identifying your candidate’s persona and demographics, and then finding ways to reach them effectively. For instance, if they are hourly candidates and don’t have a computer at home, and they primarily communicate over text messaging, are you making it easy for them to Apply by Text and Automate Scheduling via text messaging?

What’s your Candidate Experience and Recruiting Process like?

Sometimes, it’s not just about being creative and finding new ideas to reach your ideal candidate, it’s about creating a candidate experience that engages, is fast and efficient, and streamlines the recruiting process for both the candidate and the recruiting team.

So, before jumping into something new, it’s often recommended to examine your current candidate’s experience and your interview process.

Are you responding to the candidate on their channel of choice?

If candidates aren’t responding to your phone calls and emails, are you using text recruiting solutions to engage quickly, move the candidates through the process, and communicate effectively?

How long does it take for a candidate to complete an application? And is it mobile-friendly?

Many applicant tracking systems have application processes that are arduous and aren’t optimized for the hourly or mobile-first worker. Candidates, for the most part, don’t have resumes on their mobile phones, and your candidates might not have a computer at home. So, making it easier for them to apply is paramount.

Do you have an Employee referral program?

In the US, the average employee referral program will generate about 40% of new hires. That’s a benchmark to consider. If you aren’t generating 40% of new hires from employee referrals, you might be missing an inexpensive yet very powerful recruitment strategy. I recently had the opportunity to meet Michael Stafiej, the Founder of ERIN, the leading employee referral management software… take a look.

Do you utilize Niche Job Boards for your job ads?

If you’re like 95% of your recruiting competitors, and using Indeed as your primary job board, venture out to niche job boards to find your prospective employees and qualified candidates. There are thousands of niche job boards, by industry, by geographic area. Niche job boards will help with finding a different and often more specialized set of candidates. AND… chances are, your competition isn’t using niche sites.

13 Creative Recruiting Ideas from Recruiters and Business Leaders:

We asked business leaders and recruiters “What is one unconventional way your company recruits fresh talent?” and here is what’s working for them.

1. Host Innovation Challenges

At my company, we’ve got this really neat way of discovering new talent—we call it “innovation challenges.” It’s not your usual job application process. Instead of just posting job openings, we hand candidates real business problems to solve. This lets us see how creative and innovative they are. Plus, it gives candidates a sneak peek at the kind of work they could be doing with us. It’s a win-win—we get to uncover amazing talent, and candidates get to experience the thrilling challenges they could take on at our company.
Gavin Yi, CEO, Yijin Hardware 

2. Utilize Omnichannel Marketing

We do omnichannel marketing to highlight our company culture and the perks of working with us, combined with posting job ads on popular platforms like LinkedIn and Indeed. The omnichannel marketing helps us to spread good words about us.

This ensures that we get noticed by the right talent, and they reach out to us on their own whenever they see a job posting from our end. The marketing content is made to align with the struggles employees are currently facing and how we are a solution to that. Due to this, often, even when we aren’t hiring, many people inquire if there are any other job ads or opportunities at our end. If there is no immediate requirement but the candidate seems a good fit, we try to keep in touch with them. So, when the need arises, we can simply get going with the onboarding.

This technique also helps us to maintain a standby talent pool. Plus, this process gives us enough time to assess the candidate, so that in a crisis we aren’t clueless and don’t end up hiring whoever we see first.
Rajni Sharma, Content Editor and Recruiting Assistance,

3. Conduct Global Entrepreneurship Workshops

One unique approach we use is our global entrepreneurship workshops, like ‘Master Your Start.’ These events attract aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners from around the world, providing a diverse talent pool. We’ve discovered promising individuals during these sessions who not only have a strong entrepreneurial spirit but also align with our values.

Additionally, we leverage our strong online community. With a vocal presence on social media and an active blog, we are exposed to a wide variety of creative and driven individuals who engage with our brand. Several team members were initially ardent followers and fans of our brand, demonstrating that thinking outside traditional hiring methods can yield passionate team members.

Instead of relying solely on traditional hiring processes, we actively seek out potential candidates in the communities we impact and interact with daily.
Vivian Jade, Founder

4. Recruit from Newsletter Subscribers

We have seen success in recruiting based on who looks at our content and reads our newsletters. In the coffee industry, baristas and coffee connoisseurs often look at the work and recommendations of others with similar qualifications, so what better place to recruit from than a pool of users who already have a passion for coffee?

This isn’t to say we send a ‘We’re Hiring’ message to every single subscriber, but we leave an email and an invitation to chat with us if coffee is something you’re passionate about and are looking for employment. We hire quality writers and professionals who know what they’re talking about and are dedicated to sharing their knowledge with those interested.

I believe it’s a unique way to attract talent because we are dipping into a pool of potential candidates who already love working with coffee. You can teach skill, but you can’t teach passion, and that’s why the hiring process from our newsletter has been very successful.
Alex Mastin, CEO and Founder, Home Grounds

5. Scout Writer Talent on Medium

At our company, instead of relying on traditional job boards and postings, we prefer to scout for potential candidates across various online platforms.

One of our go-to platforms is Medium. This platform allows individuals to showcase their writing prowess on a wide array of topics. Given our focus on business and tech-related content, we actively seek out writers on Medium who exhibit exceptional writing skills and possess a deep understanding of the subjects we frequently cover. This approach ensures that we consistently attract talented individuals with relevant experience, capable of producing the kind of high-quality content that drives traffic to our site.

I firmly believe that recruiting individuals with a proven track record is paramount in avoiding the time and effort wasted on candidates who lack experience in similar tasks.
Stefan Campbell, Owner, The Small Business Blog

6. Ditch Resume Screening for Developers – Use Tests Instead

As of now, there is a huge number of junior developers on the market. The popularity of developer positions keeps growing as people are promised high incomes and remote work, and online schools and universities advertise the simplicity of changing qualifications. We believe that it is not necessary to already have experience or to have a university degree in engineering to get a position as a junior developer. So, there is no other recruiting criterion but the level of candidates’ knowledge in our company.

It is impossible to determine this by reading resumes; therefore, we have just ditched the resume screening recruitment process for this position. We give test tasks to each candidate, and if they are successful in solving them, we schedule the first interview. This approach helps us choose the best people available on the market without caring about their education or experience.
Daria Erina, Managing Director, Linked Helper

7. Offer Free Workshops or Seminars

One strategy that we have found success with is to offer a free workshop or seminar that will appeal to the types of fresh talent you’re trying to attract.

Granted, not all of the people who sign up for a workshop or seminar will be actively looking for a job, but that can be another advantage of this approach—it is a way to get in touch with passive candidates you may not find through other means, and that can be beneficial for building a talent pipeline in addition to recruiting the best candidates for a currently open role.

What’s great about this approach is the type of potential applicants you’re likely to connect with using it. People who take advantage of this free learning are those who are dedicated to their career development and eager to gain new skills and knowledge. These are also likely to be motivated and driven individuals who are proactive self-starters when it comes to their career advancement. All of these things are positive indicators of their ability to thrive in a workplace. As a side benefit, conducting a workshop can also be a chance to see professionals utilizing that particular skill or applying that knowledge, which can also be useful in identifying the right candidates for your role.
Rob Boyle, Marketing Operations Director, Airswift

8. Engage Gen Z on Social Media

One unconventional way companies need to recruit fresh talent is to use the power of social media. Gen Z comprises 30% of the workforce now, and you need to recruit where they are hanging out, which is on social media. That way, your position will be front of mind, and they will be familiar with your company brand.
Caroline Pennington, Executive Search Recruiter, Podcast Host, Founder, Feminine Founder

9. Develop Talent through In-House Academies

Our company is home to our unique talent academies, the Schools of Development, which began over 10 years ago at a tech college. Most of our engineers graduated from these schools, where they learned how to build a marketplace, a social network, or a mobile app. That’s why our programs are eight months long. It gives us time to keep up with what’s new in tech and offer something that really draws in top talent.

We also focus on helping all our employees grow. Everyone gets to make their own Personal Development Plan with their mentor. This approach ensures ongoing engagement, motivation, and a sense of belonging and care. As a result, our turnover rate is only 6% a year, which is exceptionally low for our industry.
Marina Dedolko, Senior Growth Manager, SENLA

10. Create Immersive VR Experiences

Tech companies can use a variety of innovative recruitment strategies, to attract talent. One of the most interesting ones we’ve used was an immersive virtual reality experience. It’s fun, it’s interesting, and it makes your company seem tech-savvy.

Rather than relying on traditional interviews and resumes, try creating VR scenarios that Thsimulate real-world work environments and challenges related to their industry. This allows candidates to showcase their skills, problem-solving abilities, and adaptability more interactively.

By using VR in recruitment, companies can gain a deeper understanding of a candidate’s capabilities and potential cultural fit. Even if you don’t hire the individuals, you create a unique and memorable experience that they’re bound to tell others in the field.
Perry Zheng, Founder and CEO, Pallas

11. Leverage Supplier Networks

One unconventional way we recruit fresh talent is through our suppliers. Since we operate in the sticker-printing business, our suppliers are also connected with other similar businesses in our industry. In this sense, they play a crucial role as a referral source, albeit not in the traditional employee-to-employee referral sense.

Drawing from their industry insights and connections, they help us identify potential candidates who already possess experience in our line of work. This unique approach allows us to tap into a pool of talent that is already familiar with our industry’s demands and dynamics.
David Rubie-Todd, Co-Founder and Marketing Head, Sticker It

12. Implement Reverse Mentorship Luncheons

In our company, we follow one unconventional way to recruit fresh talent, and that’s through Reverse Mentorship Luncheons. In this way, a professional spends time with potential recruits for informal, knowledge-sharing meals. Under this unconventional approach, we have the chance to flip the traditional mentorship dynamic while letting us gain insights into the evolving ideas of upcoming talents. This method works as a two-way learning street in which experienced minds benefit from the latest trends and innovative ideas brought in by the next generation. This way of recruiting ensures a symbiotic relationship, while continuously exchanging wisdom and innovation within our company.
Faizan Khan, Public Relations and Content Marketing Specialist, Ubuy Australia

13. Forge Connections with Local Law Firms

A highly effective approach to recruiting fresh talent is forging strong connections with local law firms. By establishing collaborative relationships with neighboring firms, we create a network where talent can seamlessly flow between organizations. Through this pooling of resources and expertise, we can identify promising individuals who may be seeking new opportunities or career advancement. This approach not only expands our talent pool but also fosters a sense of community within the legal profession, where professionals can support and empower each other’s growth. By welcoming talented individuals from other firms, we enrich our team with diverse perspectives and experiences, enhancing our ability to provide comprehensive and innovative legal services to our clients.
Steve Jensen, Attorney, Parker & McConkie


There are lots of ways to be creative with recruiting, but often it comes down to knowing your candidates, where they hang out, what they read, what they are interested in, and then making it easy for them to apply and move through the recruiting process.