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How to Source (and Engage) More Qualified Candidates


Finding the most qualified candidates through passive recruiting activities is perpetually atop the to-do list for many small business talent acquisition teams today. And for good reason.

Without a long-term, dedicated strategy for identifying and reaching out to top talent — one that’s regularly analyzed and improved over time — recruiting orgs at SMBs will find it difficult to build a repeatable and sustainable sourcing engine that makes their jobs far easier to execute.

Tips to help you find more qualified candidates

Whether you’re trying to attract more active job seekers and get them to apply for positions or focused on finding passive prospects across social media and career communities, one thing’s certain:

  • Your TA team must routinely assess your collective efforts to connect with qualified candidates — and take the necessary action, based on your data, to improve your performance.

The good news is we’ve collected a number of helpful insights from industry experts. So, use these tips and tricks to elevate your performance as it pertains to pinpointing premier qualified candidates.

passive recruiting

Consider tapping into popular online forums

For a lot of niche roles and positions that require high levels of expertise, recruiters sometimes turn to community-based forums on platforms like Reddit, Quora, and Slack in their hiring process.

While it may seem counter-intuitive, as these communities have a much smaller user base as compared to other platforms (say, Facebook), you can easily find extremely talented, skilled, and enthusiastic individuals who really know their work.

Larger platforms tend to attract all sorts of applications, much like any job portal, but these small interest-based communities have concentrations of all kinds of talent.

Joe Flanagan, VelvetJobs

Look into recent graduates with lots of accolades

Typically when a company has a position available, more often than not, they will list qualified candidates as needing to have at least a couple of years of experience.

This disqualifies a huge pool of employees that could turn out to be some of your best.

Sure they may not have the most experience in every area you’re looking for, but what you will be getting is an employee who is excited to be getting their first job out of college.

These potentially qualified job candidates will have a passion and readiness to utilize their new skills and will be able to quickly adapt to the role and the needs of your company.

Tom Mumford, Undergrads

Sift through second-degree LinkedIn connections

Finding candidates through second-degree LinkedIn connections achieves two goals at the same time. Firstly, having a common friend or business contact adds trust and mitigates risk.

Secondly, if that person was brought to you by Linkedin’s recommendations, their profile likely matches your interest. Their skills may be related to what you were looking for, or perhaps they have the same background as three colleagues that are already in your team.

Michael Sena, Senacea

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Check out some community-centric job boards

Use your online community groups to post your open positions. The community groups can range from local groups to high-end industry groups. No matter how small those groups may be, they will come in handy. Qualified candidates are usually right under your nose.

Olivia Young, Conscious Items

Explore opportunities in niche hobby communities

Niche online forums and communities are a treasure trove when it comes to looking for qualified candidates. Such spaces usually bring together individuals with similar skills and interests.

It’s easy to ID the most interesting profiles on these platforms. Perhaps you can look at the ones with the most helpful responses to questions asked about particular industry-related problems.

You can also use keywords to search the platform and identify profiles that stand out. You can then reach out to the individuals to see whether they would be interested in interviewing for the role you want to fill.

Gregory Rozdeba, Dundas Life

Recruit on the biggest social media platforms

Leveraging your online audience to find the right talent is not only a great strategy, but it’s a lot more cost-effective than traditional marketing. For the most part, people spend a lot of their time on social media, so updates are hard to miss out on.

And secondly, if your job post is witty and well-crafted, then your audience will share it, effectively doing the marketing for you. It helps you tap into a pool of passive candidates that may be just what you’re looking for.

Philipp Zeiske, Zeitholz Watches

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Turn to Fiverr for project-based hiring needs

As a small company, sometimes you need to take a strategic and unique approach to find qualified candidates. As such, one of my favorite places to search for subject matter experts is Fiverr.

Indeed, as a website that provides ratings, feedback, and past experiences/results, Fiverr is an excellent way to test out new candidates on a project basis and then bring them on full-time if they meet your expectations.

Plus, with accessible prices and the proliferation of the remote workplace, Fiverr is a sustainable option that can be utilized in both the long and short term.

Lucas Nudel, Pride Palace

Review internal talent already at your business

You don’t always know when a current team member wants to expand the scope of their job or is interested in learning new skills. Trying a new position is an opportunity for employees to learn and grow.

It’s not always easy to know when an employee feels they have outgrown their role; often, they aren’t even aware of it. Offering them new opportunities is a way to open new doors they didn’t even realize they were looking for.

Nicholas Vasiliou, BioHealth Nutrition

Seek out virtual hackathon attendees

Hackathons are a fun and creative way of not only meeting prospective candidates but also watching them demonstrate their skills right in front of you. The concept is simple — you create a series of different challenges and watch as professionals huddle together and solve each problem.

This method works best for tech jobs, but you could look into virtual events for other industries as well.

Demi Yilmaz,

The best way to identify, engage, and convert qualified candidates? Use a ATS with built-in sourcing, nurturing, and analytics capabilities — like JazzHR. Learn more about our recruiting software today.

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