Creative ways to source talent

While the talent markets might have bounced back from where they were 12 months ago, there’s no doubt that the last 3 years have forced us to think creatively about our sourcing strategies.

We all know the standard protocols and tools when it comes to sourcing talent. But what if we want to look beyond the job boards and try something different?

We reached out to 5 TA professionals from varying industries to find out the most creative sourcing methods they’re employing right now. From referral programs and rewarding teamwork through to industry networking events and cartwheels, here are some of the more creative approaches being used to attract top talent right now.

Have fun with video

Anna Hodges, Chapter Lead, Talent Acquisition @ Woolworths

Video content has been my go-to strategy to source talent for my own Talent team. At the end of last year I did a selfie-video which was a bit “Blair Witch Project” (not in content, but definitely in the videography!) walking through our Surry Hills office and sharing with my audience our need for a new Talent Acquisition Partner for my team. The post had over 13,000 views and over 140 reactions, and I ended up securing someone straight from the LinkedIn post! I also promised to cartwheel if I found someone via that channel, so of course I was at my cartwheeling finest only a few weeks afterward.

Our team has been using video content more and more when sharing job opportunities lately – whether it be an interview with a Hiring Manager, a walk-through of a Supermarket or Big W store showing how a particular job opportunity might impact us all as customers, or speaking with our alumni graduates to share their story. These have been a great way to turn a job advert into an engaging, authentic piece of content for a broader audience to consume.

Get back to basics

Steve Scannell, Senior Resourcing Adviser @ New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade

It’s not super creative but the basics work, spending time with candidates calling them up telling them about the organisation and the role connecting with them and getting them excited about a role.  Technology is great but nothing beats a conversation.

Make use of employee referrals

Alison Heller, Talent Acquisition Partner @ Simplot

We ask hiring managers to speak with their teams and ask for referrals, especially for our sites in regional locations.

We have a Talent Referral “bonus” policy where if a team member refers a candidate, they can receive either (1) a $100 gift card if their referred candidate progresses to interview or (2) a $2,000 bonus (paid to their bank account) if their referred candidate is offered employment.

We use SAP SuccessFactors as our ATS and inbuilt in the Recruitment module is how we capture formal referrals.

However, I also speak with my hiring managers about asking for referrals within their teams – as not everyone is viewing our internal vacancies and using the formal method of referring via SAP.

I work on a lot of regional roles (as our 5 manufacturing plants are all regionally located) and recently had to recruit 2 experienced project managers for our Bathurst plant in NSW.  I had assisted with the recruitment of the start-up project team around 18 months ago and it was difficult. Now to add to the team two further project managers, I asked the Capital Project Manager to speak with his team.  Our two placements both came from referrals – I didn’t advertise the roles at all!  This was very successful for us, and was completed with a short turnaround to offer and new team members on-the-ground.

Connecting with industry networks

Alisha Hook, Talent Acquisition Lead @ CareSuper

Take advantage of any industry network partners you have or can create in your category. In Superannuation we ensure we utilise the reach of Women in Super and AIST. I recently attended a NextGen Super Networking event, aimed at developing CV Diversity. It was a great way to connect with experienced colleagues in super and new entrants to the industry looking to widen their knowledge. This can open up new talent. But remember to give back too, I recommend being generous with your time, expertise and be prepared to learn from everyone no matter what their position or years in the industry.

We’ve also combined recruitment marketing efforts in a coordinated approach. An example of this was following the advertised job ad we ran carefully crafted LinkedIn posts to capture the culture of the hiring manager and the team, benefits of life at CareSuper and a honest picture of some of the work they might do. These posts featured on individual LinkedIn feeds including the hiring manager and the talent partner to tell a story rather than simply advertising “ we are looking for”. Granted it can be difficult to know the full impact of these efforts, but we recently had used this approach and had over 100 (mostly relevant 😊) applicants to a potentially hard to fill role.

Personalising the Talent Attraction Process

Ranj Pillai, Head of Talent Acquisition, Asia Pacific @ Maltem

At Maltem we don’t post our jobs on job boards or mass market our jobs. We simply hire great recruiters who then headhunt and personalise the talent attraction process.

Our jobs are always linked to the recruiters working them, so there is always a way to get in touch with us as well as our heads of practice should they have a question.

We are visible and transparent and don’t have the complex hierarchy which can at times be an obstacle to getting great talent through the door fast.

We also utilise and build our talent pool through effective tagging methods and ensure we engage with our talent community often, as new roles pop up. Key to this is to effectively utilise our own great talent, our employees, to attract more amazing talent. Our employee referral incentives are very attractive and paid as soon as someone is hired so the incentive feels real and encourages the right behaviour.

Being a consultancy, we remain well networked to ensure we target the right person for the role and don’t waste everyone’s time, keeping them hanging.

Lastly, something a little different in the industry, we have a favourable rewards system for our recruiters, not only do they get a team bonus at the end of the year for all their hard work in these challenging time, but we also offer per hire bonuses as well as a shared bonus, with a colleague, if they help them secure a hire ( this helps with creating a collaborative team and avoid anti- competitive behaviour), on top of this, we also give them 4 weeks to work from anywhere in the world, incredible flexibility to do their best work their way!

It’s really helped to keep everyone motivated, balance their work/life and create a real sense of belonging but also they can see the impact they are making to the bottom line.

Have we missed anything? What creative methods are you using to source candidates right now? Tell us in the comments below or email us.

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