6 Creative Recruiting Tactics to Source and Attract FANTASTIC CANDIDATES!

Just like Newt Scamander, the leading character in the “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”, finds it extremely hard to track down the magical beasts that he’s so passionate about, recruiters face the very same struggle identifying fantastic candidates.

While it’s possible to have great candidates applying for open positions, the number of such candidates is not merely enough to cover effectively, all the vacancies an organization may have. The reason for this lies in how recruiting works: an organizational need arises, it’s being communicated to the public, applications are gathered, then evaluated and candidates who pass the screening are assessed and selected. This process leads us to a conclusion, that the quality and size of the candidate pool is dependable on the number of people that see the job ad and decide to apply.

This, of course, leaves out of picture all those fitting and fantastic candidates that have not applied, either because they were unaware of the opening or because they were too busy or satisfied with their current job. These candidates are called passive, and according to the LinkedIn Talent Trends 2015 reportthey account for the 70% of fully employed global respondents of LinkedIn’s study.

The same issue is mentioned in Lou Adler’sThe Essential Guide for Hiring & Getting Hired:

Most companies still spend most of their resources and efforts targeting the 17% of candidates who are actively looking, yet all want to hire the 83% who aren’t”. Adler’s stats are based on an older study, conducted in 2011. Later studies, like the one mentioned before, show lower rates of passive candidates, which explains the difference.

So, it becomes evident, that recruiters have to go beyond just publishing a job ad, if they want to tap into the entire talent pool, meaning both active and passive candidates, that exist out there. Which is why, I’ll be sharing 6 creative ways of finding these truly special, fantastic beasts. Oops, I meant to say, candidates…


Barbara Bruno, Sales & Recruiter Trainer, in her online course “Niche Recruiting”, suggests asking high performing candidates a very simple question (paraphrased):

Is there anyone in your professional network, a former coworker for example, that would be a good fit for “THIS” role?

Where’s the value in this question? Well, imagine talking to a superstar candidate, that has just dropped the bomb, that she would like to withdraw her candidacy, or you expect her to do so, due to the salary restriction you may have. This leaves you in a pickle there… So, why not giving it a shot and asking the question.

Considering that people tend to hang out with similar to themselves individuals, it’s likely that a great candidate may be able to introduce you to additional, equally exceptional, candidates. Which is why exploring other candidates’ professional network, is awesome recruiting advice. So thanks, Barbara!


Communities, whether online or not, are a great source of candidates. In communities recruiters can find a group of people, sharing a common passion or career orientation. This makes it a lot easier to recruit for similar openings, since the pool is already there, waiting for you to reach out.

Such communities may be LinkedIn Groups, which can be found by using the search bar, the platform provides on the top left corner. All you have to do is to type the field you’re interested in, hit search, select more and then filter by Group. This video will help you out with this.

Another type of communities are sites containing work samples of potential candidates. Github, for example, is a well-known place to find developers, as that’s the place these professionals use to share their work with other developers or even recruiters and companies, when requested in recruiting process.

Other, similar to Github sites, are BehanceCarbonmade, and Dribble  for Designers and CodilityDevskiller, and Hackerrank for Engineers

Finally, the last trick you can use on LinkedIn, in order to find quickly candidates, is to search a keyword and then filter by content. This will give you a quick glance on related to your position content, and most importantly, the people that created it and those who interacted with the content (comments). Having a quick read through some comments on a post gives some insights on the expertise the commenters have, not to mention access to their profile. Given that the subject of the post is related to the position you’re trying to fill.


Every subject you can think of has at least a couple of people who are considered experts in it. So, my advice to you, is to find subject matter experts that are related to the positions you usually recruit and start following them on LinkedIn. These experts, not only will improve tremendously your newsfeed, but they will also open the gate to candidates who follow them online. Imagine it, as small (or nor so small sometimes) communities around various experts.

The good thing about the candidates you find this way is that they are interested enough in their field, to identify these experts and probably well informed about the latest developments in their respective fields, as a result of following these experts! Don’t know about you, but for me, as a recruiter, such behavior communicates strong motivation, which is a vital element for any high performing employee.

To help you identify these subject matter experts, below you may find LinkedIn’s Top Voice for 2018 for various domains. According to Daniel Roth, Editor in Chief at LinkedIn, the people in these lists:

… are the professionals who, by sharing their unique insights, spark the kind of conversations that make everyone better informed.

Discover the Most Influential Experts in TechnologyData Science & Analytics, Startups & EntrepreneurshipMarketing & Social MediaEconomy & FinanceManagement & WorkplaceSales


Guess what is the common thread, connecting many top-nautch recruitersThey all have a strong personal brand! Don’t believe me? See for yourself:

I encourage you to explore the LinkedIn profiles of Laura MazzulloIhsan Mert and Adam Treitler, who have successfully built a strong professional brand by sharing recruiting & HR tips and their personal experiences and are now leveraging the benefits of it. Additionally, be aware of what to avoid doing, while building your personal brand on social media.

Now, you may be wondering what’s the benefit – I keep mentioning – of having a strong personal brand as a recruiter. While there are many advantages of having one, it all boils down to one simple thing:

Strong branding in recruiting attracts more candidates, who wouldn’t otherwise be aware of the opportunities you are able to offer them.

Remember that 70% of candidates, not interested in your job ad? Well, a recognized recruiter can tap into that unexploited talent pool much easier than other recruiters, who haven’t done anything for their professional brand.                                                                          

Why reach hundreds of people if you can reach thousands?

asks himself Hishem Azzouz in a blog. After realizing his phygital (physical and digital) limitation, Hishem arrived to a realization regarding the advantages of branding:

If I can create content and distribute it online, the amount of people I can reach is 100X. I can share one post online and reach thousands of potential candidates/clients.


An HR professor once told us:

HR is NOT exclusively practiced by HR professional. It is practiced to a great extent by line managers as well.

While there’s a whole philosophy behind this, introduced by David Ulrich, the thing that you need to remember is that line managers could constitute a tremendous help in your recruiting efforts. Candidates grave to get to know the managers of the companies they are applying at. They are not interested in fancy HR videos and stories. Candidates want the real stuff.

As a matter of fact, candidates want to see videos of hiring managers 2.5x more often than company overviews and 10x more often than an HR message according to a 2017 Video and the Candidate Experience Study

So, make sure to help and encourage your line managers to build their personal brand and support them in communicating it effectively both online (LinkedIn) and offline (career events, conferences, etc.), providing them with ample opportunities to do so.

While there are various ways of utilizing your managers’ expertise in recruiting context, my personal favorite example comes from Netflix.

It’s absolutely genius, what these people did right there!

They took an example of a line manager, Wendy, who was given the opportunity (communicates – indirectly – the willingness of Netflix to support Wendy and other employees subsequently in such decisions) to transition to a different field; who made it and who is now looking for a new member for her team. Netflix turned a traditionally boring job post into a personal story, built around a strong figure who “happens to be” the manager of the position the company is hiring for. If this isn’t the most clever job post, I don’t know what is…


In 2004, Google used an interesting recruiting tactic to entice curious minds to apply. On Highway 101 in Silicon Valley, the company placed a billboard that had only these giant words:

No alt text provided for this image

Those who solved the puzzle and went to, where they were invited to apply to Google.

While this recruiting activity wasn’t very effective as Laszlo Bock, former SVP. of People Operation at Google stated in “Work Rules”, it constitutes a great example of what a company can do, in order to drive traffic to its career site.

If you became excited and want to try similar recruiting activities, have in mind that they must be aligned with your recruiting and employer branding strategy. Google’s goal was to attract curious minds, who are clever enough to solve the puzzle. If creativity and problem-solving are not the main drivers of success in your industry, then such activities may not be very effective for your company.


So, if the billboard is not your cup of tea, then invest in nurturing and communicating a compelling Employee Value Proposition & Employer Branding, which will allow you to unlock the talent pool you want to tap into. While this may take some time and resources, you’ll ultimately build a brand, potentially capable of shifting the mind of that 70% by making them search for the career opportunities offered by your organization.

Fantastic “beasts” are everywhere…

except for the places we’re looking at, which are usually our ATS or Job Board Account… We just have to explore their natural habitat and the places they hang out and use the “bait” they find most compelling. 


If you enjoyed reading this article, then you may also enjoy: AGILE RECRUITING WILL MAKE YOU FORGET EVERYTHING YOU KNOW ABOUT RECRUITING

Recruiting is a topic dear to my heart, so I really hope to have helped you in a way. Share your thoughts in the comments section below, as I learn just as much from you as you do from me and make sure you don’t miss my future posts by following me on LinkedIn. Finally, if you’d like to get in touch, my email is or you can message me on LinkedIn.

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