12 Recruitment Methods To Attract Top Candidates

Tag icon

The current labor market is presenting organizations with unprecedented hiring challenges. With unemployment rates at record lows, there are almost two job openings for every one unemployed individual.

When you consider the millions of workers walking away from their jobs in the Great Resignation, it becomes clear that something has to give if employers want to find and keep great employees. Sticking with the status quo in your recruitment process may not be enough to attract top talent to your organization.

The good news? There are many recruitment tactics, and—depending on your organization, industry, and goals—the right combination can help you reach and attract candidates.

Read on for a roundup of 12 powerful methods for optimizing your recruitment and talent acquisition strategies.

1) Promote within your organization

While great talent is hard to find, many recruiters have a ready-made pool of qualified candidates at their fingertips. We’re talking about their organization’s existing employees. 

Internal recruitment has many advantages. One of the top reasons U.S. workers left jobs in 2021 was due to a lack of opportunities for advancement. Promoting from within demonstrates a company’s commitment to creating career advancement opportunities.

At a time when “fit” is increasingly important for organizations and employees alike, hiring internally mitigates the risk of poor fit. However, like any recruiting strategy, there are pros and cons to internal recruitment:


  • Shorter hiring time
  • Shorter onboarding process
  • Fewer costs (advertising, relocation fees, background checks, etc.)
  • Better employee engagement and morale


  • Risks resentment between internal candidates
  • Creates a new vacancy
  • Gives access to a very limited candidate pool
  • Leads to stagnancy (perspectives, company culture, etc.)

2) Share your job postings on job boards

When the first job boards debuted in the mid-1990s, they transformed the hiring process by creating an easy and convenient place for candidates and employers to find each other. But do they still deliver in an era of flashier recruitment methods like social media? 

While there are some downsides to using job boards, experts largely agree that they’re still a valuable resource. Nowadays, online job boards still serve as a convenient way to connect employers and job seekers. Companies may do well to utilize niche job boards for specialized positions based on factors like industry, level, type of work, etc.


  • Provides access to a large audience
  • Gives candidates and recruiters 24/7 accessibility
  • Simplifies the process for recruiters and candidates
  • Presents opportunity to showcase your brand
  • Allows flexibility for better job descriptions


  • Leads to a barrage of applications
  • Attracts unqualified candidates
  • Disregards passive candidates

3) Advertise job openings at a college or job fair

College job fairs are a rite of passage for many students looking to find work after earning their degrees, but are they really effective recruitment tools for organizations?

In many cases, the answer to this question is “yes.” College job fairs can be excellent places for companies to access potential employees eager for work who can fill entry-level positions. (For more advanced or industry-specific positions, industry job fairs and expos may be more appropriate.)

Virtual job fairs emerged during COVID, and offer similar pros and cons as in-person job fairs, though there are some marked differences. For example, while virtual job fairs may be more cost-effective and typically have higher attendance than in-person events, meeting candidates online may not be as effective as meeting them in person.


  • Reaches a wide selection of candidates
  • Increases brand awareness as an employer
  • Helps build a talent pipeline
  • Enables access to other recruiters and organizations


  • Expensive in-person events (participation fee, materials, travel, and lodging for your staff)
  • Results not guaranteed
  • Time-consuming

4) Advertise directly

Traditional “Help Wanted” ads still have a place in modern recruiting. Known as direct advertising, this technique refers to adverts placed in newspapers, industry publications, and physical job boards.


  • Exposes your business to qualified candidates that aren’t active online
  • Provides access to a specific geographic audience
  • Builds brand familiarity


  • Interrupts current staff during working hours
  • Relies on good ad placement to draw in qualified applicants
  • Attracts fewer passive candidates

5) Tap into talent pool databases

What if you have two perfect candidates for a single opening or an excellent candidate who may not be right for any of your organization’s current openings? This is where talent pool databases come in.

Recruiters maintain talent pools—also called “talent networks”—of candidates sourced from past applications, job events, and other activities. These pools act as  excellent recruitment tools for keeping good candidates engaged with your company. Recruiters can reach out to potential candidates from the pool when new openings arise, and select the best talent for further consideration.  


  • Provides a prescreened pool of qualified candidates
  • Offers a more positive candidate experience
  • Reduces hiring time
  • Lowers the cost of hiring


  • Becomes inefficient due to changing business and candidate needs
  • Requires a proactive approach or the use of automation
  • Results in poor candidate experiences (without proper and relevant engagement)

6) Leverage artificial intelligence (AI)

The ultimate goal of recruiters isn’t just to fill open positions. It’s also to do so efficiently and effectively. While AI won’t ever replace humans for recruitment, it offers powerful tools for achieving these objectives. 

From interview scheduling to screening resumes for keywords, AI and recruitment automation give recruiters more time to focus on relationship building and candidate experience improvement.


  • Improves quality and objectivity of the hiring process
  • Optimizes job ads and postings to attract the right candidates
  • Reduces risk of overlooking qualified candidates who fail to use the “right” keywords
  • Saves time and fills positions faster
  • Improves communication, candidate experiences, and employer branding
  • Provides real-time metrics and analytics


  • Incorporates automatic biases into the selection process
  • Increases risk of error due to incorrect or insufficient data input
  • Feels impersonal to some candidates

7) Utilize social channels

Social media recruitment (also referred to as “social hiring” or “social recruiting”) refers to using social platforms to identify, engage, and evaluate potential job candidates. Given the prevalence of these networks (more than 70% of Americans are using some form of social media), the increased use of social recruiting makes sense.

In fact, social media recruiting on platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and company blogs tops the list of today’s most-used hiring tactics. More than 90% of employers use social and professional networks to recruit top talent, according to CareerArc’s 2021 Future of Recruiting Study.


  • More efficient than using online job boards alone (according to one study, social recruiting can trim hiring timeline in half
  • Deeper insight into candidate personalities and intelligence
  • Easier information verification
  • More diverse candidate pool


  • Increases risk of inaccurate or incomplete information
  • Increases the chance of bias
  • Requires knowledge of ever-changing best practices
  • Involves a learning curve

8) Recruit passive candidates

Passive candidates are eligible candidates who aren’t actively seeking a new job or are currently employed. 

Passive candidates are an untapped resource for recruiters. Recruiting this group involves proactively locating qualified candidates—such as through networking or social media profiles—and reaching out to them. While these candidates may be uniquely desirable for frontline positions, they can also be especially challenging to recruit—especially if they’re satisfied with their current jobs.


  • More experience and proven job skills
  • Less hiring competition from other companies
  • Less pressure leads to greater candidate authenticity


  • More upfront work involved in research and identify
  • Harder to engage due to lack of active interest
  • More expensive or time-consuming if they counter your offer

9) Opt for video interviews

COVID changed how we live and work. It also changed how we hire. While the pandemic has abated, it left behind many new ways of living and working. The use of telecommunication is now a regular part of our daily lives. 

Many companies, especially those that are high-volume recruiters, are leveraging video calls for interviewing talent. These interviews can be either live or pre-recorded, and can include one or more company representatives (including team members and other key stakeholders).


  • Time- and money-saving for both parties
  • Simple to schedule
  • Ideal for candidate screening
  • Useful for assessing communication skills


  • Risks of connectivity issues, poor video quality, and other tech-related problems
  • Eliminates non-tech-savvy candidates
  • Lacks the same interpersonal connection as in-person interviews

10) Offer internships or apprenticeships that lead to full-time jobs

Internship programs can be a win-win for businesses and interns. Not only do interns bring their skills and talent to the table, but they’re also often eager to make a positive impression while bringing a fresh perspective.

For employers, another huge benefit of establishing internship programs is the chance of retaining interns as new hires. In fact, many Fortune 500 companies convert more than 80% of their interns into full-time employees.


  • Provides access to new, enthusiastic, and tech-savvy talent
  • Take some upfront work to get an internship program up and running
  • Allows the opportunity to vet for fit (for the employer and the candidate), increasing retention rates
  • Offers mentorship opportunities for current employees
  • Demonstrates commitment to career advancement opportunities


  • Requires compliance with laws regarding unpaid interns
  • Proves challenging in a worker’s market
  • Takes time and work to get a successful internship program up and running

11) Host recruiting events

Events are an excellent way to engage potential job candidates. Recruitment events (like hackathons and open houses) showcase your brand and company culture and engage interested parties.

In addition to helping recruiters identify candidates for current openings, recruitment events can help you continually build your candidate pool.


  • Attracts candidates with an interest in your organization and/or industry
  • Builds morale for current employees while positioning them as advocates and recruiters
  • Helps build a candidate pool


  • Takes significant time 
  • Risks low attendance
  • Requires administrative planning, event management, and marketing
  • Lacks real-time measurable results

12) Spread the word

Job applicants are more likely to favor companies that come highly recommended. Similarly, referrals function as prescreened candidates, which can assure employers of their quality.

Word-of-mouth referrals also let businesses harness the power of their biggest assets: their employees. Current workers are a great source of information regarding what to look for in prospective new hires, and encouraging employee referrals can show trust—which helps generate buy-in.

In fact, companies with employee advocacy strategies improve their chances of attracting high-quality candidates by 60% and retaining them by 20%.

Referrals can be so successful that many companies implement referral programs to motivate employers to participate with incentives ranging from cash to time off.


  • Turns employees into advocates
  • Helps employees feel respected and valued
  • Creates two-way trust


  • Leads to bad feelings if a referred employee isn’t hired or retained
  • Introduces bias and hamper diversity
  • Requires significant time and effort to launch and manage an employee referral program

Automate your recruiting with Emi Labs

Today’s recruiters have their work cut out for them. This is why it’s important to have a comprehensive recruitment strategy in place. In addition to utilizing the right combination of innovative recruitment methods, it’s also vital to constantly look for new ways to improve and enhance your workflow.

That’s where Emi comes in. Our frontline recruitment automation platform automates hiring processes to help managers fill roles faster—while providing high-quality candidate experiences.

Request your demo today to see how Emi can help drive hiring rates for your business.

Continue reading

Recruiting automation—for the frontline, for the future

Enhance the candidate experience by accelerating and automating high-volume hiring.
Schedule a demo
Emi provides a free demo of our recruiting automation platform