BoxYou’ve screened the applicants, held the interviews, and given company tours. And yet, finding a quality candidate to fill your position still feels like an uphill battle. You’re not alone: 75 percent of business and HR leaders say they are struggling to attract and recruit the top talent they need.

Sometimes, the basic recruiting techniques can seem a little … bland. Spicing up the recipe with techniques you haven’t tried before can breathe new life into your recruitment process — and maybe make it a little easier and more effective. These three ideas will help you take a fresh and innovative approach to your recruiting cycle this year.

1. Group Events

One-on-one interviews can be intimidating and often awkward, for both the interviewer and the interviewee. A good alternative to the one-on-one interview would be a panel interview or a group meeting. Lou Adler, creator of the “Performance-based Hiring” method,” wrote last year about the benefits of the panel interview:

“Candidates get a chance to better understand the job and how potential future coworkers interact. The best people want to work with liked-minded professionals. A well-organized, professional panel interview provides this added benefit.”

Group meetings can be the relaxed and more personal alternative to starchy interviews. In the context of team interactions, interviewers can better assess a candidate’s interpersonal skills.

Consulting firm Gendreau Group agrees with Adler that group settings are better than traditional interviews:

“Based on our 25+ years of hiring, managing, and consulting experience, we have found that organizations that use a team approach to interviewing and candidate selection tend to make much smarter hiring decisions than when decisions are made by individual managers based on one-on-one interviews.”

Holding a group interview event also acts as another round of screening. Who showed up? Automatically weed out the not-so-serious candidates by checking the attendance list.

2. Non-Traditional Media

Using marketing, advertising, and social tools to reflect your employer brand is paramount in an economy in which 45 percent of workers will jump ship for a new job even though they are happy in their current position. Use channels creatively to disseminate on-brand messaging about what you want and what you can prodive to the talent market

Take a tip from Swedish furniture colossus IKEA: when company needed hundreds of employees to staff a new store in Australia, it carried out an impressively lean and effective marketing campaign. The company created a set of “career instructions,” which it placed inside of some of its furniture packaging. Customers would get home, open the package, read the directions, read the job description, get a new table, and get a new job — a simple, uncomplicated way to reach candidates who may or may not be looking for a new job. Watch how IKEA planted its secret job descriptions here.

Plucking passive candidates can be fruitful, as it shows talent that you are serious about pursuing them. An article from Business Insider describes the case of video game company Red 5 Studios, “which handpicked 100 ideal candidates and got to ‘know’ them by researching their social media profiles and past work. The startup then sent each one a personalized iPod equipped with a welcome from the CEO.’

Putting in the effort to make passive candidates feel special can go a long way.

3. Use Your People

Large quantities of qualified candidates may be sitting in a worthless limbo — your files. Past applicants who made it through the recruiting process but did not get hired for one small reason or another may still be available. Countless numbers of qualified and hirable candidates are passed over because timelines simply don’t match up.

Are you having trouble filling certain positions? Go back into the archives and dust off top applicants from past cycles who were not hired. You may be surprised at the wealth of talent lurking there.

Employee referrals continue to be one of the best sources of great candidates. Your current employees know the company culture and know who would fit and who wouldn’t. Sometimes, that’s what really matters: not work experience, but a candidate’s personality and ability to fit in with the company culture. According to Business insider, the director of talent acquisition at Quicken Loans told the New York Times that “[t]oo many companies focus on industry experience when they recruit … We can teach people about finance. We can’t teach passion, urgency[,] and a willingness to go the extra mile.”

Current employees know best of all who from their networks would fit in. Have a successful referral hire? Take an extra step and publicize it. Compensating employees for referring successful candidates is great, but also giving them a shout-out in the quarterly newsletter can make them feel extra appreciated and motivate other employees to participate in referral programs as well.

Thinking outside the box can bring an out-of-touch recruiting process into relevance. Try bringing applicants together in group settings to survey team chemistry. Find candidates in weird places by using social channels and advertising to expand your scope. Dive again into your resume bank to see who may have gotten looked over. You never know who might be just around the corner.

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