6 Unlikely Places to Find Your Next Great Employee

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Welcome to Recruiter Q&A, where we pose employment-related questions to the experts and share their answers! Have a question you’d like to ask? Leave it in the comments, and you might just see it in the next installment of Recruiter Q&A!

This Week’s Question: We all know about the major talent sources: job boards, social media, employee referral programs, etc., etc. But what about the lesser-known talent sources, the places most of us would never think to look? Tell us about the most unlikely places (and ways) in which you’ve found a candidate who went on to become a great member of your team!

Diana1. At Industry Meetups

We have a good network in NYC, but when we decided to open another office location in Toronto, Ontario, we realized we needed to develop deeper community roots. We established the ILoveMarketing Toronto meetup group on Meetup.com, and within six months, we found three like-minded, highly qualified and motivated members to join our team in Toronto!

Meetup.com is an untapped source for recruiting. Under the guise of common interests, you really get the chance to meet, mingle with, and qualify community members — and, ultimately, approach them to offer fitting opportunities.

Diana Santaguida, SEOcial  

Millie2. Through an Article

Recently, I was quoted in the very last sentence of this story about needing a graphic designer — and now I have a fantastic designer with a bunch of other applicable skills that I can’t imagine having advertised for in one single individual!

The best parts of the story are:

1. Nicky’s aunt read the story and forwarded to her.
2. Nicky did a bit of LinkedIn stalking and saw that I was connected to
her former employer and asked for an intro.
3. I interviewed her by Skype from California.
4. Seven days later, she was sitting in a chair in the Wellington (New
Zealand) development office.

Next week will be the first time I’ve actually met her in person.

Millie Jocelyn, Showcase Workshop  

Rikka3. While Shopping for a Mattress

One of my most unexpected and rewarding hires came when my husband and I were shopping for a new mattress. Our sales associate was amazing. She knew when to approach us and answer questions and when to leave us alone. After about a 30-minute process, my husband (an IT guy) said, ‘Wow! She is great! She hasn’t bugged me once yet!’

I knew then I had to try to recruit her. So, as we finished up the paperwork, I said, ‘You’re great at selling furniture, but I bet you’d be even better as a recruiter. Give me
a call if you want to talk more about it.’

Four hours later, she called me up. We worked together for years and are still great friends. As a bonus, the mattress was an excellent choice, too — but the best deal of that day was a great employee and friend.

Rikka Brandon, RikkaBrandon.com  

Barry Maher4. At My Front Door

As someone who’s consulted on hundreds of hires, I have to say the most unlikely place I’ve ever found a great employee was at my front door. And that’s what I tell the small-business people I work with: the people you deal with in your business, those who are excellent at earning your business and keeping it, can also become great employees. If their current employer doesn’t appreciate them or doesn’t see their potential, you do. And that can benefit you and them.

Barry Maher, Barry Maher & Associates  

Miles5. In My Own Backyard — Literally

My kids play with their neighborhood friends, and sometimes the parents will come over to gather up their kids for dinner or something. I’ve hired two people because of getting to know parents through my kids. Remember to use your personal network — as well as your professional network — when it comes to hiring.

Miles Jennings, Recruiter.com  

Steve6. Right in My Own Store

My best employees have been my customers. This has now become the first place we look.

We sell audio equipment to bands, bars, DJs, churches, schools, etc. Our customers tend to know pro audio. They now the challenges a musician faces — and therefore make some of the best employees.

Plus, they get to work in field that would normally just be a hobby or side money for them. To date, I have 16 employees, and 8 of them were customers before they were employees. They are still customers, but now they get to benefit from an employee discount.

Steve Acree, Seismic Audio Speakers  

By Recruiter Q&A