Looking to hire top talent for your company? You could simply rely on posting opportunities to a job board, but then you’ll have to wade through piles of resumes to get to the qualified candidates. Traditional hiring methods are useful to a certain extent, but if you’re looking to stay ahead of the curve in your industry, there’s a better, more purposeful way to search by tapping into hidden talent pools.
Think about it: If candidates are encouraged to network beyond their resume and cover letter, shouldn’t employers do the same? Just as marketers study demographics to better reach their target audiences, employers should identify where their potential employees are and how best to reach them—especially those who aren’t in plain sight.
Here are seven hidden talent pools and how to dive into them for your hiring needs:
- Stay-at-home moms and dads. This demographic craves the opportunity to work hard while being available to raise their family. If yours is a company that offers a flexible work environment, make certain you’re effectively marketing to the work-from-home talent pool. While some employers use the allure of kegorators and lunchtime dodgeball leagues to get employees into the office, there are plenty of experienced candidates willing to forgo it all for the big-time perk of a home office.
- When these hard-working men and women come back stateside from their tours of duty, they want to continue their hard work in fulfilling careers as civilians. Here’s where you’ll want to broaden your search geographically as much as possible. After all, the military is known for frequent relocation, so you should think that qualified candidates would be willing to once again move for a promising opportunity with your company. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic, the unemployment rate for Veterans was down 5.1% in 2016, showing that more companies are realizing this hidden talent pool has talent.
- A Career Builder study reported one-third of employers are looking to hire immigrants in 2017. About half of IT companies are recruiting immigrant talent, while financial services (38 percent), professional and business services (37 percent), manufacturing (30 percent), transportation (30 percent), health care (21 percent), and retail (18 percent) are following suit. If your company falls into one of these categories—and even if it does not—consider how hiring immigrants, many of whom are multilingual, can positively affect your bottom line.
- Disabled individuals. A diverse workforce extends to include those who have visible or invisible disabilities. By hosting virtual career fairs, you make it easier for physically disabled candidates to disclose their disabilities and focus instead on their qualifications for the jobs you are offering. We still have quite a ways to go in hiring disabled individuals, but companies who already do reap the benefits of loyal employees.
- Company alumni. It used to be that people stayed at a company for much of their career. These days, career hopping is the norm—and so is returning to a company. Boomerang employees is a trend that’s not going away anytime soon, nor do employers want it to. If you’ve ever had a good employee leave, think about how happy you’d be to see him or her come back a couple of years later, wiser and with more experience. Bonus: Onboarding the second time around is likely to be quicker and pain-free with returning employees.
- Word of mouth. This method is not only a good way to find new talent, it’s also an excellent opportunity to find out how engaged your workforce is. It’s simple: If your staff enjoys working at your company, they will be more likely to want friends and acquaintances to join them on the job. By recruiting this way, you’re more apt to create a congenial atmosphere because there are people who already know the incoming candidates.
- Social media. Tech savvy job seekers know their next opportunity might be out there online, but not necessarily on a job board. Instead, they’re looking to Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Social media is about building relationships, so why not start building those relationships early and often with job candidates?
No offense to job boards, but they’re just a part of the big picture when it comes to hiring talent. By taking a multipronged—or pooled, as it were—approach to your recruiting, you will find more qualified candidates who are looking to work for employers just like you.
A version of this was first posted on huffingtonpost.com