Fifteen creative ways to hire – whatever your budget

Making a great hire needn’t break the bank. Here are 15 creative ways to find the right candidate whatever your budget

We’ve devised three levels – hiring on a shoestring, hiring without breaking the bank, and hiring when the sky’s the limit – and for each of those we have five creative ideas for you to consider. As the titles suggest each is tailored to particular circumstances, so whether you’re on your own with a laptop and a mobile, or you have a dedicated team of HR professionals at your beck and call, there are hiring solutions that are right for you.

1. Hiring on a shoestring

You don’t need a big budget to find the right person for the job. So here are five low-cost ways to hire.

Talent mobility

Within your own organisation there will be employees who are looking for new challenges or eager to learn new skills. A talent mobility programme makes sure that you can identify those internal candidates, helping you to create a pipeline of potential hires long before vacancies appear.

Engage passive candidates

According to our own global research 70% of likely candidates fall into this category. That means they are employed, but not necessarily looking for a new role. However, they may well be interested if they hear about your unique benefits package or how they can improve their skills with you.

Employee referrals

LinkedIn research suggest that it takes 55 days to hire a candidate via traditional means. But if an existing employee comes forward with a potential candidate that is cut to just 29 days. A user-friendly referral programme, with appropriate incentives, can work for everyone in your organisation.

Build your brand

Once again our research shows that – even if they are unemployed – 69% of candidates would reject a job offer from a ‘bad’ employer. So having a positive brand is vital to being able to attract good candidates. There are low-cost tools that let you build a career site that highlights employees who best represent your culture and values, helping you find candidates who match that profile.

Alternative interviews

If you just ask the same questions to candidates in sterile interview room you’re missing a vital opportunity to probe a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses. So get out of the office and share a coffee in a neutral environment. Or consider a work-based simulation. You could be pleasantly surprised by what you learn.

2. Hiring without breaking the bank

You don’t need a massive budget to be more creative in your hiring. Here are five ways you can squeeze more out of your money.

Job auditions

After the initial screening bring candidates on site and set them a realistic task to test them in their likely future role. You’ll not only gain a better understanding of how they adapt to your culture, but gain more insight into how they’ll deal with the challenges of the role.

Track that applicant

The average hire process takes two to three months, while top candidates are on the market for just 10 days. So anything you can do to speed the process – through an Applicant Tracking System – ensures that you are more likely to both find and appoint those top candidates more quickly and efficiently.

Be social

Our research shows that the average job candidate has more than seven social media accounts. So having an up-to-date social media recruiting strategy is vital to attract candidates and build that all-important brand profile.

Raid your competitors

A person who already works in your industry or sector is almost certain to have the skills you’re looking for. So don’t hold back when it comes to hiring directly from a competitor.

Invest in video

In a global marketplace it makes sense to use technology so that you can interview when it best suits your candidates. These can be live or pre-recorded. Take advantage of 30-day trials to help you choose the right technology for your team.

3. Hiring when the sky’s the limit

Budget no problem? Then let your imagination fly with these five ideas.

Automated screening

If a large company receives 10,000 applications a year, and the recruiter spends just 10 seconds on each, that still means a massive 28 hours a year just screening applications. And most people are going to spend a lot more than 10 seconds screening out the bad from the good. So it makes sense to automate the process as much as possible. There are plenty of products out there to automate every stage of the process, from pre-screening to arranging suitable interview dates for the right candidates.

Think TV

If you only use media seen by active candidates then you’re missing out on a vast number of other potential applicants. TV may seem like a wild idea, but according to the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) TV is the most highly-effective media. And it’s not just applicants – awareness and affinity with your brand are also key measures likely to be boosted by TV advertising.

Embrace AI

From removing unconscious bias to chatbots that can asses soft skills, artificial intelligence is with us right now when it comes to hiring. There are products for every stage of the process and many are already in common use.

Go virtual

As well as showing candidates that you’re at the cutting edge of technological innovation, virtual reality (VR) tools have a practical application in hiring. From setting technical tasks for candidates to master, to tours of the office where they’ll be working, VR is already set to become a major tool for recruiters.

Fun and games

Games are not just for personal enjoyment. In the office they can also be used to set challenges for candidates and assess how they respond. It’s a great way to showcase your culture as well as assess soft skills.

When you’re hiring your ambition should not be constrained by your budget. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be. Technology is a great leveller, with solutions which can be utilised by businesses both large and small. If money is no option you can really give your hiring strategy a boost, but even if it isn’t there are still many new and creative ways to send your recruitment to a new level.

To find out more, download your own copy of the Creative Hiring Tactics for Any Budget report.

Richard Liddington is head of talent acquisition at LinkedIn Europe