Most businesses have a hiring problem right now. And as chamber pros, we’re scrambling to give them good directions. Here’s a big list of creative employee recruitment strategies that businesses can use. Feel free to repurpose or borrow from this article and share ways they can recruit on your chamber blog or your chamber newsletter.

Employee Recruiting No-No’s

Before we get into the big list of creative employee recruitment strategies, let’s cover some basics on what not to do. A strong recruiting practice will be overshadowed — and left ineffective — because of the following:

Writing a Weak Ad

It’s time to get creative with your hiring ad. Your boilerplate copy that you wrote in 1980 or that you took from someone on LinkedIn is no longer effective. You have to get creative in your employee recruitment strategies and the visible part of that starts with the ad.

More than ever, potential employees want to know and see:

  • What’s in it for them. What can they expect and what are the working conditions? Explain the benefits of the job (in addition to pay and healthcare). What extras will they receive? Who are they going to work with/what’s the team dynamic?
  • Plain language. A job posting is not the time to sound like a robot giving a scientific presentation. Paint a simple picture of what you’re looking for and what you’re offering.
  • Humor. Unless your business is an incredibly serious one (funeral parlor or investment bank come to mind), try a little humor in your ad to get and hold attention.
  • Basics up front. Some people don’t want to add salary or specific information like that to their job postings. You are wasting time if you don’t. Salary is important to most job seekers. If you don’t post a range, you will have some people ignore it all together and move onto the next ad (of which there are many) or ask you salary questions, tying up your time. Once they know the range, they may no longer be interested. You can’t get that time back. If they saw the range to begin with, they would’ve self-disqualified.
  • Scannable content. People don’t want to read a text heavy description. Bullet point what you want them to know (unless you’re looking for a writer or an editor).

Ignoring Bad Reviews

While you can’t remove bad employment reviews on sites like Glass Door, you still want to be aware of them. Comment where appropriate (and possible) without blame. If something has changed since that review, post that information (for example, being under new management).

For a particularly troublesome series of employment reviews, you may want to address it before the potential employee does. You may want to say something like, “In the past we struggled with _____ but after listening to our employees we realized this was important to them and so we did _____.” Transparency can go a long way to building trust.

image of thumbs down to illustrate bad reputation as hurting employee recruiting

Having No (or a Negative) Company Culture

Competition is fierce right now. The businesses that will have the easiest time hiring are those that have become known for creating a positive company culture as much as the product or service they are selling. It’s not too late to start … well, culturing your culture. Once you know what your culture and company values are, share them with employees and prospects.

Social media is a great place to start. Let your personality shine through your posts. Drop the formality. Comment. Ask questions. Share what you’re proud of and invite others to do the same. People want to be part of something larger than themselves. Show them what (and who) you are.

Creating a Forgettable Experience

A creative employee recruiting strategy remembers that the employees create the customer experience.

Most interviews are boring formalities. One blends into another. That won’t help you hire.

While we realize is that sometimes half the battle is getting people to show up for the interview. Once they do, make the experience memorable. Show them why you love your business and what you are most proud of. Passion is contagious.

For instance, if you’re a baker, let them taste one of your items. If you’re interviewing them for a barista position, make them a cup of coffee before you sit down and talk. Woo them while you interview them. When they leave your interview, you want them to talk about it.

And guess what?

That will help you recruit too.

Contact Jim Thiessen ( at the Chamber to learn more and how the Chamber can help with your recruiting and employment needs.

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