Recruiter Top 10: Non-Traditional Ways to Meet Your Next Hire

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Welcome to Top 10,’s weekly rundown of the best of the best in recruiting! Every Friday, we release a list of some of our favorite people, things, and ideas dominating the industry. From awesome tech tools and cool companies to great books and powerful trends, no stone in the recruiting space will be left unturned.

This Week: Top 10 Non-Traditional Ways to Source Talent

LinkedIn. Job boards. Hiring a recruiting agency. If you’re reading a site like, you’re already well aware of the tried and true sources of talent.

That’s why for today’s installment of Top 10, we called on our readers to share their most creative and unexpected places to scout out their next hire. From overlooked websites to your favorite neighborhood diner, here are the 10 responses that we loved most:

Barry Maher1. Your Client List

As someone who’s consulted on hundreds of hires, I have to say one of the best places to find a great employee is at your front door. And that’s what I tell the small businesspeople 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

Angela2. Slack

There is a lot of buzz around Slack and how some startups are utilizing the up-and-coming communication platform to connect candidates with HR and hiring managers. In fact, Slack is changing the way recruiters and sourcers network and engage with passive candidates.

How so? Slack offers users the ability to create and join multiple public communities (a Slack community is where people/employees can send messages and files, make comments, etc., between various channels in one central hub). Recruiters can engage in conversations with potential hires. In addition, if recruiters (especially in technology) are interested in finding out which platform is best for sourcing for a particular role, they are able to go straight to the source. For example, they can join the .Net Slack community and ask about where to post jobs or which .Net blogs to check out to help support their search.

Finding Slack channels is easy: Chit Chats and SlackIn are great ways to find Slack groups that are popular.

Angela Bortolussi, Recruiting Social

Kean3. Hostels

You won’t find anyone who wants to work remotely more than backpackers. Many have quit their corporate jobs to travel the world. Some of our hardest-working new hires are backpackers that have really embraced the remote working lifestyle.

Kean Graham, MonetizeMore

Brett-Farmiloe4. The Local Honors College

For the last five years, I have recruited new hires primarily through a local honors college in Phoenix, Arizona. The caliber of candidates I receive from this hyper-targeted group is amazing. I will talk to freshman at the honors college who are more career ready than most seniors who apply from outside the honors college. It’s a big part of our competitive advantage to purposefully develop our relationship with the honors college and their students throughout their time there. We offer internships to as many students as we can and hold weekly educational sessions to select students in whom we see potential.

I’d encourage anyone in need of a new hire to put in a call to your local honors college and post an ad to their listserv. Sounds old school, but I can’t say enough about how well the strategy has worked for us at Markitors.

Brett Farmiloe, Markitors

Stultz5. Local Job Sites

We are very fortunate to have community leadership actively interested and involved in assisting people find employment. Our local community/economic development group recently created Hometown Opportunity, which allows businesses to post jobs and employee candidates to post resumes. This website has been a wonderful asset; we have utilized it to fill more than 100 new positions in the last two years.

Brad Stultz, Totally Promotional

Shanley6. Start Your Own Courses

At CrowdCompass, I hacked the hiring process early on to create a founding engineering team. In order to interview a group of candidates thoroughly and select the best ones to work with, I started up a series of weekend courses focused on teaching topics in our domain (mobile apps, iOS development). It was a great way to meet candidates who wanted to dive into the deep end, and it was a brilliant way that I could assess their talent.

Dave Shanley, Notion

Sharon7. SlideShare

A newer place we’re starting to look is on SlideShare. LinkedIn purchased the site, and when LinkedIn users upload a PowerPoint presentation to their profiles, they can share it to SlideShare. These become searchable, so we can search them using keywords and potentially contact the person who uploaded the presentation.

Sharon DeLay, BoldlyGO

Bob8. Reddit

Reddit is a hidden gem when it comes to finding new hires. Reddit is sketchy in a lot of people’s eyes, but that community gives you an easy quick way to filter the people who reach out to you. You can see anyone’s previous comments or posts to really get a taste of that person. Are they solely commenting it subreddits like /r/funnydogpics or /r/beachbabes? Probably not who you want to work with. However, if they are constantly engaging in niches related to your needs (e.g., in /r/marketing or /r/seo), then there is a good chance that it is worth taking a look at their resume.

What I recommend is finding a few niches on Reddit that have to do with the position you’re looking to fill. For example, if you are looking to find a social media manager, /r/socialmedia would be a good option. When people begin to message you, go check out their profiles and engagement.

Bob Ellis, Bavarian Clockworks

Max9. Events Based on Interests, Not Skill Sets

My advice is to look for an event that is centered around an idea or a passion instead of a skill set – for example, something based around a methodology like agile or balanced team, as opposed to an event about UI design or iOS development. People in these settings are more likely to talk about the why of what they do instead of just the what. These conversations tend to form stronger connections than the ones you make at a normal networking event, and as a result they are more likely to produce viable leads for potential recruits.

Max Brown, Silicon Beach Talent

Juanita10. Wherever You Are

Whenever I visit a restaurant and have a great patron experience or shop at a store and notice an exceptional employee who stands out, I connect with them and find out how they feel about their jobs. I inquire as to whether they are seeking opportunities.

I’ve had the opportunity to recruit and place on all levels of the employment spectrum, from entry-level positions to executive- and senior-level opportunities. I was especially fond of those who loved their jobs and long tenures at their current roles, because that spoke to their levels of commitment.

Juanita Hines, Regional Consulting

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