12 Creative Ways to Find Employees Online & Offline

Finding new employees for your company will entail time, money, and effort. Recruiting cost is considered one of the highest expenses for businesses. Depending on the type of job and who you ask, the average hiring cost is around $4,000 per employee. As such, businesses are always looking to save time and money by streamlining their recruitment process. Small and large organizations alike deal with complex human resources processes. Fortunately, there are numerous HR software in the market that comes with powerful recruiting features. Similarly, there are solutions that offer advanced features from AI-powered applicant sourcing to centralized communication features.

It can be lower for entry-level service jobs and much higher for professional jobs. Why this expensive? Often, companies are looking at the wrong places, thus, resulting in runaway or prolonged costs to get the right talent. In this article, we’ll lay down 12 places where to look for new hires.

12 creative ways for find employees

Even large companies with enough resources and savvy HR and hiring managers recognize the cost and challenges of hiring, starting with searching for new employees and finding the right ones. The difficulty is amplified for smaller companies working on tight budgets and with no dedicated hiring professionals. Often, the business owner or company head themselves, with no expertise, take on the role of recruiters.

In 2018, the US job openings increased to 7,079,000, Trading Economics reports. At the same time, companies are troubled by having more open positions than the right candidates to fill them. For instance, companies in the tech field face tough competition as only 41% of job seekers apply to 5 or fewer technical jobs according to a survey. Hence, recruiters are scouring through multiple platforms to look for the right candidates to fill the open job roles.

Employers are looking for candidates online.

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Source: Career Sherpa, 2018

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The 2018 data from Career Sherpa shows 70% of employers are checking out candidates on social networking sites. Meanwhile, 66% of employers use search engines. Recruiters also look beyond social media sites. Sometimes large untapped talent pools and hiring opportunities are in some other places – online or offline – and it would be wise for recruiters to explore both areas, go beyond their location, and expand their reach. Below are creative ways how to find employees online as well as offline. Your search can be a mix of modern and traditional, usual and uncommon (areas you’d not really think of when looking for your future employees).

Take note that we’re on a general hunt, not yet on the stage of evaluating if your potential hire is the perfect fit. Although even with a basic search, you as the recruiter for your company have already itemized the qualifications for the position in your job posting, hence initially you and the candidate can already determine if there might be a match. But we start with the search. Where should you look?

Online: Harnessing the Internet for Your Search

Online recruitment gives you three main advantages – efficiency through a variety of tools typically packaged in HR software, a much larger and more targeted audience, and reduced administrative cost. Here’s how to find employees online:

1. Social Media

Today’s job seekers are on social media. Over 14 million Americans have used social media to search for a job. The good news is there’s a vast majority of companies that use social media for recruiting although some are still not that engaged in taking advantage of this channel. Using social media as part of your recruitment strategy gives these benefits:

  1. Shortens hiring process. Traditional methods of recruitment, as you’ll learn in the offline section of this article, generally take longer than social media recruitment methods. The internet makes things several levels faster. Social networking sites make it easy, quick, and convenient to communicate with candidates and also enable them to respond faster. As a result, excellent work relationships often emerge.
  2. Reduces hiring cost. We know that recruiting is an expensive undertaking. Searching for new hires on social media is not only faster but also a lot cheaper. You’ll realize significant savings with a simple Facebook job ad than with classified ads on TV, dailies, and job boards, aside from reaching a wider audience who are on social media most of the time.
  3. Offers high-quality candidates. Companies report that they get higher-quality candidates through social networking sites. The main reason for this is that social media users are more of the technology-oriented type and those who dabble in computing – skills and interests highly sought in today’s jobs.
  4. Increases job visibility. Facebook has over 2 billion active users while Twitter offers the capability to host job search chats. With practically every job seeker and ideal candidate turning to social media sites, you get far-reaching platforms for recruiting talented persons to work for your company.
  5. Enhances awareness of your brand/business. In relation to increasing job visibility, social media sites also enhance awareness of your company or your brand. By announcing or advertising new positions on social media platforms, your business reaches far and wide and promotes itself as a trusted and professional place for work.

2. Use HR Software

Many cloud-hosted HR software and dedicated applicant tracking software (ATS) can help with your employee search. They offer tools to manage, automate and streamline the recruitment process including sourcing candidates, putting up job portals, managing referrals, and integrating with jobs boards, to mention some. Let’s take a quick look at the leading solutions that can assist you. dashboard is a premier platform for team collaboration for anyone needing a centralized digital workplace. The platform is developed to be a flexible solution to manage your entire workflow, including recruitment. Oversee the whole recruitment process using the recruitment template from beginning to end. Use a form to track available vacancies and gather applications from suitable candidates.


  • Oversee the whole recruiting process from start to finish by tracking application submissions, candidate personal information, and current interview status in one place.
  • Create customizable forms for each of your job openings. All submissions will be recorded on your board for easy tracking and management.
  • comes with charts that are great for visualizing applicant data, recruitment workflows, and more.
  • The software helps you automate time-consuming processes such as sending email notifications to relevant recruitment personnel based on the applicant’s status.
  • It integrates well with other business software such as Google Calendar and Dropbox.


BambooHR dashboard

BambooHR is an award-winning online HR platform designed for SMBs. It offers features that cover just about every HR-related process, from onboarding and work management, advanced reporting and employee information, to benefits management and performance administration. One of its standout features is its ATS module built for modern recruiting.


  • Reach more qualified candidates and track, share, and evaluate applicant information.
  • Easily post job openings and create hiring teams to collaborate on candidates.
  • Stay organized through all phases of hiring while reinforcing your employer brand.
  • Build positive candidate experiences with easy-to-follow processes.
  • Establish fast and efficient communication with customizable email templates that can be sent simultaneously to multiple candidates.


Manatal dashboard

Cloud-based recruiting software system Manatal uses AI, machine learning, and unique capabilities to revolutionize the way staffing firms and HR professionals recruit. To save you time and money, it helps you select the appropriate applicants, manage your talent pool, increase team cooperation, and employ the best personnel possible. Take advantage of the best Applicant Tracking System (ATS) on the market to improve your company’s recruiting and talent management capabilities.


  • Its intelligent candidate sourcing feature connects to LinkedIn, creating a more centralized platform.
  • Manatal’s ATS (Applicant Tracking System) creates an easy-to-use pipeline that makes it easy to track candidate progress.
  • Automatically extract and parse a candidate’s social media information to better view their overall profile.
  • Manatal also includes an AI-powered recommendation engine that cross-references job skills and requirements with your talent pool.
  • Work with your entire recruitment and HR team, including third-party service providers, for a more collaborative workflow.


GreenHouse dashboard

Greenhouse is an applicant tracking system that helps businesses of all sizes to streamline their recruiting process and foster a healthy work environment. Recruiters, hiring managers, and job hopefuls may all use the program to track the progress of their applications. The solution is compatible with a wide range of apps in the hiring tech stack, including HRIS, onboarding, job distribution, recruiting, and screening.


  • Source and optimize job listings across numerous job platforms along with recommendations analyzed from industry performance and historical information.
  • Ensure alignment between hiring managers and recruiters through Greenhouse’s centralized communication feature.
  • Create equitable hiring processes with functionalities such as the Name Pronunciation feature, allowing candidates to record their name’s right pronunciation.
  • It comes with more than 30 core reports, so you are always on top of your entire recruitment process.
  • Greenhouse can scale depending on the size and complexities of your organization with its configurable workflows and permissions.

There are other HR solutions out there. If you want to expand your product research you can check our top 20 HR software comparison guide here.

3. LinkedIn

Although generally lumped with social media sites, LinkedIn deserves a category all its own for plenty of reasons:

  • It’s the go-to portal for professionals (job seekers and recruiters alike).
  • It lets you stay in touch with former colleagues for potential future employment.
  • It lets you search for employees based on references from trusted recommenders.
  • You can use keywords to actively search for qualified candidates.
  • You can search for potential employees by past or current employer.
  • You can easily request assistance from your network (or selected professionals) to find the right candidate.
  • For a fee, you can unlock recruiting features to post jobs, recruit, and hire candidates.

If you need one good answer to the question – how to find employees online, and professionals at that – it’s LinkedIn. It boasts of nearly 470 million members from across 148 different industries and brings together the potency of networks, job listings, candidate search, and trusted referrals in one platform.

4. Job Boards and Career Websites

Job boards and career or employment sites allow job seekers to reach thousands of potential employers. It also works the other way around – you as the recruiter can tap a deep and extensive pool of potential candidates. There are numerous job boards and career sites online, foremost of these are and which, according to them, carry millions of job postings.

While you may have second thoughts of advertising jobs on a site with a huge volume of job postings all competing for space and attention, job boards and career sites have search functionalities, cross-sector categorization, and industry-specific posting boards. You can opt for specialized niche boards to attract the type of candidate you want to hire. Furthermore, job boards not only carry applicant resumes but also a wealth of information and advice both for job seekers (to help with job hunting) and employers (to facilitate new employee search).

Also worth mentioning along this line that you can tap for your search are freelance platforms which are online marketplace services designed to help employers find the best talent for a project. This is ideal if you’re not looking for a regular organic employee but for a professional for certain time-limited work or projects. These services effectively connect employers with the right freelancers by matching the former’s requirements with the latter’s profile and skill set. Notable freelance platforms include Fiverr, Upwork, and

These are also known as job aggregators – websites or programs that collect job-related items and content, and display them or link to them. It scours the web and gathers job listings from various sources to make it convenient for job seekers. Job search engines will aggregate job listings from job boards, career websites as well as other job search engines. They also allow companies to post jobs directly on their site in the same manner that they do on job boards. This gives you another means to find potential hires.

Just like job boards, there are also general job search engines that aggregate jobs for a broad range of industries, experience levels and specialties for a particular region or market, and niche search engines for jobs specific to a certain industry, specialty, and market. Also, there is a global type of job search engine that caters to different job markets in different countries. The popular is classified as a global job search engine.

6. Open Your Referral Program Online

This is your offline, internal company employee referral program that you open on your entire online network. A good referral program across your organization may already be providing you with a number of quality candidates to work on. Why not take it to the next level and further extend your search? Introduce your referral program online – on your company website, on social media sites, through email to your contacts and colleagues, on community forums, and other online sites.

You can plan and roll out a new referral program specific to your online audience and distinct from the one you implement in your company, or it can be the same with a few tweaks such as a wider array of incentives, perks, discounts, or special offers to successful referrers. You can even implement gamification to reward top referrers. A well-implemented online employee referral program that prods your audience into action can provide you with another big source of talent.

Offline: Using Traditional Search Methods

Before the internet and digital technology changed the way we search, track and hire employees, there was only one form of recruitment – offline and right on the ground. Consider using these “old school” search tactics to complement your online hiring. Who knows, if there are stars above in your online recruitment efforts, there might also be gems on the ground if you know where to dig and search.

1. University Job Fairs

Job fairs are wide and varied and your first instinct may be to attend an industry-organized event like a Tech Expo event or “Keep America Working” tour. But if you’re looking for fresh minds, especially in tech, colleges and universities are fertile ground for new hires. You may also want to tie up with the school so your company can be reserved a slot and space in their event.

Feel free to become an event sponsor or partner; these events are generally cheaper than their industry counterparts. It’s a great way to build a relationship with the academe.

Likewise, an event where employers and job seekers come together may be an obvious place to look for new recruits, but keep in mind other recruiters are also on the hunt. The challenge is to keep your offer (and booth) attractive to potential hires. You can use technology to impress applicants, for instance, VR to tour your office. You can also have contests, games, or giveaways to promote a fun culture.

2. Social Networking Events

There are several types of in-person networking events which can be formal or informal, career-oriented or not but nonetheless provide opportunities for recruitment. There can be other networking events that you can be visible and take part in, such as the chamber of commerce events, charity events, community service gatherings, diversity group meetings, academic conferences, trade association events, or professional networking nights. The point is to expand your network of contacts, increase your chances of referrals or recommendations, and even meet actual applicants.

3. Offline Advertising

According to Internet World Stats, 78% of the U.S. population is online. Still, that leaves around 70 million Americans that can’t be reached by online marketing and advertising. This means many still watch TV, listen to the radio, and read newspapers which are the traditional advertising tri-media that you can tap for your job postings. These media may not have the global reach of today’s online ad channels, but they can be effective community-wise.

In other words, your ads are localized and more targeted, which is great if you’re hiring for a local branch or office, or getting someone who lives near where your company headquarters is located. Job posting through offline ads is likely to receive a compact number of more relevant applicants because of the localization factor which also helps you cut down on administrative costs, and spend less time arranging for meetings and interviews compared if candidates who are based abroad.

Of course, you can still support your offline ads with digital hiring and HR tools to manage, organize, and evaluate offline applications. Paper forms and hard copies of application documents can be digitized so they can be shared with HR staff and other relevant personnel across your organization.

4. Community Bulletin Boards

These are everywhere – in schools, hallways, government offices, train and subway stations, clubhouses, coffee shops, and restaurants. Community bulletin boards are prime spots you can use for posting jobs. They are for everyone to see. Offline recruiting is much like marketing – you promote your company and the employment opportunities to interested candidates through high-visibility channels.

Bulletin boards are usually located in high foot traffic locations so the public can’t miss them. You can leverage these boards to maximum mileage on the ground and get you visible to potential job seekers who might be right there in the crowd waiting for a train, sipping coffee, or taking a quick lunch on a corner convenience store.

5. Company Employee Referrals

If your company has an employee referral program, then good for you since it is a huge recruitment resource and one of the most effective tools in your hiring arsenal. A formal company referral program often provides small but meaningful incentives for employees aside from giving you lots of benefits, including the following:

  1. Quality candidates. Your employees are more likely to refer contacts they know who are good candidates for the job because if not, it would reflect on the employees’ poor judgment.
  2. Faster hiring Hiring through referral is significantly faster than through career sites or job postings. This is because some steps in the hiring process such as ad posting, resume collection, and candidate screenings become unnecessary. Furthermore, referral candidates are much more inclined to accept offers than other types of candidates, shortening hiring times.
  3. Quicker onboarding. A referred candidate has a built-in relationship with the current company employee and the former may have already asked the latter about the job, company culture, and working environment. Likewise, the referring employee feels it is a responsibility to provide some sort of nurturing or guidance to the referred candidate to ensure his/her success.
  4. Wide candidate pool. Let’s just assume that each of your 50 employees has two contacts or referrals; that’s easily 100 referred candidates that you can sort through. That’s probably more than enough even if you have to fill in a dozen positions and, by sheer number, likely more than all the contacts you can gather from all your other offline job postings.
  5. Improved retention. With the bond and commitment to the current recommending employee, referred candidates who make it to become company employees owe it to the former to excel and stay longer. It’s a personal investment on the part of the referrer and an understanding by the referred to give back to the company by way of being more engaged and sticking around longer.
  6. Lesser cost. It is more cost-effective if you have a company employee referral program than hiring external recruiters and agencies. Even hiring on your own will cost you time, money, and other resources. With in-house referrals, your internal labor costs will be reduced since you’ll be spending minimal time on your hiring process.

6. Your In-House Talent

Why not nurture talent within your company? It’s not only less expensive than going straight to the job market but also prepares you to quickly fill up vacant positions right from your existing workforce. No worries about going through the lengthy process of searching, interviewing, evaluating, onboarding, and training. Internal hiring and normally the promotion that comes with it increases employee morale, builds trust, makes employees more engaged and committed, and gives them advancement opportunities to become company leaders someday.

Do note that when you move people up from within your company, they would leave open positions behind which, depending on your organization’s needs, would have to be filled up. If conventional recruitment methods fall short, you always go online, turn to the internet, and use some technology to help you.

Hire Professional Recruiters

Apart from the 12 ways we mentioned above, there is a rising trend among organizations to outsource the hiring process to professional recruitment agencies. This can be a cost-effective option since you do away with the expenses associated with most parts of the recruitment process including searching for candidates, evaluating them, doing background checks and screenings, and even interviewing and giving them personality tests. You shift the heavy lifting and the appurtenant costs to the hiring agency which can be in the best position to look for the right candidates since they maintain large databanks of different experienced and qualified candidates.

There are two kinds of professional recruiters – hiring agencies/employment firms and headhunters. The former can be hired by companies on a regular or contractual basis while the latter can be taken in by companies or hiring agencies as freelancers on a commission or need basis and paid for every successful hire. In any case, both hiring agencies and headhunters are good options because they extend to you their expertise in matching the right people with the right jobs and have extensive networks and contacts.

Offline and Online Recruitment: Best of Both Worlds

Finding employees online and offline will require determination and patience on your part. Even with the internet and technology solutions available, there is something about offline recruitment and its traditional methods that make hiring a more engaging and personalized undertaking, and social activity in the real sense of the word. On the other hand, everyone will admit that online recruitment makes the process a lot faster, easier, and less expensive through platforms such as

Do not choose one over the other. Get a mix of both online and offline methods and make them support each other in finding your new employees to cut costs and give you the best candidates to choose from. Once you have found the right candidates, it’s time to get down to the next crucial step: the interview. For that, you can check this guide on how to interview someone in 5 easy steps.

Emily Watson

By Emily Watson

Emily Watson is a human resource management expert specializing in workforce planning and HR development. Throughout her years in the industry, she has also dabbled in career path development, employee training, and workforce management. In her four years as a contributor for FinancesOnline, she has reviewed over a thousand HR tools ranging from recruitment platforms to unified human capital management suites. She has also created in-depth analyses of emerging HR technologies and trends to provide companies worldwide with the data they need to keep up with industry shifts.

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