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10 Recruiting Hacks To Find The Best Job Candidates


Sifting through piles of job applications and resumes can be tedious work. However, you can take advantage of certain recruiting “hacks” to find the best job candidates, people who are likely to be a great fit right from the start.

To learn more about methods that work, 10 successful entrepreneurs from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) shared their favorite recruiting tips for finding the best of the best.

What’s your best recruiting “hack” for finding the most qualified candidates for your business? Why does this work so well?

1. Look for people who already fit the culture

I hire people who already fit my culture and don’t aim to change who my employees are. Two questions I love to ask is how they would spend $5 million after taxes, or what their biggest pet peeve is. I will ask 20 questions over an hour interview, and it really helps me to get to know my future employees and turn away the ones I know won’t be a good fit for my firm. —Jennifer A. Barnes, Optima Office, Inc

2. Create a problem-solving contest

A great way to identify talented people is by creating a contest where participants try to solve a major problem and win a prize. For example, major tech companies reward individuals for identifying security issues. You can model a contest on this tactic and ask a pool of potential candidates to work on a project for a reward. This will help you attract and identify top talent. —Blair Williams, MemberPress

3. Work with job candidates on a per-project basis

Everyone can be amazing on paper, but it’s better to see it with your own eyes—yet, you still want to respect people’s time. Therefore, what I would suggest is to go slow and try to work with a candidate on a per-project basis at first. This way, you’ll be able to see their skills in action. It will also allow you to tell whether they are a good fit for your team culturally. —Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS 

4. Recruit from a global talent pool

If you’re remote, recruit from a global talent pool. One of the greatest benefits of fully adopting remote work is that it opens the doors to hiring the most qualified candidate for your business regardless of their physical location. Not only does this mean you’ll have far more applicants to choose from, but there are also often savings to be had from recruiting talent based in countries with a lower cost of living. —Mark Stallings, Casely, Inc.

5. Understand how candidates approach work issues

Getting an understanding of how a candidate would approach typical work situations can give you a strong indication of their character. Entrepreneurial mindsets are often sought after and seeing how someone reacts can help determine whether they have the ability to truly think on their feet and effectively problem solve. —Jordan Edelson, Appetizer Mobile LLC 

6. Set up a referral program with rewards

We have a robust referral program that we use to find new hires. We reward our team members and their hires after specific milestones with our company. For instance, if a referral stays with us for six months or longer, both employees get a $500 sign-on bonus. I’ve found that this strategy encourages our team to recommend friends who are experienced, professional, and willing to work. —John Turner, SeedProd LLC 

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7. Tap into alumni associations to find the best job candidates

I like to tap my alumni associations for finding qualified candidates for my business. This approach works well because it saves a lot of time reviewing cover letters and resumes, and screening applicants. —Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC

8. Hire based on values and character

I hire people based on their values and character rather than their work experience. What I look for is integrity, efficiency, tenacity, and compassion. Those traits can be found in a simple conversation by observing how authentic they are in their word and how they navigate the world personally and professionally. The truth is, work experience is important, but we also want to like the people we work with. —Givelle Lamano, Lamano Law Office 

9. Write a clear, optimized job listing

To find qualified candidates for your business, it’s important to write a high-quality, optimized job listing. Your job listing should have a clear description and clearly state the role and duties of the position so qualified candidates will apply. The more that people understand the position, the more likely it is that qualified people will apply. —Jared Atchison, WPForms 

10. Recruit people who aren’t looking for a job

Recruit passive candidates—people who are not looking for a job. This is one of the top reasons HR teams use social media for recruitment. It works because you’re finding successful candidates in their current role and telling the world about [your open positions] through social media. Passive candidates are approached directly, often negating the expense of the recruitment process. —Matthew Podolsky, Florida Law Advisers, P.A.

About the Author

Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. 

This article was originally published on

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