The recruitment industry becomes more competitive each year, but it also becomes faster and optimized with all the new digital marketing technologies out there.

Companies have to become more creative to attract the best talent. They need to go to where the professionals are—social media, job boards, or industry meetups. Below are some strategies to hire top talent in any industry.

Build a Brand

Building a brand is one of the first things a company should concentrate on if they want to attract top talent. If a potential employee sees your job posting and has never heard of you, they are less likely to submit an application.

Also, just posting job openings isn’t enough to make yourself known. The company’s brand identity includes its website, social media profiles, job board profiles, reviews of current and past employees, and even Wikipedia pages.

Imagine you are looking for a new job and see a job opening that looks promising, but you’ve never heard of the company. You still are interested, so you research the company on the Internet, but you only find a poorly made website with little to no information. Would you send an application? Probably not.

A company has to put some effort into having a good reputation and brand that reflects who they are and their mission. If they don’t have the money to build a decent website, how will they treat their employees?

Treat Candidates Like Clients

Companies have to remember they are the most interested parties when it comes to filling open positions. Interviews are the first impression a candidate has of the company, so you have to make sure it is a good one to ensure the best professionals accept an offer to work for you. This includes creating an interview process that makes the candidate feel comfortable and valued.

You want to respect the candidate’s time as if it was your own. It doesn’t matter if it is an interview on the phone or in person—be punctual. Also, remember to show interest in the candidate’s answers when conducting the interview. Also, make sure to give the applicants a way to reach you if they have any questions.

Explore Niche Job Boards

Job boards like LinkedIn and Indeed are an essential tool for any recruitment strategy. They facilitate the application process and make it easier for companies and candidates to research each other. But you also can use niche job boards. These work the same as regular boards, but you can post a job opening for jobs in a specific niche.

For example, in the tech industry, you can post a job opening for a cybersecurity specialist or any other tech position on Stackoverflow Jobs. In the case of freelancers or remote positions, you can use Flexjobs to post. The list goes on and on, depending on the industry and niche. These sites will give you an opportunity to narrow down the audience that will see your post, making sure it reaches people in your niche.

Host Meetups

Another strategy is to create your own meetups. It can be anything from a conference or convention to a competition. You decide what the purpose of the meetup is and who you will be inviting. In the case of doing a meetup to attract top talent, you can do a few things.

You can have some of your star employees talk about projects they are working on. Make sure the tone of the meetup actually reflects the company’s values and mission. Making a good first impression in person is much more powerful than through an online job posting, so take advantage of every moment.

Another reason why meetups are a good strategy is you know the professionals that show up are already interested in the company. You have the opportunity to meet them without the pressure of an actual interview. And the candidate will have the same opportunity to feel out the company.

Reach Out to Previous Applicants and Employees

Another talent pool is past applicants that stood out in previous recruitment processes but didn’t get hired for some reason. It is totally normal to pass on perfectly good professionals because you can only choose one. And you chose the one you thought was best at the time. But, this doesn’t mean they aren’t excellent candidates, and if you contact them again, you may be able to attract them.

And let’s not forget past employees who left the company on good terms for one reason or another. You never know, they could be interested in coming back to their previous position, or you can offer them higher-level jobs because they acquired new skills at their new company.

Past employees can be an excellent choice because you already know they perform well, and they are familiar with the company’s operations and corporate culture.

Consider Passive Applicants

Passive applicants are professionals that are not actively looking for a new job. They are currently employed and supposedly not interested in a new job. That’s where you can enter the picture and make them an offer attractive enough to come work for you instead.

However, if you contact a passive candidate, it will be because you know they are the perfect fit for your company. By reaching out to them personally, you show you are interested and make them pay attention.

Partner with Colleges

Partnering with educational institutions is an excellent strategy to access the best talent very early on, sometimes even before they graduate. You can offer a college, university, or even coding bootcamps the opportunity to work on research programs together if you have the budget.

If not, you can work with them to offer internships for their top students.

Either way, it is a win-win situation for both parties.

One of the essential strategies in recruitment is having a strong brand that professionals can recognize. Technology is also here to make our lives easier, so use the tools at hand to optimize the process like job boards, social media platforms, and targeted ads.

Finally, remember to make an excellent first impression, no matter if it is during an interview or industry meetup.