The job market no longer favors the employer. With historically low unemployment rates and a high number of job vacancies, the tables have turned. Many qualified job candidates have their choice of offers across multiple organizations.

With talent pools shrinking, it’s time to reexamine your recruitment methods. Here are five candidates you may be overlooking (and why they might be your best hire yet):

•    Passive candidates
•    Referred candidates
•    Non-traditional candidates
•    Runner up candidates
•    Internal candidates

Finding top-quality candidates in today’s competitive market is no easy feat. There simply aren’t enough qualified candidates in the marketplace. A 2018 Korn Ferry study estimated that the talent shortage would grow to more than 85 million people by 2030, potentially resulting in $8.5 trillion in unrealized annual revenues. Additionally, thanks to changing consumer demands and innovative technology, 47% of today’s jobs will be gone in the next ten years.

So, in a world of low unemployment, high job openings, talent shortages, and changing expectations, how can organizations find top talent?  Most employers want to attract high demand, traditional candidates. However, let’s look at five top candidates that organizations may be overlooking.

1.   Passive Candidates

63% of recruiters report that lack of talent is a top recruiting concern.  One way to bridge the talent gap is to seek passive candidates. Passive candidates are workers who aren’t actively job hunting. According to a recent LinkedIn study, passive talent makes up 70% of the global workforce.

Attract passive talent by bolstering (and sharing) your employer brand and career opportunities through recruitment marketing. Work with your marketing team to get active on social media, featuring your company’s culture, community involvement, and employee engagement. Social media won’t just help you attract passive talent in general, but it will also help you recruit younger workers, including college students. According to a recent study by Pew Research, 67% of 18 – 29-year-olds use Instagram, and 62% use Snapchat. To recruit your next top-performing employees, it’s time to get social.

2.   Referred Candidates

Another candidate you may be overlooking is the referred candidate. According to the 2019 Yello Recruiting Study, referrals are the number one most preferred source for job seekers. Further, employee referrals are a top source of quality hires.

Let your current employees serve as your cheerleaders, promoting your culture, mission, career development, and outreach activities to their friends and acquaintances. Encourage your employees to refer top talent through an organized referral program. Promote the program within your company and celebrate your employees who refer. Since companies can expand their talent pool 10x by recruiting through their employees’ networks, this technique is a win-win.

3.   Non-Traditional Candidates

Not all qualified candidates build their career through traditional paths. Talent comes in all forms and from all backgrounds. Expand your idea of the “perfect candidate.” Broaden your talent search by recruiting veterans, gig workers, or stay-at-home moms returning to the workplace.

Non-traditional candidates have experiences that traditional candidates may not. For example, the number of gig workers increased to 56.7 million, up from 53 million in 2017. Gig workers understand deadlines, focus, and dedication, providing valuable skills to companies.

Mothers, who have out-of-this-world organizational, multi-tasking, and negotiation skills, also provide value to a company, although they are often overlooked. Employers should not only recruit women who want to return to the workplace after maternity leave or after the kids reach middle school, but also provide a plan for successful re-entry, allowing women to excel in the workplace while also raising kids.

4.   Runner Up Candidates

So, your runner-up candidate choices didn’t make the final cut at some point. However, that doesn’t mean you should discard them in favor of a new stack of resumes. When new positions open, revisit your Applicant Tracking System (ATS) and re-interview your previous second and third choices. They may be the perfect choice for that new job.

Additionally, your runner-up candidates already made it through the recruiting ringer once, proving themselves as qualified through screenings and interviews. Reassess these candidates when your hiring needs change, saving you significant time.

5.   Internal Candidates

Finally, employers shouldn’t overlook their own employees. Don’t assume that your current employees want to stay in their current positions, or don’t possess the skills or abilities to grow within your company. Instead of looking outwards for top talent, look inward.

According to Deloitte, the opportunity to learn tops the list for why candidates take a job. With the skills shortage dominating conversations in human resources departments globally, reskilling and upskilling employees have become viable and attractive solutions. Further, 77% of employers would instead train current employees than access new talent. Giving internal candidates opportunities for growth and development within your company not only will help you secure top talent, but it will also increase your employees’ loyalty and engagement.

Taking the Next Steps

By teaming up with a talent acquisition software provider, like Yello, you can engage top candidates that you may be overlooking. Let us help you recruit qualified talent for your organization today. Hire tomorrow’s leaders—today.