This time of the year -- just after the new year and bonus season -- is the most popular time for changing jobs. For many companies, this transition brings with it expansion plans, a whole pile of newly vacated positions -- and quite a bit of head scratching.

With jobless rates at multiyear lows in the U.S. and many other countries, finding talent is becoming a bigger task. Overall employment is expected to grow year on year at 0.7 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the prior decade, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Employers will need to step up and become more creative at finding great talent now. As the founder of a startup, I recommend casting your net as wide as you can, using all the avenues available to you when searching for those superstar employees (especially when you are battling against big businesses with even bigger bucks).

Below are nine ways to help your company source some great talent:

  1. Referrals. Try looking at the people who are already around you. Employees often have extensive networks to tap into. Remember the old adage: "I get by with a little help from my friends." With a whopping 48 percent of businesses saying that their quality hires come from employee referrals (according to a 2017 LinkedIn report), this tactic makes a lot of sense!
  2. Career sites and job boards. Love them or loathe them, online career sites and job boards are a sure-fire way of getting as many eyes on your job posting as possible. Make sure you choose the right sites for your business, as some search sites have a reputation for focusing on certain industries such as tech. An index by Jobvite shows that an enormous 43 percent of job seekers search for positions using a job board, while 32 percent use career sites.
  3. Social networks. Hiring managers are increasingly sourcing talent from social media networks. In fact, 95 percent of companies surveyed said they successfully hired from LinkedIn, while 24 percent pointed to Facebook and 16 percent credited Twitter. Social networks are also a great way to forge meaningful relationships with passive candidates. One of our most recent hires came from my own social media network.
  4. Attend events and constantly network. Your talent pool can be dramatically expanded when you spend time in the right places. I have met some extremely talented people at meet-ups. These nonpressurized surroundings are a great way to meet people in the right industry and to promote your business. Naturebox co-founder Gautam Gupta agrees with the importance of networking: "You've got to cultivate your network so whenever you have a hire to be made, you can reach out to people who have worked with those types of folks before and fill that role very quickly."
  5. Become an employer of choice. Candidates are drawn to a positive company culture and mission. Cultivating a progressive and lively company culture can help employees approach you. By focusing on core values, Poshmark CEO Manish Chandra maintains that a company will "find people who are symbiotic and synergistic with your mission, who really connect to your mission."
  6. Consistent communication. While some companies issue an automatic reply to every job applicant, more than 40 percent of recruiters don't respond at all. This will leave a negative taste in a job candidate's mouth. If a candidate proved to be unsuitable for a particular role but showed some promise, keep the channel of communication open with them as there might be a more fitting job down the line. Fifty-five percent of candidates reported that they already had a relationship with the company before applying.
  7. Leverage your current employees. Letting potential employees know the calibre of talent who work in your company can be highly beneficial. After all, talent attracts talent. Social media posts, video interviews, and employee testimonials can raise the exposure of your company and help the wider audience get to know your brand. Employees make great brand ambassadors. Glassdoor says 76 percent of candidates want details on what makes the company an attractive place to work.
  8. Expand your candidate pool. If you are struggling to find talent in your local area, try expanding your job search area. Hiring remotely opens up a whole host of talent outside of your competitive job market. With recent advances in technology, it's never been easier to work remotely. Don't lose out on outstanding employees just because they aren't located in the same city as you are. Randi Zuckerberg, the CEO and founder of Zuckerberg Media, has a very positive experience with a remote workforce. "I have on my team a mother who has to work from home because she has a child with special needs, and she has to be home with him. Normally someone like that wouldn't have the opportunity to get back into the workforce, but thanks to the incredible tools we have ... she is my right-hand woman."
  9. Headhunters and recruiters. For really hard-to-fill positions, headhunters, recruiters, and employee placement firms are the way forward. Many of these firms have done a lot of the hard work for you and have gathered an extensive pool of talent to choose from. Expect to pay 20 to 35 percent of the cost of the new recruit's annual salary. Leave this option for only highly skilled workers.
Published on: Mar 13, 2018