Internet recruitment platforms like Indeed and Monster allow companies to connect with a wide swath of applicants--but are run-of-the-mill job postings really the best way to reach new talent? Savvy HR departments know that recruitment is an ongoing process that doesn't necessarily begin (or end) with an online job posting.

Instead of casting the usual net and limiting your search to individuals who possess all the "right" skills and bullet points, connect with people who fit your company culture more broadly. Zig Ziglar probably said it best, "It's your attitude, not your aptitude, that determines your altitude." Hiring a fired-up and motivated new recruit is a long-term talent investment.

With these bold and innovative techniques, you can remain vigilant in your search for the next perfect addition to your team.

1. Get your employees in on the game.

Before hitting the online job boards, tap into your company's built-in chain of connections: your employees. While companies often rely on employee referrals to direct new talent to HR, you may benefit from bringing your employees directly into the recruitment process.

Provide each employee with a deck of "recruitment cards" to carry along with his or her business cards. That way, when your employee meets someone impressive in her daily life, she can slip him a card indicating that your company may be a great fit for his skills and experience.

Remember: there's nothing like a good old ego boost to pique a potential recruit's interest in your company's employment opportunities.

2. Offer referral incentives.

While it's a clever idea, sometimes a deck of recruitment cards isn't enough to get employees invested in the process.

By initiating a referral incentive program, your current employees will be financially motivated to refer stellar candidates. In this mutually beneficial setup, your company will gain quality talent, and existing employees will earn rewards, like money, extra vacation days, or a prime parking spot.

3. Network at candidate-specific events.

Tap into local communities in your search for the perfect candidate.

Let's say you're searching for a graphic designer. Instead of merely placing a listing online, send a representative from your company to events where graphic design professionals or artists may gather, like Meetups or local lectures.

Tapping into a specific talent pool can yield great results--especially from candidates who aren't actively pursuing opportunities.

4. Hold an open house.

It's one thing to attach a resume to an email--it's another thing to apply to a job with genuine interest. Here's a way to ensure the candidate pool includes only the most enthusiastic prospective candidates.

Hold a company-wide open house and send out invitations to promising potential hires. The candidates who show up have self-selected themselves and thereby passed through HR's initial screening process.

5. Use social media.

Every job hunter scours job sites for openings, but how often do recruiters actively seek out candidates? Before opening the opportunity to the general public, use savvy social media search techniques.

Seek out individuals on LinkedIn with applicable prior experience, or locate Facebook or LinkedIn groups that cater to the professionals you're looking for. In addition, you can even search keywords on Twitter and Instagram associated with the open position's required skills.

Find candidates where they already spend their time--on social media.

6. Try smart advertising.

Don't let a good listing get lost in the crowd of Indeed or Craigslist. Instead, use smart advertising.

The first step in smart advertising is to identify your target demographic and meet them where they search. From there, you can purchase relevant keywords so your ad appears when someone searches particular keywords or phrases, or you can advertise on forums where target candidates congregate.

For a flashier, non-digital technique, put your hiring budget to work by investing in an eye-catching billboard.

Job seekers are always told to be proactive networkers. It's time that companies started to do the same during the recruitment process.

Published on: Jul 11, 2018