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Today's Question: Job boards, LinkedIn, maybe Facebook, maybe Twitter – chances are when you search for talent online, you're going to all the same places as everyone else. While it's true these sources can yield great candidates, there are plenty of other, less commonly utilized sources of talent on the internet. Why limit yourself to the sites crawling with competitors?
We asked our network of readers and experts: Aside from the usual suspects, where do you look for talent on the web? What underutilized and unexpected pools contain the best candidates?
1. Exclusive Industry Groups
I've hired five people in the last year from an exclusive entrepreneur-oriented Facebook group. These groups are invite only and highly selective. If I'm looking for a full-time role, I always post in the group. If we're looking for professional help, I post in the group.
— Steve O'Dell, Tenzo Tea
2. Relevant Subreddits
In recruiting new real estate agents, we monitor local subreddits for frequent posters who show an interest in real estate and demonstrate a knowledge of the local area. We find that frequent posters have outgoing personalities and have shown that they're capable of marketing outreach. They already understand the importance of participating in a local community and love being the first to provide information and knowledge. This makes them effective at attracting new clientele.
(Ed. Note: "Subreddit," for the uninitiated, is the name for a sub-forum on Reddit.)
— Jeff Miller, AE Home Group
3. Freenode (for Tech Talent, Specifically)
In the past, we've had a lot of success with hiring in freenode IRC. For example, if you're interested in finding a PHP developer, the best place to find them would be the #php channel on freenode.
— Caleb Chen, Private Internet Access
4. Online Educational Institutions
The best source of unexpected talent for us has been partnering with online educational institutions like Launch School and Treehouse. This is how we've found 85 percent of the programmers that we have contracted. There are online schools focused on other skill areas, too, such as design and writing.
— Cristian Rennella, elMejorTrato.com
5. Local Community Websites
We've reached out to local community websites – town halls, libraries, universities, etc. We ask them to spread the word to their followers/students/people. We've found that people are more willing to listen to communications through these channels because they come from familiar sources instead of our company directly.
— Rhys Jenkins, Traffic Jam Media
6. Anywhere Relevant Talent Is Showcased and Celebrated
Sadly, the best people available are rarely looking for work on job boards. We go to places where good work is showcased and celebrated, and we look for talent there. Our business is animation, so for us that means forums like Motionographer.com, Stash.tv, Vimeo's Staff Picks, and Cartoon Brew. Once we identify someone who's sensibility could serve our clients, approaching them with our interest is simple and straightforward.
— William Gadea, IdeaRocket