You've Exhausted Your Existing Candidate Pools. Try One of These New Sources Instead:

The success of an organization begins with the hiring process. Without quality talent, a company is dead in the water.

However, talent acquisition is rarely easy. The 2016-2017 Talent Shortage Survey from ManpowerGroup found that 40 percent of employers worldwide are having trouble filling vacant positions. Worse, no one seems to be doing anything about it. The same survey found that only 36 percent of companies are attempting to tap into new candidate pools.

If you want to find more quality employees, you need to venture out of your recruiting comfort zone. Turning to the same talent pipelines over and over will only give you the same type of candidates every time, making it unlikely that you'll find what you're looking for.

It's time to get creative and find new candidate pools. Here are four untapped sources to try recruiting from:

1. Graduates on a Gap Year

Universities are tried-and-true recruiting targets. However, employers seem to assume everyone with a college degree goes straight from the classroom to the workforce. In reality, a 2016 survey from Hostelworld found that 25.93 percent of adults take a gap year at some point. Of those, 59.85 percent take that break right after college. When those people are ready to start their careers, they make up a quality candidate pool that employers often ignore.

Graduates who take a gap year have the same education qualifications as those who are recruited straight out of college, but they also offer valuable skills that set them apart. Many people spend their gap years traveling, where they learn how to communicate and interact with a wide variety of people. Those skills are in high demand with employers.

The question is, how do you attract these types of candidates? One option is to research websites and blogs that those on gap years frequent. Look for content and forums about entering the workforce after a gap year and share information about your company to get on these candidates' radars. You can use these sites to begin researching potential candidates and to reach out to those who prove worthwhile.

2. Customers

Customer and client bases are great places to find loyal employees. These are people who already believe in and support the company, so it's not a difficult transition to become an employee. In fact, the 2016 Global Talent Trends report from LinkedIn found that 66 percent of employees who took a new job already knew about the company before they heard about the open position.

In order to recruit from this candidate pool, you need to focus on the relationship that is already in place and build upon it. You probably already have an established way to contact these potential employees, whether it's an email list or via Twitter. Use those avenues to share employment opportunities.

Include job listings at the bottom of your email blasts. Share aspects of your company culture on social media. Doing these things will get talent to start thinking of you not only as a brand, but also as a possible employer.

3. Runner-Up Candidates

Not every candidate who has applied for a job at your company has received an offer. There is always a runner-up – and often there is very little separating that candidate from the one who got the job. That makes your second-place candidates worthy of consideration in the future.

Keep track of these candidates. If they weren't the right fit for one job, reach out to them when a more suitable role opens up. Be sure to provide them with feedback about why they weren't chosen for the initial job. For instance, if a candidate didn't quite have the experience level you were looking for, let them know how they can improve. Once they've progressed, you can approach them again.

4. Parents Returning to the Workforce

It's not uncommon for both men and women to take breaks in their careers in order to raise their children. However, it's not always easy for parents to return to work. A 2016 Gallup survey found that for women who were not working and who had children under the age of 18, 49 percent listed being out of the workforce for too long as the reason they didn't have a job.

Companies can tap into this candidate pool by offering strong training programs for employees. Make it clear in recruiting material that employees who need to improve or update their skill sets will have that opportunity.

Also keep in mind that flexible work options go a long way when trying to attract working parents. In a 2015 survey from Workplace Trends, 75 percent of employees ranked workplace flexibility as their top benefit. If you haven't already, create ways for employees to have more control over their schedules and/or where they work so they don't have to choose between their families and their careers.

Many companies are having trouble finding the best talent for their open positions. However, that problem can be avoided simply by tapping into new candidate pools. By identifying and understanding what makes these types of job seekers valuable, you can better recruit them for your organization.

Josh Tolan is the CEO of video interview solution Spark Hire. Connect with Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter.