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Aug 18, 2014

The smartest recruiters build relationships with intelligent, potential candidates even before there is a role that needs filling.

As competitive as the recruitment market can be, there are places where you can find potential candidates for free, you just need to be proactive about investing the time it may take to do so.

You don’t need to target paid job sites to find smart people who are looking for employment, there are plenty of other places you can locate them.

The trick is to learn where the conversations are happening – and when they’re happening – that way, you can be sure you’re talking to the right people and communicating with people who are going to be genuinely interested when you offer them information about a role.

Here are some suggestions on where to start looking:

1. Facebook

Many people set up their own Facebook pages now (separate to their profiles) that advertise the fact they’re looking for a job. There are also job hunting groups you can look through, too, and can be a great pool of potential candidates.

People tend to join these groups when they’re actively looking for a job, so it’s best to find ones that are tailored to the role you’re hiring for. Look out for key words in the group’s name – such as “theater” or “sales” or “business management.”

2. Twitter

When people are job hunting they tend to talk about it, so always search sites like Twitter for people who might be talking about their job hunt. Look for people who have tweeted recruitment consultants recently – or people who have recently started following job feeds.

There is a Chrome (browser) extension called Tweet Deck that allows you to track specific hashtags and keywords on Twitter, meaning if someone tweets something with the words ‘job hunting in London’ (or whatever keywords you’d like to track) it will pop it in a specific Twitter feed for you.

3. LinkedIn

LinkedIn works in a similar way to Facebook,  in that you can track people who are job-hunting by browsing groups that have been named or tagged with job-hunting keywords. Again, you’ll need to target your search by keywords that specify the industry you’re currently hiring in; it’s no use looking in groups for graduates if you’re wanting a company director.

On LinkedIn, some people choose to link to  their other profiles too, so if they have other social networks linked up on there, it might be worth taking note. Sometimes (depending on the role), approaching someone via another network may work better.

4. Industry meet-ups and events

Depending on what industry you’re hiring for, there may be a wealth of industry meet-ups, networking and conferences happening in your town or city. Use the website Meetup.Com to find them – and see if you can attend any yourself.

It’s a great way to meet people in person, and although not everyone will be looking for new roles or opportunities, they may not frown at the suggestion. It’s always worth asking – just in case they are and simply need a push.

These meet-ups will be full of industry folk too, so be sure to do your research on who is going and who you might expect to meet. It makes such a huge difference than going in with no information or prior knowledge – and you’ll look much more prepared and professional.

5. Student websites and forums

Students are always on the lookout for jobs and so make up a very large and very enthusiastic bunch when it comes to candidates. If you’re hiring for a junior role, or even mid-level role, keep a graduate or student in mind for it. There are plenty of online forums where students congregate and discuss job positions and job-hunting tactics.

Get involved on those forums and start building those relationships. Take a look at the university websites, too, and find out whether they have any job-advertising space on their sites, or if they have any internal student job search features.

If so – you could ask for a selection of candidates for a role you’re currently hiring for.

This originally appeared on The Fordyce Forum.