As a recruiter, your job is to hire the best candidate. But when that can entail sifting through hundreds of applicants, a myriad of application forms, and seemingly endless interviews, it can pay to work smart, not hard.

This comes down to how you attract job candidates, by choosing how you source and engage with potential recruits.

Remember that finding the most passionate employees means meeting them with the same level of vested passion in your recruiting. Learning the best ways to canvas for strong workers will not only make your life easier in terms of workload, but will help you make connections with the top talent in your industry.

We’ve broken down our strategy guide to finding the best candidates into 3 important sections. Our goal is for you to take away the top tips for candidate canvassing to help you find the best new member of your team as quickly and simply as possible!

Leverage Your Social Circles & Social Media

Anyone can visit a public job board, leading you to receive unqualified applicants with no tenure in your industry. By honing your search to your professional circles, online or off, you can build contacts with people who have proven themselves passionate about their profession.

Just as you were more than likely taught that career development depends heavily on applying yourself to networking, when you find people through your network you know that they are serious about making a name for themselves.

It can also help you connect with top talent who are not necessarily looking for work right now, but who would be enticed by an offer from your company sooner or later. Building a relationship with them now can pay dividends down the road.

Remember, it’s not just you looking for a recruit, it’s your company as a whole! Leverage the networks of other employees, especially ones who attend industry events like tradeshows and expos, about who they know (and who you should get to know, too!). Consider putting together a digital or print package that they can send to their contacts with relevant and attractive hiring information.

Most importantly, don’t just wait until you need a position filled to work on your network. Building your network is a constant effort, with limitless opportunities that can be easily missed, or easily maximized.

Stay active with your followers and people you follow on social media. Jobseekers know you’re using popular platforms to research leads. In fact, 92% of recruiters are using some kind of social media, with 85% using LinkedIn, 55% using Facebook, and 47% using Twitter. Not only do you need to be active online to connect with potential employees, but also to compete with other headhunters.

Social media also offers interactive ways to engage with jobseekers, such as live chats, hashtag campaigns, and audiovisual content to highlight your company culture and brand value.

Build Inroads & Be Inviting

One of the common mistakes recruiters make is to simply post a job opening and expect people to apply when they need it. This might work to get applications from people who are desperate or are already familiar with your company culture and know they would feel welcome, but it is not attracting the best fits for new recruits.

What you need to have ready is an “inroad”, an open-ended invitation for talent to join your team. Otherwise you end up gatekeeping your company from the best workers.

Start by building a careers section on your website with a call-to-action for people to become a member of your organization. You already know that modern day jobseekers are checking out your site with an eye to understand your company culture, so now is your chance to take control of their experience and show them the best of what you have to offer.

Highlight things like who your team is on a personal level, and how their achievements have been recognized and celebrated both inside and outside the company walls. Make your workplace approachable and above all: transparent! You don’t have to show everything, but feeding your visitors some bite-sized ideas about what it means and feels like to work at your company will extend a proverbial hand to help bring them on board.

Hanging out an open-ended invitation for everyone to see also means you develop a repository of applicants that you can peruse when you need to make a quick hiring decision, saving you time when an important position needs to be filled without skimping on the quality of your talent pool.

Put The “SCRIPT” Back In “Job DeSCRIPTion”

While you certainly have a laundry list of candidate requirements and job descriptives to divulge in a job posting, you should avoid simply cobbling them together in a bullet point format.

Your job posting is an opportunity for you to tell a story about the person you envision for the role. You can expand your points into a script that really engages with your target audience. Try reformatting your approach from “we need bla, bla, bla” to something like “when you work with us, you get to bla, and work on your bla skills, while helping the community with bla”, etc.

For example, instead of listing the job duties as banal buzzwords, describe a day in the life of being part of the team. Play with the format of your important details, and try to breathe some levity into the more boring requirements.

That said, remain honest and transparent about the job. You are not trying to mask the nature of the work, but rather show that you care about the jobseekers experience. You want to allow for them to connect to the idea of working for you, and start to think of it as an experience (not just another job).

When you put these pieces together, you start to plan out a perfect approach to canvassing the top candidates for any type of company. And it’s something you can start today, not just next time you have a hiring rush! Start to put your feelers out through social connections, and refine your jobseeker-facing content to be inviting and engaging at all times. Not only will you be the fastest when it comes to recruiting, but your aim will always be true for finding the best people to grow your business!