TestGorilla LogoTestGorilla Logo

11 innovative ways to attract quality talent

11 innovative ways to attract quality talent featured image

Between labor shortages, widening skills gaps, and ongoing economic uncertainty, the current outlook for recruitment can feel bleak. The competition between employers to attract and hire the best talent is heating up. 

As a result, three out of four employers worldwide have difficulties filling vacancies. [1] The issue isn’t getting enough applicants – it’s attracting and finding the right ones.

The solution? Think outside the box and introduce innovative solutions to entice quality talent. In this article, we offer 11 creative ways to stand out as an employer of choice and attract more top-tier candidates. 

11 innovative ways to attract quality talent

Here are 11 methods to help you gain candidates’ attention and encourage them to apply. These methods span six categories: skills-based hiring, your current employees, company culture and branding, employee benefits, DEI, and technology.

  1. Emphasize skills over qualifications and experience in your job ads

  2. Invite unlimited candidates to a skills assessment

  3. Make your current employees brand ambassadors

  4. Gamify your employee referrals program

  5. Position your business as a thought leader

  6. Put your company values at the center of hiring 

  7. Include the salary in the job advertisement

  8. Highlight your unique upskilling and reskilling opportunities

  9. Promote remote and flexible working arrangements

  10. Use AI in your hiring process

  11. Take extra steps to make your recruitment process mobile-friendly

Keep reading to learn more. 

Skills-based hiring

Skills-based hiring is a great way to broaden your talent pool and hire the best people for your roles. By focusing on capabilities rather than superficial metrics like degrees and job titles, this approach highlights hidden workers that your recruitment process may otherwise overlook. Here’s how. 

1. Emphasize skills over qualifications and experience in your job ads

For our 2023 State of Skills-Based Hiring Report, we surveyed 1,500 employers and 1,500 employees worldwide. Forty-two percent of employees said they’d been overlooked in the recruitment process because they lacked formal qualifications or experience. 


However, qualifications and experience aren’t the best measures of a person’s potential. Employers who prioritize these factors limit their talent pools and miss out on hiring quality talent. 

Say you’re looking to hire a new project manager. You could require five years of project management experience. But this likely limits you to applicants who have previously held roles with “project management” in the title. 

The better approach? Write your job ad around the relevant skills applicants need – like leadership, organizational, and communication capabilities – rather than rigid criteria like university qualifications and years of experience. 

This job ad will appeal to a broader range of applicants, including those who don’t have specific project management experience but have developed the necessary skills from working in similar roles.

“Your job description is your stepping stone, so it should be your first point of innovation. Fancy words and fluff don’t matter – quality talent will see through the fluff. The best and most innovative job descriptions are simple and direct, and get straight to the point.”  – Marie Gadenne-Viscontini, Product Manager @ TestGorilla

2. Invite unlimited candidates to a skills assessment

Talent assessments help you objectively assess skills and identify the best candidate for a role. 

Since you can administer skills assessments online, using them in your hiring process gives you access to worldwide talent. However, some employers mistakenly limit the number of candidates they invite to complete these assessments. 

Giving all applicants interested in the role access to assessments is a great way to engage with more candidates. 

With TestGorilla’s talent assessment software, for example, you can include public links to your pre-employment assessments in your job ads. What’s more, TestGorilla ranks candidates for you – so you can see your highest-quality candidates instantly. 

Your current employees

Harnessing your existing workforce is a great way to attract more applicants. Here’s how.  

3. Make your current employees brand ambassadors

Don’t underestimate the value of word-of-mouth advertising in attracting more quality candidates. For its Inside the Candidate Experience 2023 Report, PeopleScout surveyed over 2,400 job seekers. Of these, 57% said they’ve asked friends and colleagues about an employer. 

That’s why it’s essential to build a strong employer brand and encourage your employees to become brand ambassadors who promote working for your business.

Supporting employees, acknowledging their contributions and achievements, and taking a genuine interest in their well-being can help you create a strong employer brand. When your existing employees are satisfied and engaged at work, they’re more likely to speak positively about your company in public. 

Encourage employees to share their experiences with your business and job opportunities on social media. Potential candidates will likely find these more compelling than any corporate materials you’ve created to promote your business as an employer of choice. 

Premier Staff, a luxury event staffing agent, has succeeded with this approach. We spoke to the founder and CEO, Daniel Meursing, who encourages employees to share their experiences on social media and within their networks. 

“By showcasing the unique culture and opportunities within our organization, we have been able to generate buzz and interest among potential candidates who may not have otherwise considered a career in event staffing,” Daniel explains. 

Using brand ambassadors to promote your vacancies, employer brand, and company culture on social media and through their networks helps attract like-minded individuals whose values align with your company’s. These candidates are often a better cultural fit for your organization, resulting in better quality hires. 

4. Gamify your employee referrals program

Your existing employees have the best understanding of your business – and the people with the right skills and attitudes to complement it. 

As Scott Klinger, Chief People Officer at EarthLink, explains, “Recruiting efforts that come from a current employee increase the likelihood of finding new team members who are a better fit and leads to lower turnover and a happier, more productive workforce.”

For this reason, many employers create employee referral programs (ERPs) to incentivize employees to recommend quality candidates from their social and professional networks. 

Standard ERP incentives include financial bonuses and gift cards. But to stay competitive as an employer, you should break the mold. What incentives matter to your employees specifically? 

You can offer innovative incentives like extra paid vacation leave, a donation to your employee’s charity of choice, or coaching sessions. 

You can also upgrade the traditional ERP model by gamifying the process. Make the referral program a game by creating or subscribing to an app that rewards employees with points for successful referrals, maintains scores and leaderboards, and gives employees who reach a certain number of points awards.

Company culture 

Showcasing your company’s unique and good culture also helps you stand out from other employers. Do this: 

5. Position your business as a thought leader

Becoming a thought leader – an authority in a specific industry or niche – helps distinguish your business from competitors and attract top-quality candidates. 

Do this by regularly sharing industry updates, offering insights on trends, discussing industry-relevant topics at conferences on your company’s blog, or even starting a podcast. 

Amy Rosenburg, founder and President of PR firm Veracity, explains the power of producing authentic thought leadership content. 

“When I can speak transparently and honestly through my content, I’m speaking directly to my key audience: my staff, my future staff and my future business partners or referral sources.”

Building a reputation and positioning your business as a thought leader takes time. But the benefits can be worth it. 

One of the main benefits of this approach? It helps you attract top-tier candidates. Like attracts like – high-performing candidates are more interested in working with leaders in their field. When potential candidates read, listen, or consume your content, your company is at the forefront of their minds when looking for a new role. 

6. Put your company values at the center of hiring  

Many of today’s candidates want to find roles and employers that align with their values. 

For its Inside the Candidate Experience 2023 Report, PeopleScout surveyed over 2,400 job applicants. Fifty percent of applicants identified a company’s mission or values as key factors in their decision to apply for a role. 

Candidates want to understand a potential employer’s priorities regarding how they treat employees and their broader impact on the world. 

This consideration is especially relevant to attracting Gen Z candidates. Deloitte’s 2023 Gen Z and Millennial Survey, which surveyed 14,483 Gen Zs, found that 39% have turned down employers due to mismatched values. Given that Gen Zs are on track to represent 27% of the global workforce by 2025, highlighting your company’s mission and values during the hiring process is a key strategy for attracting more of this talent – including high-quality candidates seeking meaningful roles.

Set out your values on your careers page and in job advertisements. Interviews are also good opportunities to discuss values. 

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)

Improving DEI ensures your hiring processes are accessible, encouraging candidates who otherwise wouldn’t apply. 

Diversity efforts also matter to many applicants. In PageUp’s 2023 Candidate Experience Report, 78% of job seekers identify evidence of a diverse workforce as a key factor when assessing potential employers. 


Here are some DEI-based methods that can attract applicants.

7. Include the salary in the job advertisement

Employers in some states, like New York and Colorado, must include salaries in their job descriptions by law. However, other employers seeking to widen their talent pools should do this, too.  

Include the salary range in your job descriptions to attract more applicants and ensure they complete the application process. 

Julia Pollak, chief economist at ZipRecruiter, explains, “When people are searching for work, [compensation] is the most salient concern typically. So if they don’t find the [salary] information they need, they may not waste the time going through the process at all.”

These observations are backed up by a recent Gallup survey of 13,085 US workers, where 64% said pay and benefits are critical when accepting a job offer. 

Pay transparency can also encourage more diverse applicants to apply, uncovering hidden talent. This was proptech company WeMaintain’s experience after introducing full pay transparency. 

Speaking to the BBC, WeMaintain’s UK Managing Director Tom Harmsworth says, “Being upfront about the salary banding has definitely resulted in us seeing more female candidates.”

Including salaries in job advertisements demonstrates your commitment to fairness and transparency – attractive qualities to top-tier candidates. 

Recent research from the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) found this about organizations that include pay ranges in their job ads: 

  • 70% say it’s led to more people applying

  • 66% said it’s increased the quality of applicants they're seeing

Employee benefits

While employee benefits are less of a priority for job seekers than other considerations like DEI and company values, they’re still a powerful tool for attracting talent. Here’s how you can use benefits in hiring.

8. Highlight your unique upskilling and reskilling opportunities 

Exceptional candidates expect employers to help them realize their full potential at work. They seek opportunities to upskill and reskill and want to understand potential career pathways and opportunities for promotion. 

For example, a recent Gartner survey found that 45% of employees are leaving their current jobs for employers that offer better professional development opportunities. 

For this reason, highlighting training and development opportunities – like personal development budgets, regular in-house training sessions, and mentorship opportunities – during the hiring process is crucial. To turbo-charge this strategy’s effectiveness, ensure the learning and development opportunities you offer appeal to a broad range of applicants. 

For example, offering reverse mentoring – where junior workers mentor more senior employees to help them brush up on their tech skills – may attract senior applicants with extensive experience in other areas. 

In job advertisements, explain how you invest in candidates and their development. You can also use your careers page to present profiles of current employees that highlight the learning opportunities they’ve accessed and their progression within the company. 

9. Promote remote and flexible working arrangements

The pandemic saw a swift and widespread shift to working from home for many employees. Many job seekers still want this flexibility to support a better work-life balance

So, promote these arrangements during hiring to attract more applicants – including top-tier talent – and avoid missing out on quality talent who can find more desirable arrangements elsewhere. 

Speaking to HR Magazine, Claire Campbell, CEO of flexible work social enterprise Timewise, points out that many employers overlook this powerful hiring strategy. 

“Four million people are walking away from jobs that don’t offer enough flexibility,” she says. “You would think that this would inspire more employers to offer flexible working at the point when a job is advertised – it’s the ultimate recruitment tool.”

A main advantage of promoting flexible working? Its cross-generational appeal. 

According to PeopleScout’s Inside the Candidate Experience 2023 report, flexible working arrangements and work-life balance are the top considerations for Millennials, Gen Xers, and Baby Boomers – and the second most essential considerations for Gen Z applicants. 


Introducing technologies into your hiring streamlines the process and optimizes candidate experience, helping you attract more quality applicants. Here’s how you can use tech. 

10. Use AI in your hiring process

More and more employers are turning to AI to make hiring more efficient and deliver a better candidate experience. But only a small percentage of employers take advantage of AI's potential. 

According to a recent survey by Tidio involving over 1,000 participants, only 65% of recruiters currently use AI in their hiring processes. 

Using AI in your hiring process can help you:

  • Match candidates with the right skills, experience, and culture add to a role. 

  • Identify candidates with relevant transferable skills – skills that can “transfer” from one role to another. 

  • Scan applications from previous hiring processes to identify candidates who may be interested in a new role. 

  • Communicate and provide feedback to candidates throughout the process. 

AI in talent acquisition requires a considered approach and isn’t the solution to every hiring challenge. For example, there are concerns that AI may reinforce biases rather than reduce them as initially thought due to the datasets it's trained on. 

However, a tech-driven approach to the hiring process can complement your hiring team’s skills and capacity. It can also improve the candidate experience by supporting hiring teams in making hiring decisions faster, communicating more often with candidates, and delivering a personalized experience to applicants. 

Liz Corey, chief human resources officer at cloud solutions provider Velosia, explains this:  “If a job seeker has a positive experience during the recruitment process, they are more likely to share their experience with others. This can help your organization attract more top talent in the future."

11. Take extra steps to make your recruitment process mobile-friendly

Ensuring your hiring process is optimized for job seekers using smartphones and tablets can help boost the number of applications you receive – increasing your reach to more quality talent. 

Recruitment marketing platform Appcast analyzed job ad data from around 1,200 US employers. It found that 68.44% of clicks on job ads and 67.24% of applications came from mobile devices. 

This shows that most job seekers are using their mobile devices to look for and apply for vacancies. If your recruitment process doesn’t support this, you risk missing out on exceptional candidates. 

At minimum, ensure your careers page is optimized for smartphones and tablets. Hire web developers or designers who use responsive design techniques that adjust layouts according to screen size, for instance.

Here are some more innovative ways to make your hiring process mobile-friendly:

  • Check that your job advertisements are easily read on mobile devices and candidates can complete application forms on smartphones or tablets. For example, use larger fonts, buttons, and fields that are easy to fill out. Don’t require lengthy answers – which are difficult to input on mobile devices – without good reason. 

  • Post job openings on social media channels that are already mobile-optimized, such as X or Facebook.

  • Keep candidates up to date with their progress via text or a mobile app. Better yet, use software that automates these messages – like some applicant tracking systems or talent assessment software do. For example, TestGorilla has an automated email system for communicating with candidates.

Innovative hiring strategies will win the talent war

In the current landscape of hiring challenges, employers who think outside the box will come out on top. 

Strategies like encouraging your employees to be brand ambassadors expand the reach of your recruiting efforts so you don’t miss out on quality talent. Other strategies – like inviting an unlimited number of candidates to talent assessments – help you attract more candidates and quickly identify top talent. Using talent assessment platforms like TestGorilla’s can turbocharge your recruitment efforts and help you to hire the best. 

When it comes to your hiring process, be an innovator, and you’ll have a line of A-grade talent coming through the door. 


  1. “2024 Global Talent Shortage.” ManpowerGroup, 2024. https://go.manpowergroup.com/hubfs/Talent%20Shortage/Talent%20Shortage%202024/MPG_TS_2024_GLOBAL_Infographic.pdf


Hire the best candidates with TestGorilla

Create pre-employment assessments in minutes to screen candidates, save time, and hire the best talent.

The best advice in pre-employment testing, in your inbox.

No spam. Unsubscribe at any time.

TestGorilla Logo

Hire the best. No bias. No stress.

Our screening tests identify the best candidates and make your hiring decisions faster, easier, and bias-free.

Free resources

Anti-cheating checklist

This checklist covers key features you should look for when choosing a skills testing platform

Onboarding checklist

This resource will help you develop an onboarding checklist for new hires.

How to find candidates with strong attention to detail

How to assess your candidates' attention to detail.

How to get HR certified

Learn how to get human resources certified through HRCI or SHRM.

Improve quality of hire

Learn how you can improve the level of talent at your company.

Case study
Case study: How CapitalT reduces hiring bias

Learn how CapitalT reduced hiring bias with online skills assessments.

Resume screening guide

Learn how to make the resume process more efficient and more effective.

Recruiting metrics
Important recruitment metrics

Improve your hiring strategy with these 7 critical recruitment metrics.

Case study
Case study: How Sukhi reduces shortlisting time

Learn how Sukhi decreased time spent reviewing resumes by 83%!

12 pre-employment testing hacks

Hire more efficiently with these hacks that 99% of recruiters aren't using.

The benefits of diversity

Make a business case for diversity and inclusion initiatives with this data.