Choosing people to work with has always been a tremendous task. We’ve given many pointers here on the best ways to add to your team and getting the most out them. Today we are going to look at more. Creative ways of finding and hiring employees. These are not necessarily the best methods but you may find some value in using these innovative approaches to hiring new employees.

Regardless of the size of your organization the number one thing you should be looking for company fit. The best way to know whether or not someone will fit into an organisation is by knowing their character. So the methods will present a common thread that involves revealing character.


Not so new but definitely still creative. Using a competition approach can actually yield very good results for you. If the competition is closely tied to the nature of the work to be done that gives you the added advantage of using work sampling as well. The rules here are completely up to you but do keep it legal and make sure you have the appropriate permissions in regard to creative work or proprietary information if that is within your scope.


Networking is a great way to find employees and has the added advantage of endorsements and recommendations. Put simply people know people. 20 years ago the theory was that you were 6 degrees of separation from anyone in the world. These days it’s likely down to two degrees of separation if your network is strong, wide and deep enough. This networking is particularly in reference to networking within your industry and related industries. It’s not uncommon for someone in the same line of business as you to be able to recommend the very people you are looking for.

Try freelancers

Sometimes the people you are looking for may be out there peddling their services as freelancers. So it would be useful to give freelancers a try with a view to employing. Of course, there’s no guarantee that this will work but really none of these methods has guarantees. Sometimes freelancers do so because they have greater reasons for doing so. However, you surely can’t find out if you don’t ask. You can also flip this and test out a few prospective hires on a freelance basis before engaging permanently. If you’re in the right industry you have the opportunity to test customer responses on the work before engaging full time. The added safety and the time to gauge the relationship make this an even more attractive method.


This one is strictly for the brave but it is a widely used practice. Headhunting involves identifying and tracking suitable candidates and making an aggressive approach for them. This one is tricky as it is usually a preserve of more established firms, however, a startup may be able to lure someone if that is within the person’s desires. There’s no charge for asking a question or having a conversation about someone joining your organization, hypothetically of course.


A business is a community within itself but it is also part of a greater community. Getting involved with the community is a great way to find suitable employees and learn about their character. Strive Masiyiwa spoke about the hiring of Ecocash CEO Natalie Jabangwe based on a blog post that she had written that showed a character he desired in his organization. That’s a really good example of finding employees through the community.

There’s no reason you can’t combine some of these methods to create a sort of hybrid. This could work out very well for you. In all cases remember to prioritize the character you are looking for over anything else. Competence can be learned through experience but the character is a stubborn beast. Patience is also important in this, it may take a while to achieve a desirable result. Headhunting, for example, is a long process. This could be how you find your next hire.