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How Companies Use Recruiting to Find Qualified Job Applicants

by Sam Ashe-Edmunds, studioD

Many businesses fill key jobs without posting them, and you can improve your chances of landing your dream job by finding those hidden positions that don’t get advertised or are broadcast in limited areas. Understanding how companies recruit to find the most qualified candidates can help you increase your shot at finding those jobs.

Internal Recruitment

The larger the company, the more likely it will first look at who is on staff who can fill a key position. This requires less advertising, researching, interviewing and conducting background checks. Once the lower-level worker is promoted, the company will advertise the empty position. If you want to work for a specific company, develop contacts in that company or develop a relationship with its human resources manager before jobs open. This might help you get your resume reviewed after an internal review is finished and before the company starts advertising for outside candidates.


More and more companies are relying on LinkedIn to fill positions, with thousands of human resources departments and headhunters using the site exclusively to scout candidates and contact them.. If you’re not on LinkedIn, you significantly reduce your chances of landing jobs for which you’re qualified. Setting up an account and waiting for recruiters to find you isn’t enough. Complete your profile, expand your network, join industry groups and most importantly, place keywords on your profile page that helps companies looking for specific skills find you.

Job Boards and Want Ads

Internet job board and print media want ads are still viable sources for employers to find high-quality candidates, with many sites specializing in the types of candidates they attract. For example, Opportunity Knocks caters to those wishing to work for charities. Trade associations looking for employees use the job board of the American Society of Association Executives and industry trade magazines. Keep current with your profession’s websites and trade publications to spot jobs you might otherwise miss searching more general boards and publications.


Snagging the best jobs often come down to who you know, not what you know. Businesses put out feelers to their professional contacts to find qualified candidates for special jobs. Joining your profession’s trade association, serving on committees, attending mixers, going to conferences and writing newsletter articles can help you develop your professional network and score more interviews.


For highly specialized positions, some companies hire third-party executive search firms or individuals to help find candidates. These consultants often specialize in a particular field or industry, keeping a network of potential candidates in their database and performing search work and pre-interviews a business doesn’t want to do. Contact these businesses to let them know you’re looking.

About the Author

Sam Ashe-Edmunds has been writing and lecturing for decades. He has worked in the corporate and nonprofit arenas as a C-Suite executive, serving on several nonprofit boards. He is an internationally traveled sport science writer and lecturer. He has been published in print publications such as Entrepreneur, Tennis, SI for Kids, Chicago Tribune, Sacramento Bee, and on websites such Smart-Healthy-Living.net, SmartyCents and Youthletic. Edmunds has a bachelor's degree in journalism.

Photo Credits

  • Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images