The headlines have been showing it for months: filling positions has been a challenge like never before. The pandemic has created new workplace demands and conditions that business owners are trying to get their arms around. Simply put, a lot of great hires are out there – but many want more than what was the norm several years ago – and not just salary. We’ve even heard about some companies removing their “team” pages from their websites because other firms actively poach the top employees! That’s how competitive the situation has become.

Staffing up these days requires some out-of-the-box thinking. We have some ideas.

Offer creative incentives. For example, working remotely for the last couple of years has saved employees loads of money in gas, parking, and commuting costs. They don’t want to shell it out again, so consider offering a stipend for commuting costs, or a monthly bus, train, or subway pass.

Host your own mini job fair. Create an event where potential candidates can swing by and get to know your firm – and you can get to know them

Work your social media connections. That’s a better use than just posting pictures of your dinner.

Find talent in the places you go every day. For example, that friendly waiter at a favorite restaurant could make a great customer service rep. A super-efficient checkout person might be perfect for a production line job.

Employee Referral Program. Your own workers know the job and likely know others in their circle who would be a good fit. Offer them a bonus if a hire works out and stays for a certain period of time (say, 3-6 months).

Outsourcing. There are plenty of freelancers out there who can pick up the slack if you’re short-staffed on a particular project. Who knows? It might go so well that you bring them on full-time.

Times like these require new and innovative ways to find great talent, but don’t despair — it’s possible!