9 Tips To Find Employees Without Recruiters

There are two common business decisions founders face daily...


Do you use your time, energy and resources to perform a task in-house (MAKE), or do you outsource the task to a specialist (BUY).

Think about it, do you make or buy your:

  • marketing?
  • accounting?
  • web development?

And what about recruiting?

Do you buy from a recruiter through commissions for their little black book of candidates and the influence they have to convince potential employees to work for you? 

Here's the thing, buying your recruitment sourcing is through the roof expensive. At Tribe9 we hear of founders spending upwards of $300k a year on recruitment fees (ouch!). This is commonly experienced for funded start ups asked to scale and grow quickly. So, before you buy from a recruiter, here are 9 tips to help you find, source and hire with little to no budget. 

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1. You

You've been around for awhile and you're well connected. No doubt you have some connections and contacts out there that will want to work for you or perhaps know someone else that may want to work for you? During the hiring period, allot yourself some time to make some phone calls, reach out to your network and see what magic you can produce.

2. Employees

Your people will know someone who would be an ideal fit for your vacancies. Your employees are your best advocates as they know exactly what the employee experience is like. 

Sometimes you may need to sweeten the deal with an Employee Referral Program but it's worth it! Think about it, would you put your reputation on the line for a crappy referral?Employee referrals are known to be 40% more reliable and a longer term hire, than a cold referral.

3. Family

I know what you're thinking - big call getting a family member into your business. We know blood is thicker than water but is it worth it? 

The obvious point is that if it doesn't work out it could put a lot of strain on your relationship. All those Xmas lunches could be a little frosty if things aren't going well at work.

But let's look at families who have made it in business. Gary Vee's business VaynerMedia and inner circle is made up of a bunch of family members, Nike a famous father-son co-founder duo, Facebook with Zucks employing his sister as Marketing Executive and the list goes on! 

So think about your family critically and you'll know in your gut if you're able to build a business with them, through the ups and downs.


Similarly with family, when hiring friends you obviously need to use your nous to ensure they fit into your business and culture.

And you hope that both of you are big enough to concede if it is not working out and can end the employment with no hard feelings. 


LinkedIn is a great source for candidates.  You can put a call out into your network, and they share it with their friends, and their friends with their friends, and so on and so on.

You can also purchase a recruiter seat portal where you can access deeper LinkedIn search capabilities and boolean searches to get to dream candidates. The seat can be expensive to purchase upfront, but could be worth it if you're about to launch a large scale recruitment drive and/or looking for that purple unicorn. 


There are a few job boards out there that have free advertising opportunities.

Glass door is free to sign up and advertise your vacant roles. Indeed is another that sometimes has free ad campaigns. Also associations like mumbrella focusing on return to work mums is free to advertise.  Jump on Google and see what job boards operate in your region.

7. Write a Blog Post

Providing some info on what it is like to work with you and your business can attract amazing employees. Ask one of your employees to talk about "The Life of a Software Developer". Or talk about your founder story and why you started the business that you did. This is more powerful and effective than you can imagine. 

Talk about why you are hiring, your vision and why it's so great to work at your company. Include an employee testimonial or two, post it onto your website and give potential candidates a great insight into working with you.

8. Tweet

Does your business have a Twitter account? Post the vacant job on a tweet with a link back to your website. I have known people who have successfully applied for jobs through Twitter. Everyone is on social media, so don't overlook it as an employment channel.

9. Attend Meetups

Most industries have meet ups and community groups that you can join. Gatherings of like minded people getting together talking shop and shooting the breeze over a drink or two is a great way to recruit. Meet ups are a great place to get your name out there and find potential employees. Visit meetup.com and see what meetups are happening in your area.


There you have it, 9 tips to find employees without recruiters.

Was this helpful? If you're reading all of this and wondering how you're going to find the time to get through this, let's chat. Contact michael@tribe9.co to see how we can help.

What other avenues have you explored with success in sourcing candidates without recruiters?



 Michael Poon - CEO of Tribe9

Interested in knowing more cost-saving tips when recruiting?


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