America is coming out of a long period of recession and virtually no hiring. For companies, that means that there are many eager candidates as their hiring picks up this year. After years of trying to find jobs in the same places, many eligible candidates no longer bother to check the same newspapers and internet websites that were popular nearly a decade ago. Many of the highly trained candidates that companies are interested in have stopped looking for better opportunities, making it difficult to find good employees.

That means that companies will need to get creative if they’re going to find qualified candidates. If your company is looking to hire in the coming year, try these ways to attract new talent.

1. Set up social networking accounts.

Instead of spending money on college fairs, you can meet plenty of new college graduates through Facebook and LinkedIn. Younger people are a lot more comfortable approaching a company through these methods, and they’re a lot cheaper than traveling to meet possible candidates. Furthermore, building up your online presence is a good way to add to your company’s public profile.

2. Recruit from your competition.

Odds are your competition has already hired and trained the talent you need, but reaching them can be difficult. Since these candidates rarely start looking on their own, go to them. Set up recruiters in the favorite lunch spots of your competitor’s employees, and have them hand out flyers or cards as candidates sit down on their lunch break. You’ll reach a lot of people for relatively little money.

3. Use your current employees.

The people who work for you probably know a lot of people in their field, but odds are that they don’t know how to recruit. Offering incentives to employees that refer a candidate can help, but you might also want to consider holding workshops to teach your employees how to recruit. Have them hand out cards to potential employees that give your company’s HR contact information. Of course, make it clear that your company is hiring because it is expanding. Your current employees will not recruit for you if they think that they are helping to hire their own replacement. Finder’s fees will help to add to the image that your company is looking to expand, not replace its current labor.

4. Advertise outside the newspaper and internet job board.

Few people read newspapers and many internet websites have gained a reputation for simply collecting resumes without ever actually providing any jobs. That means that they are mostly used by people who are desperate for employment. If you want to attract highly trained people, consider other ways of advertising. Hospitals looking for nurses, for example, have taken out billboards and radio ads to find qualified recruits.

5. Look attractive to new employees.

Keep your website updated and your offices ready for visitors. None of these methods will work if potential employees go looking for more information about your company and don’t like what they find. If your current employees are disgruntled, fix your image problems before you start recruiting.