With unemployment hovering around 5 percent, and a constant stream of new job websites popping up, many would assume that hiring qualified employees is as easy as it has ever been. But that’s simply not the case.

In some cases, the sheer number of recruiting tools only adds to the problem of finding qualified talent because employers aren’t sure where to turn to best meet their hiring needs.

Jeff Dean, a headhunter for staffing agency Adecco Staffing, offers these inside tips to help employers recruit more effectively:

Use online recruiting platforms

There are plenty of job boards out there where employers can post an opening and collect applications. From Craigslist to Monster.com, these resources are well known, Dean says, But they are not quite as effective as recruiting platforms.

Bullhorn Reach, for example, connects to an employer’s social media sites so job postings go to the company’s social sites and to a platform where people can view them.

Jobfox is another option. It builds a network of possible job candidates for employers to look through. Businesses can even offer cash to people who provide qualified referrals.

Be smarter about online searches

It’s not uncommon for employers to turn to search engines including Google or Bing to search for talented candidates. Most run a search such as, “electricians looking for work in San Francisco.” However, Dean says using generic search phrases won’t deliver the results you have in mind.

“Instead, use a more specific search method called Boolean Search. Basically, that means using words like ‘and,’ ‘and not’ and ‘or’ to find more targeted results.”

The use of such “filter words” narrows down results, or includes results higher in the search so employers can access relevant information faster.

Post job openings in LinkedIn Groups

Many assume employers are using social media to hire employees, but research suggests that nearly two out of three companies don’t use, or don’t know how to use, social media to promote job openings.

While companies should post openings on Facebook and Twitter, Deans says a more effective social tool is LinkedIn. Eighty-nine percent of recruiters report having hired someone through this social channel.

Of course, employers can scan profiles and reach out to talented individuals, but Dean says employers should post job openings in LinkedIn Groups.

Groups focus on special niches. For example, there’s a group specifically for plumbing contractors and the Society for American Florists. Find a group that aligns with your needs, and post a link to the job opening.

Turn to local colleges and universities

Every city has a university full of bright minds ready to take on a challenge, but few employers turn to them for recruiting help.

“Create a relationship with the career services department at your local college,” Dean says. “They know the pulse of the student body and can put you in touch with talented applicants.”

It’s especially helpful for companies looking for specific technical skills that are hard to come by.

Join a local association

Local associations not only provide a great networking opportunity but are a great recruiting resource.

“Odds are, someone in the association knows of qualified candidate who’s right for the position you’re looking to fill,” Dean says. “It’s a great way to search for talent that comes with solid references.”

Since recruiting is an ongoing process, continued membership in an association is always helpful, Dean says.

Employing any combination of these tips can help employers recruit qualified talent in a faster and more efficient way.