Some CIOs are tapping into a trick that external HR recruiters have used for a while now: joblogging.

"This allows us to start a conversation about what opportunities we have here," says John Leech, manager of recruitment for services at FedEx. Leech says FedEx IT launched the search-via-blogs strategy about a year ago.

While he won't specify how many new hires have resulted, he calls the effort "very successful." One of the benefits of using blogs and social-networking sites such as LinkedIn.com to recruit is being able to see candidates' current work and interests.

Google recently unveiled another innovative hiring tactic. It posted a billboard in Silicon Valley, reading: {first 10-digit prime found in consecutive digits of e}.com. Google's name did not appear on the board. If a person solved the problem and plugged the answer into a browser, he was taken to a Google site where he could submit a résumé.

Leech says FedEx plans to use a contest too, asking applicants to solve problems in logistics, programming and systems. Meanwhile, FedEx will be watching the blogs. "Recruiting is a timing game," says Leech. "When the boss is yelling at them, when they should have been promoted, that's when we want to make contact with them."

His advice for other CIOs: "Create a strong recruiting brand that is easy to communicate. Join popular online communities and start connecting with people that have the talent. Remember, you are only six people away from phenomenal IT talent. The trick is how you connect the dots."