I agree with @crackie
that the new tech tree is a bit of a discouragement when it comes to taking in small players. We have a specific fellowship for that in our group on Khelonaar, Land of Shadows. The AM there likes to work with small players.
As for methods of recruiting the most important tip, after what I said above, is to look before you leap. Use elvenstats.com to be sure the player or players are active and of the desired "growth profile" before sending the invite. And, don't contact anybody in a fellowship about joining yours without getting permission from the AM of that fellowship first. It's considered "poaching" and most AM's are too respectful to do that.
Now here are a three techniques I've used.
1) Individual player. Here you go through the players list around the size of the player you wish and think you can get and look for ones without a fellowship. The larger the player the more likely they aren't active as large players are usually more prone to join fellowships and/or start one of their own to play solo. I'd look for someone near the size of your average player. Elvenstats.com gives you the "ideal" candidate for your fellowship.
2) Fellowship Watch. Here you pick a fellowship with players about your size. Not as hard to do as the fellowships are listed by size and all you have to do is divide the total by the number of players. Once you've spotted that fellowship you do the right thing and go to elvenstats.com and examine it. Say it's 15 players and you find, from elvenstats that 14 are active. Not a good target because that pretty much means they are a active group. On the other hand, if 6 to 8 or more are inactive you might consider them. BUT, again, look at the AM. If he/she is active (and often they are not), contact them for permission. If they aren't active, and a Mage is, contact them. If no Mage or AM is active it's pretty much okay to contact the players that meet your criteria.
3) Fellowship Merge. Here you look for the same basic characteristics as number 2. You then look to see if you can take in all of them or find a home for them in a "sister" or "affiliated" fellowship. If you can take in all of the active players and they all meet your criteria, you contact the AM (or Mage) and propose a merge. The details might mean you have to make somebody a Mage when they arrive or not, but that's just part of negotiating a merger.
Now for some observations. First, it takes a long time, sometimes, for people to respond. Be patient. I usually wait 3-4 days between messages. Second, it takes a long time, sometimes, for people to read the msg from their AM that they are merging. So you may have found 3 active players and when it was all said an done, only one "merged." Third, it takes a long time, sometimes, for the stragglers to come in AND they sometimes don't come to you but join other fellowships. Don't know why when it happens, but it does. The best way to prevent this, I think (and something I learned from an AM with whom we merged) is to send, the moment the merger is okayed, a msg to every perspective player coming into your fs, welcoming them and letting them know you are ready for them.
So those are my three "go to" ways to recruit. None of them are easy and it takes a lot of work, but it sure beats letting your fs shrink into the Mist of Lost Fellowships.