In the race to find the best and brightest talent, companies invest a lot of time and resources to find and land top prospects. But without a solid recruitment strategy, even the best efforts will fall flat.
Skilled candidates looking for new opportunities are becoming increasingly adept at spotting an organization that doesn’t seem to have it together from the get-go. A solid hiring process is one of the most important, yet often overlooked, aspects of running a successful business. Not having one in place can be a major red flag for potential candidates.
Taking the time to develop an effective recruiting strategy can result in a better pool of candidates, a shorter interview process, and ultimately a higher ROI by reducing the costs associated with employee turnover.
What follows is a roadmap for recruiters looking to up their game—starting with attracting potential employees who are both qualified and a good fit for your organization. We’ll help you understand the elements of successful recruiting, the most effective recruiting methods, and other factors you should consider when developing your employee hiring strategy.
What is a recruitment strategy?
A recruitment strategy can help you streamline your efforts from a candidate’s first encounter to a signed contract. It is a well-thought-out action plan to successfully recognize, engage, and hire high-quality candidates for your organization. The strategy should be developed with hiring objectives and company goals in mind. As part of the ongoing process, results should be measured against established benchmarks and the plan should be refined accordingly as needed.
A recruitment strategy can be carried out by an in-house HR manager or an outside recruitment agency or an individual consultant. The strategy can serve as a blueprint so no matter who is recruiting and hiring for your company, a clear and actionable process is being followed.
Implementing a recruitment strategy—also referred to as recruitment marketing—is one of the best ways to attract passive candidates, which make up 70% of the global workforce. Passive candidates are individuals who aren’t actively looking for a new job but may be open to the right opportunity. A strategy can help you define who you’re looking for and where to find them.
Here are five recruiting strategies or methods you can use to improve your recruiting.
Establish a clear employer brand.
‘Brand’ is a word that seems to get thrown around a lot, but your employer brand is crucial for your recruiting strategy. In fact, 72% of leaders in the recruitment field across the world agree that a strong brand identity has a significant impact on hiring.
Companies like Facebook, Disney, and Tesla are more than just corporate giants dominating today’s marketplace. These companies are also among the most sought-after employers for potential job seekers, according to LinkedIn. Why? Because of their brand equity. Each of these organizations shares one major factor: a strong brand identity where customers and potential employees have a solid idea of what they are “buying into” when aligning with each brand.
They are instantly recognizable – not just for the products they sell, but for the perceived value of the brand.
If your company has a strong brand, a candidate may already be familiar with who you are and will choose to engage (or not) based on that. If they are not yet familiar, presenting a unified employer brand across all touchpoints – from your website to how a recruiter answers questions – will let the candidate know what you’re all about.
Create killer job posts
Your job postings are often the first impression a candidate will have of your business. A vague description that leaves a job seeker with more questions than answers will not do anything to help you attract qualified candidates. They will simply move on. A detailed description will clearly explain the role, responsibilities, and qualifications. A candidate has to be able to see themselves performing successfully in that role and determine if their skills could be a match.
Yet, your job posting should do more than just list the professional qualifications you are seeking. Whether you are looking to create a free-spirited, creative working environment, or a no-nonsense, all business atmosphere, use language that conveys your company culture.
Another way to paint a picture to potential candidates is to list soft skills that will help them get a feel for your company values and will give them a better idea of whether they are a good fit for you. These can include anything from adaptability and growth mindset to work ethic and a team player attitude. If a candidate can envision themselves fitting in with your company, it will make it that much more enticing to pursue an opportunity.
Improve your interview process
A smooth, efficient interview process is something that candidates will appreciate and will make your hiring strategy stand out. To make the most out of each conversation with a potential recruit, cater interviews for specific positions. Take the time to dig into the responsibilities and ask questions that will tease out the top talent for that role.
Avoid canned interview questions that don’t reflect your company culture or employee experience. Just as with the job post, this is your chance to share your values and get a feel for what matters to the candidate. It is also beneficial to incorporate personality assessments or other methods that will give you insight into an individual’s soft skills.
According to a 2019 LinkedIn report, 92% of hiring managers said soft skills are more important than technical skills, while 89% said bad hires typically lack these skills.
Hosting group interviews might be another way to level up your interview process. Whether you interview a small group of candidates at a time or you interview a single candidate in front of a small panel of employees, this is a good way to see how potential hires interact with others and to gauge how an individual might fit into your existing team.
Target passive job candidates
A well-rounded marketing strategy takes into account hot leads – those who are ready to buy what you are selling—and cold leads – those who aren’t even aware of a problem you could help them solve. Your recruiting strategic plan should be no different.
Did you know that only 12% of workers are actively looking for an opportunity at any given time? While these hot leads might be ready to engage with you, other numbers show that the best opportunities lie with passive candidates, those who aren’t actively looking but will pay attention if the right opportunity comes along.
Do your research on who these people are, where they are found and what their goals are. Then, you can go after them with a tailored approach. Up to 45% of workers are open to discussing other job opportunities with a recruiter and companies like Toggl report that targeting passive job candidates is how most new team members are found.
A robust recruitment marketing plan will help you find a larger pool of qualified candidates from which to make your selection, whether they are eager to join your team or just learning about the potential growth your company can offer.
Use social media
It has become a simple fact of business that leveraging social media is an absolute must. Whether it’s to build your brand, grow a following or engage with consumers, it is an essential part of any business plan. That should include your recruiting strategy as well. Many companies are using social recruiting to connect with potential hires, especially those targeting millennials. Companies that have had success with this technique include Zappos, Uber, and Apple.
In addition to direct messaging potential hires with specific job openings at your company, you can use social media to showcase your company’s values, impact, and work culture – building your brand recognition and equity. This may include posting photos, industry-related articles, blog posts, and/or testimonials from current employees, etc. A preliminary step in attracting talented people who are genuinely interested in your company and vision is giving them curated, valuable content that will keep you on their radar.
Using social media as a resource can also give you a goldmine of information to craft your recruiting approach for passive candidates and help circulate that killer job post for greater reach. Take advantage of social media for the marketing tool that it is and you’ll find exactly who you are looking for.
How do you develop a recruiting strategy?
So, how does a company put together a cohesive, practical, intelligent recruitment plan? Start with assessing your existing strategy: What is working? Where is there room for improvement? What are your KPIs and benchmarks? Once you take a close look at where you stand, you can build from there.
Think about your target hires: What skills would result in the best ROI for your organization? It’s not just about the technical skills. Consider those soft skills that may make a candidate stand out from the pack. What competencies are critical and what qualities will make your team stronger? Where are potential hires most likely to connect with your organization? What is the best way to engage with them?
Assess your existing interview and hiring process: Is it streamlined, or are good candidates slipping through your net due to inefficiencies? What is your current employee turnover? If it’s high, dig into that with your managers. Don’t forget to talk to your employees, especially the newly hired ones who have the hiring experience still fresh on their minds.
Take the time and reap the rewards
If you take the time to do the research and ask the hard questions, you will reap the benefits. Develop a plan based on your findings and set goals for your team This may include hosting monthly industry meetups (virtual or in-person). Establish a social media content strategy and posting schedule. Rework existing job postings to better reflect your current workplace.
With a sound recruiting strategy in place and executed well, those dream candidates are within your reach.