10 Recruitment Strategies for Hiring the Best Talent

You have an immediate need to hire a new employee. You might think it’s as simple as throwing together a job description and posting it on a few job boards like Monster and Indeed.

But pause for a moment and consider that if you want to find the best talent for the role, good recruiting takes more than posting a job and interviewing a lobby full of candidates. It takes a well thought out plan of action for each stage of the process of attracting, screening, interviewing, and selecting candidates. It takes what is known as a recruitment strategy.

Without a recruitment strategy, companies struggle to hire the right talent needed to drive their business into the future. The result is a lack of productivity, lower employee satisfaction, high turnover rates, and lost costs from wasted trainings and transitional down time.

To maximize your recruiting effort and hire the best talent, read on to learn what a recruitment strategy is and ten ways you can build one for your company.

What is a Recruitment Strategy?

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A recruitment strategy is defined as the creation of a formal plan of action for successfully identifying, recruiting and hiring high-quality candidates for the purpose of filling open positions.

Or more simply, a recruitment strategy is your playbook. It’s a series of actions that you plan ahead of time so that you and your hiring team can maximize each step in the process. Once you have a recruitment strategy in place, the hiring team becomes more efficient, achieving better hiring outcomes, while improving your employer brand in the eyes of your candidates. A true win-win!

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10 Ways You Can Build Your Recruitment Strategy

1. Write a Clear Job Description

If you don’t know what you’re hiring for, how can you hire the right individual? You can’t. That’s why it’s essential to write a clear and accurate job description. A job description that’s not on point will simply attract candidates you don’t want. Think of it as setting sail with a compass that’s 20 degrees off to the east—you’ll end up far from where you wanted to be!

If you know what the job requirements and skills set are, you’re off to a great start. If you don’t know exactly what you need for the role, it’s time to do some research.

Source online for information about the job type. Check out similar jobs posted by your competitors; you can get a lot of great ideas from how they structure the job. Consult internally with your hiring manager—if that’s not you—and review the job requirements and necessary skill set. They’ll likely have a strong opinion on what experience is needed to succeed in the role.

Beyond role-specific information, you should consider including a brief statement about your company, its mission, and culture; benefits and other perks; and the salary range. The more you share the better the chance you will appeal to qualified candidates and not those who recognize an obvious mismatch.

What’s the length of a solid job description? According to the experts at Indeed, “job descriptions between 700 and 2,000 characters get up to 30% more applications.”

Oh, and be sure to proofread your job post! Grammatical errors or misspellings are a big turn off to top candidates.

2. Get Feedback from the Hiring Manager

In addition to getting feedback from the hiring manager on the job description and necessary skill set, it’s wise to have an organized plan for sharing the narrowed list of candidates with the hiring manager.

The more collaboratively you work together, the more efficient the process will be. This helps eliminate your having to make assumptions about whether individuals are qualified based on technical skills or personality. By looping relevant people into the hiring process, you help refine the field with other’s input, saving time for you, your team, and your candidates.

3. Post Your Role to Niche Job Sites

There’s certainly no shortage of job-posting websites like Indeed, LinkedIn or Glassdoor that you can list your job on. Posting on these three sites is a pretty standard move to get the ball rolling. But depending on your industry, there may be a number of targeted niche websites that you should also consider for your job posting.

There are hundreds of available niche job sites for everything — remote-only work; for profit or non-profit company jobs; jobs by industry or geographic location; entry level or senior level positions; and the list goes on. Search the internet for terms related to your industry—like finance, healthcare, etc.—combined with “job board”— and you’re likely to find the niche websites you’re looking to post on.

Don’t forget as well to post your job on the careers page of your company’s website. Many candidates research specific companies that interest them, in addition to surfing job boards.

4. Create an Employee Referral Program

An excellent way to increase the pool of candidates you have is to ask your employees for help in finding the right candidates. Share your job description with your employees—so they understand exactly what you’re looking for—and reward them financially if their candidate is hired.

Remember as well to focus on getting your “star” employees involved—very often star employees know and associate with other star employees!

5. Recruit on College Campuses in Your Area

Try tapping into the resources at your local universities when filling entry-level positions. Some schools have annual job fairs you can attend, but if the timing doesn’t work out, there are other campus-based recruitment options.

For example, if you’re a financial firm looking to hire a CPA, you could consult with the College of Accounting to post that job in the building that students occupy when taking related courses. This will help you reach that niche audience of accountants versus an approach that reaches the greater student population, like posting the job in the collegiate newspaper.

6. Use Social Media to Share Job Posts

Extend the reach of your job post by sharing a link to the job description on social media, such as Twitter and LinkedIn. On either social media platform, you can use hashtags to support the reach of your post and increase the likelihood it will be seen by relevant job seekers. You can also ask your employees to share the news that you have a job open. Glassdoor reports that “79% of job seekers say they are likely to use social media in their job search.

7. Use Video Interviewing to Narrow the Field

Video interviewing is a great way to go beyond the resume to understand the qualifications of your candidates. You can easily screen a large number of candidates down to the best second and third rounders. It’s also helpful when your candidates aren’t located near your office, or perhaps live out of state. If you’re a 100% remote workforce, video interviewing is a natural way to conduct interviews.

There are typically two types of video interviewing: live video interviewing and automated video interviewing. Automated (or recorded one-way) video interviewing is often used early in the process to narrow down the initial stack of resumes. By giving each candidate the same set of questions and a chance to record their answers, you have an excellent opportunity to compare and contrast visual and auditory cues.

Live video interviewing is ideal to use when your candidates are in remote locations or you simply want to be more efficient than scheduling in-person interviews for all rounds. As the field of candidates narrows though live video interviews, you can select only the finalists for in-person interviews.

Want to learn more about the two types of video interviews? Click on our Video Interviewing Guide

8. Train Interviewers to Conduct Great Interviews

Interviews are the key to the recruitment process. This is where you really get a handle on a candidate’s qualifications, whether they would be a good fit for the job, and if they should move forward to the next round.

But many interviewers “wing it” when they get in the room with a candidate. It’s one thing to ask various questions related to the job and the candidate’s experience, but it’s a great deal more productive to go in with a strategic roster of questions and an awareness of what to look for in behavioral cues.

The first order of business is to bring everyone in the organization together who is involved in hiring the role. This may include the CEO or business owner, HR team, and hiring managers.

With everyone’s input, construct the questions that will draw insight into a broad range of important measurables such as each candidate’s qualifications, experience, personality, and motivation. Then train your interviewers to look for behavioral cues that give hints to their being a fit with managers and the company culture. Also be sure every interviewer understands the legal limits of questions that interviewers can and cannot ask candidates. 

For a list of top interview questions, check out 15 Top Video Interview Questions.

Finally, be as consistent as practical with the questions you ask each candidate, and the activities you may ask them to perform. This is especially true in the early rounds so it’s easier to compare and contrast answers and make decisions.

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9. Keep the Hiring Timeline as Short as Possible

If it takes you too long to complete the hiring process and make an offer, you may find top candidates on your list getting scooped up by your competitors, or simply bailing on the process out of frustration (and that doesn’t help your employer brand in the market at all!).

A recruitment strategy should be built for efficiency in the process, with a cadence that gives the company ample time to do its diligence while also moving swiftly enough not lose top candidates along the way. How long a recruiting process should take will vary by company and job. Generally speaking, the “average time to hire a new employee was 39 days in 2016, down from 43 days in 2015,” according to a Jobvite 2017 Recruiting Funnel Benchmark Report.

Bottom line: The swifter the better!

10. Communicate with Candidates

One of the best ways to recruit and hire top talent is to communicate with candidates openly throughout the process. Information at various stages will help keep candidates engaged and keep them from withdrawing their interest before your interviews are done.

Transparency goes a long way! Communicate with candidates where you are in the hiring process so they don’t have to guess and be frustrated. For example, candidates appreciate knowing:

  • When their resume was received
  • How soon they might receive a follow up email or phone call
  • Whether they qualify for an in-person interview, and when it might be scheduled
  • Whether they will have additional interview rounds
  • If they are no longer being considered for the role
  • When the position has been filled and the job search closed

This level of communication is not difficult to achieve with proper planning and systems in place. It’ll keep your top talent interested in moving forward with your company, and it’ll do a world of good for your employer brand.

With the above ten recruitment strategies in mind, let’s close by looking at several mistakes you want to avoid when recruiting your candidates.

4 Recruitment Strategy Mistakes

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1. Treating Your Candidates Impersonally

Instead of treating your candidates like they’re just one in a stack of resumes, treat them like a valued employee. In fact, some might say treat them like a customer!

That is, you want top candidates to be interested in what you’re offering—the job. Engage, them, impress them, and let them see that you take as much care to show candidates a strong employer brand as you do to show customers a strong product or service brand.

2. Not Considering Whether You Need a Full-Time Employee or a Freelancer

Before you set sail to find a full-time hire, be sure that is exactly what you need. With closer examination, you might find that the job function is limited in time or scope, and that a freelancer might be a more cost effective route.

Freelancers give you the flexibility to feed a workload that may ebb and flow without worrying about managing a full time employee, paying a salary and benefits, or dealing with other financial or legal obligations that come with a hire. As well, for a new role, you can test your theories of what the job will be by working with a freelancer before finalizing your job description.

Just do the homework up front so you make the best decisions for your company and team.

3. Ignoring Great Resumes on Hand or Passive Candidates

Two potentially fruitful but often overlooked resources to build your candidate list are reviewing the resumes you have on hand from prior applications or reaching out to passive candidates.

If you posted a similar job before and held on to the strong resumes that were submitted at the time, you might already have a candidate that you’ve spoken to that might be a good fit for this current job. It can be worthwhile reaching back to gauge their availability and interest.

Passive candidates are potential job applicants who are not actively seeking a new position but may be open to changing jobs if the right opportunity comes along. Since passive candidates won’t be on job boards or your website, you can reach them through networking at conferences or events, and through recruiting on social media such as Facebook or Twitter.

4. Not Focusing on Company Culture Fit

Technical skill set is not enough. It’s essential to properly assess the personality and soft skills of your candidates.

What is it that you want to know? First, how well the individual will fit in your type of organization. For example, a startup environment where the pace is fast and employees wear many hats will not be a good fit for an employee who thrives in a structured workplace with established systems for doing things.

Additionally, even if the candidate wants to be a part of one environment or another, be sure their personality is a match for the other members of the team. Soft skills, such as communication skills, attitudes, people skills, and problem-solving skills, must blend well with your existing team.

One mismatched or toxic presence on a small or large team can be hugely damaging to team morale and productivity. Be sure your recruitment strategy includes the tools needed to assess cultural fit.

Automated video interviewing by HelloCecil will help you spot top job candidates faster. See it for yourself at hellocecil.com