Recruiting great employees is a top priority for many companies, especially during the so-called Great Resignation. But if you want to attract top talent to your organization, you need to differentiate your organization from the rest. And that requires creativity, commitment – and some clever recruitment strategies.
To help you bring some of the best talent available to your organization, we created a guide to the 16 most effective recruitment strategies. Of course, you should tailor your recruitment approach to your company’s specific needs, but these best practices will go a long way toward building a strong foundation.
What is a recruitment strategy?
Simply put, a recruitment strategy is a plan of action for finding the best possible candidates for your company’s open positions. A good recruitment strategy defines the candidates you want to attract, describes why you’re looking for them, and explains how you intend to recruit them to your organization.
Your strategies can be simple or complex. But they should always be realistic, easy to describe, and aimed at achieving your organization’s primary goals. Those three basic tenets are the foundation of every successful hiring strategy.
Importance of standing out through good recruitment strategies
The best way to strengthen your workforce is by improving the employee recruitment process. Great recruitment strategies improve employee satisfaction, increase productivity, and prevent employee turnover.
If you want to attract top talent, begin with fine-tuning your hiring process. Talented candidates have many employment choices. Optimizing your recruitment strategy is the best way to add that talent to your team.
Effective recruitment strategies to hire great employees
A successful recruiting strategy helps your company to attract the best new hires while minimizing the cost of acquiring new talent. The employee recruiting trends we’ll explore in this guide include:
- Optimize your careers page
- Establishing and leveraging your employer brand
- Improving job postings with compelling job descriptions
- Prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion practices
- Treating candidates as customers
- Conducting great interviews
- Utilizing niche job boards
- Expanding your reach on social media
- Creating recruitment videos
- Contacting qualified applicants from the past
- Reaching out to past employees
- Targeting passive candidates
- Recruiting at colleges and universities
- Hosting or attending industry-related meetups
- Implementing an employee referral program
- Improving the hiring process with data and metrics
1. Establishing and leveraging your employer brand
If you want to attract the best and brightest talent, candidates need to understand why they should choose your organization instead of your competition. Companies that invest in employer branding are 3x more likely to hire the right talent.
Your employer brand is a direct reflection of your company’s mission, vision, and values. Make sure this is reflected on your website, careers pages, job postings, and social media.
Establishing strong employer branding plays an essential role in the employee value proposition (EVP). Go here to learn how to build your employer brand.
2. Improving job postings with compelling job descriptions
Job postings are often the first opportunity to make a positive first impression on candidates. It’s crucial to make job titles as specific as possible. It’s also important to make all descriptions:
- Engaging to broader audience
- Accurate, concise and relevant
- Organized and professional
- Representative of your company culture
- Transparent about salary, requirements, and other details
Most importantly, describe the role in a way that appeals to job seekers, not industry professionals.
3. Optimize your careers page
Whether looking for one specific role or a wide range of options, job seekers look to company career pages for more information. When creating a careers page for your company, ask yourself if it’s accurate, helpful, and easy to understand.
Optimizing your careers page leads to more job applications. You can do so by showcasing a unique brand, mission, culture, and benefits while promoting open roles.
4. Prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion practices
Promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace, beginning with your recruitment practices. Incorporate DE&I into your hiring strategy to increase the diversity of candidates and eliminate biases throughout the selection process.
Ensuring DE&I is top-of-mind at the start of the employee lifecycle has a significant impact on employee experience. It’s also a strong signal to candidates that your company prioritizes a people-first culture.
5. Treating candidates as customers
The best candidates can choose where they want to work, just as customers can decide where to shop. Keep that in mind when interacting with applicants. Tips for ensuring the proper treatment of your candidates include:
- Keeping the application and interview process friendly and welcoming.
- Showing excitement for the role and their interest in your company.
- Responding promptly to questions and being transparent in communications.
- Being open to listening and encourage honest feedback.
6. Conducting great interviews
Interviews are part of your sales pitch and often the candidate’s first experience with your company. Start with a welcoming environment that represents your workplace culture, and be sure to involve current employees who have first-hand experience on the team.
Take the time to make your interview process unique and let the special characteristics of your company stand out. When candidates leave the interview, they’re more likely to put in a good word when describing your company to others.
7. Utilizing niche job boards
Posting job openings on popular sites will certainly help you to stir up large quantities of applicants. Problem is, general job boards may not be as effective at targeting candidates for specialized roles.
Instead of sifting through endless resumes from unqualified candidates, seek out niche job boards that offer access to job seekers who have the specialized skills your company needs.
8. Expanding your reach on social media
Social media is one of the best ways to recruit employees today. From LinkedIn and Facebook to Instagram and Twitter, you can showcase your workplace culture and give candidates a glimpse of what it’s like to work for your company.
Inspire candidates to apply using a cadence of posts or targeted ads. Social media is an excellent way to expand your reach quickly and inexpensively.
9. Creating recruitment videos
Recruitment videos can be a powerful way to show off your company’s mission, values, and workplace culture. Tips for creating a high-quality employee recruitment video include:
- Limiting the video to include only the most critical information.
- Highlighting your values and mission.
- Answering common questions from candidates.
- Featuring employees who represent your company.
- Ending the video with a call to action to encourage applicants.
Give this recruitment strategy a try – video can be a powerful vehicle for bolstering your company’s brand while recruiting top talent.
10. Contacting qualified applicants from the past
The candidates you didn’t hire the first time around may deserve a second look for a new and different role at your company – especially in a tight labor market. Revisit resumes from past applicants to find potential talent that has already expressed interest in your company.
In addition to being familiar with your organization, it’s likely that these candidates developed new skills since you last considered them. That’s why giving them a second look might be a great idea.
11. Reaching out to past employees
Indeed, you’ve got former employees you would not rehire – all companies do. But those who left your company on good terms may be suitable candidates for new roles. In their time working for someone else, they’ve gained new skills and experience that could benefit your company.
There are other benefits too. According to research, it takes new employees three to six months to become fully productive. When you rehire a former employee, the onboarding process and the learning curve can be much shorter.
12. Targeting passive candidates
Passive candidates are individuals who are not actively seeking a new job. Still, they may be willing to make a career move if the right opportunity is presented. In fact, Indeed reports that 75% of employees say another employer has approached them about a new position.
Finding and engaging passive job seekers is a necessary tactic if you want to remain competitive, especially when the talent market is tight. Social media platforms, recruiting databases, and AI automation tools can help you find passive job seekers.
13. Recruiting at colleges and universities
College recruiting continues to be an excellent way to find fresh talent for entry-level positions and internships. Undergraduates may also have new skills that more seasoned employees do not.
There are many ways to reach these job seekers. Participate in campus recruiting events, feature open positions on online job boards, and contact career services at local colleges and universities.
14. Hosting or attending industry-related meetups
Industry meetups offer a unique opportunity for making personal connections with potential candidates that no job posting website can provide. Hosting or attending these targeted events can be more effective than job fairs because they attract job seekers who want to advance within the industry. Tighten up the hiring process by going to the heart of the talent pool and bringing in applicants from there.
Hosting these events is also a great way to improve employee engagement by allowing your workforce to connect and network with other people in the industry.
15. Implementing an employee referral program
Nobody knows your organization better than your employees. Tap into this resource when new job postings become available. Encourage your workforce to refer quality candidates with a referral program that offers bonuses and incentives. This will:
- Expand your local applicant pool.
- Provide pre-screening for your hiring team.
- Increase employee investment in the hiring process.
- Improve overall team dynamics.
Incentivizing referrals can turn your entire workforce into a recruiting team, which means the talent pool you have access to is exponentially larger.
16. Improving the hiring process with data and metrics
There’s a significant human component to finding suitable hires, but don’t forget to use an objective measure of your recruitment efforts. Include data and hiring metrics to identify what’s working and where there are opportunities for improvement.
Recruiting metrics are helpful to your search for top talent, including those that calculate the cost per hire. Take time to learn about these metrics so you can remove some of the guesswork when troubleshooting your hiring process.
Key performance indicators (KPIs) for recruiting
A great way to measure the success of your hiring process is through the use of Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs. KPIs are methods of quantifying your recruiting efforts’ success and identifying both its strengths and its weaknesses. Some of the most significant recruitment KPIs that organizations are using today include:
- Time to hire
- Number of qualified candidates
- Submit to interview ratio
- Interview to offer ratio
- Offer acceptance rate
Using simple equations, recruitment KPIs will make your recruiting process tangible and easy to understand so that you can hone it into a well-oiled hire-finding machine.
How to develop a recruitment strategy
Tools like video platforms and application tracking help managers streamline tasks and focus on the most critical part of recruitment – the people. Before implementing these new strategies and tools, review your current recruitment process and metrics.
Reviewing current metrics and past data helps spot problem areas, set recruitment goals, and track progress. Keeping an eye on the numbers and documenting trends helps companies set more realistic goals and celebrate small wins often.
Setting recruitment goals
Another way to clarify the recruitment process is to set specific goals following the ‘SMART’ framework, which stands for: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based. Some ways that you can set SMART goals for your recruiting process include:
- Determine the specific positions that need to be filled
- Incorporate relevant recruitment KPIs
- Ensure your hiring team has the necessary resources
- Set a timeframe for the goal to be accomplished
Using the SMART system, you can take a relatively nebulous process and transform it into something usable for all members of your hiring team. A well-constructed process is the difference between failing to find qualified candidates and finding the perfect fit for your organization.
Become a Top Workplace and recruit top talent
Earning a Top Workplaces award is a green flag for job seekers. Representing engaging, people-first cultures, Top Workplaces awards also promote your brand and employer recognition in 60+ major media outlets across the country.
Great companies deserve great recognition. Nominate your company today to explore Top Workplaces and its many recruitment benefits.