Employees, especially those with in-demand skills, have key priorities that affect where they want to work. They want to work with colleagues they can look up to. They want autonomy. They want to work on exciting projects. And they want to be a part of a fun, welcoming culture. But how will they know they can find all those things at your organization?
To stand out in a competitive hiring market, you need recruitment strategies that make your company shine. Picking the right combination of recruitment strategies can grab candidates’ attention and entice them enough to apply. In this piece, we’ll explain what recruitment strategies are, the benefits of using them, and give you 20 new ideas you can introduce to your organization today.
What is a recruitment strategy?
A recruitment strategy is a well-defined plan to identify, attract, interview, and hire the best candidates for open roles at your company. Recruitment strategies range in complexity, from posting job descriptions on paid job boards and using advanced sourcing technology to honing a company’s overall branding. Typically, HR professionals, especially HR and talent leadership, are responsible for determining which recruitment strategies to use and how they will be measured, optimized, and scaled over time.
Why are recruitment strategies important?
Selecting the right recruitment strategies is critical because different strategies both attract different types of candidates and require a good deal of time and effort to execute. There is currently a 15 year high in talent shortages, with 69% of companies reporting difficulty hiring, so effective recruitment is more important than ever before. Choosing your strategies carefully is particularly important in industries where hiring is more competitive or candidate skills are more specialized. You don't want to identify your ideal candidate only for them to be one of the 49% of candidates who turned down a job offer because they had a bad recruiting experience.
For example, people applying to more technical roles like software engineers may not be as active on LinkedIn or be as willing to go to a networking event as say, a salesperson. In fact, a number of software engineers deliberately obscure their LinkedIn profiles to make themselves less searchable. As a result, fast-growing tech companies have leaned heavily into recruitment strategies like connecting with folks on GitHub, introducing employee referral programs, and setting up booths at computer science-specific recruiting fairs at target colleges.
When to optimize your recruitment strategies
While recruitment strategies can be implemented at any time, reviewing them regularly ensures you're using them to their fullest potential. As we’ve learned over the past two years, the landscape of workplaces across the globe can shift dramatically in very short periods. Not only that, but roles are continuously changing, and the demand for new hires can differ drastically from one quarter to the next.
Yet many organizations still use the start of a new calendar or fiscal year as a sign to review their recruitment strategies. In reality, you should review your strategies as societal, cultural, and other changes happen一otherwise, you’re bound to fall behind. Making a habit of analyzing your hiring process often and identifying areas for optimization will keep you ahead of the curve.
20 top recruitment strategies
Now that you know what recruitment strategies are, why you need them, and when to employ them, it’s time to brainstorm. Luckily, we’ve done some of that thinking for you. Below, we outline 20 different recruitment strategies you can use to improve your hiring process.
1. Make job descriptions exceptional
No candidate wants to read the same cookie-cutter job description, so make yours meaningful. Start with a succinct title with appropriate keywords. Next, include a high-level summary of your company’s culture, followed by day-to-day responsibilities, requested hard and soft skills, and ideal types of experience. Don’t forget to use inclusive language to entice anyone qualified for the position to apply. To really stand out, close with a list of unique benefits.
2. Coach hiring managers
Many hiring managers haven’t had formal recruitment training. HR teams should coach hiring managers on creating compelling job descriptions, providing feedback quickly, and setting realistic expectations on the number of candidates who meet the requirements. Make sure your hiring managers understand how to evaluate candidates without screening out diversity. Consider using a modern recruitment platform to help hiring managers visualize how an applicant pool shrinks or expands as you adjust the characteristics of ideal candidates.
3. Use recruiting technology for candidate searches
Manually searching for candidates online is time-consuming and usually not fruitful. Luckily, HR departments now have access to new search technology like Findem, which aggregates people data from 100,000+ sources to reveal millions of attributes for every person. Its advanced matching algorithms help talent teams source candidates with the experience they need to succeed at your organization. Don’t forget to include internal candidates who may be good fits for open roles, or candidates who have already applied and whose applications live in your ATS.
4. Measure recruiting results for better insights
Digging into your numbers can reveal which channels and recruiters move the needle, bottlenecks in your interview process, and diversity strategies that attract the best candidates. Consistently measuring results allows you to fix what’s broken much faster, expand your talent pool in the right direction, reduce your time to hire by 80% and even reduce your cost to hire by up to 90%.
5. Balance hiring speed with finding the right fit
Moving through the hiring process quickly can help you sign ideal candidates before they accept other offers, but can also cause you to overlook red flags. To balance between speed and fit, build your candidate pool based on attributes like previous workplaces, employee resource group (ERG) participation, years of startup experience, and more.
6. Push your employee referral program further
Your employees’ colleagues from past jobs, fellow alumni, or peers from extracurricular groups can all be promising applicants. Instituting an employee referral program that rewards employees well can expedite your hiring process. Try using Findem to reveal connections between ideal candidates and employees beyond LinkedIn, such as overlap in schools, jobs, groups, associations, and more.
7. Separate sourcing and recruiting
Sourcing and recruiting are separate functions that require different mindsets. Sourcing candidates is all about analytics, setting up and monitoring the candidate funnel, and figuring out which channels and attributes retrieve the best candidates. Recruiting is about ensuring candidates feel comfortable and hiring managers feel confident in their decisions. The best thing to do is to allow sourcing teams to dig into the details and give recruiters room to build rapport.
8. Develop your brand
Your website, social media, and anonymous review sites are the first places candidates look when they consider open roles at your company, and all of them should reinforce your company brand. A good and differentiated presence can make an incredible difference in the candidates you attract. For inspiration, research companies with a similar culture in another industry and take note of how they've developed their brands.
9. Design an effective careers page
Your career page is an extension of your brand, so it's important to make the UI simple, present useful information, and, most importantly, streamline the application process. Use these examples of best careers pages from top tier companies. Some companies have opted out of a careers page altogether, relying on social media instead. That’s fine, so long as candidates get a clear picture of what working at your company is like and can submit their applications easily. With 59% of candidates saying they've abandoned online applications due to problems with a careers page, you don't want to be losing quality candidates this way.
10. Reach out to people to companies with layoffs
When companies go through a change and reduce staff or reorganize, many talented people are looking for a new opportunity. It is no surprise that you need to be thoughtful and creative when reaching out to people who are dealing with this unsettling experience. We’ve put together a checklist for reaching out to recently laid off candidates, including email templates you can use.
11. Use recruiting technology for candidate engagement
Sourcing and recruiting hinges on candidate engagement, but personalizing outreach to hundreds of candidates is exhausting. An active recruiter typically sends 40 outreach emails a day. Recruiting technology like Findem can lighten this burden by automatically sending emails to up to 500 candidates a day. Ideally, you can customize and track candidate engagement and set follow up reminders. And when candidates formally apply to a role, they are immediately transferred to your applicant tracking system (ATS) where anyone can access notes and previous correspondence.
12. Utilize social media
Social media can be extremely valuable, so much so that some companies have separate social media channels dedicated solely to recruiting, sharing job listings, announcing new hires (linking to your career page), and inviting people to recruiting events. Show followers that you value your people by welcoming new hires and announcing staff awards. That shows candidates how your company rewards and values its people.
13. Showcase your company culture
Think of every step in the recruiting cycle as an opportunity to showcase your company culture to find and attract the people who will thrive. Your company culture should shine through on your website, in interviews, and social media. Make a point to post videos of company celebrations on social media, highlight your recognition and rewards program on your website, and encourage your hiring managers to talk about culture in interviews.
14. Look for passive candidates
Passive candidates are not actively pursuing a new role. However, that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t consider a change. Rather than waiting for candidates to come to you, you can be proactive and strike up a conversation. Even if the person you’re talking to chooses not to apply to the role you’re currently looking to fill, they will still remember you and your company in the future. Tools like Findem can be a great resource for outreach to passive candidates and constructing pipelines you can draw on later.
15. Consider creating a recruiting operations position
Recruiting has many moving parts with 69% of companies using five or more technologies in their hiring process, and without someone overseeing operations, issues can start to creep in. Hiring someone whose sole focus is on recruiting analytics and operations can foster a better candidate and interviewer experience. This person should leverage data across various systems to give HR leaders a more comprehensive understanding of what’s going well and where you can improve the recruiting process.
16. Include past candidates when relevant
More often than not, candidates who make it to the final round interview are top-notch talent, so don’t forget about them. Past candidates who weren’t hired but are still qualified for roles at your company may be worth reaching out to, and may have gained new skills and experience since you last spoke. Make sure your sourcing technology searches past candidates and their most up-to-date information.
17. Attend or host recruitment events
Recruitment events are a fantastic way to reach candidates who may fit a specific niche or may not be searching online. Although many events have shifted from in-person to virtual in the past few years, they are still powerful ways to connect with potential candidates. In fact, virtual job fairs and recruiting events are even more accessible for organizations that can't travel or for candidates who aren't local.
18. Approach candidates like clients
For people teams, candidates and employees are your clients. Treating them with care and respect makes your organization more attractive, especially in competitive industries. Include employees in your search to identify training and career opportunities. If you’re conducting a phone screen, spend time getting to know the person before launching into questions. If you’re with a candidate in person, offer them water and show them where the restrooms are. Above all, make sure your recruitment teams are available, kind, and responsive.
19. Consider niche candidate networks
Niche candidate networks allow you to be a big fish in a small pond一whether on industry-specific job sites, veteran and military job boards, colleges, or LGBTQIA+ newsletters—exposing you to a wider range of talent. Making your hiring process accessible to parents, disabled workers, and those who have been incarcerated as well can expand your candidate pool in a positive way. Those individuals may not be visible in a traditional keyword search, and you may need to refine and revamp your sourcing process.
20. Develop an effective interview process
Outlining a thorough and effective interview process leaves a lasting first impression. Make sure that your hiring manager and each interviewer are on the same page for what they are looking for in a candidate, and include people of differing backgrounds, races, and seniority on your interview panel. The goal is to come across as organized, genuine, and representative of company culture.
Ready to move beyond strategy?
Companies can no longer afford to post job descriptions and hope for the best. They need a cohesive, effective set of strategies to get in front of the right candidates at the right time. But employing these multi-pronged strategies can get too complex to manage manually very quickly. That’s where Findem comes into play.
Findem is an AI-based recruiting solution that unlocks the power of people data, enabling HR departments to build winning talent strategies from sourcing to outreach to hire. And on the backend, Findem customers can monitor diversity KPIs, internal mobility, and other recruitment analytics that HR never had access to before. With Findem’s help, talent leaders can grow their pipeline, shrinking the time it takes to fill roles at a fifth of the cost. Start here to learn more about how Findem can enhance your recruiting efforts. And here are some tips for how to find and hire from big tech’s layoffs.