The success of a business relies heavily on the effectiveness of its employees. You’ll have a hard time finding any companies that will argue against this. Hiring unqualified or unmotivated employees can hurt your business in a variety of ways, which is why it’s important to get your recruitment strategy right from the beginning. If you manage to recruit the best candidates, you’ll greatly improve your company’s chances of success.
So what exactly is a recruitment strategy? It’s a structured plan that helps you to identify talent pools and attract the best talent in a cost-effective manner. A good recruitment strategy should provide a blueprint that you can follow for every stage of the recruitment cycle over the long term.
Advantages Of An Effective Recruitment Strategy
Never assume that simply posting a job ad will result in a number of high-quality candidates from which to choose. You cannot assume that highly qualified applicants will just flock to your company the moment a position opens up. Not only will a good recruitment strategy help provide you with a plan of action that you can follow whenever you need to hire new positions (or replace employees that have left), but it will also provide these benefits:
Because you’ll have a blueprint to follow, you’ll waste less time and money on the first steps of the hiring process.
With an established recruiting strategy in place, there will be less room for bias. Whoever is in charge of your hiring decisions will be making decisions that are more objective and business-focused.
Every stage of your recruitment strategy will be optimized for success based on data-backed expertise that comes from the knowledge of the industry and the hiring ecosystem.
A good recruitment strategy should take into account the current market as well as upcoming trends, both of which will give you a competitive hiring advantage.
Before diving headfirst into the creation of a recruitment strategy, there are several preliminary steps you will need to take to get started. These steps include evaluating previous recruitment tactics, strategies, and efforts, determining where your strengths and weaknesses lie, identifying your goals, and investing in recruitment tools that can help bolster your recruitment efforts. Doing these things before putting together a recruitment strategy will establish a foundation from which your recruitment efforts will be more likely to succeed.
Review Recruitment Metrics
In order to develop a successful recruiting strategy, you’ll want to know what has worked and what hasn’t worked during previous recruitment efforts. Understanding these things will allow you to incorporate what worked into your new recruitment strategy while avoiding what didn’t work. To pinpoint what worked and didn’t work, review your recruitment metrics. Some of the recruitment metrics commonly tracked by businesses of all sizes include applicants-per-opening, application completion rate, cost-per-hire, offer acceptance rate, cost-of-vacancy, quality-of-hire, and employee retention rate.
Set Recruiting Goals
Without recruiting goals, you will not be able to determine if your recruiting strategy is a successful one. By establishing your recruiting goals beforehand, you’ll be able to guide your strategy in the right direction while also being able to judge its performance based on those goals. To set the right recruitment goals, use your recruitment metrics to determine where the problem areas were in previous recruitment efforts. For example, if you haven’t been able to get as many candidates to apply to previous positions as you would have liked, then maybe your goal is to increase the number of candidates that apply.
Consider Using Recruitment Tools
The use of recruitment tools can help make your recruiting process much more effective and efficient. Some of the recruitment tools worth investing in include job aggregator tools, applicant tracking systems, recruiter collaboration tools, screening and skills assessment tools, background check tools, and video interview tools, just to name a few.
Set Your Company’s Brand
Branding is essential to marketing your business to potential customers. However, many companies don’t realize that the recruitment process requires marketing as well. Instead of marketing to potential customers, you’re marketing to potential employees. Branding is essential because potential job candidates are more likely to apply for a job at a company that they are aware of. If a job candidate sees a similar job listing from two different companies and they’re familiar with one company but not the other, they’re much more likely to apply to the company they know. Branding is what helps you stand out from the crowd. The following are a few tips on how to improve your company’s branding to help attract more job candidates.
Develop a Clear Employer Brand
An employer brand is a little different than your “normal” brand. Your employer brand should clearly reflect your company’s mission, culture, and values in the workplace. A strong employer brand is one that clearly defines why someone would want to work for you and how many current and past employees would recommend your company as a good place to work. Once you’ve developed these things, align all of your social media interactions and information, website information, and advertisements with the employer brand that you’re trying to establish.
Use Authentic Videos and Messages
To successfully build your employer brand, you must be able to effectively convey your mission and values as a good employer. Just make sure that this message comes across as authentic. A message that feels inauthentic will only hurt your branding efforts. What does this mean? By not sticking to a clearly defined message and trying to tell job candidates what they want to hear leads to inconsistent messaging. And if any videos and job posts that you create don’t reflect your company’s personality, it will come across as inauthentic. For example, if your brand is built on humor, then your employer branding should incorporate humorous elements into its messaging.
Leverage Social Media Platforms
Very few people are not on social media, which means that building your employer brand through social media can be very effective. There are even social channels built around recruiting, such as LinkedIn. What makes social media so effective is that you can leverage it in many different ways to help strengthen your employer brand.
Give potential candidates an idea of who works for your company by spotlighting current employees. This gives a behind-the-scenes look at your business while also providing actual faces and names that are easier for job candidates to relate to.
Create Recruiting Social Media Channels
Social media is also an exceptionally great resource for identifying job candidates and recruiting them. This is because many social channels are not only work-oriented (such as LinkedIn), but they have robust search options that make it easier to find potentially qualified candidates. You can also easily interact with them directly through most social channels.
Optimize Your Career Page
If your website doesn’t have a career page, then you need to set one up. People who are looking for work may visit your website because they are familiar with your employer brand and will want to find information about any job opportunities you might have. A career page is a great way to provide information about your company’s values, mission, and culture. It’s also a fantastic way to promote open roles. You can also use your career page to provide potential job candidates with these tools:
Provide Candidate FAQs
Job candidates tend to have the same questions about the company or the position. You can save a lot of time by collecting these questions and creating a candidate FAQ (frequently asked questions) on your career page. A FAQ can reduce the work your recruiters have to do answering questions, and you speed up the application process since candidates won’t have to wait to have their questions answered.
Record Employee Testimonials
Just like how customers trust nobody more than other customers, job candidates will trust employees more than employers. Giving your current employees the chance to talk about your company and their work experience can be a big boost to your employer branding efforts. One of the best ways to do this is through the creation of video testimonials that you can then post on your career page.
Film A Recruitment Video
The reason that video content is so highly regarded in the marketing world is that people tend to engage with videos much more effectively than other types of content. Not only are humans more visual in general, but they also tend to have shorter attention spans these days. In fact, people tend to retain much more information from watching a video than from consuming any other type of content. This makes recruitment videos a great way to deliver information about your company to potential job candidates.
Provide the Right Information
Besides delivering accurate information in your video content, focus on what’s most important to your employer branding. Don’t focus too much on single job positions or you’ll have to create new video content every time you have to fill an open position. Highlight the company as a whole. What does your company do and why should employees care? Many businesses not only use videos as a way to convey their mission and values, but they also use them to provide a behind-the-scenes look into the workplace, often allowing current employees to give a short testimonial during the video.
Be Quirky and Stand Out
Recruiting videos don’t have to be super serious. If your company uses a sense of humor to market its products and services, there’s no reason why you can’t do the same to try to attract job candidates. Recruitment videos that don’t take themselves too seriously and that are a bit quirky tend to attract a lot of interest. This is because job candidates want to work in a place that they will enjoy. Most recruitment videos tend to be rigid and joyless, which means that adding a touch of humor to yours can help you stand out from the competition.
Be Prepared for Any Results from Airing Your Video
One thing to keep in mind is that even though a high-quality recruitment video can help to attract more job candidates, there are a few potential drawbacks. The more successful your recruitment video is, the more applicants you’re likely to attract, to the point where you could be overwhelmed by applicants, many of which may not be qualified. Of course, there could be some unexpected success as well. For example, your video may attract candidates who may not be qualified for the position they’re applying for but who have other skills that could qualify them for other positions you need to fill. Either way, be prepared for the unexpected when you offer a successful recruitment video.
Take Advantage Of Search Engine Tools
Google’s search engine is used to perform the majority of all job searches. Unfortunately, trying to optimize your recruitment content for SEO to achieve high SERP rankings can be an incredibly challenging task. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t search engine tools at your disposal that you can use to attract job candidates organically via search engine queries.
Optimize Job Search On Google
Google’s algorithm for understanding user queries is pretty impressive. When someone searches for a job position, Google will aggregate relevant job postings in their area. You can make sure that any job listings relevant to user queries are displayed by Google by using Google’s Job Search tool. To do this, you will need to edit the HTML of the job descriptions you’ve posted on your website. This will help Google identify them as job postings. Google will even help guide you when it comes to editing your HTML correctly. Most major third-party job boards already use this HTML code, so any job descriptions you post to these boards will automatically be optimized for Google’s Job Search tool.
Target Competitor Keywords
To make your job postings easier to find, either through search engines or through the third-party job boards, you need to use relevant keywords. One way to identify strong keywords is to identify what keywords your competitors are using for their job recruitment posts. Not only can you discover new keywords to use, but you could attract qualified candidates away from your competition as well.
Target Job Title Keywords
No matter where you’re posting your job ads, whether it’s on your website, on social media, on third-party job boards, or using PPC (pay per click) ads, you’ll want to target job title keywords. For example, if you’re trying to fill a software engineer job, then the keyword “software engineer jobs” should be targeted so that the relevant candidates will be more likely to find your job posts.
Start Candidate Sourcing
Once you have all of your recruitment content in place, including recruitment videos and your Career page, you can begin sourcing candidates for positions of need. While the previous steps have been more focused on building a long-term foundation for your recruitment efforts, your candidate sourcing efforts will be more tailored to your present needs. Here are a few tips that can help you source more qualified job candidates:
Create an Accurate Job Post
It can’t be stressed enough how important it is to get your job post right. The title and description need to accurately convey the position you’re looking to fill and the requirements of that position. If neither are accurate, you will attract a lot of unqualified candidates, which will slow down your hiring process. Also, the first impression many candidates have of your company will be your job post. If it appears like you don’t know what you’re looking for, candidates will be wary about working for you and you could miss out on a lot of qualified candidates.
Use Niche Job Boards
If you’re looking to fill very specific positions, then posting to a mainstream job board might not yield many results. For jobs that are smaller and more defined, consider looking for niche job boards. Posting to a niche job board can result in more success attracting candidates qualified for the position and cut down on the number of unqualified applicants that respond from the more general job boards.
Create a Referral System
Job posts aren’t the only source of candidates. Your existing employees can also be a valuable resource for job recruitment. Many companies will encourage their employees to submit job candidate referrals through a referral policy. This policy will typically reward employees (such as with a referral bonus) if the person they referred is hired. Not only can your employees be a great candidate source, but it reduces the time it takes to hire, improves the quality of the candidates applying, and makes onboarding easier, all of which can help save money.
Try Other Sourcing Alternatives
Although creating job posts and relying on employee referrals are the most effective way to source candidates, there are other options that you can explore. Consider these alternative ways to source candidates for your open position:
Reach out to Great Applicants from Before
A well-organized company will keep the resumes that they received from highly qualified candidates that may have applied to a similar position in the past. It doesn’t hurt to reach out to the applicants that you turned down in the past to see if they would still be interested in a position at your company. You’ll have already completed the majority of the screening process with those candidates from before as well, which means that if they are interested, the hiring process will go along much faster.
Reach out to Previous Employees
While you probably won’t want to hire back employees that you had to fire, you may have had past employees who left for other reasons that are highly qualified for the position. Employees may have left for another company in the past after receiving a better salary offer, a promotion, or a new opportunity that they wanted to pursue. There’s no harm in reaching out to them to see if they might be interested in the job, especially if you can offer a better salary or a higher position than what they currently have. In fact, there’s an inherent advantage to hiring ex-employees in that they will be familiar with your company culture.
Recruit on Alternative Sites
There are several other websites that aren’t necessarily job boards but that you can leverage to recruit candidates; for example, Reddit. Reddit is an enormous online forum (it’s one of the ten most popular websites in the world) divided into subreddits. You can find a subreddit relevant to your company and to your recruitment needs and host an AMA (ask me anything) where people can ask questions about your company, the positions you’re looking to fill, your job requirements, and more. An AMA is a great way to engage directly with potential candidates. Other websites worth exploring for recruitment include Quora, Echo, and Meetup, just to name a few.
Find Passive Applicants
While trying to attract and reach out to candidates who are actively looking for a new job will be your best bet, don’t ignore passive candidates. Passive candidates are individuals who may have the skills and experience you’re looking for but who aren’t presently looking for new work. There are a few ways that you can reach out to them.
Set up job alerts and encourage them to sign up for them so that they are informed of when new positions at your company open up in case they ever are looking for new work. You can also set up a general application process that allows applicants to submit their resumes at any time. In response, you can send out personalized emails detailing what open roles are available to them.
Create Effective Candidate Assessment Procedures
The entire recruitment process is moot if you’re incapable of properly assessing a candidate’s suitability for the position. As such, you need to make sure the hiring process is as effective as the recruitment process. The following are two important areas you’ll want to focus on to ensure that your candidate assessment procedures are effective:
Do an Initial Screen of Applicants
Although you’ll want to continuously screen applicants throughout the hiring process, the initial screening should be done using the resumes you’ve received. Develop a list of the minimum must-have requirements for a candidate as well as a list of preferred qualifications. Use these to screen whether or not candidates are unqualified, qualified, or highly qualified before narrowing the field down and moving candidates to the next stage of the hiring process (usually a phone interview).
Improve Job Interviews
Evaluate your existing job interview process and make improvements where necessary. It’s critical that you’re not only hiring candidates based on their abilities but also based on their potential fit with your company’s culture: how do they engage and communicate? Will their personality complement the company culture? Not only should interviewers be taking note of these things, but they should also be heading into interviews with a prepared list of questions to ensure that they are evaluating candidates thoroughly.
Attract The Best Candidates
The goal isn’t just to fill positions of need at your company, it’s to hire the best possible candidates available. You want your employees to be highly qualified, after all. Attracting the best possible job candidates means developing an effective recruitment strategy. By implementing a robust recruitment strategy, you’ll be able to attract and recruit better candidates in a more cost-effective manner over the long term.
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