Recruiters face a paradox. Currently, there is an amazing pool of talent available to be tapped, but the sheer numbers make it increasingly difficult to locate perfect candidates. This makes it more important than ever to develop a true recruiting strategy. The following tips can help you map out your strategy for recruiting the best candidates.
- Ideally, your recruiting strategy should be planned on an annual basis. Execution, however, will need to be on a shorter-term, rolling basis. For example, if you need to recruit talent to start work in the fall, you will want to make sure that your recruiting campaign is underway by mid-spring to early summer. Similarly, your summer recruiting strategy should be in place by late winter to early spring.
- Obtain input from stakeholders to determine how their goals will affect recruiting. Does the company want to focus on a more diverse workforce? What are the sales projections for the next year? Will certain jobs be outsourced, or is the goal to replace outsourced jobs with onsite talent?
- Appoint one person to have the ultimate authority over and responsibility for recruiting initiatives. In most organizations, this will be someone from the HR department. However, there are situations in which HR might not be the best department to lead recruiting efforts. Perhaps the positions require extremely specialized technical skills. A manager who possesses these skills may have a better understanding of how to locate candidates or which techniques will be more successful.
- Be willing to "think outside the box." Business Insider published an article on creative recruiting techniques. One suggestion was to look for candidates in unusual places, such as seminars or conventions focused on people who have the skills and passion for the type of job you need to fill.
- Part of your recruitment strategy should include a plan to onboard new hires. Onboarding is far more than just a one-day orientation; it is a process that can last six months to a year. The goal of onboarding is to help new employees become productive in as short a time as possible while improving your retention rate.
- Analyze your enterprise and your work environment. Input from current employees can be helpful at this stage. Ask questions, such as "What do you enjoy about working for this organization?" or "What do you wish you had known about our company before you started working here?" Do not focus merely on the positive. Ask questions that are designed to provide constructive criticism, such as, "How could we make the onboarding process more relevant?" Use the information collected to compile a list of reasons for candidates to choose your organization, and make the reasons more compelling than the run-of-the-mill answers (great medical plan, two weeks of vacation time, etc.) that will do little to differentiate your company from all the others.
- An article posted on The Sideroad offered several tips for developing a recruiting plan. The author raised an excellent point: You should never cease recruiting activities. Stay current on the different avenues you can use should you need to locate candidates quickly due to an unexpected resignation. Monitor social media sites, visit the websites of professional organizations and stay current on economic news to help you "feel the pulse" of business and better predict how changes could affect your recruiting efforts. Build a short-list of candidates you would like to hire should a suitable vacancy arise.
- Determine how wide to cast your net, but do not rely on a single approach. If you place a classified ad in your local newspaper, most of your responses will be from local talent. If you place an ad on the Internet, you will likely receive responses from a number of different states and possible a few foreign countries. Placing ads in both places will give you a greater variety of candidates. You could also cast a smaller net by limiting recruitment efforts to local campuses or asking for referrals. Regardless of the scope, use more than one method to reach candidates. Your goal should be to reach talent "where they are." Some rely heavily on social media, others search online job postings exclusively and still others visit the websites of companies for whom they are interested in working to find hiring information.
As every experienced recruiter knows, there is no single formula that can be applied universally to all companies to ensure that only the best candidates will be attracted and retained. However, these eight tips may help you develop your personal strategy for recruiting the best talent for each vacancy. After all, that is your ultimate goal, is it not?