Published on January 6th, 2023
It can be quite laborious to source and secure recruits in a competitive job market. The right hires can bring fresh perspectives, new skills, and much-needed diversity to a company, driving the company forward and ensuring business growth. Every industry is reliant on its workers and finding capable employees can be a challenge for every recruiter. However there are ways in which we can address this challenge and acquire top talent.
It is vital that a plan of action be developed for attracting, identifying and hiring skilled applicants. This is the objective of a recruitment strategy. The process of developing a viable recruitment strategy takes time and effort but an effective strategy can give the business an edge over its competition. A successful hiring strategy includes different recruitment techniques and tools while operating on a clearly defined and timed plan.
“In the long run, your human capital is your main base of competition. Your leading indicator of where you’re going to be 20 years from now is how well you’re doing in your education system.” — Bill Gates
Before starting the recruitment process, it's important to have a clear understanding of what the job role entails and what skills and experience are required of the candidate. Therefore it is important to research roles or positions that require filling. If it is a role that has existed within the company structure, it is helpful to get feedback from individuals who have held that position, within or beyond the company.
Every company faces its own unique set of challenges and hurdles when recruiting. If we need to make a successful hiring strategy we need to identify these issues and find ways to address them. A recruiter should take a look at the relative success of their practices and ask themselves, “How do I improve this?”
If there is a communication gap or lag, we need to revise the channels in use. If the recruitment process is long leading to a fall off in applicant retention, we need to streamline the processes involved.
This is something that comes with experience but it should be cultivated as a habit for the recruiter. By being perceptive of the issues one is facing (and avoiding overconfidence), a recruiter can develop a strategy that builds upon an analysis of the hiring challenges that the company faces and plan of action for dealing with them.
While planning out a recruitment strategy, we need to account for and distinguish between what the company needs relatively soon and what its long term goals are. Short term needs should be prioritized and the most critical roles need to be filled out first. Following this we can start looking at the long term goals and plan for the future.
To achieve this we need to look at trends in the industry and examine the direction in which companies are moving. For example, if the company plans on going completely digital in the next ten years, it would be prudent to hire employees who also have skills in the virtual space and simultaneously invest in remote hiring technology. Therefore a good hiring strategy is planned according to the company’s timeline of objectives.
An inefficient recruitment plan ignores the costs to the employer and only aims to fill in as many positions as possible. It would not be advisable to hire many candidates in a short period of time. This is because companies that overhire tend to layoff many employees towards the later part of the year, resulting in higher turnover rates and a blow to the employer brand. Budget constraints are a cause of this as companies have to choose between the marginal productivity from employees versus the cost involved in acquiring and retaining them. Similarly, if a role remains vacant for a long period of time, the company suffers from a business lag due to a lack of an employee in that role.
A good recruitment strategy makes allowances for the resources that the company can allocate towards hiring. This applies to both time and assets. A recruiter should calculate and track their average cost per hire and time taken to hire in order to make efficient use of the available time and resources. These metrics are accurate indicators of resource intensive hiring practices and tracking them lets us gauge whether the recruitment techniques and tools in use are cutting down on the financial burden on the company.
In a competitive market it should be standard practice to look into the hiring strategies of competing businesses. The best companies in any industry have meticulously planned out recruitment strategies that make them stand out from the rest. Learning from them can help us similarly attract better candidates for the company. It can also be beneficial to learn from companies who have reached the next stage of growth, as they would have had to deal with issues similar to those faced by the recruiter and overcome them to reach the position they are in currently .
Even companies at the same stage of growth can benefit from studying each other. If we look at them as testers of different hiring practices, their benefit becomes apparent. We can observe the benefits and perks they provide, following which we can compare and contrast with the company’s own benefits plan. We look at how they choose to source their candidates and include it in our own pool of sources. Passive candidates are also a hidden source of recruits. Investing in a recruitment service that allows us to source passive candidates from the competition can also give us an edge over them.
Recruitment technology can help bridge the gaps or lags that occur during hiring. HR software such as candidate relationship managers and human capital management systems can help streamline the process of hiring and retain candidates in a large group of potential employees. Interaction with the candidate becomes easier and applicants have an enjoyable hiring experience. Data and Predictive analytics help the company track their performance and make predictions on a candidate’s likelihood of succeeding at their job.
Applicant Tracking Systems are the most prominent of HR software. It collects and manages the virtual applications that a company receives and the data of candidates who send them in. Digitalizing the entire process removes any issues that would arise from using physical copies of documents. It helps the recruiter track the status of the applicant and communicate with them better. This improves the chances of them accepting a job offer.
Following the pandemic, remote hiring has become prevalent in business. Software developed to this end have enabled companies to choose from a global assortment of candidates. It provides the additional merit of reducing the cost and time involved in a hiring process. Companies have started including them in their recruitment strategies for this very reason.
Recruitment software has also benefited companies by letting them automate tasks involved in recruiting. Automation removes human involvement in repetitive aspects of hiring such as scheduling, sourcing, screening and managing candidates giving recruiters more time to engage with more intensive parts of hiring. The use of chatbots can optimize the initial stages of hiring by making it easier to engage with candidates. Recent innovations in their services have also made it possible to screen, interview and assess candidates with minimal human intervention..
Social media hiring is a recruitment strategy that has recently seen a boom in use. Social media platforms have become a prevalent part of our daily lives and have become an invaluable tool for recruiters all around the globe. Social media hiring is the use of social media platforms at various stages of hiring. It can be used to source, advertise, communicate and network with potential applicants. It can also be used to accept and review applications from candidates.
A good social media image contributes to the company's brand image and can showcase employee experiences and the company culture. These are important as potential applicants from Generation Z and Millennials place a greater value to these aspects of work than their predecessors. With them being the majority of the workforce for the coming years, it is important that recruiting practices include social media hiring to secure valuable candidates from these generations. It also lets candidates share job listings amongst their peers who have similar capabilities, increasing the size and scope of the pool of potential candidates.
When sourcing candidates, recruiters should keep in mind that there are a multitude of sources from which recruiters can acquire candidates. Recruiters should assess the sources that they have used up until now and make changes accordingly. Recruitment strategies need to be revised to include as many sources as they can to have a large pool of potential applicants.
Research has shown that following a multi-method stratagem for candidate sourcing with a robust selection process helped companies develop a better understanding of their candidates and fit hires into the company structure better. This cut down on time needed from sourcing candidates to onboarding them and increased applicant retention rates.
Often, existing sources are satisfactory for the purposes of acquiring candidates. However with an assortment of channels available for recruiting, a good recruitment strategy must involve as many of these as possible to obtain a diverse set of candidates. A diverse team of employees can bring a range of perspectives and experiences, leading to more innovative and effective decision-making.
Employee referrals are a great place to start. Current employees are able to refer their peers who are similarly skilled for open job listings and help us easily find the candidates we need. By providing incentives for successful referrals we can increase the prospect of having employees refer their skilled associates.
Creating a talent pool on social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn can help hiring endeavors. By creating groups and communities of talented individuals who can be referred to when needed we can make the hiring process quicker and reliable. This is more pertinent to industries that require niche skills or specific characteristics from their applicants when filling relevant positions.
Colleges are also a great source of potential employees. Campus recruitment can help secure fresh talent and discover what the newer generation expects from their employers. Hosting career fairs, recruitment drives and providing internship opportunities for college graduates are solid methods of diversifying the candidate pool.
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