6 Steps for a Winning Recruitment Strategy

Hiring is often one of the most painful things a company experiences. Between posting jobs, screening resumes, and managing the back-and-forth with candidates it often feels extremely burdensome. This is all the more frustrating when results don’t pan out and finding the right candidate starts to feel like a coin flip.

Is hiring giving you a headache?

If you’re feeling this way, a major root cause is often the lack of an effective recruitment strategy.

The reality is that effective recruiting is a combination of employing best practices from sales and marketing, except in this case the product you’re selling is your open job and the customers are the talented people you want to hire.

Can you really expect to sell a product without a well-executed sales strategy and marketing plan?

So what does this look like for recruiting the talent your business depends on? Here’s the 6-step process we employee with our clients.

Step 1: Do a job analysis to define your ideal candidate profile.

What are you looking for from an ideal candidate? What do you need them to deliver? What is success?

These are extremely important questions as the answers will inform the recruitment strategy and hiring criteria, so it pays to be thoughtful and conduct an accurate job analysis. Here’s a more detailed checklist to help you conduct your next job analysis.  

And remember, garbage in (vague job requirements) equals garbage out (low quality candidates and bad hiring decisions).

A little extra time spent on this step can save hours and hours of finding and screening the wrong candidates. This is especially important if you're hiring for multiple positions

Step 2: Know your customer. Do market research.

Once you have an ideal candidate profile the next step is to better understand the candidate pools that may exist in your market.

A good market analysis will scope out the size of the potential candidate pools, whether there is alignment on compensation expectations, evaluate the best places to engage candidates (i.e. LinkedIn, job boards, Facebook etc.), and uncover what candidates care about.

Do you know what the market is like for the talent you need?

Ultimately the goal of a market analysis is to provide insights on the likelihood of filling your role under the timeline you need, and if not, decide whether you should adjust your ideal candidate profile, come up with alternative work arrangements, or create incentives for attracting the candidate you want.

For example, let’s say you want a specialist, but the only available candidate pool is less than 100 people scattered nationally and none remotely close to your city. In a case like this you could drastically improve the chances of finding someone by offering flexibility to work remotely.

While the above is an extreme example, if you are having trouble finding talent, consider what the market looks like for your ideal candidate profile, how narrow the pool is, what candidates care about, and how that impacts your recruitment strategy.  

Need help with a market analysis? Schedule time with us to learn how we can help you.

Step 3: Is there product-market fit with what you’re offering?

Often companies have an attitude of “we have a open job, that should be enough right?” This is an antiquated attitude and is likely preventing you from attracting the talent you want and need -- especially as the job market becomes hyper-competitive.

So what do candidates really want? Over the last year we’ve collected data from over 10,000 candidates (both active and passive) to better understand what they care about, what makes them happy, and why they’re looking to leave their current role.

What we found is that the top three considerations for job seekers in considering a new role are career advancement (55%), compensation (54%) and growth opportunities (50%).

What this means and is often not considered by companies is being open in communicating how a role can help someone grow and advance in their career. Being transparent about these things can really help position your role to resonate with the candidates you want to talk to.

Step 4: Getting in front of the candidate

There’s a common adage to go “fishing where the fish are biting." This is especially true in recruiting where there are multiple channels to engage candidates. Here are some of the most common channels and maybe even a few you’re not leveraging:

  • Job Boards: While job boards are a great resource, they often only attract active job seekers, eliminating a much larger pool of passive folks. Especially for highly specialized roles with small candidate pools this means that just “posting and praying” is unlikely to result in hiring the talent you need.  Another consideration is that job boards often attract different audiences. Some are very general, but have great SEO (Indeed) or distribution (ZipRecruiter), while there are others that are very niche and specific to an industry.
    Are you fishing where the fish are biting?
  • LinkedIn: LinkedIn is the largest social network of professionals. LinkedIn has specific tools that recruiters often leverage to access large talent pools. Often this involves personalized messaging/outreach and can be extremely manual.
  • Facebook and other social media: A newer medium with sophisticated targeting capabilities. It’s a great way to build an engaged audience with the candidate pool you’re looking to engage.

Need help getting in front of candidates? Schedule time with us.

Step 5: Have your hiring process dialed in

Having an effective sales strategy and marketing plan are only as good as your ability to fulfill on the sale. If recruitment is like sales and marketing, the hiring process is your operations.

Having your hiring process dialed in means knowing who is interviewing, why they are interviewing, and what they are assessing for in the interview. Logistically there’s someone on point so that candidates aren’t left hanging.

Remember a candidate is evaluating you as much as you are evaluating them to find mutual fit. Clumsy interactions with a candidate can reflect poorly on the team and impact your ability to close on your ideal candidate. Cumbersome process can also result in your team losing out on top talent who are likely interviewing at multiple places.

We’ve provided some additional resources to help you streamline your hiring processes here.

Step 6: Be invested in the process

Finally the biggest piece of the puzzle is always you, the hiring manager. Frankly, if you aren’t invested in the process, why are you hiring?

What does being invested mean? It means being available to provide feedback, making time for the interview process, and setting the right expectations for the hiring process.

All the other stuff? Well that’s what a good recruiting partner should help you handle so you can invest where it’s needed. Here is a case study for what it looks like in action.

In the meantime, if you need help, we’re always available to be a resource. Schedule time for a free consult here.

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