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Continue reading to learn what recruiting is, why it’s important to have a recruiting strategy, who should be involved in the recruiting process, where to find the best candidates, and how to start recruiting for your company.
What Is Recruiting?
Recruiting is the process of identifying and attracting talent to provide your organization with a pool of qualified candidates for open positions. Along with attracting talent, recruitment involves convincing and preparing candidates to interview for a role at your company.
Recruiting vs. Hiring
Recruiting is often confused with hiring because of their relationship in HR. Recruiting is a subsection of the overall hiring process where you’re actively searching for qualified applicants.
Hiring is the full process of creating the job description, screening applicants, conducting interviews and selecting the best candidate.
Why Having a Great Recruiting Strategy Is So Important
A strong recruiting strategy can help your company expand and continue growing toward your business goals. Here are a few reasons why developing a recruiting strategy is vital to your organization.
- Attracting qualified talent. With a strategic recruiting process, your job postings get in front of the right people and reduce the number of unqualified applicants.
- Reducing turnover. A thorough recruiting strategy will identify talent that fits your needs and organizational culture.
- Increasing productivity and profitability. Attracting applicants that are qualified and fit your company culture increases the likelihood of success on the job.
- Remaining ahead of the competition. You aren’t the only organization hiring in your industry and an efficient recruiting strategy will help you compete for the best talent.
- Preparing for anything. Nurturing relationships through strategic recruiting helps to establish a pipeline of talent so you’re prepared when an emergency hire is required.
Who Should Be Involved in the Recruiting Process?
The stakeholders involved in the recruiting process vary depending on the role you’re hiring for, the organization and the industry. Typically, the following people are involved in the recruiting process.
- Recruiter. A recruiter often spearheads the recruiting process, actively identifying and communicating with potential candidates. If you’re a small business owner, you may be responsible for this role as well.
- HR manager. The HR manager handles a majority of the administrative tasks in the recruiting process. If your organization is smaller, the HR manager may also be handed the responsibilities of a recruiter.
- Current employees. Current employees can contribute to recruiting by referring qualified candidates for open roles or advocating for the company on social media.
- Third-party recruitment outsourcing. Some organizations outsource their recruiting to third-party providers who complete the process before the hiring manager takes over for interviews.
Where to Find the Best Candidates
There are a number of places to source candidates for open roles, but they won’t always lead to the most qualified talent. Here are a few sources to find the best candidates for your open positions.
Posting your job descriptions to websites like Indeed, ZipRecruiter and Glassdoor are some of the most popular ways to source candidates. These websites allow you to ask preliminary screening questions in the application phase to eliminate unqualified applicants.
While LinkedIn has its own job board where you can post openings, there are other ways to recruit more qualified talent. Message existing connections to see if they know of any qualified candidates in their network or search for individuals currently employed in your industry to recruit.
In the digital age, social media serves as a recruiting resource when you use it effectively. With Twitter and Facebook, you can create accounts separate from your company account to post about recruiting and job openings.
One of the most effective sources for recruiting qualified talent is your existing employees. You can create an employee referral program (ERP) where current employees refer qualified candidates for open roles. In exchange for their referral, you offer the current employee an incentive such as bonus pay if the candidate is successfully hired.
Referred employees can be hired faster than regular applicants and at a lower cost, and are often higher-quality candidates.
On average, employees’ networks are 10 times larger than their company’s follower base
Organized networking events in your industry can serve as a source of connecting with potential talent for open roles. Recruiters, hiring managers, employees and executives can all play a role in recruiting at networking events by feeding leads back to HR after the event.
Professional Trade Associations
Many professional trade associations have low-to-no-cost job posting systems for their specific trade. If you’re recruiting for a specific trade or industry, these associations can better help you identify candidates with the skills and abilities required for success on the job.
Colleges and Universities
Colleges and universities are great places to find young talent for entry-level positions. It takes time to establish a presence on campus, so you will have to dedicate time and create a relationship with professors and key placement officers in your line of work.
You can also post open positions in career offices so alumni have access to job openings.
To connect with a large pool of talent, you can participate in job fairs. Most job fairs will require a fee in return for a table or booth where you hand out information about your organization and collect resumes.
If you have a large number of openings at your company, you can host your own job fair. However, this can be a costly and time-consuming task with limited payoff.
College students, recent graduates and professionals looking for a career change can become qualified candidates through internship programs. Internships benefit both parties, as you get a talented person to work for you and they gain experience on their resume.
Internships can serve as a trial run. If it all goes successfully, you may decide to offer the intern a full-time role.
Though they aren’t actively searching for a job, passive applicants are people you’ve connected with and who possess the skills and abilities for the position you’re recruiting. While they may be more difficult to recruit, passive applicants are often higher-quality candidates.
Government or Community Organizations
“State help is awesome! I have to worry about background checks and I love the assistance that the state gives. Community and word of mouth are great avenues. I reached out to the state and used their free job sites. I’ve also reached out to see what programs they have to help.
Utah has a Veteran-focused program called the ACE Program through the Department of Workforce Services. It helps veterans and their spouses get certifications or training or tools needed to obtain and maintain gainful employment. This may be helpful to get them any certifications that may be required in order for them to be offered a position. It opens up opportunities to widen your candidate pool.
Utah also has an Office of Rehabilitation. I reached out to the Director of the Governor’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities &
Business Relations. They help people who are covered under the ADA obtain and keep gainful employment that works within their restrictions. They send out emails with the job posting information that they receive on a daily – weekly – or monthly basis to the counties around my area to help reach more people.
The other thing I would do is really build your outreach program. Reach out to local colleges, high schools, and churches. In Utah, the LDS church has a huge presence, and they have an employment center that is also free. I post on there and attend as many hiring events as I can. Even going to the centers and putting up flyers.
The other thing is social media. Social media is a great way to reach passive candidates. Get with your marketing department and see if they can build you some simple Social media pictures (I usually prefer the Instagram-approved size because it fits everywhere) that would be approved for you to share that you’re hiring and where to go to look at positions. I post those on my LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. With Facebook, I joined every Job/hiring/yard sale / industry-related group in my area and I scroll through there constantly. I’ll post that I’m hiring with some details and my contact information for them to reach me. I’ll also reply to others’ posts about the opportunities that I have in their area.” – Heather Anderson SHRM-CP
“In addition to what Heather suggested – see if you can map out where your current employees are living by zip code. Is there a non-profit or school you can partner with? Maybe you run a food drive as a company and maybe they will return the favor by helping you fill your jobs.” – Ryan Archibald
How to Start Recruiting for Your Company
If you have open roles and aren’t sure where to start your recruiting process, the following steps can help you identify and attract qualified applicants for your open roles.
1. Post Your Job Listing to Online Websites
As mentioned before, online job boards like Indeed, Glassdoor and ZipRecruiter are some of the most popular sources for recruiting talent. Search for any industry-specific and niche online job boards to increase your likelihood of attracting qualified talent.
If your organization has the capability, post all of your openings on your company careers page.
2. Actively Recruit On Social Media
Social media is one of the best ways to share job postings and use your existing network to attract talent. Create recruitment-specific accounts on Facebook and Twitter, and regularly post content to create engagement.
On LinkedIn, leverage your connections to find qualified candidates and search for people currently working in your industry to recruit for open roles.
3. Leverage Referrals
Employee referral programs attract qualified talent and candidates who are more likely to fit your company culture.
The people already working at your company are great resources. Many have worked in the field for years and have both personal and professional connections, some of which may be great hires for your company. Bringing your employees into the recruitment process will help you connect with these people. Your employees know these people personally and have first-hand awareness of how they might fit into your company.
If your company doesn’t already have a referral program for current employees, create one. Consider offering incentives, including monetary incentives, for employees who refer their qualified connections to open positions at your company. Communicate this program clearly and frequently with employees, and make them aware of open positions.
4. Attend Recruitment Events
While you may not always find the most qualified candidates, recruitment events help expand your network. Someone who may not fit the role you’re currently hiring for may be the perfect candidate for an open position in the future.
Tips for Improving Your Recruiting
If you’re finding it difficult to find qualified candidates, don’t worry! Depending on the job market, recruiting can be one of the most difficult steps in the hiring process. Here are a few tips to help you see more success.
Tip 1: Write Better Job Descriptions
If recruiting is a challenge, your first step is to take a look at your job descriptions. Be honest, clear, and succinct about job duties, growth potential, benefits, and requirements. There’s no need for fluffy language promoting the company ping pong table, but a little character in the listing can go a long way. Don’t oversell a job, and be clear about whether or not it is an entry-level or more advanced position. Consider listing salary ranges.
An honest and clear job description will help you find good candidates and not lose them along the application pipeline—and avoid a poor match that can be costly down the line.
Tip 2: Shorten the Job Application
Keep your applications short and sweet. Applications should take five minutes or less to complete. Your candidates have options, and if your application is intensive or time-consuming (or both), they may be tempted to close the browser tab and move on to the next job application. By shortening your application, you’ll get more applicants, and probably better ones at that.
Focus on the basics:
- Resume. Don’t make them type out all their relevant job experience—uploading a resume to the application should be plenty.
- Cover letter. Only ask for it if you will actually read it!
- Contact information. Ask for their name, phone number, address, email.
- Brief screening questions. Include 3 to 5 at most.
Tip 3: Communicate
Tools like LinkedIn and digital recruiting tactics make searching for applicants faster and easier than ever before. Despite these tools, good communication still tends to take a back seat on the to-do list. 65% of candidates have applied for jobs and never heard back about their application. Of that same group, 72% have shared their negative experience online or with someone directly (CareerArc).
How a candidate feels during the hiring process can influence their decision to accept your offer or not. In order to avoid missing out on choice talent, improve your communication standards.
Avoid a bad hiring reputation by committing to be punctual with your communication. Respond fast, and be available for questions. If someone isn’t a great fit, don’t burn bridges by ghosting them! If they are a great fit, treat them that way!
Tip 4: Work on Branding
In a competitive hiring field, you want your company to stand out for all the right reasons. Among the most important recruitment tips is to focus on branding your company as a great place to work. Beyond the perks and benefits you offer (which should also be competitive and attractive to candidates), you want to be known as a company with a fun, creative, thriving culture where employees are treated well and love their jobs.
How do you get that branding out there? Start with these steps:
- Improve company culture. You don’t want to sell a lie—your candidates will eventually see right through you. If you want potential employees to think that working with you will be great, you need to actively work to make the workspace great. Talk to your current employees to make sure you understand and meet their needs.
- Create an attractive website that echoes this culture and sells candidates on your company’s mission, growth potential, and environment.
- Carry that message throughout your social media. Use social media, and even your website, as a platform for current employees to share their stories of working at the company and the projects they spend their time on. Use your platforms to give potential hires a glimpse into what it would be like to work at your company.
- Meet potential candidates. Make yourself available for networking, and encourage your co-workers to do the same. Consider hosting events for applicants and potential applicants to interact with the people they could work with one day.
Tip 4: Hire Collaboratively
For any hire, there’s more than one stakeholder interested in the outcome of the hiring process. Make sure to involve people who will be working with and supervising the new hire, and make sure the hiring committee is diverse and representative of your company. Throughout the hiring process, collect insights and opinions from this team.
How does collaborative hiring help with recruiting? It gives job candidates a taste of your company culture and the kind of people they will be working with. The people at your company are among its strongest assets, and they will help candidates see the value of joining your team.
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