Table of Contents

A sound recruiting strategy can help you identify and attract qualified talent for open positions and create a network of potential candidates for roles in the future.

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.

Watch the world’s largest HR encyclopedia be built in real-time

Subscribe to get a weekly roundup email of all our new entries

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.

Job Boards

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.

Social Media

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.

Employee Referrals

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.

Networking Events

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.

Job Fairs

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 and if it all goes successfully, you may decide to offer them a full-time role.

Passive Applicants

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. If your company doesn’t already have a referral program for current employees, create one.

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.

Questions You’ve Asked Us About Recruiting

How many candidates should I recruit for each position?
The number of candidates to recruit depends on the specific position and the industry. Ideally, you’ll want to narrow down a final list of three to five qualified candidates for second interviews.
How can I prepare candidates for the interview process?
You can prepare candidates for the interview process by proactively communicating so they understand every step in the process. You can also prepare candidates for what topics will be covered to help reduce their stress.
Eddy Logo

Eddy is the all-in-one HR tool built with you in mind. The robust features and ease of use will benefit your company both inside and outside your HR team.

Want to contribute to our HR Encyclopedia?

Posts You Might Like

5 Recruitment Tips for Attracting Top Candidates​

5 Recruitment Tips for Attracting Top Candidates​

You want to attract the right people for the right job at your company—before the competition hires the best talent in the field. The hiring process, often involving recruiting, multiple screenings, assessments, and interviews, can take weeks or longer. An inefficient process may cause your company to lose out simply because candidates got another offer sooner. On the other hand, a poor hiring process can result in employees who are a poor fit for the culture or job requirements, causing expensive turnovers.

Read More »
5 HR and Hiring Practices You Need to Fire

5 HR and Hiring Practices You Need to Fire

Companies don’t usually have a problem letting people go who are stealing or consistently underperforming and showing no signs of improvement. Why are we so much more lenient with HR practices that cost a ton and don’t do what we need them to?

Read More »

Want to join our network of contributing HR professionals?

Scroll to Top

Submit a Question