What Are Recruitment Strategies? (Plus 10 You Can Use)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 20 October 2022 | Published 11 October 2021

Updated 20 October 2022

Published 11 October 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Recruitment strategies are plans and methods for optimising the hiring process. The strategies can improve efficiency and effectiveness for human resources (HR) departments, allowing them to reduce costs and increase talent acquisition. If you're an HR or hiring specialist, learning more about recruitment strategies and how they work can be beneficial. In this article, we explain what recruitment strategies are, detail why they're important and provide 10 effective strategies you can use to optimise your hiring process.

Related: What Is Talent Acquisition? (With Steps To Hire Talent)

What are recruitment strategies?

Answering 'what are recruitment strategies' helps you to understand the processes behind recruiting. Recruitment is an active search for talent that can contribute value to a company, and recruitment strategies improve the success of the company's recruitment. The process includes locating, identifying, interviewing, selecting, hiring and onboarding new employees. The human resources department usually manages recruitment alongside their other responsibilities, like training, performance management and labour relations.

Related: What Is Recruitment? (With 7 Stages of Recruiting)

Why are recruitment strategies important?

Recruitment strategies are important because when implemented, they can improve recruitment processes. How efficient and effective a company or organisation's recruitment is can affect their profits, success and branding. There are many recruitment strategies that target and improve various aspects of the recruitment process, from identifying talent to keeping employees. By using recruitment strategies, human resources teams can become more aware of their efficiency and understand which areas they need to improve. These are some reasons regarding the importance of recruitment strategies:

  • Improve talent acquisition: Hiring teams are most effective when they locate individuals who provide the most value to the company. By implementing recruitment strategies, HR professionals improve their ability to identify and hire the best talent for each role.

  • Lower recruitment costs: Recruitment strategies can reduce the total time to hire for each position and make the process more efficient. This means the hiring team reserves resources and spends less in the search for the best candidate.

  • Refine company image: By hiring candidates who contribute to a positive work environment and company image, recruitment can refine and improve the company or organisation's image. This can attract more top talent and make the hiring process easier.

  • Increase staff satisfaction: Staff who work with competent and friendly individuals may be more likely to be satisfied in their work, allowing them to work better and collaborate with others. By using recruitment strategies to hire the best candidates, the human resources department can increase employee satisfaction.

Related: What Does a Recruiter Do: Duties, Skills and Salary

10 effective recruitment strategies

These are some effective strategies you can use to improve your hiring process:

1. Optimise your job listings

A job listing is the description of the open position you're hiring for. By optimising it, you can encourage the best candidates to apply by describing exactly what experience, education and background you seek in your hire. To create dynamic job listings that attract candidates and accurately detail the position you're hiring for, you can:

  • use relevant hiring keywords

  • describe the job duties

  • detail the position requirements

  • avoid blocks of text for readability

  • proofread and edit the listing

  • include a company profile

Related: What Is Headhunting? (And How It Differs From Recruiting)

2. Use programmatic advertising

If you work for a large organisation that has several positions, a wide range of hiring managers and thousands of applications, programmatic job advertising can be especially beneficial. This marketing strategy uses software that enables you to purchase, publish and optimise job listings. Using programmatic job advertising, you set certain parameters that define the type of candidate you're looking for in a certain role. The technology then ensures that individuals that fit these parameters see the listing by using advanced algorithms and browsing data.

3. Generate a talent pool

A talent pool can give you a real advantage for recruiting. To use this recruiting strategy, you simply create a database of individuals that are interested in working for your organisation. These may be past applicants that fit the company culture but weren't ideal for that specific role or individuals that have expressed interest but have yet to apply for a position. The department can experience several benefits from developing a talent pool, such as:

  • allowing you to find qualified candidates quickly and easily

  • giving you access to passive candidates that aren't actively looking for a new job

  • enabling you to share your organisation's values and culture with a group of potential new hires

Related: What Is Talent Management? (With Processes and Strategies)

4. Build an employee referral programme

Your staff knows the company's needs and culture, which is why they can be an invaluable tool during the recruitment process. Empower your staff to find great candidates for your organisation by creating an employee referral programme that provides incentives, such as cash or additional benefits and recognition for finding candidates that are ideal for the company and the position. Referrals come with several benefits, including:

  • A great fit: Employees understand the company's culture and values, so they can identify individuals that are ideal for the company culture and the specific role.

  • More engaged: Because referrals already know one person in the organisation, they may fit into the company quickly.

  • Happier in their role: Referred employees often adjust to their new role much more quickly than other candidates. They may have a lower turnover rate because they have a better understanding of the company before getting hired.

5. Create opportunities for growth

Many quality candidates seek companies where they feel they can continue their professional development, which is why prioritising internal mobility can be such an important recruiting strategy. Provide opportunities for employees to develop their skills and achieve their career goals. Aside from allowing you to attract ideal candidates, searching for candidates for advanced roles within your organisation can help you keep outstanding employees and save time and resources. Because these employees are already familiar with the organisation, they can usually be effective in their new role much more quickly than external hires.

Related: 20 Examples of Areas of Improvement for Professional Growth

6. Interact with passive candidates

Passive candidates are individuals that aren't currently actively searching for a new position but may consider a career move if a great opportunity came along. There may be many suitable passive candidates, so it may be beneficial to develop a relationship with these individuals. You can do this by creating a talent pool and then sharing relevant and valuable content with the individuals in it regularly. For example, you may share career advice or professional development opportunities.

7. Design a strategy for social media

Social media recruiting has become increasingly more popular and is now a vital aspect of successful recruiting. Using this strategy, you harness the power of social media platforms, using them as databases for potential talent and a means for advertising open positions. To improve the effectiveness of your efforts, you can:

  • Get your employees involved: You can increase your organisation's reach by asking staff members to share the company's posts and information about job vacancies on their personal accounts.

  • Join relevant groups: There are a variety of industry-specific groups on social media platforms that can help your organisation network with potential candidates.

  • Share quality content: One of the best ways to attract quality employees is by showcasing your company's expertise in the field.

8. Invest in applicant tracking

An applicant tracking system is a programme that collects, organises and sorts the application materials from various candidates. By implementing an applicant tracking system, you can make the process more efficient by eliminating candidates who don't have the proper qualifications or experience. You can use the system to filter through applicant information and gather data about job listings.

Related: What Are Applicant Tracking Systems? (Including Tips)

9. Hire alternative employees

One strategy you can consider to quickly fill vital positions is alternative hiring. This can include contract, freelance, temporary and part-time team members. When hiring alternative employees, you can find solutions to immediate problems and assess the hire to see if they can fill the role full time. For example, if you have an open position and you hire a temporary or part-time team member, you can assess their performance and efficiency to determine if you want to offer full-time work or move forward with the hiring process.

10. Track and review recruitment KPIs

A KPI is a key performance indicator, and tracking recruitment KPIs allows the hiring team to monitor and understand their performance. To record and review KPIs, you can implement systems for measuring success in hiring. Some recruitment KPIs you may track include:

  • application progress

  • career satisfaction

  • diversity and inclusion

  • employee retention

  • cost per position

  • job performance

  • offer acceptance rate

  • qualifications

  • engagement in work

  • team leader satisfaction

  • total hiring time

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