How To Create a Recruitment Strategy in 12 Steps

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published November 30, 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.

Developing a detailed recruitment strategy can help you outline your hiring goals and how to reach them. A good recruitment strategy is also key for sourcing and hiring more qualified candidates. It's helpful to learn what to include in a recruitment strategy to ensure it's easy for all hiring professionals to follow. In this article, we explore what a recruitment strategy is, what they include and how to create one.

Related: Learn About Being a Recruiter

What is a recruitment strategy?

A recruitment strategy is a plan with steps to find, recruit, hire and keep employees. The strategy usually reflects company values and goals, allowing managers to plan for the future. You may want to design your strategy to be flexible and easy to update each year because hiring needs can change. Your company might grow quickly and require more employees than it did the year before. If your recruitment strategy is already flexible, you might experience fewer delays in meeting those new goals.

Related: What Is Recruiting?

What to include in a recruitment strategy

Recruitment strategies can take different forms and have varying levels of detail. Whatever kind of strategy you want to create, here are some items to include:

  • Goals: Every company has different goals, but some common ones to consider are how many people you want to hire, if you want to hire more diversely and if you want to change your hiring process.

  • Positions: Decide how many employees you want to hire. Consider if any employees are leaving soon or if there is a department or team that could benefit from the skills a new employee could provide.

  • Timeline: Think about which positions you want to fill as soon as possible and which positions you can fill throughout the year. Your timeline could have a big impact on the other parts of your recruitment strategy.

  • Budget: Recruiting costs can include marketing, travel and technology. Take into consideration your budget for expenses at later stages of the recruitment process, like background checks.

  • Target audience: Consider the skills or experience you most want in a candidate. If your position requires knowledge of a certain area, you might advertise in that area so you target locals.

  • Marketing plan: Once you have a target audience, it's time to decide how you're going to market toward them. Think about the kinds of advertising open to you and what best fits your needs.

  • Selection process: You can develop a plan for every step of your hiring process. Building your recruitment strategy is a great time to look at that process and decide if you want to change it.

Related: Guide to the Recruitment Process

How to create a recruitment strategy

Here are 12 steps you can follow to create a recruitment strategy:

1. Review current company strategies

If you already have a recruitment strategy in place, review it for strengths and weaknesses. Other areas of the company may have strategic plans written up, like departmental strategies or marketing strategies. Review everything to make sure your new recruitment strategy lines up with existing company plans, goals and values.

2. Analyze recruiting strategies from other companies

Look around at other companies, both in and out of your profession. Take notes on what their recruiters do to promote the company and encourage candidates. You may even be able to find fully outlined strategies by doing a search online.

3. Determine recruitment needs

When building your strategy, consider reviewing your company goals and comparing them with the needs your current employees already fill. Evaluate the roles of current employees to see if it matches their current job description. If they've taken on additional responsibilities, you may want to update their job description or create a new position that focuses on those responsibilities.

4. Update or create job descriptions

Update existing job descriptions in small ways, like using clearer language, or big ways, like adding additional responsibilities. Use them as templates for creating your new job descriptions. Make sure that both updated and new descriptions are comprehensive, clear and interesting to candidates. Show potential candidates why this position is right for them.

5. Decide on a budget and timeline

Taking into consideration your hiring needs, marketing plans and other recruitment expenses, form your budget and timeline. It's important to plan this before you start recruiting so that you can predict changes to make and identify any potential areas of improvement before they arise. It can also ensure that your entire recruiting team has the same information about available resources.

6. Use technology

You can use technology to streamline your process and make your strategy readily available to other hiring managers. Here's a few kinds of technology you may want to explore for your recruiting process:

  • Job search platforms

  • Photo or video editing software

  • Applicant tracking systems

  • Video calling services

  • Analytics applications

7. Promote widely

It's good to focus your marketing toward a target audience, but it's also valuable to market widely. Internet and in-person marketing both have their benefits. Most social media is free, so you could use the social media presence you already have or focus on building it. You can also buy ads or promoted posts on social media and websites. Print mediums, such as newspapers, can expand on the audience you're reaching. Look into job fairs or professional conventions to connect with potential candidates in person.

Related: 13 Recruiting Strategies To Help You Find the Best Candidates

8. Make your company website applicant-friendly

If you want to attract candidates and encourage them to apply, make your website easy for them to navigate and include resources. You could give potential applicants an idea of what it's like to work at the company by posting current employee testimonials or creating an FAQ page.

9. Define your selection process

It's good to have a clear, formal selection process so hiring remains fair and balanced. Review the selection process you currently use for strengths and weaknesses. Maybe you want to research using AI to sort through applications, add a round of phone interviews before in-person interviews or form a selection committee. Decide what makes the most sense for the company's resources and needs.

10. Develop or refine your onboarding process

A clear onboarding process might help you keep employees by making them feel more confident and secure on their first day. Decide who's going to handle training and be a primary resource for new employees. You may want to consider if you expect a new employee to take on all of their responsibilities on day one, or if you want to set a schedule for them to adjust more gradually. Consider developing informative documents or presentations.

11. Consider outside help

Developing a good recruitment strategy can take a lot of time. There are companies that can help you make the process easier and faster. Some companies may be able to build your entire recruitment strategy, while others might help with individual pieces, like developing an applicant tracking system or handling marketing.

12. Review your recruitment strategy annually

Building your initial recruitment strategy is important, and it's equally important to revisit it at least once a year. When reviewing your recruitment strategy, make sure that it still matches up with the company's needs, goals and values. Even small updates, like clarifications or streamlining a couple of steps in the process, are beneficial.

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