A Guide to Recruiting Methods: Benefits and When To Use

Updated September 30, 2022

Attracting and retaining high-quality employees is a top priority for most companies. Knowing various ways to recruit talent can quicken the process and ensure that employees end up in the most appropriate role. Both job-seekers and recruiters can benefit from understanding several recruiting strategies because it highlights what to expect in the recruitment and hiring process. In this article, we discuss the importance of multiple recruitment methods and the right times to use each.

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

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Why do methods for recruitment matter?

Recruiting methods are important because they provide a structure for finding and hiring quality candidates. For employers, using a variety of recruitment strategies can increase the talent pool when you screen applicants. For job seekers, knowing about different recruitment strategies can help efficiently direct your job search. Although specific recruiting techniques might vary between industries and companies, most fall into the categories of internal, external, online and offline.

Benefits of recruiting internally

Recruiting internally, or hiring from within an existing employee base, can be beneficial to employers and employees alike. Here are some benefits of internal recruiting:

Minimal onboarding

Internal recruiting can be a valuable practice because it streamlines onboarding and training. An existing employee who is moving to a different position will probably already understand company-wide policies and procedures, allowing more time for role-specific training.

Enhanced company culture

Recruiting internally can also positively impact company culture and morale. Many employees seek to grow within a single company, and internal hiring allows that to happen. Internal recruiting can also instill a sense of appreciation from the employer to the employees.

Increased retention

Internal recruiting frequently has a positive effect on employee retention. This impact is because employees who can learn and grow, or who have the opportunity to do so, often stay at a company for a longer time.

Related: Guide to the Recruiting Process

When to use internal recruiting

Here are some times when it might be best to recruit from within:

When candidates are qualified

Having a well-qualified employee roster is a good time to consider recruiting internally. Use physical or digital internal job boards to post internal openings. Consider sending company-wide emails to advertise internal openings as well.

When an employee makes a request

Another good time to hire internally is when an employee requests a transfer. Sometimes, employees want to experience different roles or learn different skills, and internal hiring can be an effective way to provide that experience while maximizing an employee's enthusiasm for their job.

When leadership is changing

Some businesses recruit internally when they expect turnover at the leadership level. Recruiting strong leaders from within can sometimes provide a seamless transition between the exiting and incoming manager or administrator.

Related: How to Become a Recruiter

Benefits of recruiting externally

Sometimes, it's more useful to recruit employees from outside the company. Here are some benefits to external recruiting:

Incorporate new experiences

Businesses of all types can often benefit from the new perspective an external hire brings. New external recruits can help solve long-standing challenges, improve the company workflow and increase company morale.

Bring in new qualifications and specialties

A business can often benefit from a particular skill set that might be absent from an employee's current employee roster. For example, if a business is pivoting from a brick-and-mortar retail form to an online store, they may need to recruit employees who have experience in e-commerce and web design.

Fill new positions

External recruiting can be an effective way to fill new positions in a company. Although it is sometimes possible to rearrange employees' workload so they can work more efficiently, it is often better to hire a new candidate to take on the additional work that comes with a company's growth. This process might allow new and existing employees to focus on the quality of their work and collaboration.

When to use external recruiting

Here are some examples of when it might be best to recruit externally:

When a particular credential is required

External recruiting is especially valuable when a team needs a specific credential, such as an academic degree or product certification, that is currently absent from the staff. Recruiting externally can help find and hire specialized professionals to tackle specific business challenges.

To fill new positions

Businesses sometimes create new positions in a company based on their current production needs. Filling these positions externally can allow current hires to prioritize their existing tasks or provide space to rearrange a staff's responsibilities.

When a company is growing

Businesses can also benefit from external hiring when their company is experiencing growth. Bringing in external hires to manage an increasing workload can help raise morale, increase productivity and signal stability to stakeholders.

Benefits of recruiting online

Businesses can use digital methods for internal or external recruiting. Here are some benefits of online recruiting:

Larger audience

Recruiting online using digital job boards, email lists or social media can help you reach more qualified candidates in a shorter period of time. Many applicants use these tools to streamline their job search, and it is possible to filter a larger quantity of candidates digitally as well.

Increased flexibility

You can often perform online recruiting from anywhere, either in or out of the office. Job seekers also benefit from the flexibility of online recruiting because it means they can look for roles in different locations without leaving their current role.

Greater efficiency

Software tools that screen applicants for certain keywords and qualifications make the online recruiting process efficient. Automating some parts of the recruiting and screening process can help a business fill positions faster, which can have a positive effect on productivity and revenues.

When to recruit online

Here are some times when it might be most effective to recruit online:

When you want to reach as many candidates as possible

If you want to make a job listing available to as many candidates as possible, consider recruiting online. The reach of tools like online job boards, email newsletters and social media campaigns can far exceed that of traditional offline recruiting.

When you expect many candidates to apply

Online recruiting can be an effective way to screen many candidates in a short amount of time. If you expect a large number of individuals to apply for a particular job, using online recruiting tools can make finding the right qualifications easier.

When the right digital tools are available

If you are recruiting for a company that has a suite of digital tools available, leverage them to reach more candidates both internally and externally. Many companies have specific social media channels and policies in place to maximize the benefit of existing digital tools.

Benefits of recruiting offline

Although recruiting online can be efficient, offline recruiting might provide better results in some circumstances. Here are some benefits of offline recruiting:

Deeper connections

High-quality recruits often appreciate the more personable experience of recruiting offline. Employers can benefit from these deeper interpersonal connections as well because it can allow team members to develop a quick rapport.

Targeted recruiting options

If you are interested in recruiting a certain set of individuals, you might choose to meet with them personally to explain the benefits of employment with the company. Functions such as industry-specific job fairs can allow you to target your recruiting efforts toward individuals who are most likely to qualify.

Diverse candidate pool

Recruiting offline might allow you to reach qualified candidates you otherwise might not. Some talented individuals choose to stay off of social media, for example, and you might benefit from seeking these individuals out using networking strategies and physical job listings.

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When to recruit offline

Here are some times when you might choose offline recruiting:

To stand out to candidates

Some industries are saturated with companies looking to hire highly qualified candidates. If this is the case, consider using offline recruiting to distinguish your company as different from those that recruit only online.

To recruit specific individuals

If a professional would be a perfect fit for a job, you might want to meet with them personally to invite them to apply. This personalized approach can make that candidate more likely to apply.

To develop community

If your company is shifting into a new industry, such as technology, recruiting in person at events like job fairs can help existing employees network with professionals in the field. These connections can benefit a company by driving further recruitment and professional development.

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