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Strategic Recruiting

Small businesses need to be intentional about their hiring practices to ensure they’re bringing the best talent on board. So, what is a recruiting strategy and how can it work for your company?

Strategic recruiting is based on the ideas of talent management thought leader Dr. John Sullivan, who suggests that hiring the best talent for your company is based on three elements:

  • Recruitment-directed marketing
  • Employer branding
  • Skilled selling

Learn how you can improve your company’s hiring practices through implementing strategic recruiting. Understand what it is and how to create a recruiting strategy plan.

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What is strategic recruiting?

Strategic recruiting is the use of skilled selling, employer branding and recruitment-directed marketing in sourcing talent, which allows a company to respond effectively to dynamic market conditions. In 2008, Dr. John Sullivan developed 20 principles of strategic recruiting that remain relevant today.

Why a recruiting strategy plan is essential for your business

Job applicants and desirable talent favor organizations that seem attractive to them. Though every business wants to hire the best talent, they’re not all in a position to attract applications from such individuals. By implementing a recruiting strategy plan, you put yourself in a unique position in the job market and make your company more appealing to top-tier applicants.

20 principles of strategic recruiting

A recruiting strategy is based on these 20 principles designed by Dr. Sullivan. Consider these components and integrate them into your hiring practices to develop a recruiting strategy plan that attracts the best talent for the job.

1. A well-defined strategy

A well-defined strategy is the foundation of your recruiting efforts and should include a clear target of the ideal employee and a brand message. Be prepared to make adjustments to your strategy as the market changes.

2. Pipeline approach

The pipeline refers to having a steady flow of applicants to your company. Rather than staying idle until you need to fill a position, generate a constant influx of interest. This ensures that when you need to fill a role, you’ll already have a list of talent available.

3. Competitive

You need to stay competitive against the other businesses in your industry and region. If a candidate has the most talent in the field, you should have to fight for them to come to your company. Develop an effective recruiting approach that you can measure against other similar employers to see what you can do better, and don’t get complacent.

4. Employment branding

Employment branding means creating an image of your business as a wonderful place to work. Cultivate your brand to demonstrate a workplace culture that talented applicants are attracted to. You can do this by actively sharing (through marketing, social media or your reputation) the benefits of working at your company and the opportunities or clients that make it an exciting place to work.

5. Global

The best applicants are unlikely to live in the same neighborhood where your main office is situated. To get the best talent, expand the capabilities of your search beyond your local community.

6. Target employed “non-lookers”

To have an effective recruiting strategy, you need to be appealing to top performers who are already employed elsewhere. Your brand message and reputation should attract talented individuals who might be looking to switch roles or companies.

7. Speed

To get the best candidates on your team, you need to make your hiring decisions quickly. This prevents them from being snagged by another competitor or losing interest in the opportunity. If an applicant is a top talent and many companies want them, you’ll need to make decisions based on their schedule and timelines if you truly want them to join your roster.

8. Sourcing is critical

How you source talent directly impacts the quality of the talent you bring into the company. Spending a vast amount of time on screening and advertising your roles is an ineffective use of time and company resources. Instead, look to employee referrals or finding talented individuals at networking events. These candidates already have someone backing them, and you can look to other industry professionals for a review of their performance and trustworthiness.

9. Data-based decisions

You must eliminate human bias in the hiring process to bring the best candidates on board. Do this by making your decisions based on hard data.

10. Build a recruiting culture

Having a single person in your HR team responsible for hiring is inefficient. Encourage all managers to be constantly on the lookout for top talent that could improve their team’s performance.

11. A candidate-centric approach

Part of strategic recruiting is selling the job and the company to a top candidate who has offers from other companies. You need to make the hiring process revolve around these desirable candidates by focusing on their needs and making the role appeal to them.

12. Prioritize jobs and targets

Your recruiting strategy should focus on high-impact jobs that generate the most revenue for your company, as these are the most critical to fill with the ideal candidate. You should also prioritize top performers and innovators as the target of your job search to bring in quality employees.

13. Managers are the delivery system

Although they may not design your company recruiting strategy, the managers of each team or department execute it. Ensure they understand the goals and purpose behind the strategy for best results.

14. Diversity

To get the best talent, you need to attract a diverse pool of applicants. Your recruiting strategy should be flexible enough to meet the needs of diverse individuals from all around the world. Focus on diversifying your team to ensure that your employees have different strengths and weaknesses. Diversifying your investments is a relevant recruiting strategy.

15. Selling applicants

To interest high-performing workers, you’ll need to develop a relationship with applicants throughout the hiring process. Create a sense of trust by proving that your company is a good fit for them and that they would benefit from working with you.

16. Technology

Making use of technology is critical to an efficient recruiting process. Use digital application forums, online job boards or other virtual tools to make the application process more convenient for applicants.

17. Integration

For the best results, your recruiting strategy must be integrated with other HR initiatives taking place within the company. These include compensation and relocation.

18. Talent shortages

Your recruiting strategy should help you avoid talent shortages. By having a steady flow of applicants and a strong employee brand that sells the company to candidates, you can ensure you always have interest and viable options lined up.

19. Remote work options

When you offer remote work options to candidates, you automatically increase the pool of interest. If there are roles that can be handled remotely, you expand your hiring possibilities beyond the city or even the state you operate in.

20. Metrics and rewards impact recruiting

To get managers and HR invested in the recruiting strategy, you need to have metrics that measure their success and reward workers for their efforts.

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