3 Principles of Strategic Recruitment

Tuesday December 18th, 2018

Estimated time to read: 3 minutes, 30 seconds

One of the primary goals of any human resource management team is to discover and acquire new talent to fill openings and complement the existing company culture. As with all other areas of HR management, technology has drastically changed the way we recruit new talent. Gone are the days of publishing employment opportunities in print and waiting for a phone call or sifting through piles of paper resumes and applications to find the right fit for your team. HR managers are no longer wasting valuable time sitting through hours of in-person interviews, only to find that none of the applicants were a good fit for the company. Technology has streamlined the process and allows us to more efficiently process data and hone in on the kind of talent needed to fill a position.

In order to take advantage of the technological advances in HR management, it's important to re-evaluate and adjust your own recruitment practices to make the best use of your time and the tools available to you. While there are many elements of strategic recruitment – such as competitive offerings like great benefits and a flexible workplace, data-driven decisions, diversity, and, of course, up-to-date technology – there are three core principles that you should focus on to improve your recruitment strategy.

Let's start by asking the right questions.

What Do You Need?

The first question you need to ask yourself when trying to revamp your recruitment strategy is what do you actually need? What gaps need to be filled within your company and what type of talent will be the perfect fit for those gaps?

Developing a detailed applicant profile of the type of talent you're looking for will help you streamline the process and avoid wasting time on applicants who are underqualified or who just don't mesh with the company culture. One of the biggest wastes of time in recruitment is issuing an open call to fill a position. Without articulating your unique needs, applicants may have a hard time envisioning themselves as part of the team and may be confused about whether or not the job is right for them. You have to think about how your recruitment strategy is received by job seekers and communicate your needs, expectations, and benefits as clearly as possible.

In order to refine your message to applicants, you'll need specific performance information about the team of employees you're currently working with, as well as information on how your recruitment strategy has fared in the past. This is where metrics come in. While you can't rely on metrics for everything, this is a scenario where they are especially useful. Use evaluations to pinpoint the gaps in the team that may need additional support while also using self-evaluation to gauge the success rate of your previous recruitment strategy. How many interviews did you conduct before making a job offer and going through the onboarding process? How many applications did you receive for a posted job opening?

Asking these types of questions will help you fine-tune the process and make better use of your metrics.

Why Should Applicants Want to Work for You?

Finding the perfect fit for your company is not one-sided. You are not simply seeking an applicant who you like, but also an applicant who is eager to work with your company. It is very much a two-way street and as such, it's important to think about your company's brand and how it is portrayed to the public. No doubt you've heard a lot about branding and marketing to appeal to the consumer, but if you're not focusing your efforts on branding that specifically appeals to the talent you're seeking, then you are missing a big opportunity.

Develop an employment brand that highlights your company culture and helps an applicant envision themself as part of the team. What is an average workday like? Who are the faces that make up your team? What values does the company prioritize?

Encourage your employees to become brand ambassadors who can speak personally on the benefits of working with your company. At the same time, develop a marketing strategy that targets job-seekers as well as talent that may not be seeking employment currently but who could be enticed to join you based on the employment brand you present.

How Are You Going to Reach and Attract the Talent?

So, you've answered the "what?" and the "why?" Now is the most important question to ask: How are you going to use the information you've gathered to close the deal?" This is where all those other elements of strategic recruitment previously mentioned become vitally important. The competitive offerings and benefits, the data driven decisions and technology all lead to one thing: a talent pipeline.

The talent pipeline is a pool of qualified applicants who have been previously vetted and are ready to start at a moment's notice. Building a talent pipeline eliminates the occurrence of rushed decisions to fill a need in a pinch and allows you to make the best use of your time by regularly evaluating the talent pool and handpicking the applicants who stand out. Rather than waiting for a need to arise and frantically searching for the perfect fit, build relationships with potential applicants and when you come across a rising star, make room for them on your team. Don't be afraid to switch up the roster and move employees around internally to capitalize on not only their strengths but the strengths of applicants in the talent pool.

By focusing your efforts on the what, why, and how of your recruitment practices, you will be better able to build a solid recruitment strategy and develop a stronger team to lead your company to success.

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