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A Comprehensive Guide to Strategic Recruitment

Morgan Lichtenstein
5 min read

What is strategic recruitment?

A strategic recruitment plan is a detailed roadmap on how to attract high-caliber talent for your organization. With piercing clarity, it outlines employer brand messaging, which candidates are to be targeted, the primary sources for hires, and anything else needed to make your recruitment program a resounding success.

It gives you the confidence to help you be successful in your hunt for the perfect candidate who will take your company to the next level. 

If you don’t have a strategic recruitment plan, your strategy will be poorly defined. This will result in diluted efforts, leading to less than stellar results.

Tragically, that means you’re probably not going to get the top talent you need.

To prevent this nightmare scenario from happening, we’ll help you learn all about creating a strategic recruitment plan. These include what steps you should take, establishing a strong employer brand, and making data-based decisions to support your recruiting efforts.

How does a strategic recruitment plan make the recruiting process easier?

A strategic recruitment plan makes the recruiting process easier because everything in the plan is spelled out to the nth degree.

This takes the complexity and confusion out of it.

Shoring up your talent pipeline

The most obvious benefit of a strategic recruitment plan is it allows you to have a steady stream of qualified candidates for every one of your organization's critical positions.

In other words, a talent pipeline. With one in place, you always have access to top-tier talent when you need it! 

When you have a hiring need, you naturally want to fill the opening ASAP. A talent pipeline lets you do just that. 

You can waltz into the hiring process with maximum confidence because you have an entire funnel full of well-qualified candidates you’ve nurtured over time.

Major principles of strategic recruitment

Here are some fundamental principles you'll want to follow when drafting your strategic recruitment plan:

Establish a strong employer brand

Your employer brand is how potential employees see your company. It can be the deciding factor for job seekers in whether they're going to accept your job offer.

To attract top-tier talent, your employer brand should communicate that you have a robust company culture—one where a prospective employee not only gets a paycheck but can do satisfying work in a wonderful way.

Make it super easy for applicants to discover the things that make working at your company an exhilarating experience. By doing this, you’ll have so many more people clamoring for a chance to work for your organization.

Have a target audience

Without a target audience, your hiring efforts will be a colossal waste of time. Your target audience is the perfect job candidate—the person who will fill the position better than any other.

During your strategic recruitment campaign, you need to define precisely who your target audience will be. That’s because your campaign is going to be different for each type of candidate you’re hoping to hire.

For example, when you’re looking for a new Chief Technology Officer, your efforts aren’t going to be the same as when you’re searching for an Influencer Marketing Specialist.

Directing all your energy to one specific target audience helps narrow your candidate pool to a manageable level. That way, you end up with only those applicants who are perfect for the job.

This makes your mission so much easier!

Prioritize jobs and targets

The big guns of strategic recruitment are deployed only for the critical positions in an organization. These are the ones that will help accelerate the growth of your business and take it to the next level.

This means you’ll want to target the top performers, game changers, and innovators in a particular industry.

Make data-based decisions

Unfortunately, emotions tend to dominate corporate decision making. 

Poor hiring choices aren’t just expensive to replace—they can also irrevocably damage a company’s reputation. That’s why it’s shocking that businesses continue to make hiring decisions from gut feelings instead of cold hard data.

Don’t fall into that trap!

Making hiring decisions based on objective data instead of emotion eliminates unconscious biases and produces higher quality results.

Have a global reach

The best talent is unlikely to live within commuting distance of your company.

That's why it's super important to ensure your recruiting efforts have a global reach!

These days, there is a seemingly limitless number of options for reaching far beyond the confines of geographical borders so you can sniff out the best talent. These powerful tools include artificial intelligence,  data analytics, and social networking.

But before you can take advantage of technology's power to scour the planet for your next hire, you need to understand your company’s goals

That way, you can identify the best technological tools to find those rockstar employees that will help to skyrocket your organization to stratospheric heights of success.

Creating a solid strategic recruitment plan, step by step

When creating a strategic recruitment plan, follow these steps:

1. Look at past successes and failures

Formulating a strategic recruitment plan based on what worked and what didn’t in the past will save you oodles of time and money.

So, before you gather your team together to create your plan, analyze your previous hits and misses.

2. Align the mission with the hiring decision

 Try to see how the position you’re hiring for fits in with the company’s broader goals. By doing this, you’ll be more likely to hire the candidate who can further them—aligning the corporate mission with the hiring decision.

3. Conduct a skills gap analysis

A skills gap analysis is an in-depth look at the skills of your current team. Assess which skills you have and those you are deficient in. Doing this helps you figure out who you have to hire to get the skills your team needs.

When you conduct a skills gap analysis, consult with department heads.

4. Have a clear job description

Another way to significantly reduce the candidate pool is by clearly stating expectations, work requirements, and duties in the job description.

This way, there won’t be any misunderstandings come interview time.

Roles can change over time, so make sure you have the latest version of the job description.

Talk to people who currently have this job, and note how it changed from when they were initially hired to what their responsibilities are today.

5. Source your candidates well

Your strategic recruitment plan is only as good as your hiring sources. You might find yourself using sources that don’t attract top tier talent. In that case, it's highly unlikely you’ll snag the dream employees that will provide you with the visionary leadership that helps your company stand out from its competitors.

Using lousy sources also means you’ll have to spend way more time on candidate screening just to weed out the diamonds from the dreck.

One of the best sources is employee referrals. Recruiting at professional events, such as a trade show or a conference, is a close second.

6. Create a budget

To keep your recruitment plan sustainable, you’ll have to create a budget. This will help keep your cost-per-hire as low as possible.

7. Target the currently employed

Unfortunately, most strategic recruitment plans are designed to attract only those candidates who are actively looking for a job.

However, it can be more effective to identify top-tier talent who currently have a job. These people might have just the skills you need. Maybe if you let them know that there’s immensely satisfying work to be had at your company for someone with their skill set, they might jump ship.

Some of the best candidates can be found by using this method.

8. Use technology

Technology can increase hiring speed, cut costs, and improve screening. One thing you should invest money in is an Applicant Tracking System (ATS).

It’s software that automates the process of finding top-tier talent, including applicant sorting, interview scheduling, and one-click job posting to many sites all at once.

There are a dizzying number of technological solutions out there, so make sure you do your homework and find the best ones for your company’s budget.

9. Recruit employers to be recruiters

To supercharge your recruitment efforts, build a company-wide recruiting culture where every team member becomes a recruiter. To do this, encourage every one of your employees to share job openings with others.

This will help to get so many more candidates into your talent pipeline.

I guarantee that at least one or two of your existing employees has your next superstar talent in their network!

10. Offer remote work options

Offering candidates remote work options will increase the number of applicants. This will give you a competitive edge over companies who don't offer these choices.

11. Don’t rush through the job interview

Don’t undermine your strategic recruitment plan by rushing through the interview.

Ensure you take the time to prepare for the interview by thoroughly reading over the candidate's resume. By doing this, you’ll have a clearer understanding of the candidate. This helps you ask better questions.

However, keep in mind that when a high-demand applicant decides to make a job switch, you might have to make a quick decision before he's snatched up your competitors!

Use network recruiters

Network recruiters can help you create, implement, and adhere to a strategic recruitment plan.

At Hunt Club, we can manage the entire recruiting process for you.

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