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Constructing a State-of-the-Art Recruiting Strategic Plan

Kristin Bachman
6 min read

What is a strategic recruiting plan?

In an ever-fluctuating job market, how can you best anticipate future staffing needs so you don't experience the nightmare scenario of being short-staffed? 

With a strategic recruiting plan...that’s how!

A company’s greatest asset is the incredible wealth of talent employees bring to a company. Sometimes, the caliber of employee expertise is the only differentiating factor between a company that flourishes and a company that faces significant challenges to growth.

That's why you must have a comprehensive strategic recruiting plan. A well-crafted one is like a road map helping you find the most qualified candidates for the positions you must fill. That way, you have access to talent exactly when you need it.

However, a recruiting strategic plan is more than merely knowing which roles need to be filled in the future. It’s also a glorious opportunity to align your hiring efforts with your company's objectives, so you'll always have the right people in the right jobs.

Another good reason for building out a killer recruitment strategy is it’s the best way to rethink and retool your hiring practices. It allows you to consider what skills your team is missing and the capabilities your company will need to acquire in the future.

Read on, and you'll find out everything you need to know to craft a state of the art strategic recruiting plan. This includes things like different recruiting strategies, a step-by-step guide to building a strategic recruiting plan, figuring out your hiring budget, and so much more!

A step-by-step guide to building a strategic recruiting plan

Step one: identify hiring needs and skills gaps

The first step in creating a recruiting strategic plan is to identify your hiring needs and the skill gaps your existing employees can't fill. 

Start by analyzing exactly how you anticipate your company to grow in the next few years. You'll also need to carefully consider factors like expected turnover rates and employees getting promoted to positions higher up in the hierarchy because they'll affect your staffing needs.

Step two: create a recruitment calendar

Figure how many people each department will need and when they'll be needed. This includes deciding which departments need beefing up and which ones can afford to be pared down.

This will help you anticipate future needs so you can plan for them. With this information, you can create a recruitment calendar for the year. 

This should include the hires you need for each quarter and the headcount for each part of your company. It should also have a timeline for when each round of hiring should begin.

Step three: figure out what tools you’ll need

Figure out which tools you'll need to implement your strategic recruiting plan. These are tools that help streamline your hiring efforts by automating time-consuming tasks.

One thing you'll need is an applicant tracking system (ATS). This tool uploads an applicant's information (such as contact details, educational background, resume, and cover letter) into a database.

Hiring managers can schedule interviews and mail out rejection letters directly through the ATS. HR staff can use it to put new employees on the payroll once they're hired. You'll also need a pre-employment assessment. Not only will it help you whittle down the number of applicants, but it'll also assist you in choosing qualified candidates. This means you can speed up the selection process.

There are a dizzying array of assessments, which run the gamut of measuring personality or skills to ascertaining cultural fit.

Step four: consult with every stakeholder

Talk to department heads to determine the essential skills and daily responsibilities for each job opening you have to fill. Make sure you ask them what they value most in an employee.

Try to get a good grasp of their management style. Knowing this will help you find a better match for both the job and your company culture.

You’ll need this information so you can answer candidates’ questions in a way that’s satisfying to them.

Step five: figure out your hiring budget

Estimate your recruitment costs by looking at your previous cost per hire.

This way, you can build out a budget for recruitment costs. 

Here are some of the costs you'll need to account for: 

  • Technology costs
  • Employer branding expenses
  • Background and drug checks
  • Advertising on job boards and social media
  • Job fairs and campus recruitment costs
  • Salaries and benefits
  • Travel expenses

Step six: write a compelling job description

Now it's time to write a job description. You're not only writing the specific job requirements—but you're also sharing what the company has to offer to a prospective employee.

So, write something that’ll capture the attention of job seekers. It should include information about the company’s culture, mission, and values.

Step seven: establish a candidate selection process

Next, you'll need to establish a candidate selection process. Decide how many interview rounds you'll have and who will be responsible for interviewing and selecting candidates.

Personalize each candidate's experience by anticipating what needs, concerns, or questions they might have.

Step eight: make an offer

Figure out who'll make the offer and negotiate with the chosen candidate.

Whoever that person is, have them call the person and offer the position to them.  Once your candidate accepts the job, it's customary to follow up with an official letter that outlines the agreement in writing.

Step nine: conduct background and reference checks

Once you've selected a candidate, conduct a background check.

You’ll also need to check references.

This is a terrific way to assess whether you think your applicant will fit into your organizational culture. It also gives you a chance to confirm their qualifications.

Step nine: put your hiring analytics to good use

Use the feedback you get from your new hires to fine-tune your strategic recruiting plan. One way to do this is to send out an anonymous survey.

You can ask questions like:

  • What did you think about the interview and selection process?
  • Which parts were done well, and what could we have done better?

However, before you start overhauling your strategic recruiting plan, you need to understand what’s working and what’s not. That way, you can identify areas for improvement.

To do that, take a good, hard look at your recruitment metrics. This also gives you the data you need to set attainable goals.

Review key metrics like how long it took to hire your applicant, turnover rates, and cost per hire. Use this data to optimize your recruiting strategic plan so that it’s always bringing you the best results.

Different types of recruitment strategies

There are virtually an infinite number of recruitment strategies you can try. Here are a few:

Have a well-crafted careers page

These days, having a beautifully designed careers page should be an essential part of every strategic recruiting plan. Candidates expect to find one, and if yours is missing in action, you’ll stick out like a proverbial sore thumb.

It’s a great way to show what jobs are available, as well as showcase information on your company’s culture, beliefs, and mission.

Turn your careers page into a billboard

Take your careers page offline by turning it into a billboard. It's a terrific way to target candidates who might not be looking for career opportunities online. 

Employee stories via podcast

Say you want to stand head and shoulders above your competition while catching the ear of prospective employees. In that case, start a podcast where team members talk about their background, personality, and role in the company.

This allows candidates to know about their future team on a more personal level.

If done right, this could make applicants excited to work for your organization.

Create compelling recruiting content

Crafting compelling content about your company is a terrific way to provide candidates with solid insight into your organization that goes way beyond the basics. 

One way to do this is by writing long-form blog posts about topics applicants might be interested in. You could also share which projects you’re currently working on.

This gives applicants a better idea of what they could be doing if they join your team

Post on medium

Facebook uses Medium all the time to showcase jobs available at their company.

With over 60 million monthly users, Medium is a terrific way to reach candidates.

Don’t go over your budget

Formulate a budget to make sure you don’t spend too much on recruiting costs

Here’s how to calculate your recruitment expenses: 

Step one: estimate your total number of hires

Figure out how many new employees you need to hire by talking to hiring managers about projected staffing needs, upcoming company objectives, and team-wide skills gaps.

List quarterly projected hiring needs in a table.  You should also budget for expected vacancies. Calculate your turnover rate for the previous year—either by department or companywide. 

If you don't have enough data for previous years, you can use your particular industry's average turnover data. Based on the estimated turnover, you can calculate the total number of new hires.

For example, say you have 1,000 people and plan to hire 250 more. Without any turnover, you'd have 1,250 employees at year's end.

If you estimate that 12.5% won’t be still employed at the end of the year, then you'd need to hire 157 new recruits to get to 1,250 total employees by the last day in December.  So, you'd have to hire 307 people in total--250 to fill brand new roles and 157 to replace departing employees. 

Step 2: estimate your basic recruiting costs. 

Figure out what you’ve been spending on recruiting. For example, analyze previous job board expenses to see what you should budget for.  These are places like Indeed, LinkedIn, and Monster.com.

Factor in what you’ve been spending on things like employer branding, social media posts, blog posts, and advertising. If you've spent money partnering with institutions and universities for career fairs or campus recruiting events, factor this expense in.  

Make sure you calculate fees, tickets, and accommodations for events you plan to attend. You also need to estimate technology costs.

These are things like:

  • Background check services like Checkr
  • Video interviewing tools such as HireVue
  • Coding assessment tools like HackerRan 

 Remember to add in the expense of pre-employment testing.

If you have an employee referral program, factor in this cost too. To do this, multiply the incentives and bonuses you offer by the number of new employees you expect to get.

Lastly, add miscellaneous recruiting costs like a mobile careers page redesign or flying in candidates for interviews.

Step 3: Calculate cost per hire. 

You can calculate your cost per hire using this formula:  

CPH = Internal Recruiting Costs + External Recruiting Costs  / Number of Hires

 Aim for an average cost per hire of between $3,000 and $ 5,000.  

Find out just how much recruitment agencies charge.

Simplify your recruitment process. 

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