HR & Management

It’s a candidate’s market! Ten ways to rework your recruitment strategy

6 min read

19 December 2017

It’s always been up to employees to "wow" the company they want to work for, but we’re starting to see a switch, with bosses fighting amongst each other to hire and retain the best high performers. Pressure has been put on the recruitment strategy.

Research has shown that nearly half of candidates have turned down a job after not being impressed by a company’s recruitment strategy. The situation is already tough for companies – and it’s only likely to get more difficult with Brexit and the skills shortages it may incur.

Companies are under pressure. It’s a competitive environment, and organisations need to know how to better attract, onboard and retain employees. Bosses need their organisations to stand out, they need to think about things differently, and have a concrete recruitment strategy to ensure they develop the precise workforce needed for success.

There’s a number of steps that can help get you started; I’ve put together my top advice to help HR, recruiters and employers switch up their recruitment strategy.

(1) Build your employer brand

Employer brand is vital in attracting talent, so be sure you get to know your marketing colleagues and work on building and improving your brand. Take cues from your corporate reputation – your website is likely one of your primary resources for candidates, so if you’re prioritising, start there, then work through social media and sites like Glassdoor.

(2) Think like a candidate

A lot of time is spent getting to know candidates, so don’t lose them to a poor process. Take a step back and look at the full recruitment journey from the candidate’s eyes.

Cut any unnecessary steps that may make the process unenjoyable or don’t yield insights on the candidate.

(3) Mobile is not optional

You only have to look around on the street outside to see how hooked people are to their smartphones – so why not use them for your recruitment strategy? Making a candidate’s journey mobile friendly will not only widen your talent pool, but will also create a better, more convenient experience for them.

Think about both external and internal applicants – and map the process from pre-application engagement to onboarding.

(4) Link tactics to strategy

Do you know if your recruitment plans link to business goals? Well, it’s time you do. Reviewing and knowing how your recruitment performance will fit in with the company strategy can help maximise the overall business impact of recruitment. Be sure to have clear measures in place that link tactics to business strategy.

Proceed to the next page to hear about internal recruitment and increasing visibility for line managers.

(5) Real-time visibility for managers

Improve your relationships with line managers by letting them have visibility of the recruitment process at the right moments. You need to be sure line managers understand and agree with which candidates may be coming their way, so don’t get to the end of the process and end up with candidates that line managers don’t approve of.

(6) Make time for high value tasks

Time is money, so be sure to automate low-value tasks where possible. This will keep the value of your input high. There are many transitional tasks in HR that can be “done by bots”, so it’s a case of working out which time-intensive tasks can be automated and which need a human eye.

(7) It’s what’s on the inside that counts

Internal recruitment can be politically charged, but those companies that don’t allow it may risk losing some great potential employees. To make internal mobility a success, make it simple and visible to all employees, and keep line managers onboard throughout the process. Your current employees will appreciate the trust, and you may find a candidate you wouldn’t have otherwise.

(8) Measure twice, cut once

The pace of change is fast, but don’t forget to step back and avoid any knee jerk reactions. You should consistently use data to inform your recruitment decisions, and may also want to consider testing or piloting your ideas first.

(9) Become the technology master

We all know the phrase “user error”, and yet we regularly blame technology when things don’t go our way. If you take the time to master the technology you use, you can ensure you get the most out of it and don’t cause yourself headaches along the way.

(10) Look to the future

To have a truly strategic recruitment plan, it’s vital that HR, bosses and recruitment professionals keep abreast of internal and external factors that could impact their performance. If you make an effort to stay on the front foot, you may give yourself that competitive edge.

While it may seem overwhelming to do all of these steps at once, it will be worth the overall outcome. Choose a few of these improvements to begin with, and build up from there; the output will lead to more (and better) candidates coming to you organically, and more business impact overall. What’s not to like about that?

Peter Gold is principal consultant of thought leadership and advisory services at Cornerstone OnDemand