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Updated Feb 27, 2024

10 Employee Recruitment Strategies for Success

If you want your company to succeed, you'll need to hire talented employees. Here's how to recruit top talent for your business.

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Adam Uzialko, Business Strategy Insider and Senior Editor
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This guide was reviewed by a Business News Daily editor to ensure it provides comprehensive and accurate information to aid your buying decision.

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Employee recruitment is critical for small business growth. Without identifying top talent and attracting high-level candidates to vacant positions, small businesses will stagnate, despite a business owner’s best intentions. However, recruiting the right team members is challenging. You want your job postings to reach and entice qualified professionals who can help take your business to the next level.

We’ll share straightforward steps for your employee recruitment process and explain how to develop a recruiting strategy that helps deliver quality employees.

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10 best practices for employee recruitment

The following 10 actionable steps can improve your employee recruitment process and help you attract and retain top talent

1. Identify your vacant jobs.

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You might think you know the job you’re hiring for ― and if you’re a new entrepreneur or small business owner, that might be true. However, midsized company owners and hiring managers should speak with staff and managers about the exact nature of the vacant position and what it entails. Learn as much as possible about the role you’re filling before developing a job description.

2. Determine an open job’s required skills and characteristics.

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After gathering information about the vacant job, consider the in-demand career skills and unique characteristics the ideal candidate would bring to the table.

“The perfect recruitment process should begin with the establishment of your business requirements,” explained Andrew Fennell, founder and director of StandOut CV. “You should identify the types of knowledge and skills that will be required for optimum performance in any advertised role. Such information will be of value when it comes to the creation of focused job descriptions and person specifications.”

Characteristics are more intangible than skills and can be more challenging to identify. When finding the right person for a job, consider nuanced factors like a candidate’s ability to think creatively, generate new ideas and fit into the company culture. 

3. Create a job description.

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When you understand what your ideal candidate looks like, it’s time to write a job description. The job description should include information about the company, the specific role you’re hiring for, preferred experience, required skill sets and compensation information.

Incorporate your brand voice into the job description to communicate your company culture. Sharing your unique brand voice will encourage suitable candidates to apply and discourage those who might not be a good cultural fit.

TipTip
To ensure you're hiring for a cultural fit, convey your unique company culture in your hiring materials and job postings and train your staff to discuss company culture with applicants.

4. Advertise the job description.

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An excellent job description won’t do you much good if you don’t post it where qualified candidates can see it. Savvy candidates are likely used to job searching in the digital age and will frequent popular, niche or industry-specific job boards like Monster.com and LinkedIn. Still, beyond online job boards, today’s modern hiring process includes additional approaches, including the following: 

  • Spread the word via your social media accounts: Your social media channels can be excellent recruitment tools. Tell your audience you’re hiring and ask them to spread the word. You’ll reach a broad, enthusiastic audience while improving customer engagement and sharing news about your company’s growth. 

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  • Attend in-person events that attract your ideal candidates: Consider attending job fairs, networking events and seminars to recruit new talent. When your ideal applicants are interested in an event, it makes sense to recruit them in person.

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  • Use an applicant tracking system (ATS): Establishing an ATS is a smart move. These robust platforms can collect and sort numerous applications. Hiring managers can sort through the most promising applicants and save them for later review.

“You should think carefully about the types of platforms that you are going to use for the advertisement of vacancies,” Fennell advised. “A mixture of internal and external platforms might be used to attract the widest pool of high-caliber candidates. Time should then be spent reviewing the applications, using an [applicant tracking system] where possible, to sort the best from the rest.”

TipTip
Be mindful of the things job seekers hate about online job applications, including a lack of employer responsiveness and time-consuming applications. Strive to create a positive application process.

5. Look internally to fill open positions.

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Consider internal vs. external hires for open positions. You may have a current staff member who would be ideal for a job vacancy’s soft and hard skills. No one knows your company as well as your current staff and promoting from within shows there’s room for advancement in your company ― a crucial way to boost company morale.

6. Establish a pool of candidates.

Once you’ve received applications and identified potential internal hires, it’s time to review and narrow down applicants. Refer to your job description and the skills, experience and characteristics you identified as elements of the ideal candidate. Not every candidate must meet all criteria, but they should exhibit some combination. 

Set aside between seven and 10 applications that seem promising. Consider holding up to five in reserve in case your initial pool of candidates doesn’t work out.

Before contacting the candidates, do your homework. Research their backgrounds, contact their references and go through your list of reference check questions. Take extensive notes during this process, as you will refer back to them when you speak to the candidate.

7. Hold introductory calls.

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After narrowing down your applicants to a manageable group, make introductory calls and conduct a first round of interviews over the phone or via video conference. Use this time to meet and greet candidates and determine their background, experience and interest in your open job.

Compare their responses to your notes. Use this information to validate their responses and ensure you’re not being misled. Pay attention to their body language, mannerisms, personality and potential cultural fit ― these intangibles are crucial elements of recruitment.

8. Interview finalists.

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After conducting preliminary calls and meetings, allow the candidate and your hiring managers time to prepare before holding final interviews. 

“There will ideally be some time for the hiring managers and prospective recruits to prepare for their interviews,” Fennell explained. “Key areas of discussion should be considered, with a mixture of open and closed questions being asked for a comprehensive understanding of candidate suitability. You should also make a point of checking references to ensure that the interviewees have given a true reflection of their capabilities.”

When interviewing your most promising candidates, take the opportunity to showcase what your business can offer them. Give them a tour and explain any cool job perks and your employee benefits package. As much as the interview is a chance for you to evaluate the candidate, it’s also their chance to evaluate your company.

9. Extend an offer to a candidate.

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Once you’ve conducted your final interviews, it’s time to settle on a candidate. It’s usually best to choose a backup (or two) in case your first choice turns down your offer. Sit with your hiring team and ask them who they like best. Work together to create a list of the top three finalists. Note their strengths, weaknesses and any outstanding questions ― these notes will be essential during onboarding and training if your first choice accepts your offer.

Once your team has agreed on a top choice, extend your offer. If they accept, the recruitment process transitions to the onboarding process.

Key TakeawayKey takeaway
When writing a job offer letter, summarize the position's duties, explain the compensation structure and pay schedule and explain how the new hire can formally accept the position.

10. Begin the employee onboarding process.

After the recruitment process has ended and you’ve hired a candidate, it’s time to ensure proper onboarding and employee training. This process will differ for every company but will likely include employee introductions, software and hardware setup, providing credentials and explaining duties, benefits and processes. Your new team member will receive their employee handbook and can ask any questions they have about their new position.

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What is a recruitment strategy?

A recruitment strategy is a savvy action plan businesses employ to attract and hire the right candidates. Without a recruitment strategy, you risk wasted effort and time evaluating candidates who aren’t right for your business ― and waste their time, as well.

Many businesses use general job boards and aim to pull in as many applications as possible. However, this untargeted approach often yields a flurry of unqualified applicants. In contrast, a distinct recruitment strategy helps you sift and narrow your applicant pool, so you’re engaging with potential team members who’ll add value to your company. 

A recruitment strategy can help decrease employee turnover, boost company morale and improve your hiring and recruitment process overall. Here’s how to develop a recruitment strategy that will serve your business well: 

  • Identify your company’s strengths and weaknesses: First, examine your organization and determine areas of success and areas that must improve. This exercise will identify the departments to focus on when you begin the hiring process and inform precise job descriptions. 
  • Develop a strong employer brand: Your employer brand will attract candidates who want to be part of your culture. Identify what your business has to offer potential team members. Are there unique job perks? Is your employee benefits package outstanding? Do you have excellent resources to support your workers’ professional development? Showcase your positive company culture and convey your employer brand to potential new hires to entice them to work for you. 
  • Create detailed job posts: Your job posts must go beyond accurate job descriptions. They should reflect your company and the type of worker you’re seeking. Don’t hesitate to provide detailed information outlining the appropriate experience levels, skills and personality for the hire. Additionally, share information about your employer brand and list the job’s salary range and any additional compensation. These details can help draw the right professionals to your workplace.

The best human resources (HR) software for recruiting and hiring employees

The best HR software can streamline your recruitment efforts and help you find suitable candidates faster and more efficiently. Here’s an overview of some of our favorites: 

  • BambooHR: BambooHR is an excellent HR solution for businesses of all types and sizes. This comprehensive platform allows you to outsource recruitment and find exceptional talent for your company. Our BambooHR review details how the software will help you list job postings on job boards like Indeed, Glassdoor, LinkedIn and ZipRecruiter. 
  • Paycor: Paycor is an immersive HR solution with advanced reporting and analytics features. Our Paycor review outlines the platform’s valuable add-on services, including talent management, talent development and learning management. 
  • Paychex: Paychex is an all-in-one HR solution for various business types with features remote teams will appreciate. Our Paychex review discusses the platform’s unique functionality, including a hiring feature that allows you to recruit and verify a candidate’s identity, criminal activity, education and professional licenses. 

Recruiting the right talent

When recruiting new employees for your business, being selective is prudent. New hires can make or break your company’s bottom line, either adding positively to your culture and strengthening your productivity or doing quite the opposite. When approaching recruitment, focus on finding suitable, qualified talent ― not just filling a gap as quickly as possible. By following the above steps and tips, you’re bound to find the best talent available for your business.

Sammi Caramela contributed to this article. Source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.

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Adam Uzialko, Business Strategy Insider and Senior Editor
Adam Uzialko, senior editor of Business News Daily, is not just a professional writer and editor — he’s also an entrepreneur who knows firsthand what it’s like building a business from scratch. His experience as co-founder and managing editor of a digital marketing company imbues his work at Business News Daily with a perspective grounded in the realities of running a small business. Since 2015, Adam has reviewed hundreds of small business products and services, including contact center solutions, email marketing software and text message marketing software. Adam uses the products, interviews users and talks directly to the companies that make the products and services he covers. He specializes in digital marketing topics, with a focus on content marketing, editorial strategy and managing a team.
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