With a well-planned recruitment strategy, recruiting teams can quickly locate ideal candidates and save time and resources in the process.
What Is a Recruitment Strategy?
A recruitment strategy is a formal plan that details how recruiters identify and hire top talent. Recruiters should define the types of roles they’re hiring for, the formats for job advertisements and the criteria for determining top candidates.
While teams may be looking to fill immediate needs, recruitment strategies can also involve forming long-term connections with talented job seekers. For example, a candidate may not be qualified for a current opening, but joining a talent community keeps them in the loop when future opportunities arise that more closely match their skill sets.
How to Develop a Recruitment Strategy
Before creating a recruitment strategy, certain tasks are critical for developing a successful strategy. Here are the basics of recruitment strategies that top employers are implementing today.
Review Your Recruitment Metrics and Goals
Take a look at your recruitment metrics to locate pain points in the recruitment process and inform your recruitment goals. For example, your team may aim to increase the number of applicants by targeting new job board platforms or hosting hiring events. Or you may plan to cut your hiring time in half by tapping into different networks and incentivizing employees with a higher employee referral bonus.
Invest in Recruitment Tools
Consider investing in recruitment tools to simplify your recruiting process. Whether it be a video interview platform or a full applicant tracking system, these tools help streamline and automate certain tasks, so your team can focus on other aspects of the recruitment process. As companies continue to adopt hybrid or remote workplaces, it is important to make sure your company has robust tools to conduct virtual interviews.
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12 Effective Recruitment Strategies to Attract Top Talent
With the basics in mind, you’re ready to start building a recruitment strategy personalized to your company. For inspiration, we’ve gathered 12 examples of creative recruitment strategies that companies have used to hire top talent.
12 Recruitment Strategies to Know
- Optimize your career page.
- Optimize job postings.
- Post on social media.
- Create employer branding content.
- Host recruitment events.
- Utilize niche job boards.
- Reward employees for helping recruitment.
- Build an accessible talent community.
- Answer candidate questions online.
- Attend local industry-related events.
- Showcase strong employee benefits.
- Cultivate a diverse and inclusive environment.
1. Optimize Your Career Page
Having a well-crafted career page is non-negotiable. It really is an essential element of every recruitment strategy for a few reasons. First, candidates expect to find a careers page on your website. Second, it’s a great resource to promote open roles, share content and provide information on the company’s mission, culture and benefits.
Showcase Company Pros
WP Engine’s career page includes all the essentials from the company’s core values to internal diversity statistics, awards they’ve won as an employer and plenty of opportunities for candidates to learn more about the company and their career opportunities.
Provide Candidate FAQs
Most companies receive similar questions from candidates, so Glossier cut out the middle person and provided an FAQ section so that candidate questions can be answered before applying.
The application process is different for every company, so put candidates at ease and let them know up front when they can expect to hear back from the company and where they can find further information about specific roles. Answering such questions also helps both recruiters and candidates save time spent communicating information that could be clarified on the website.
Use AI Chatbots
Intel created a chatbot specific for candidates to help them learn more about the company in an engaging and interactive way. When you first land on the page, the chatbot pops up and asks candidates if they have any questions regarding the company as an employer.
The chatbot is a great use of an automated tool that helps candidates ask questions anytime, anywhere and receive answers immediately without the waiting that comes with interacting with humans in different time zones. This also saves recruiters a wealth of time answering basic questions that can be answered on the careers page or with a chatbot.
Also, if you’re not currently utilizing recruitment tools to automate areas of your recruiting process, you may want to consider doing so to see where you could save time and money.
2. Optimize Job Postings
It’s challenging to rank on page one of a Google search, but a goal for many companies in order to get the widest range of applicants possible. Here are a few search engine tools and tricks that can help boost your recruitment strategy without the assistance of an SEO professional.
Optimize Job Posts For Search
The majority of job searches begin on Google, requiring the platform to be an important part of your recruitment strategy.
Google’s Job Search tool is a great way to get your job posting in front of candidates before they click through to a website or job board. When candidates search for a specific job title, Google will aggregate jobs in their area that match their inquiry. The best part: getting your jobs on Google is easy:
- Edit the HTML of job descriptions on your website so that Google knows to crawl them as job postings. Google will help walk your engineering team through how to do this.
- Jobs posted to third-party job boards may already have this HTML code on the jobs you post to their websites, so ask if your partners qualify for Google’s job search tool.
Target Competitor Keywords
Competing companies like Uber and Lyft are constantly trying to acquire each other’s users, as well as attract each other’s job candidates.
When someone searches “Uber jobs,” the second result is for careers at Lyft. Lyft targeted a hyper-specific paid ad at the “Uber jobs” keyword knowing that anyone searching for jobs at their competitor would also likely be interested in jobs at Lyft.
Target Job Title Keywords
Boeing and Accenture have bought paid ads on Google too. But rather than target their competitors, the companies focused on job title keywords.
By targeting the keyword “software engineer jobs,” they are the first companies candidates see when they start their job searches. And given the level of competition for top engineers, getting an early jump on the best candidates can pay huge dividends.
3. Post on Social Media
Social media recruiting is still very much alive and well. Instead of focusing solely on branding your home site, you’ll want to extend the reach of your audience by sharing posts on social media too. The companies below leveraged social media as a way to attract passive candidates on the platforms they spend the most time on.
Create Recruiting Social Channels
To take its social media recruiting to the next level, AWS created specific recruiting social media accounts that clearly target job candidates. Its handle @hereataws helps users distinguish this account from any business account. They post content solely about their company culture, recruiting events, employee spotlights and possible open roles.
Duolingo embraces social media and is not shy to show off its personality and culture with employee highlights, team outings and celebrations across the board. They frequently utilize platforms like Instagram and TikTok to feature key employees and core company values.
Share Your Current Projects
Klaviyo’s engineering team stays connected with engineering candidates by writing regular blog articles on projects their team is working on. This helps candidates better understand what they could be working on if they join the team, and it reassures them that their engineering team is an industry leader.
Post on Medium
Meta is known for platforms like Facebook and the metaverse, but sometimes the company branches outside of its own user community through its personal employees. In one form, this presents in employees sharing recruiting content on Medium.
These articles that help readers prepare for Meta job opportunities and Meta behavioral interviews come from the perspective of a group of FAANG employees. As a massive company, every department (and individual) at a business like Meta will interview differently, so a generic guide doesn’t fit. Instead, it’s best to provide candidates with the most helpful information for their specific situation.
4. Create Employer Branding Content
While they may require a bit of time and effort, creating employer branding content and media is a great way to provide easily digestible and insightful content that can be shared across multiple platforms. Here are a few different content ideas to get your creative juices flowing.
Film a Recruitment Video
A brief 30-second recruitment video, like the one above from Broadcom Inc., could easily be repurposed on social media, the company website or even as a TV advertisement. It’s quick and clever, leaving candidates wanting more, which they can get by checking out the company’s careers page.
A recruitment video also doesn’t have to fit into rigid guidelines. For example, a video by SodaStream incorporates information about the company while including people from multiple departments and of different nationalities and languages.
Record a Company Podcast
Employee testimonials allow candidates to hear directly from potential colleagues about what it is like to work at your company. Turbonomic provided testimonials in the form of 10- to 20-minute podcast episodes.
Not only are podcasts becoming more and more popular, but listeners can actually hear the voice and emotion behind what the employees are saying — something that’s lost in written testimonials. The same goes for video testimonials. This provides in-depth insights into your employees’ backgrounds, personalities and the roles they’ve held at the company.
Write a Company Blog
At Sift, this company creates in-depth blog posts on its personal site covering news reports, informational guides and employee spotlights. These stories allow candidates to get to know a company’s values and prospective team on a more personal level. Beyond just the basics of the company, an employee spotlight blog for example covers personal interests, hobbies, passion projects and everything in between.
5. Host Recruitment Events
Recruitment events are still an essential part of the recruiting process, even in a work world that is increasingly virtual. Recruitment events provide recruiters with a chance to get to know candidates’ personalities and backgrounds beyond their résumés.
Connect With Universities
From universities and trade schools to niche boot camps, educational institutions are one of the top resources for recruiting fresh talent. Salesforce has a dedicated team for recruiting university students, called Futureforce, that works with university campuses to provide resources to help young candidates prepare for their first roles with the company.
Get Your Local Community Together
Recruitment events can be stressful for both candidates and the companies hosting the event. To reduce the pressure for both parties, Grubhub partnered with Built In to host an event where candidates came to their office to casually mingle with company leaders and have a couple beers. Candidates have the chance to chat with the teams they are specifically interested in. This type of event removes some of the stress and formalities that come with regular recruiting events, allowing candidates to relax and have a more personalized experience — and the casual nature of these events can apply to virtual meetups, too.
6. Utilize Niche Job Boards
You probably have a rhythm down for posting jobs on your careers page and a few popular job boards. While many of those platforms are convenient and contain a wide network of potential candidates, it’s important to also branch out into many different types of networks to reach diverse talent on the platforms they use. Using niche job boards not only gives a wider candidate pool, but hiring diverse talent also creates a safer and happier work environment, making a company more attractive to prospective employees.
Start by doing research about how to become a veteran-friendly employer with resources like Military.com and SHRM. Once you understand the basics, you may consider partnering with organizations that help place veterans and build military-friendly workplaces, such as the U.S. Department of Labor and Recruit Military. Lastly, don’t limit your job postings to LinkedIn and Indeed. Break outside of your network and incorporate military job boards into your recruiting strategy like Hire Heroes USA, Hire A Veteran, Military Hire and Hire Veterans.
Recruit Mothers and Caregivers
There has been a long standing stigma against people, specifically women, who have a several-year gap on their resumes due to being a caregiver for children, elderly relatives or people with disabilities. Externship programs are one way to help professionals who need a stepping stone between their former and future career.
Recruit Candidates with Disabilities
Most companies have an equal opportunity employer clause that insists they are welcoming and accommodating to people of all mental and physical abilities, but when it comes down to it, most companies don’t demonstrate much follow-through. See how you’re doing by comparing your company with the national Disability Equality Index. To make improvements, research ways you can make your workplace more accommodating, starting with the recruitment process. You can also make your careers page more accessible by partnering with organizations, such as the U.S. Department of Labor, Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion and SHRM. Additionally, there are a number of job boards specifically for people with disabilities like Ability Jobs, Recruit Disability and Disabledperson.
Recruit New Graduates
Twice a year Wolverine Trading reaches out to college campuses across the nation to connect with students for internships. Students early in their careers can gain professional experience through an internship program, and in turn, companies can build a talent network of young professionals who may be a fit for full-time roles in the future.
Recruit Formerly Incarcerated Candidates
In 2018, Slack started a program to help formerly incarcerated individuals find work in the technology industry. They did this by connecting with The Last Mile, an organization that provides men, women and youth with the opportunity to learn software engineering and web development skills in a number of prisons across the United States. After graduating from the program and gaining the necessary skills, individuals were partnered with the team at Slack for a year-long apprenticeship. Banyan Labs also exclusively hires formerly incarcerated people as coders and helps them find jobs in the tech industry at partner organizations.
7. Reward Employees for Helping Recruitment
Encouraging help from existing or previous employees can lead to unique opportunities for finding talent. Since an employee already works at your company, they may have a good idea of who and what skillsets would fit best the workplace environment.
Encourage Employees to Boomerang
With the rise of the Great Resignation, many businesses have seen their employees initially leave but then later wish to return — workers known as boomerang employees. If a boomerang employee intends to rejoin your company, they are already knowledgeable of the work environment and may even bring a new perspective from the time away. In the search for talent, HireVue is one of many companies embracing the recruitment of boomerang employees, even outwardly welcoming them back on social media.
Establish an Employee Referral Program
Some of the best candidates are lingering within your employee’s networks. To incentivize your team to reach into their networks, create an employee referral program, like OnDeck’s referral program that offers payouts to anyone who refers a candidate that is hired.
8. Build an Accessible Talent Community
A talent community consists of candidates who have shown interest in and maybe even interviewed with your company, but for whatever reason, they were not a fit for a role at that time. Rather than whisk these candidates out the door to never be seen again, here are a few ways to keep in contact with passive candidates so that when a more suitable role opens up, they’re the first ones to know. If you find a great candidate in your talent pool that you want to invite to an interview, try out this email invite template.
Provide Job Alerts
No matter your company’s size, you won’t always have open roles for top candidates. But that doesn’t mean you should simply accept the fact that you’ll miss out on elite talent.
To bridge the gap, ThoughtWorks allows candidates to sign up for job alerts, so they’re the first to know when a role that fits their interests and experience becomes available. This allows the company to keep warm leads informed and in their talent community, so they always have interested candidates in the pipeline.
Allow Anyone to Apply Anytime
Zappos is known for being at the forefront of unconventional company culture. Instead of waiting for roles to open up, they want interested candidates — no matter their skill or background — to sign up as a “Zappos Insider.” By providing their name, email and career of interest, Zappos is able to send out tailored emails with information on open roles and company culture to individual candidates.
9. Answer Candidate Questions Online
If you haven’t searched your company on popular inquiry sites like Quora and Reddit, you might want to consider it — not only to see if anyone is talking about your company, but also to connect with candidates and establish a relationship by providing candid answers.
Get Involved on Quora
It’s no secret SpaceX pushes the limits of technology and is constantly chasing after the next best thing — making the company a highly sought-after employer. To help answer the wealth of questions candidates have about the tech giant, their team took to Quora, a question-and-answer website, to help resolve candidates’ inquiries (under ‘Related Questions’).
Not only that, but Quora sends follow-up emails with more content to people who view certain articles to help potential candidates dive deeper into their research.
Host “Ask Me Anything” Sessions on Reddit
A Google employee took to community discussion website Reddit to answer questions related to working at the company. This inquiry posted back in 2013 generated more than 1,300 replies, 2,000 comments and has 90 percent upvotes. The Ask Me Anything, or AMA format, is an opportunity for companies to connect with hundreds or thousands of candidates in a simple, scalable manner.
10. Attend Local Industry-Related Events
While hosting events can draw in more talent, companies may also find more potential hires by attending outside events. Businesses shouldn’t neglect talent in their own backyards, leveraging in-person events as spaces to connect with local candidates.
Larger industry job fairs at a convention center can provide access to a wider pool of candidates with shared backgrounds and career interests than a company-specific event. Businesses should take advantage of city-sponsored hiring events and industry-wide job fairs to put themselves on the radars of more candidates.
To meet new candidates, get involved in groups that discuss your industry’s trends and challenges. A group called Chicago Women Developers does just that. Professional women developers get together to host regular Hack Nights, virtually in response to the pandemic, as a means of getting to know novice and experienced developers in their community. Spaces like this are a great way for recruiters to connect with candidates who have passions and hobbies that align with the requirements of an open role.
11. Showcase Strong Employee Benefits
Candidates may care about more than the details of a certain role, so a solid employee benefits package can be a difference-maker. If you have a well-rounded employee benefits program, be sure to include this in job postings, branded content and other types of recruitment strategies.
Mental health has become a more prominent issue in the workplace, making mental health days a major eye-catcher for top candidates. In addition, you may want to implement and advertise benefits like sick days, unlimited PTO and extensive parental leave support.
Flexible work settings allow your team to pursue candidates across a broader geographic range, and they may also speak to candidates looking for a more personalized work experience. Lay out the details for your remote or hybrid work policies in your company description and job ads, so candidates are aware of the flexible work opportunities your business offers.
12. Cultivate a Diverse and Inclusive Environment
Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) can also play a factor in whether a candidate decides to apply for a position. Around 75 percent of job seekers weigh the diversity of a company’s workforce when applying for a role, so organizations would do well to design and execute DEI strategies that cater to candidates of various backgrounds.
Share Diverse and Inclusive Policies
Steps to promote DEI in your workplace can include unconscious bias training, hiring quotas and employee resource groups for women and people of color. Mentioning how you support people of marginalized groups on your job page and within job descriptions will help you stand out from businesses that merely mention diversity and inclusion as a buzzword.
Supplement Job Postings with DEI Language
People of marginalized groups face unique challenges, with women being 16 percent less likely than men to apply to a job and applicants with Black names receiving 10 percent fewer callbacks than their white counterparts. Your team can counter any doubts candidates may harbor by ending each job description with a statement encouraging candidates of marginalized groups to apply, even if they don’t meet all the requirements. This sensitivity may nudge candidates of underrepresented groups to apply, increasing your applicant pool.
Built In connects with millions of tech professionals every month who are ready to discover your company.