When looking to add a new member to the team, strong recruiting practices are incredibly instrumental in finding, attracting, and retaining top talent. In a competitive market, organizations must prioritize strategies that will help them stand out from the rest while engaging the most qualified candidates.
A healthy recruiting pipeline often consists of an array of different recruiting channels to help diversify candidate streams. Inbound, outbound/sourced, referrals, agencies, promotions and transfers, internships, and special events are the most widely used channels for recruiting today. This article will cover all of the mentioned methods of recruiting and offer insights to help guide you in their implementation.
There are various methods and strategies that can improve current recruiting processes. It is important to consider each method, as most companies find a combination of methods to be most effective for their unique needs. This section covers an overview of each method and provides insights into improving each channel.
Inbound recruiting refers to all of the applications and resumes you receive from job board postings or advertisements. A recent study by Lever reports that nearly 56% of all hires come from inbound applicants. This method primarily focuses on generating content curated specifically for a target audience or candidates to increase brand awareness and engagement amongst prospective talent, giving them an opportunity to find you. This content includes but is not limited to job boards, SEO-optimized landing pages, referral channels, social media, and pay-per-click campaigns. Through these different platforms, engaging content will attract active and passive candidates and encourage them to interact during all stages of the recruiting funnel.
When attracting intended candidates, job postings and content must resonate and align with your target audience. Be mindful of your company brand and the platforms across the internet that showcase it. Utilizing industry-leading job boards such as Indeed, Monster, and even LinkedIn, you can reach talent pools that might otherwise not know about your company.
It's important to remember that candidates are consumers. They are researching company culture, looking at current or former employees' reviews, and gaining as much knowledge as possible about a company before applying. For inbound to work effectively, it is mission-critical to promote values, culture, benefits, and your brand in a way that will resonate and attract qualified candidates. Candidates are looking for roles with better compensation, benefits, and work-life balance. Highlight these factors to stand out.
Whereas inbound recruiting focuses on building awareness and driving continued interest, outbound recruiting (sourcing) is a traditional talent acquisition approach where sourcers and recruiters will reach out directly to qualified candidates. Outbound recruiting may take the form of cold calling, cold emailing, or reaching out through platforms such as LinkedIn. This approach includes direct contact from organization to candidate, thus allowing for more personal interaction. It also makes vetting candidates easier, as you are only contacting candidates that meet your criteria. Outbound recruiting can yield quicker results if short on time because of its more direct approach.
While a relatively new channel, the sourcing industry is exceptionally fast-growing, accounting for nearly 24% of new hires today. Moreso, talent teams are increasingly moving budgets toward hiring dedicated sourcers, with almost 40% of teams having dedicated full-time sourcers.
When done correctly, sourcing can be a powerful channel for candidate quality, but it's not without challenges. Sourcing requires a different skill-set than traditional recruiting, and sourcers will need to customize their outreach to be high-performing. Leveraging DISC-based personality insights is a good starting point for this.
Referral programs rely on current employees’ social networks to bring candidates inbound. These programs encourage employees to find qualified candidates from within their network and can often be more cost-effective and efficient than other recruiting methods. Because employees are actively recruiting, this method generally fosters a stronger sense of belonging and can improve company culture.
Often, the best talent comes from recruiting passive job seekers who are not actively looking for a job. When utilizing an employee referral program, you can gain access to a large pool of qualified passive candidates that otherwise would not come into your funnel. These referral programs can offer cash incentives to encourage employees to participate. Other companies may host referral events--such as a happy hour that encourages current employees to bring their qualified friends and acquaintances. This method yields excellent results--with one SHRM study citing that nearly 30 percent of all new hires have come from employee referrals over the last decade.
Outsourcing is a strategy where a company hires an expert (or expert team) to take care of all sourcing, recruiting, and hiring efforts for their organization. The recruiting process may sometimes become time-consuming; therefore, collaborating with outside teams can lead to more efficient execution and offset the need for internal talent teams. As with outsourcing any service, you'll want to carefully consider the reputation of the agency, services offered, and their unique ability to represent your team.
Outsourcing agencies can take many different forms, including:
Outsourcing your recruitment process can save you time and money with any method above. The bottom line is that recruiting is a full-time job. When you are dividing your internal talents amongst other critical functions, including recruiting, you may end up spreading your efforts too thin. When outsourcing candidates through an agency or other external provider, you can eliminate those risks while saving valuable time and resources.
Recruiting internally via promotions or transfers is an excellent way to improve employee ambition, morale, and retention. While promotions are more straightforward, transfers can be equally as lucrative.
Promotions occur when a current employee moves up the ranks, usually gaining new responsibilities, authority, and compensation as a result. Promotions may be given to employees based on seniority, who has been with the company the longest, or performance-based, who best performs the expected job duties.
Transfers happen when a current employee accepts another position, either geographically or in a new department, doing different work. Remember, transfers can cause tension between teams, so it's best to create a talk track around win-win scenarios for the business when they do come up. When choosing whether to make a transfer or initiate a promotion, one is not better than the other, rather dependent on the company's current needs.
A 2020 study found that 56% of interns join in a full-time role after their internship completes. When looking to implement an internship program, take careful note of the importance of timing and planning. Usually, summer internships are the most popular for prospective candidates, so looking to hire interns sometime before then--as early as March or April--will help you beat the competition.
Once you have added interns to your team, it is crucial to supply them with the resources to be successful and the knowledge to feel prepared. Provide them with set goals and expectations and involve them in the organization’s many processes, meetings, and facilities. The goal is to set interns up for success and position them to where they feel ready and desire to be a part of the company in the long run.
Finally, special events allow your company to host in-person or virtual events to draw in talent on a more personal level. Because events are face-to-face, you can better sense a candidate’s personality, character, and capabilities. Special events allow candidates to familiarize themselves with the employer brand and employers the opportunity to grow their talent pool. There are many different ways to host a special event, depending on an organizations’ needs and abilities. Here are a few to get you started:
Special events can also be a great way to engage your existing team. Having current employees at your events and encouraging them to bring guests can help increase morale and allow employees to foster a greater sense of belonging.
To attract and retain high-quality, qualified candidates, organizations must prioritize strong recruiting practices. Statistically, inbound recruiting yields the most results; however, it is essential to remember that most companies find combining multiple recruiting methods most effective. Take time to understand your organization and its’ hiring goals before committing all resources to one method, as one method may be more aligned with your company goals than another.
Still need ideas to improve your recruiting practices? Check out our blog post on How to Assess a Candidate for Any Job or some ideas for the best behavioral questions to ask during your next interview.