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Recruitment Strategy

6 Best Practices for a Successful Recruitment Strategy

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You already know the lay of the land in recruitment. But you’re still not satisfied with your metrics and strategy.

Sound familiar?

Consultants and recruitment leaders are always looking for ways to improve. To offer a new perspective, we’ve got a round-up of best practices for a more strategic recruiting process.

Learn how to take advantage of what’s already at your fingertips: social media channels, recruitment technology, candidate experience techniques and more. Because while we love innovation, it doesn’t always take new investment to up your game. 

Read on for tips to refine your recruitment methods.

What is recruitment strategy?

Recruitment strategy is a series of guidelines and methods to attract, vet, and place candidates. It also covers how to meet your clients’ interests to make more placements. For agency recruitment, it’s all about standing out both as a business and on the one-to-one level for consultants.

Most recruitment businesses will lean on tech to help their strategy, using tools like an ATS and CRM, job boards, resume parsing and others. But the right strategy prioritizes the human touch with networking and building relationships.

Benefits of a solid recruitment strategy

There are plenty of payoffs with a detailed recruitment strategy:

  • Stay on track with specific goals and have a higher chance of meeting targets
  • Get the best results for your effort and learn from past results
  • Save time and focus resources where they’ll lead to wins

In short: plan to succeed, and you will.

6 best practices for a recruitment strategy

1. Understand goals and targets

Knowledge informs tactics. So step one to the best recruitment strategy getting clear on your client’s hiring goals. 

For Perm recruiters, this might look like an in-depth discussion about their unicorn candidate. In the Temp world, it could be a stack of job orders.

Either way, you can build a candidate persona with the clients’ needs in mind. Understanding that persona guides you towards the right outreach channels and methods

Maybe you’re looking for a tech-savvy recent graduate for a Social Media Manager role. To get that persona’s attention, try advertising via your agency’s Instagram page. Or you could be sourcing for a high-level Operations Director role. The right move there could be building relationships via LinkedIn engagement and InMail.

Get that clarity at the start to source strategically - and get closer to the right hire.

In summary:

  • Know your client’s hiring goals
  • Identify your ideal candidate persona
  • Choose the right outreach to connect with talent

2. Take advantage of social media

Recruitment is a social business, so social media makes sense to promote your agency’s work. It can be a workaround to save on ad spend while boosting your brand.

There are some differences between promoting a consultant’s personal brand and promoting an agency brand

Consultants can:

  • Post to LinkedIn and boost their Social Selling Index
  • Engage with leaders in their recruitment niche
  • Keep up with and write about industry news

Agencies can:

  • Post job ads to different channels for more reach
  • Create branded content and campaigns to engage passive candidates
  • Boost candidate and client awareness at the same time

And those aren’t the only pluses of social media. Other channels can strengthen your recruitment strategy:

  • Twitter to post thought leadership and make quick connections
  • Instagram to promote agency branding
  • Facebook to connect with wider communities
  • TikTok to reach early-career talent
  • YouTube to share agency branding videos
  • Other sites like Reddit or GitHub to reach niche, discussion-based groups

All this depends on the time you want to invest in social media as part of your strategy. But for the biggest recruitment payoff, LinkedIn is still a safe bet.

In summary:

  • Promote personal and agency brands with content
  • Leverage consultants’ networks
  • Use LinkedIn for the highest impact, but explore other channels

3. Leverage your recruitment website

More in-house control of your digital marketing keeps costs down. At the same time, strategic moves on your agency website can convert candidates and clients while they’re already on your page.

To get more candidates via your website:

  • Add a job board to let candidates self-serve and sign up for alerts
  • Use SEO to stay visible on search engines
  • Optimize the site and applications for mobile view

And to attract clients:

  • Add subpages for each agency specialism
  • Highlight your best testimonials
  • Offer a “Submit a brief” option to list roles faster

For more tips on creating a magnetic recruitment website, check out this eBook on recruitment website design.

In summary:

  • Make your website user-friendly
  • Ensure it’s mobile-optimized and ranks for SEO
  • Post to your own job board

4. Focus on candidate experience

Candidate experience is a low-to-no cost differentiator for your business. Treat people well for a good reputation and more opportunities.

Most candidates will first interact with your agency via job applications. If you’re posting job ads externally, use simple, inclusive language to appeal to a broad audience. On your website's job board, make it easy to apply with a LinkedIn connection or resume upload.

Recruiters can help candidate experience by being responsive. Consider automating SMS, email, and other communication. Recruiters have to keep up with hundreds of candidates, so a little reminder to reach out never hurts.

Automated comms can also keep candidates informed about the process. Giving quick updates on interview results or offering an onboarding portal makes the process smoother for everybody.

Learn more CX tips in our guide, how to create a stellar candidate experience in recruitment.

In summary:

  • Make it easy for candidates to apply
  • Use automation for better candidate communication
  • Be clear about interview and onboarding stages

5. Work with what you have

A more efficient way to run a recruitment business is to build on existing connections. 

One way is to create a referral program for successful past candidates. Tap into networks of potential applicants by offering incentives for talent to refer their friends. 

And there’s always talent pools to look into. A key benefit of an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is that it stores profiles of not-quite-right candidates. Get an ATS with a good search function to re-locate candidates by keyword for new roles.

Another way to add to your talent pipeline is through candidate portals. A portal can offer a place to upload resumes (even with no currently matching open roles). Candidates can proactively sign up for job alerts to get the right role at the right time.

In summary:

  • Create referral opportunities
  • Search your talent pool for past applicants
  • Offer portals to collect profiles for later

6. Invest in recruitment technology

Tech is a tool like any other, and with the right choices it can ramp up recruitment operations. 

Applicant Tracking System (ATS) and Client Relationship Management (CRM) platforms will organize candidate and client profiles. Advanced systems can parse resumes and import LinkedIn profiles to collect tons of data with a click.

A combination of chatbots, automated video interviewing, online portals and more can take your recruitment efforts way beyond analog. With a tech assist on outreach, recruiters will have the power to increase their talent pipelines.

There’s also options for recruitment back-office automation tools, for example payroll software. Running payroll for a staffing business can get tricky, so a recruitment-specific software can decrease stress for the back-office team while also reducing extra admin work.

In summary:

  • Use ATS/CRM platforms to track client and candidate relationships
  • Add extra automations to streamline the outreach-to-placement process
  • Consider back-office software to reduce admin

How to evaluate your recruitment strategy

Strategy’s one thing, but success is another. It takes detailed analysis and adjustments to make the best of your recruitment efforts.

Measure successful outcomes with KPIs like:

  • Time-to-hire
  • Redeployment rate
  • Ad spend
  • CVs received:Submitted
  • CVs submitted:1st Interview
  • 1st Interview:Placed

For a more detailed guide to strategizing with data, try our guide to the top 7 business development tips for recruitment agencies (plus 5 key metrics).

Final thoughts

What makes for a successful recruitment strategy? Planning is key, but so is measuring the effort you put into the process.

On the human side, it always helps to put clients’ and candidates’ needs first. Starting out with clients’ goals and plans is the first step to informing what you need to do. And prioritizing candidate experience makes your agency stand out for those who apply. 

Social media is another people-first method to promote your agency and roles. And there are more intensive tech options to help your operations, like recruitment technology and websites.

Helping recruiters is our thing at Vincere, but recruitment technology is never the only option. Add tricks to your rec ops to keep recruiting smarter, not harder.