Elements of a successful recruiting strategy to attract top candidates in today's job market

Elements of a successful recruiting strategy to attract top candidates in today's job market

Attracting candidates to your job postings and enticing them to apply is like dating: You want to put your company's best face forward to find "the one." But if your jobs aren't getting the interest you think they should, or if ideal applicants aren't accepting your offers, it might be time to step into your candidates' shoes and refresh your recruitment strategy. Here are some tips for analyzing and improving your company's recruitment strategy:

Evaluate the candidate experience throughout your recruitment process

Many companies still fail to create a positive candidate experience during recruitment. How does yours stack up? Consider the standard steps of a recruitment strategy:

  1. Workforce planning
  2. Sourcing
  3. Screening
  4. Selecting
  5. Hiring
  6. Onboarding

Analyze your applicant's experience at these critical phases of the recruitment process. The candidate experience might matter more than most hiring managers realize. In a CareerBuilder study, 4 in 5 job seekers said the overall candidate experience indicates how a company values its people. If you don't treat them well, it could significantly impact their decision to accept a job offer or even apply for a position in your organization.

Determine which phases need the most overhaul within your organization, and implement these elements of a successful recruiting strategy to set your company apart and create a positive candidate experience.

Start with workforce planning

Recruiting starts with workforce planning, as you identify the organization's hiring needs and determine the skill sets of ideal candidates. Clarify both long- and short-term hiring needs. Once the workforce needs are clear, prepare compelling job descriptions to get the attention of quality candidates. You want your company to stand out, but the job descriptions should be understandable and list necessary and desirable skills. Create value propositions for prospective employees by sharing information about career development and growth potential within the position.

Feature a career section on the company website

First impressions are critically important, so create an engaging career section on the company website. You might not realize it, but your career site could turn quality candidates off. According to that same CareerBuilder study, only 45% of candidates say they can typically tell what it would be like to work for a company based on their career site, which is bad news for employers who set it and forget it.

Take full advantage of your career site to educate job seekers about your company and the work environment, advertise your jobs, and link to your application process. In addition to being informative and aesthetically pleasing, your career site must be easy to navigate, functional, and optimized for mobile devices, where more and more candidates are searching for jobs.

"Implement these elements of a successful recruiting strategy to set your company apart and create a positive candidate experience."

Review the application process

Research shows that many candidates abandon the application process if it's too complex, too long, or not functioning, e.g., broken links. Testing your company's application process is the fastest and easiest way to evaluate it.

If there are too many hoops to jump through, or the process requires detailed information to be entered multiple times after a resume is already uploaded, candidates might be slipping through the cracks. Take notes and ask your team for a fix right away. With a seamless application process, everyone wins.

Don't leave candidates hanging

Communicating is vital to keeping quality candidates engaged with your opportunities. More than half of job seekers say their biggest frustration in the hiring process is that employers don't do a good job setting communication expectations.

If candidates apply only to hear nothing back, they will develop the wrong impression of the company. That makes them unlikely to apply again, and you will lose out on potentially great candidates for future openings. Can you afford to take those chances in today's tight labor market?

Promote employer brand and culture

The brand and culture of the organization strongly influence today's candidates. What reputation does your organization have with current and past employees? Companies with a positive reputation and a robust and engaged employee culture tend to attract more candidates for open positions, giving them a broader base of applicants to choose from. Talented employees seek organizations with values that align with their own.

Build a healthy brand, and develop company culture through balanced work-life practices and extracurricular activities that encourage staff's mental and physical health and form strong bonds between employees.

Create structured hiring and onboarding processes

Your recruiting strategy doesn't end when the prospect accepts the job offer. Hiring and onboarding processes should be structured and consistent. Communicate the start date, salary, benefits, and other relevant information with new employees. A solid onboarding process gets new employees up to speed quickly. Provide a welcoming presentation and orientation on the first day. Many companies maintain an online employee portal for easy organization and access to employee documentation and training materials.

The applicant's experience is a critical component of successful recruiting. To understand your candidate experience better, consider each phase of your organization's recruiting process, and evaluate the company's brand and culture. Remember that successful recruiting requires an effective sourcing strategy. Find ideal candidates in less time with CareerBuilder's Talent Discovery software.

Additional information on successful recruiting strategies:

Sourcing is a critical component of any recruitment strategy. How can your organization expand its outreach efforts to universities, professional organizations, and job boards?

Use powerful, relevant keywords in your job postings to attract more interested and qualified applicants.

A hiring event is an efficient and cost-effective method of finding talented new employees.

Do you have remote employees? A solid onboarding plan is invaluable for organizations that hire remote workers.

Choose an effective applicant tracking system to maximize your recruiting efforts.

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