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As an HR leader, your goal is to find and hire the best talent for your company. To do it, you’ll need effective, iterative, and flexible recruitment strategies. 

While hiring the most capable and skilled talent remains a top priority for 46% of HR leaders, findings by Gartner show only 36% believe their sourcing strategies are sufficient. 

The Importance Of Recruiting Strategies

A good recruitment strategy ensures consistency, transparency, and credibility. It also adds clarity to your day-to-day processes for HR teams and instills confidence in your company's brand and job postings for potential new employees. 

As an HR leader, you play a crucial role in helping the organization adopt a shift in mindset that is fundamental to developing a modern hiring strategy, whether that's through the implementation of a new recruiting software or management of talent policies. 

So, what should this new recruiting strategy and hiring goals look like?

Understand How The Candidate Experience Impacts Recruitment Success

Before you can establish or modify your brand, techniques, or tools, it's critical to understand potential qualified candidates. Their experience with the application and hiring process and their views on your communication absolutely impact your success. 

Approximately 72% of candidates say the smoothness of an interview process affects their final decision to accept the job. So here are three things to start with if you haven’t already.

Streamline Your Application Process 

Ensure you have an easy-to-use application platform and quick response times. Application processes have become bulky and often fail to leave the candidate with a sense of where things stand once they’ve completed their part. 

We’ve all seen an example of this. The applicant is asked to fill in repetitive fields on a digital form and satisfy multiple web pages of required information, just to send the application into the digital ether of an applicant tracking system with only an email confirmation that it was received to show for their effort.  

Author's Tip

Whether it’s your responses, re-engagement or update emails when the hiring process goes through delays, you should look to automate as many processes and reminders as you can. This will prevent a candidate experience where the person feels as though they slipped through the cracks.

Ensure Transparent Communication 

Keeping candidates in the loop about their application status and next steps indicates a level of intentionality and care that people appreciate.

This doesn’t have to be fancy or have a ton of personality, it simply needs to communicate what the person needs to know. 

Automated responses are great, but you’ll want to add some customization based on the role and provide a turnaround time for an expected response.

Simply knowing what to expect does as much for the candidate's experience as the best-written job description you’ve ever seen. 

Optimize Your Interviews 

The number of interviews that candidates have been exposed to has ballooned in recent years.

Research shows that the amount of time it takes to hire a new recruit reached an all-time high in 2023, leading to candidate frustrations and higher dropout rates.

It’s time to reverse this trend by executing focused interviews that glean the most intelligence from a smaller amount of interaction.

Too many interviews can also be a red flag for a candidate, a sign of unrealistic expectations or an unorganized interview process.

For further guidance, check out this guide on how to interview someone.

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Develop Diverse And Inclusive Recruitment

Before you can establish or improve your employer branding, it's critical to expand your search and develop a diverse and inclusive recruitment strategy.

This relies on developing targeted outreach and using unbiased screening tools. Starting an internship program can also help here.

Here are a couple of tips to help you diversify your teams.

  1. Conduct Targeted Outreach - Engage with communities, schools, and other organizations that cater to diverse groups. This gives you a more diverse talent pool with varied skills and capabilities. 
  2. Implement Unbiased Screening Tools - There are a variety of diversity recruitment technology solutions available to recruiters to help account for diversity. Among the criteria used to assess those tools is their ability to be configured to eliminate bias and promote diverse shortlists.

Access to a larger and more diverse talent pool offers many benefits, including 12% higher employee performance than those without inclusivity efforts.

Establish Your Employer Brand

Establishing and monitoring your employer branding and employee testimonials is a must.

Understanding an ideal candidate's mindset and expanding your talent pool makes it much easier to fine-tune your employer brand to inform prospective hires what they can expect if they accept a role with your company. 

Establish a Strong Online Presence  

Having a company website isn’t enough. You’ll need to have a presence on Glassdoor, Indeed, and LinkedIn to go with it.

Social media recruiting provides insight into your company's culture and offers another, less formal avenue to put job openings in front of prospective employees to give them a glimpse of where they might be working. 

Showcase Employee Testimonials and Stories 

Authentic job search experiences and journeys within the organization provide job seekers with some sense of comfort, increasing the number of candidates who apply for open roles.

Engage with the teams you’ve built to brainstorm what stories you can tell that make them feel good about working there, and that might influence how a candidate feels about working there. 

These are easy stories to tell and go a long way toward communicating the “why” when people consider if they should work for your organization.

Develop Modern Recruitment Techniques And Tools 

Hiring has changed quite a bit, and progressive technology and techniques play a big role in your success as a recruiter.

You need future-ready recruiting systems and processes that are ready to embrace Artificial Intelligence (AI), data analytics, and the use of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) if you're to find and hire top talent. 

Evolve for Digital Platforms 

Reassess and revamp your job board postings, social media accounts and specialized recruitment platforms on a regular basis to reflect not just your company’s brand, but the journey it’s on in terms of its overall goals and achievements. 

When new content types can be explored to create a better candidate experience, engage with them to understand how they might help you reach candidates in a different way or showcase the employer brand in a different way.

Utilize AI and Data Analytics 

Leveraging the power of predictive analytics, chatbots for initial screening, and sentiment analysis to streamline your internal recruiting processes will yield a tremendous amount of insight into what you’re doing right and where you’re missing the mark as you adopt new recruiting strategies. 

Incorporate VR and AR in Recruitment 

Applicant tracking system automation and incorporating VR and AR into your recruitment strategy adds a more immersive experience.

Things like job previews and virtual office tours can become important experiences in convincing candidates that your organization is up to date with cutting-edge technology and forward-thinking in how you approach people you want to be involved in the business. 

Participate In Networking As Part Of Modern Recruitment 

Finding talent online isn't enough. While you've made great strides in putting the best hiring techniques and tools in place, there's no substitute for talking face-to-face with your target audience—real live candidates. 

The American Staffing Association found that 70% of candidates in the U.S. still prefer in-person interviews

Demand for in-person interviews bodes well for digital networking events and job fairs, while referrals can make all the difference in hiring the right candidate.

Digital Networking Events 

These events offer additional guidance on industry trends and challenges from peer groups.

At the same time, they can be a great source of referrals for employers and provide other potential forums to make an impression with a specialized population.

Virtual Job Fairs and Webinars 

Attending job fairs provide opportunities to showcase the highlights of your company to active job seekers. 

Webinars, on the other hand, provide a chance to make a lasting impression on a more passive audience who may not be looking at a given time, but will remember the company name if your brand and messaging resonate with them.

Existing Employee Referral Programs 

Tapping into current employees' networks is one of the best methods to find candidates who come highly recommended by someone who already values your company. 

This type of candidate sourcing is valuable in terms of spend because even with referral bonuses, the cost is typically less than the time and resources that go into standard recruiting practices. 

Craft Engaging and Transparent Job Descriptions 

A Wall Street Journal survey found job seekers only spend an average of 49.7 seconds reading a job description before disregarding it as a poor fit. 

You got it—under one minute! That's not a lot of time to attract the best hire.

This means job candidates rely heavily on the clarity and precision of your job description or job ads, so crafting engaging and transparent descriptions that include salaries, benefits, incentives, and perks is essential. 

Make sure you develop an in-house guide to how to write job descriptions with a clear outline of the role and consider using more interactive elements for talent acquisition. Two other practices to keep in mind:

  1. Enhance Job Descriptions with Multimedia - Make your job descriptions more engaging using video interviews, infographics, and interactive elements to give a holistic view of the job. 
  2. Provide a Clear Outline of Responsibilities and Benefits - Avoid jargon and be transparent about expectations and rewards.

Engage In Continuous Learning And Adapting

If you've successfully hired your dream candidates, don't stop there. A culture of continuous learning starts at the top and requires hiring managers and recruiting teams to stay on top of industry trends as things change—and they will. 

To do it you'll need to:

  • Provide ongoing training for hiring staff
  • Collect feedback from candidates
  • Establish detailed recruiting metrics
  • Align recruitment goals with long-term business goals.

Case Study: McKinsey's New Interactive Hiring Strategy

McKinsey & Company, Lloyd’s and Unilever all recognized the importance of interactive games, VR, and AR technology as part of their hiring strategy

McKinsey, a strategy and management consulting firm, added interactive and fun problem-solving games into their hiring process. This approach allowed the company to narrow down their candidate pools more effectively. 

McKinsey strategically applied the game, which involved a simulated scenario to enable candidates to demonstrate how they'd think and solve problems. The game assessed each candidate's abilities to highlight their skills.

McKinsey saw four primary improvements as a result.

  • The time to hire and associated costs were significantly reduced.
  • The best person for the job was hired, ensuring diversity and inclusion.
  • It created an enjoyable candidate experience.
  • Their brand identity improved, attracting a stronger talent pool.

Continuous Evolution of Recruiting Strategies

As the job market evolves and new opportunities emerge, traditional hiring practices are continually being challenged.

From understanding the candidate experience to developing diverse and inclusive hiring practices, modern recruitment strategies are multifaceted.

Embracing digital platforms, utilizing advanced technologies and maintaining a robust online presence are key to staying ahead in the recruitment game.

Key Takeaways

  1. Prioritize Candidate Experience: Streamlining the application process, ensuring transparent communication, and optimizing interviews are fundamental to enhancing the candidate experience, influencing their decision to join and stay with the company.
  2. Embrace Technological Advancements: Incorporating AI, data analytics, and immersive technologies like VR and AR in recruitment processes keeps organizations ahead of the curve, providing an engaging and forward-thinking candidate experience.
  3. Foster Continuous Learning and Adaptation: Continuous learning and adaptation in recruitment strategies are vital. Regular training for hiring staff, collecting candidate feedback, and aligning recruitment goals with business objectives ensure that recruitment strategies remain effective and relevant.

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By Moira Alexander

Moira Alexander is a recognized thought leader and the founder of PMWorld 360 Magazine and Lead-Her-Ship Group, a digital content marketing agency where she helps companies create, market, and lead with engaging digital content. With over 25 years of business, information technology, and project management experience, she's been named one of the top global female thought leaders and influencers on project management, SaaS, and the future of work.