11 Effective Recruitment Strategies for Attracting Top Talent

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 29 September 2021

If you're a recruiter or HR professional, you may be familiar with the many challenges involved in recruiting new candidates. New technologies, approaches and processes can help you to work smarter, not harder. It can be beneficial to update your recruitment strategies so you can be sure of finding the best candidates in the most efficient way. In this article, we share tips on updating your recruitment process with 11 effective recruiting strategies to try, so you can attract top talent.

11 effective recruitment strategies

Here are 11 ways to improve your recruitment strategies:

1. Develop your brand

Your brand is everything you publish that shows potential candidates what it would be like to work with you. This includes your website, your presence on social media and any other marketing materials you produce. Think about why someone would want to work for the company and what current employees would say they like about working there. Make sure your job ads, social media, about page and other materials reflect this accurately.

2. Optimise your job posts

A job post tells a candidate everything they want to know about a job. Ideally, it also gives them an idea of what it would be like to work at the company. If you work for a company that prides itself on a friendly, informal atmosphere, it's fine to let this come across in the post. Meanwhile, an ad for a more serious company may be more professional and focused.

Job postings also need to be accurate. Proofread your posts and have someone fact-check them, especially if they mention technologies or tools you're not familiar with. Mistakes in a job ad may make candidates wonder if the company is as competent and knowledgeable as they claim.

Related: 9 Essential Recruiter Skills for Career Success

3. Create a social media strategy for recruitment

These days, most people use some form of social media, so it's a great place to look for potential candidates. You can use your social media profiles to showcase your brand by sharing video or written content by current employees on what it's like to work at the company and share job ads or information about upcoming vacancies. You can also get current employees involved by asking them to share posts on their own pages, which could help you to reach more candidates.

4. Set up an employee referral programme

Nobody knows more about what it's like to work for a company and the skills, experience, and personalities best suited for a role than the people who already work there. Access this knowledge by offering incentives, such as cash or other benefits, to employees who successfully refer candidates for a role. Candidates that come from referrals can be a great choice for a company, as they:

  • already have an idea of what working at the company is like

  • settle in more quickly, as they already know someone at the company

  • may cost less to recruit than candidates from traditional routes

5. Keep your talent pool up to date

By only sending job ads to pre-qualified candidates, you won't waste time looking at hundreds of applications from people who may not have the right skills for the role. A great place to start building up a talent pool is by keeping the details of those who have previously been unsuccessful after the interview stage, perhaps because they weren't suited to the exact role they applied for, or just because someone else had more experience. If they were otherwise great candidates, it's a good idea to keep their details on file for the next opening.

6. Explore passive applicants

Passive applicants are people who are not actively applying for roles but who would be interested in changing jobs if they found something better. By targeting pre-qualified leads on social media, you may be able to secure top talent without having to compete with other companies that also want to hire them. Plus, they can know from the start that you really want to work with them, which shows you value their skills.

7. Consider current and previous employees

By offering opportunities for advancement to current staff, you could improve employee retention and get a great candidate for a role. Since they already know what working at the company entails, and because you won't have to pay for advertising or other costs, the cost of recruiting and training internally is usually much lower.

You may also consider contacting people who have previously worked at the company, as long as they left on good terms. On top of knowing the company, they're likely to have picked up new knowledge and skills since they left.

Related: Internal Recruitment: Definition, Benefits and Tips

8. Use technology

For recruiters at large companies in particular, it may be worth investing in an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). This is a piece of software that recruiters can use to simplify the recruitment process. There are many different programmes available with different tools that can help you automate responses to unsuccessful candidates, post ads in multiple places simultaneously, sort applicants and keep track of the recruitment process.

9. Improve your interviews

An interview is one of the most important tools at a recruiter's disposal for assessing whether a candidate has the right skills, personality and experience for a role. At the same time, it's important to remember that it's also an opportunity for a candidate to interview you.

Many websites allow people to post reviews of a company's recruitment processes, even if they weren't successful. Potential candidates might lose interest if they read about long interview processes that show a lack of respect for a candidate's time or interviews that only ask traditional questions that provoke rote answers. Be sure to give candidates a good impression by asking interesting questions and providing genuinely useful information about the role.

Related: 5 Ways To Be a Good Interviewer

10. Think about non-traditional hires

If you're struggling to fill a role, it might be a good idea to think about other ways to find someone who meets the company's needs. This might mean recruiting a freelancer or contractor instead of a full-time employee, especially if the role urgently needs filling. You may also consider job shares or part-time workers instead of relying solely on those who can work full time. You can also consider whether you could do the job remotely. If so, you give yourself access to an international pool of candidates.

11. Don't forget about in-person recruiting

Although a lot of recruiters carry out recruitment online, meeting people in person can still be a great way to get an impression of whether they're the right person for the role. This might mean setting up a stall at job fairs for more junior jobs. You could also look into conferences and events that are happening in your industry, potentially sending a team to represent the company, make connections and gather leads.

Related: How To Build a Successful Team: a Step-By-Step Guide

How to optimise your recruitment process

Here's how you can implement changes to your recruitment process and get better candidates:

1. Look at what you're doing already

Although your recruitment strategies might need an update, there's no need to start from the beginning. Using data, you can get a good idea of which of your current recruitment strategies are working well and which aren't. For example, it might be that you get good responses to posts on social media, but less so on job boards. Use what you know about your current strategies to start building a better process.

2. Research similar companies

Posting job ads on social media might be a great way to recruit for digital marketing positions, as they tend to be held by younger people who spend more time online. Some employee profiles prefer more traditional job advertising methods. Find out about the strategies other companies in your industry use, especially if they're of a similar size and in a comparable location. You can get an idea from the careers page of their website and the ads they're posting online.

3. Try out new methods, but keep reassessing

Even with the most diligent research, what works for one company won't necessarily work for another. Have the confidence to experiment and try new things as part of your recruitment strategy, but be sure to reassess regularly to stop using the methods that aren't working. Constant iteration can allow you to continually optimise your recruitment.