Your guide to recruitment best practices

Your Guide to Recruitment Best Practices

By definition, a best practice is a method or technique that has been generally accepted as superior to any alternatives.  

The idea of “best practices” can be misleading, especially in recruiting. This is because companies, teams, and target markets can be vastly different across regions. 

Rather than profess to know the best way to optimize recruiting in every setting, we thought it would be useful to speak to industry leaders to learn where they go when looking for advice. 

The experts confirmed there are few universals truths when it comes to recruitment and leaders must always consider the context before implementing any new practice. 

With these considerations in mind, here are four recommended practices to consider as your recruiting team begins to plan for the year ahead.

1. Become a Data-driven Team

Tricia Morris contends that data-driven organizations will ultimately win out with six significant competitive advantages: consistency, longevity, awareness, responsiveness, feedback and the ability to make fast, confident decisions.

As you build your team’s strategy for the year ahead, be sure to consider industry benchmarking data from ATAP Global and Lever to ensure your objectives and key results are on target.

Third party talent teams can rely on resources from BountyJobs for a snapshot of industry trends. 

2. Empower Everyone to Recruit

Creating a culture of recruiting is essential to maintaining a healthy recruiting team. Building personas make it easy to paint a picture of the ideal candidate for all relevant stakeholders. 

ERE Media, Greenhouse and Google Hire consistently publish articles on what works best across organizations.

Additionally, recruiting teams should strategically utilize and share community sourced insights found on the web. Facebook recruiting groups and Katrina Collier’s Social Recruiting Show highlight relevant, anecdotal insights from leading practitioners.

3. Focus on Candidate Experience

With record low unemployment rates, hiring teams are feeling the pressure to compete for the best talent. As a result, the candidate experience is more important than ever.

Candidate Experience is “closely linked with Employer Branding since it also creates goodwill for the employer.”

Talent Board and the Candidate Experience (CandE) Awards, founded in 2011, is “the first non-profit research organization focused on the elevation and promotion of a quality candidate experience.”  

The Talent Board believes “that there’s no better source of real recruiting insight than crowd-sourced candidate impressions.” Visit their website to explore a vast array of resources.

4. Cultivate Community

Whether internally through an impactful referral program or externally via community outreach, the strongest recruiting teams recognize the power of community. 

Zappos reimagined their hiring process in 2014 and recentered it around the idea of a talent community to much success. When positioned properly, talent communities can hold “remarkable power.”

For ideas on ways to cultivate community and build your employment brand, start with resources from Yello, Recruiter, and Randstad.

5. Fortify your employer brand

How do applicants view your organization? You need to know, and also understand where your organization can improve. 84% of job seekers say a company’s reputation is a major factor to consider before applying to a role.

Maintaining a strong employer brand is crucial for attracting top talent. It involves showcasing your company’s culture, values, and mission to make it an appealing workplace. A strong employer brand differentiates your company in the job market, attracting candidates who align with your organizational goals and values. This helps draw in high-quality applicants and retain them, as they are more likely to feel connected to the company’s purpose and motivated by its culture.

One of the best ways to start is by surveying your current employees. Are they happy with the organization? Would they recommend others to come work with them?

It’s also important to monitor employer review sights like Glassdoor to understand what others say about your organization.

6. Cast a net on social media

You hopefully at least have a presence on LinkedIn, but what about other platforms like Facebook, Threads, TikTok, and X?

Leveraging social media platforms for recruitment allows you to reach a broader and more diverse audience. It enables engagement with potential candidates where they spend a significant amount of time, enhancing the visibility of job postings and your employer brand. Through targeted ads, content sharing, and direct interactions, companies can attract talent with specific skills and values that align with the organization’s culture and goals.

Simply put: you need to find candidates where they are.

7. Present clear pathways for growth

It’s a cliché for interviewers to ask candidates where they see themselves in five years, but do candidates have a solid vision of their career path, or are they just hoping for the best and trying to tell you what you want to hear?

What if, instead, you could present the candidate with what their career could look like in five years? What would that do to attract top-tier talent, and even retain who you have?

Providing clear pathways for career development and growth is essential for attracting and retaining talent. It involves transparent communication about career progression opportunities within the organization, including training, mentorship, and promotion possibilities. This approach not only motivates current employees by showing a commitment to their professional development but also makes the company more attractive to potential candidates seeking long-term career prospects and personal growth.

According to a study by Ceridian, 88% of flight-risk employees would be more likely to stay if they had more internal opportunities. Consider internal mobility or mentoring programs aimed at developing your talent and making your organization a great place to land.

8. Build a network of passive candidates

Everyone who thrives in sales makes it a priority to keep their pipeline full. Recruiting is really just a different form of selling, so you need to treat your own pipeline as if you were an account executive.

It’s also important to understand that many of the best candidates are not actively seeking a new role.

So you must constantly work on networking with talent, building relationships, and maintaining lists of top candidates for key positions so you can have a head start on filling those positions when they become vacant.

9. Screen candidates effectively

When screening candidates, the usual priority is to screen out the bad candidates, but are you also optimizing your screening process to attract the best candidates?

One place to start is with your job descriptions. Defining clear job requirements is crucial to ensure candidates understand the role they’re applying for. It involves detailing the necessary skills, experiences, and qualifications in the job description, which helps attract applicants who are a good fit. Clear requirements streamline the recruitment process by reducing the number of unqualified applications and facilitating the selection of candidates who meet the specific needs of the position, ultimately leading to a more efficient hiring process and better job matches.

Another step to consider is guiding candidates to a skill assessment at the beginning before a resume is ever requested. This is a win-win for both you and the candidates because less time is wasted for everyone involved.

10. Conduct a talent gap analysis

Do you know the skills and abilities your organization needs to thrive? Don’t just be reactive; be proactive and anticipate needs before they arise, and you can do that through talent gap analysis.

A talent gap analysis helps your organization identify discrepancies between the skills and talents available within your workforce and those required to achieve business goals. It enables strategic planning for recruitment, training, and development to fill these gaps, ensuring the organization has the necessary competencies for current and future success.

Here’s an overview of how to perform a talent gap analysis:

  1. Start by identifying your organization’s strategic goals and the skills needed.
  2. Assess the current skills of your workforce through surveys, interviews, or performance data.
  3. Compare the current skills against the needed skills to identify gaps.
  4. Develop strategies for closing these gaps, such as training, hiring, or reassigning personnel.
  5. Implement these strategies and continuously monitor and adjust to ensure alignment with organizational goals.

Next Steps

As you refine your team’s processes, share your learnings with the recruiting community to spark continuous growth and iteration.

Special thanks to Tangie Pettis, Mawulom Nenonene and Jan Tegze for their contributions to this guide.

What’s one area you’d like your recruiting team to improve upon in the upcoming year?  Let us know @TextExpander or in our group on Facebook.