FYI HIRING. Recruiting Strategies

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1 FYI HIRING Recruiting Strategies Revised: March 2011 Summary: This FYI discusses the steps involved establishing or revitalizing an effective recruiting process. It includes considerations for goal setting, design, implementation, and evaluation. For additional resources, please see page 6. Important Notice: The information provided herein is general in nature and designed to serve as a guide to understanding. These materials are not to be construed as the rendering of legal or management advice. If the reader has a specific need or problem, the services of a competent professional should be sought to address the particular situation. Copyright, 2014 Mountain States Employers Council, Inc. All rights reserved. Quotation from or reproduction of any part of this report, in any form, without prior permission in writing from the Employers Council, is prohibited.

2 Recruiting Strategies

3 Overview To be successful, organizations must have the ability to locate, identify, and attract qualified candidates. Recruiting involves much more than posting a job an effective recruitment program serves as a foundation for meeting current and future staffing requirements. A recruiting strategy that is both systematic and creative provides the innovation and cost effectiveness needed to remain competitive. Organizations need to have both a strategic and tactical approach to recruiting. Strategic Focus LINK OBJECTIVES TO BUSINESS GOALS To determine specific recruiting objectives look at the organization s business plan along with past staffing patterns, current and future hiring needs, and budget restrictions. An example of a recruiting objective might be, To hire 300 call center representatives by December 15. To arrive at such an objective, consider: What is the organization s plan and focus over the next year or so? What kind of staffing is needed to meet the organization s objectives? Are the recruiting objectives effectively linked to the business plan? In what ways can the recruiting function stay up-to-date with any significant business changes? In what ways can the staffing function better partner with senior management and supervisors to meet those objectives? Specific recruiting objectives should be developed with appropriate time lines and action plans tied to the organization s business goals. ASSESS STAFFING NEEDS Analyze Past Staffing Patterns Looking back at past staffing patterns can help in predict future staffing needs. For example: How many jobs were filled the previous year (newly-created versus replacements)? What has the turnover been for different positions? Do the organization s staffing requirements fluctuate due to seasonal changes? Determine Staffing Projections Looking forward to future staffing needs provides the framework for planning both short- and long-term recruiting efforts. Consider: What kind of staffing projections are anticipated to meet current and future organizational needs (e.g., growth in revenue streams, new product development, larger customer base)? What kinds of positions are filled on a regular basis? What positions could be filled internally vs. externally? What amount of turnover is anticipated for various positions? Recruiting Strategies 1

4 What type of succession planning is in place for potential retirees? Establish a Recruiting Budget Developing a budget helps to quantify what resources are needed to adequately carry out the recruiting objectives. A budget also helps to ensure that costs stay within appropriate perimeters and show a return on investment. Areas to consider include: How much money has been spent in the past? What information is available to help project recruiting expenses? What are current and future budgetary requirements? Specific budgeting needs should be developed with data to support the recruiting approaches, desired results, and return on investment. CONDUCT SWOT ANALYSIS SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Strengths and weaknesses are internal to the organization while opportunities and threats refer to circumstances outside the organization. In looking at the recruiting function, internal factors could include the skill level of recruiters and hiring managers, how well and how quickly candidates move through the organization s internal selection process, how smoothly recruiters and hiring managers coordinate their efforts, and what ways the organization is leveraging employee connections as a source for candidates. Once internal factors are identified, a strategy can be put in place to optimize strengths and address weaknesses. For example, if a weakness is an outdated system for tracking candidates through the process, a response could be to implement a more up-todate and effective computerized tracking system. Outside factors that impact an organization s ability to recruit could include current or anticipated economic conditions, industry shifts, society norms and values, and demographics. Once the external factors are identified, employers need to develop appropriate internal responses to minimize or neutralize the negative impact and maximize the positive outcome. For example, an external factor could be a labor shortage of people with the skills needed for a certain position. An employer s internal response could include developing an internship program, partnering with a vocational school or college, setting up an internal training program, and recruiting out of state and providing relocation assistance. LEVERAGE EMPLOYER BRANDING Employer branding creates an image of the organization s management and business practices. Begin by gathering information from employees (e.g., focus groups, employee opinion surveys) to identify the unique people policies, processes, and programs that demonstrate why the organization is a great place to work. Branding looks at why the total work experience and the total rewards offered at their organization is superior to that at other companies. It identifies the unique people policies, processes, and programs that demonstrate the organization s commitment to employee growth, recognition, and management development. The reasons people choose to commit themselves to the organization are contained within that value proposition. An employee value proposition statement answers the questions of Outside of pay, why would someone come and work for us and be actively engaged once they start working for us? What does the organization offer that is unique? Unique management and business practices can 2 Recruiting Strategies

5 include: Company reputation, flexible hours, tuition assistance, employee development, mentoring program, recognition, or an enjoyable working environment. Living the employer brand includes: (1) communicating so that employees understand the distinction the organization provides and why, outside of pay, it is such a great and unique place to work; (2) providing avenues for employees to tell this story to those outside of the organization; (3) using this information to market the organization to potential candidates, and (4) integrating the employer branding message across all recruiting mediums. Tactical Focus IDENTIFY THE POSITION REQUIREMENTS/OPPORTUNITIES By properly assessing the job requirements and the opportunities, organizations can better target qualified candidates and promote the unique advantages of working for their organizations. Position Requirements Identifying position requirements entails assessing the: Essential duties and responsibilities Type and degree of expertise needed Kind of decision making required Amount of time spent performing each function Kind of training provided Identifying cultural fit factors involves looking at how work is accomplished. Such factors include the: Degree of formality and use of set procedures Pace Amount of change Extent of team versus individual work Employers should also consider what transferable skills and experience may apply for certain positions. Opportunities An important way to improve recruiting efforts is to identify the distinct features and opportunities the job has to offer and effectively present those benefits to candidates. Job opportunities can include both the tangible and intangible benefits such as career and development opportunities, work-life balance, performance and recognition, training and supervising others, developing new products or services, or working with the latest technology. Defining these opportunities can be valuable for putting together job postings, talking to potential candidates, and promoting the organization as the employer of choice. Defining opportunities and drilling down the job requirements help create clear and concise job postings. A job posting that makes it easy to understand what the job is and what knowledge, skills, and proven track record is required helps candidates screen themselves in or out. Using employee testimonials about a day in the life creates a picture of what it is like to work in that job in your organization. The picture needs to include all aspects of the jobs not just the positive ones (e.g., a chance to learn new skills, work on exciting projects, flexible schedules, Recruiting Strategies 3

6 working long hours in a crunch, and high pressure time lines). This is a win/win for both the organization and the candidate because it encourages candidates who are a good fit to apply. In communicating an organization s potential opportunities, an employer must be careful not to misrepresent or oversell the job. In addition, the employer should avoid any written or verbal language that could be construed as a promise or implied contract of employment. TARGET APPROPRIATE SOURCES Many of the same marketing principles that are used to successfully compete for new customers can be used in the recruiting arena to compete for prospective candidates. When marketing a product, organizations identify what is important to potential customers, where they are located, and what are the best ways to reach them. The same principles are important when determining appropriate sources for potential candidates. When deciding what sources to use, consider: Thinking like the ideal candidate for the position What type of media would most appeal to a potential candidate? What kind of professional organizations would they belong to? Would the source appeal more to the passive (employed) or the active (unemployed) job seeker? Determining the timeframe to fill the position Does the position need to be filled on a continuous or seasonal basis or is it a one-time opening? Recruiting sources have various shelf lives and timeframes. For example, trade publications and magazines generally have longer lead times for placing ads and tend to stay in circulation longer than newspapers or Internet job sites. Evaluating the effectiveness of recruiting sources What are the advantages and disadvantages of each source? Have sources targeted the best pool of potential candidates in the past? Assessing the return on investment How many qualified responses are needed from a source to justify the cost? For example, advertising in a national publication may be a good alternative for an upper-level position, but cost prohibitive for entry-level positions. Utilize different sources Target a variety of key sources to increase the likelihood of reaching a wider pool of potential candidates. Internal and external sources might include: Internal Sources: Job Posting: Post jobs electronically or easily accessed bulletin boards internally for current employees to see. Employee Referral Programs: Offer incentives to employees who refer qualified candidates to the organization. Transfers: Train or develop current employees for either lateral or vertical movement within the organization. Networking: Utilize employee industry contacts to reach potential candidates. 4 Recruiting Strategies

7 Partnering: Work with the public relations or marketing department to combine the exposure the organization is already getting through their promotional efforts to reach potential candidates and promote recruiting needs. External Sources: Print Media: Advertise in newspapers, trade publications, or magazines. Internet: Post job listings on the organization s home page; contracting with online job sites to post positions and company profile information (job sites can vary from mega boards to niche sites to public sites available at no cost), or searching online databases for resumes posted by job seekers. Social Media: Social media casts a large net from well known sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to blogging, texting, and YouTube. Leverage social media to create positive connections with active and passive job seekers as well as build outside referral sources. Consider: (1) how the organization is already utilizing social media; (2) what goals the organization has regarding social media; (3) if the organization has a social media policy; (4) what ways certain sites would add value to the organization s reputation; (5) if social media is worth pursuing now or worth pursing further, and (6) who is the target audience(s) and what is the most effective communication method. Job Fairs or Employer Open Houses: Attend or host events to match job seekers to employers. They may be promoted by industry, profession, or general job needs. Direct Mail: Send letters to potential candidates directly. Listings may be obtained through mailing list companies, alumni groups, or professional trade associations. Broadcast Media: Advertise on radio, television, or movie theaters. Outdoor Media: Publicize openings on billboards, buses, or bus benches. Point of Service: Promote open positions through handouts and contacts with customers. Company Product Marketing: Incorporate a recruitment message on company products, promotions, or news releases. Third Party Services: List positions with executive search firms or temporary agencies. Partnering: Develop partnerships with vocational schools, colleges, minority agencies, job service centers, churches, professional associations, or outplacement firms. TRACK AND COMMUNICATE METRICS Recruiters can assess if the organization s staffing needs are met by tracking results in two main areas: (1) effectiveness of recruiting sources and (2) overall effectiveness of the recruiting process. When monitoring recruiting sources, track critical data such as the number of qualified applicant responses from each source, the number of hires from each source, and the cost per hire from each source. Also evaluate the number of responses from each recruiting source at certain time intervals to determine whether to continue utilizing the source or if other recruiting methods are needed. The recruiting process can be monitored by measuring yield ratios (the number of applicants at one stage of the recruiting process to the number at the next stage), the cost per hire, the time it takes to fill a position, and offer acceptance ratios (the number of offers extended compared to the number of offers accepted by candidates). By evaluating results, human resource professionals can determine what is working and what needs to be changed. Goals can then be developed to help the organization meet their overall recruiting objectives. Goals could include reducing the cost per hire while retaining the Recruiting Strategies 5

8 integrity of the hiring process, shortening the length of time to fill positions, or improving the number of qualified applicants from each source. CONCLUSION A sound recruiting process should identify, locate, and attract a sufficient number of qualified candidates to meet the organization s staffing needs. Thinking strategically and tactically will attract a better pool of candidates in a cost-effective manner. Additional Resources on this Subject A. SEMINARS Effective Interviewing Skills I Job Analysis and Description Workshop Recruiting: The Strategy and the Tactics B. REFERENCE MATERIAL FYI FYI FYI FYI Employee Retention Offer Letters and Other Implied Agreements Noncompetition, Confidentiality and Nonsolicitation Agreements Job Descriptions - Overview and Samples C. MSEC SERVICES Human Resources 6 Recruiting Strategies

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