I often hear recruitment & HR teams say: “We need to recruit with a strategy in place”.

But, what does that mean?   

Let’s look at “Strategy”: a plan of action designed to achieve a long-term or overall aim. So, we can say a recruitment strategy is a set of actions designed to achieve the yearly hiring headcount. 

In this article, I am going to explain how I designed recruitment strategies to achieve the yearly hiring headcount (as an in-house recruiter) without using external recruitment agencies. With a good strategy in place & a strong recruitment team, it is possible! 

Note that this is a summary of how to get this done, an overview of the process I follow. Each step could be explained much more in detail but I’d like to focus on the process this time. 

The first thing to do is to understand the headcount, partner with the hiring manager & HR to understand why there is a need to hire for those positions, and see if there is a possibility for internal promotions before looking outside. 

Following this, the recruitment team plans how to split the work among the team members based on skills & competencies. For a better stakeholder experience, ideally hiring managers to work with the same recruiter most of the time. 

The next step is to understand what you will be recruiting for (the audience you want to attract). I meet my hiring manager for approximately 1 hour and I go through business information, profile & skills. I try to make sure everything is covered in this meeting. We also put together the recruitment process we will follow, making sure it is consistent, fair, and reliable, and covers the info we need to get from the candidate for a proper evaluation. 

Once we know whom we want, we research where these people are (recruitment channels): Is it social media? Is it meetups? Job portals? Blogs & forums? Linkedin? StackOverflow? GitHub? Slack channels? Referrals? 

The best way to know which channels are the best is to ask existing employees doing the job, also speak to other recruiters, and look at existing data from other recruitment processes. You can of course combine them, and it is ideal to use several channels to make sure we bring in a good amount of people to choose from. Each channel has its own specific way to approach recruiting, so before jumping into it you have a clear idea of how it works. 

I will focus on sourcing for passive candidates since in my experience it’s been the more efficient channel to get hold of top talent. 

I organize my sourcing efforts as follows:

  1. I start with the most popular tool out of the chosen ones to optimize my efforts. 
  2. For each search, I document the boolean search used so I do not see the same people again (or in case someone else helps with the sourcing). Documenting this information can be very useful as well to realign hiring manager expectations (& review the JD if needed).
  3. I work on “sprints”: I source, interview the candidates, move the good profiles to the hiring manager, get feedback on them & adjust my search based on this. Depending on the role I can do from 1 to 5 sprints until offering someone. 

I hope you enjoyed the reading and that it helps you build stronger recruitment strategies. Thanks for reading! 🙂

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