Recruitment Strategy

A Guide to Strategic Recruitment

You need great people who can take your company to the next level. Relying on recruitment agencies or independent consultants can help you get there, but you need a strategic recruitment plan when it comes to taking matters into your own hands. 

Moving ahead with a well-oiled plan is essential when you want to take control of direct hiring in the company. A strategic plan covers every aspect of business-friendly hiring coupled with using the right technology and integrating them for the holistic development of the company. 

You need the right strategy because hiring a bad employee can cost you up to 30% of the candidate’s first-year earnings. Also, it costs companies around $14,900 for every poor hire, as found by CareerBuilder.

What is a Recruitment Plan?

A strategic recruitment plan is a detailed roadmap for attracting high-caliber talent to your organization. With clarity, it should outline:

1. Employer brand messaging
2. Candidates that are to be targeted
3. The primary sources for hires
4. And anything else needed to make your recruitment program a resounding success 

For employers, it lends confidence to help you be successful in your hunt for the perfect candidate who will, in turn, take your company to the next level. Without a well-defined recruitment plan, you’re probably not going to get the top talent your company needs. This guide aims at helping you learn all about creating a strategic recruitment plan to prevent this from happening. This guide also includes steps you should take as a business, how to establish a solid employer brand, and make data-based decisions to support your recruiting efforts.

However, a few key trends that would keep you thinking is that:

  • With labor in high demand, businesses must have a recruitment strategy to attract top talent. 
  • A strategic recruitment plan is essential in building your brand to attract a higher number of new job candidates. 
  • Glassdoor reports that 84% of job seekers say a business's reputation is critical. Diversity in the workplace starts with inclusivity in the recruitment process. 

With no shortage of quality opportunities for job seekers, developing a robust recruitment strategy to build an engaged workforce that will contribute to the business will be a competitive advantage.

A strategic plan of action is critical to properly fulfill staffing needs and desires, leading to new business growth. To find and retain potential candidates, your business should focus on several proven elements in its recruitment process that include:

  • Developing a hiring strategy
  • Promoting your employer's brand
  • Attracting passive candidates
  • Integrating diversity and inclusion
  • Taking advantage of time-saving technology such as applicant tracking systems (ATS)  and PEO software

Many businesses these days have recognized the impact that good recruitment strategies have on employee morale and overall retention. 

Therefore, the next important question is, does a strategic recruitment plan make the recruiting process easy?

Does a strategic recruitment plan simplify the hiring process?

Yes, a strategic recruitment plan does make the recruitment process more manageable and accessible. Everything in the plan is spelled out to the nitty-gritty and takes the complexity and confusion out of the question.

Shoring up your talent pipeline 

The most obvious benefit of a strategic recruitment plan is that it allows you to have a steady supply of and access to qualified candidates for every one of your organization's critical positions. The vital positions include a business’s leadership, especially employees who bring in the most relevant skill set and qualifications to help the company grow exponentially.

With a talent pipeline, tour businesses will have consistent access to top-tier talent when you need it. When you have a hiring need, you naturally want to fill the opening as soon as possible. A talent pipeline lets you do just that. 

This is exactly what a strategic recruitment plan does. It ensures that as a business, you have a pipeline and a funnel of well-qualified candidates that you can nurture over time and also provide maximum confidence in your hiring process.

Key Principles of Strategic Recruitment

Here are some fundamental principles you'll want to follow when drafting your strategic recruitment plan:

Establish a Strong Employer Brand

Your employer brand is how potential employees see your company. It can be the deciding factor for job seekers to accept your job offer.

To attract top-tier talent and executives, your employer brand should communicate that you have a strong company culture — one where a prospective employee not only gets a paycheck but can wonderfully do satisfying work.

Make it super easy for applicants to discover what makes working at your company an exciting experience. 

By doing this, you’ll have a constant influx of potential well-qualified employees that undergo the hiring process.

Identify a Target Audience 

Ensuring you are targeting the right audience is crucial. Your hiring efforts and strategies would be a colossal waste of time without a target audience. The audience you target would be the perfect job candidate — the person who will fill the position better than any other. 

Therefore, precisely defining your target audience is essential during a strategic recruitment campaign.

Your campaign will be different for each type of candidate you’re hoping to hire. For example, if the business requirements indicate hiring a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the efforts to hire them will not be the same as when hiring for a Marketing Specialist.

Directing business efforts to a specific target audience helps narrow the candidate pool to help hire effectively and efficiently. That way, focusing on relevant applicants would only make your hiring job in hand much more effortless.

Prioritize Jobs and Targets 

A key element here is that the majority of the focus and prioritization in strategic recruitment are deployed only for the critical positions in an organization, such as executives and key roles that drive the growth of a business.

This is because these job roles are the ones that will help accelerate the growth of your business and take it to the next level. This means you’ll want to target the top performers, game changers, and innovators in a particular industry.

Make Data-driven Decisions 

Poor hiring choices can cost a company tens of millions of dollars and damage its reputation. 

Shockingly, businesses continue to make hiring decisions from gut feelings instead of cold, complex data in today's changing times. Focus on making hiring decisions based on accurate data eliminates unconscious biases and produces higher-quality results.

Have a Global Reach 

These days, there are seemingly limitless options for reaching far beyond the confines of geographical borders so you can sniff out the best talent.

These options include powerful tools like artificial intelligence,  data analytics, and social networking platforms such as LinkedIn. However, before you can take advantage of technology to explore the planet for your next hire, it is crucial to understand your company's goals. 

Creating a Strategic Recruitment plan

When creating a strategic recruitment plan, a few elementary steps can be followed:

1. Reviewing past successes and failures.

Formulating a strategic recruitment plan based on previous successes and failures would help save efforts concerning time and money. Therefore, reviewing and analyzing the earlier hits and misses before creating a plan would help in the long run. 

2. Align the business goals with the hiring decision

When hiring a new candidate, try to see how the position you’re hiring for fits with the company’s broader goals. 

By doing this, you’ll be more likely to hire the candidate who can further them — aligning the corporate mission with the hiring decision.

3. Conduct a skills gap analysis

A skills gap analysis is an in-depth look at the skills of your current team. Assess the skills that your current team has and identify what is lacking.

Doing this helps determine who you must hire to get the skills your team needs. Consulting with the department heads when conducting a skill gap analysis will give you a broad perspective on the critical skill aspects that the current team lacks.

4. Have a clear job description template

Another way to refine the candidate pool is by clearly stating expectations, work requirements, and job descriptions. This avoids any misunderstanding during the interview phase.

Roles can change over time, so make sure you have the latest version of the job description. You can refer to different job description templates for reference. 

Talk to people who currently have this job, and note how it changed from when they were initially hired to what their responsibilities are today.

5. Source your candidates well

Your strategic recruitment plan is only as good as your hiring sources. You might find yourself using sources that don’t attract top-tier talent.

In that case, it's improbable you’ll snag the dream employees that will provide you with the visionary leadership that helps your company stand out from its competitors. 

Using low-impact recruitment channels also means you’ll have to spend far more time on candidate screening just to weed out the diamonds from the dreck. One of the best sources is employee referrals. 

Recruiting at professional events, such as a trade show or a conference, is a close second.

6. Create a budget

Undoubtedly, creating a budget helps keep your recruitment plan sustainable. This will help keep your cost-per-hire as low as possible.

Consulting with the department heads or a senior in charge of releasing the next hire's budgets will make the process easier.

7. Use technology

Increasingly in the past few years, the majority of the businesses have been operating cost-effectively through the use of technology.

Therefore, it is crucial to note that technology can increase hiring speed, cut costs, and improve screening. As a business, you may want to invest money in an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). 

The ATS software automates the process of finding top-tier talent, including applicant sorting, interview scheduling, and one-click job posting, too many sites all at once. 

Without saying, there are a dizzying number of technological solutions created that mainly aim to automate the hiring process. So it only makes sense that proper research and analysis is done to find the best software for your company’s budget.

8. Recruit employees to be recruiters.

To supercharge the recruitment efforts, build a company-wide recruiting culture where every team member becomes a recruiter. 

To do this, encourage every one of your employees to share job openings with others. This will help to get so many more candidates into your talent pipeline.

9. Offer remote work options

With remote work being increasingly popular, many candidates prefer working from home due to the benefits that it offers.

It would only be jumping into the bandwagon by offering candidates remote work options for roles that do not require physical presence at the office. 

This will increase the number of applicants and give your organization a competitive edge over companies that don't provide these choices.

10. Don't rush the job interview.

Don’t undermine your strategic recruitment plan by rushing through the interview. Ensure you take the time to prepare for the interview by thoroughly reading over the candidate's resume. 

By doing this, you’ll have a clearer understanding of the candidate and help ask better questions. 

However, keep in mind that when a high-demand applicant decides to make a job switch, you might have to make a quick decision before the candidate snatched up your competitors.


Employees are the backbone of every organization, and your recruitment plan is the key to maintaining a solid spine. A strategic recruitment plan takes time and effort. 

More importantly, you need to adapt and optimize your strategy according to the organization’s requirements, objectives, and market position. With changing business environments, companies' needs fluctuate over time. As a result, your hiring processes must also evolve. 

With the steps above, you would essentially be able to build a funnel of candidates that fit your company's specific requirements, so you have the top-tier talent available when you’re ready to hire.

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