Guide To The Most Effective Recruitment Strategies

Updated 4 January 2023

Recruitment is an integral process in every organisation. High-quality employees add value to a company and hiring them ultimately helps a company achieve its goals. Implementing effective recruitment strategies is a great way to attract and hire outstanding prospective employees. In this article, we explain the importance of recruitment strategies and provide examples of several effective recruitment strategies.

Read more: Recruitment Process Steps: What Is Involved?

What are recruitment strategies and how are they used?

Recruitment strategies are specific plans that organisations implement to attract, recruit, and hire high-quality candidates for open positions. They come in a variety of forms and not every recruitment strategy is effective for every workplace. Knowing which strategy to use for your specific situation increases the likelihood that you'll hire the best potential candidate for your organisation.

Recruitment strategies also help ensure that a company uses fair practices to find prospective candidates. With an effective recruitment strategy, an organisation will attract a diverse and extensive range of candidates. They can then evaluate them equally and consecutively, based on their qualifications and career achievements, to make a successful hiring decision.

Related: Recruitment vs. Selection (Differences and Similarities)

Why are recruitment strategies important?

Here are some reasons that recruitment strategies are highly effective and beneficial tools for organisations to use during the hiring process:

  • Transparency: With a comprehensive and thoughtful recruitment strategy, organisations ensure transparency to prospective candidates during each step of the recruitment and hiring process.

  • Consistency: Ensuring that each recruitment strategy is equal and consistent will benefit an organisation's entire hiring process.

  • Credibility: Using a consistent set of effective recruiting strategies can additionally give a company greater credibility in the employment marketplace.

  • Clarity: Recruitment strategies can help an organisation write clear and more comprehensive job descriptions to attract the best prospective candidates.

Related: How to Develop a Recruitment Plan (With Steps and Example)

What are some recruitment strategies?

An organisation can implement several recruitment strategies at once to attract the best potential employees for open positions. Here is a list of effective recruitment strategies to consider, according to your organisation's needs:

Improve brand awareness

An effective way to attract the best prospective candidates to your organisation is to first establish your company as a coveted workplace. Some companies have excellent consumer brand awareness, but limited employee brand awareness. To fix this, ensure your website has a careers page that shares the benefits of working for your company to entice potential candidates to apply.

Related: What Is Brand Awareness? How to Define, Measure and Improve It

Employee referral program

Encourage your current employees to refer potential candidates for open positions. Employee referrals can be highly effective as current employees typically only recommend candidates who meet the required skills and qualifications. This results in lower turnover levels, higher productivity and less money and time spent on the hiring process. An effective way to encourage this behaviour is through an incentivised employee referral program, with bonuses and contests, to motivate your employees to be an integral part of the recruitment process.

Data implementation

Using data from past recruitment and hiring cycles can help you improve your overall strategy. Important metrics to review include the application completion rate, the number of qualified candidates, the cost and time to complete the hiring process, and the candidate response rate.

Another strategy for recruitment that involves data implementation is investing in an applicant tracking system (ATS). An ATS is a popular tool that some companies use for large-scale hiring. This software program automates a large part of the recruitment and hiring process, allowing recruiters and HR professionals to spend more time fully vetting candidates, rather than analysing every candidate's qualifications.

Passive recruiting

Passive recruiting can involve enticing candidates not actively looking for a new position to a role within your organisation that's the perfect fit. Another aspect of passive recruitment is engaging with past candidates. Review the resumes of past candidates that weren't successful because of timing or external factors. These candidates will already be familiar with your company and, beneficially, they may have developed new skills or experience since the last recruitment process.

This also relates to reaching out to previous employees who left the company on good terms. Entice them back with a more senior position and you're rewarded with a significantly shorter onboarding process.

Social media

Social media is one of today's most effective strategies for recruitment. Social recruiting allows an organisation to share a job posting with its entire network and encourages two-way conversation. Use social media to look for and engage with potential candidates. It's also beneficial to share photos and videos on social media from company events or daily office life to give potential candidates a glimpse into your company culture and to learn more about the organisation.

Related: What Is Recruitment Marketing? (Benefits, Stages and Tips)

Recruiting at universities

Depending on the open positions, recruiting at universities can be an effective way to attract new talent. Some companies work with universities year-round to identify prospective employees and develop relationships. Alternatively, you can attend university recruitment fairs or other employment-specific events.

Online recruitment tools

Another recruitment strategy is to implement effective online hiring tools, including:

  • Sponsored jobs: Companies post thousands of jobs on websites daily, so a sponsored job post ensures your job stands out. Paid sponsored listings can include better visibility on the search results page and appear as results for job seekers searching for related terms, which translates into more high-quality candidates.

  • Resume websites: Resume websites host millions of resumes that allow companies to easily filter candidates by filtering criteria like years of experience and education. You can also establish a resume alert with some sites, which can send you a daily email with resumes that match your criteria.

  • Create company pages on recruitment sites: You can create company pages on many recruitment websites that include important information job seekers research before applying for open positions, including employee reviews and salary data. Claiming your company page on a site like Indeed allows you to respond to reviews, add your branding and customise your page.

Related: Guide: Using Indeed Job Search


Depending on your organisation, the industry, and the recruitment strategies you implement, you might receive several hundred applications per position. To stand out from the crowd and boost the number of applications, use an innovative recruitment strategy. This might include a hiring test, a hiring questionnaire, a national hiring day or a video resume.

Industry-related recruitment tools

While job fairs can help you find qualified candidates, so can non-recruitment events like industry-related meet-ups. They are an excellent way to meet motivated professionals eager to network and advance within their field. Your organisation might also decide to host its own meet-up to find potential candidates and boost employee engagement simultaneously. Another industry-related recruitment strategy is to use niche job boards to identify qualified candidates, like job boards specifically for remote workers or software developers.

Related: Become a Networking Expert in 7 Steps

How to create an effective recruitment strategy

Follow these steps to establish an effective recruitment strategy for your organisation:

1. Review your current recruitment strategy

Review your current strategy by referring to data from past hiring processes. Determine which recruitment strategies lead to important results like long-term employee acquisition and cost-effectiveness. During this review, you can also focus on how you can improve your current strategy to make it more efficient or effective. Through this review, you can establish a successful recruitment strategy.

2. Create an attention-grabbing job description

An integral part of any recruitment strategy is a thorough but succinct job description to capture the attention of qualified candidates. Ensure it includes a specific and accurate title, and a captivating summary to excite candidates about the role and company. Next, include the essentials, like primary responsibilities, required skills and education, and the application process.

Related: Advertising for a Job: 8 Key Steps (Plus Example and Tips)

3. Set a timeframe

Establish a timeframe for executing your recruitment strategy. Consider how long you want to spend actively recruiting, vetting and interviewing candidates. Then work backwards from the date you expect to have the new employee onboarded to create a realistic timeframe to implement your recruitment strategy.

4. Create a budget

Set a budget for your recruitment strategy. This can depend on which search methods you implement and can vary depending on the open position. Researching and knowing beforehand the cost of recruitment services and job board postings may help you set a realistic budget.

Related: What Is the Cost of Recruitment? (And How to Reduce It)

5. Determine the process

Establish a logical, fair and efficient process for employees involved in recruitment. Ensure they have the job description and ideal candidate profile so everyone uses the same metrics to evaluate prospective employees. Having employees help with recruitment is an effective recruitment strategy as they already know what it takes to excel at the company and can verify whether potential candidates have the skills and experience to succeed.

Related: How To Hire Employees: The Ultimate Guide (With Tips)

Tips for a successful recruitment strategy

These tips will help you establish an effective recruitment strategy:

  • Look for quality candidates. Focusing on recruiting fewer high-quality candidates rather than many less-qualified candidates will save a company both time and money.

  • Optimise the interview. A job interview is a great time to ensure the candidate is both a good technical and social fit for an organisation.

  • Market your company. Use your resources to market your company to prospective candidates.

  • Create an efficient off-boarding process. An effective off-boarding process will help with future passive recruitment.

This article is based on information available at the time of writing, which may change at any time. Indeed does not guarantee that this information is always up-to-date. Please seek out a local resource for the latest on this topic.


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