The Ultimate Recruitment Strategy For Small Businesses

Published on 19/11/2019 by Tim Verhoeven

Recruitment strategy planning

Recruitment is one of the most important issues in today’s labour force. The less we manage to present ourselves as an attractive employer, and find the right employees, the greater the competitive disadvantage. This raises the important question of: ‘What is the ultimate recruitment strategy?’ Or to put it another way: ‘How do I manage to make the right candidates aware of my open positions, at the right time and for a reasonable cost?’

There is no secret solution to fast, successful recruitment. But here are three fundamental considerations that will help form the basis for creating a triumphant recruitment strategy.

1. Recruitment is a craft

A good recruitment strategy is based on proven and successful measures. However, it must first be learned. You have to discover which methods to use and in which situations they should be applied.

2. Each company has a different starting position

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to recruitment. Every employer, every recruiting team, every recruitment budget, every recruitment process, every hiring manager – they’re all different. That’s why you need to find a solution that’s right for you and your situation. This can be inapplicable for other companies.

3. Every target group is different and has individual needs

Not only do companies differ, but each group of candidates is also unique and has different needs. They’ll read different media, be interested in different topics and have their own preferences for job boards.

There are some methods that can be used to develop an individual recruiting strategy that can be used relatively universally, such as fashion, telecommunications, real estate, management consulting and manufacturing SMEs. The methodical approach is very comparable, even if the individual elaborations and derivations were as different as the employers.

So how should you proceed when developing a recruiting strategy?

1. Needs analysis

At the beginning of every strategy, calculate the number of profiles you’ll need to review. Ideally, the profiles should go beyond what can be found in a standardised advertisement. However, it should clearly identify what the person should do, what impact the position will have and what type of candidate would fit ideally into the position.

2. Target group analysis

Next, you should carry out a detailed analysis of your target talent. The aim of this is to identify more precisely what ‘moves’ the target group. How can you attract the best candidates and talent? What are the main decision-drivers when they choose an employer? How important is work right now to them? In what life situation are they? Which media do they read? How do they look for a job and what do they do in their spare time? 

3.) Competition analysis

With all the focus on one’s own needs and the needs of the target group, you must not forget that the competition will also be active and use media or advertising material. Here, you should check first and foremost that you are not too arbitrarily positioned and that you’ve made a strategic decision of where to advertise based on where your target market is. Also consider the channels that are most appropriate, and which ones your competition uses. Ideally, you will advertise where your competition is, but you should also target your audience through niche channels and advertising platforms where there is less competition.

3. Advertising the position

Armed with the market research you carried out from the previous steps, you can now form a messaging strategy and decide which channels to advertise the job opportunity within. Careful not to restrict your budget too tightly here, or you’ll fail to see a return on investment. There are always saving opportunities in the process, but make sure they don’t come at the expense of effectiveness. If, for example, you save 20% when creating advertising material or selecting channels, then it may well be that you only see a fraction of the potential effectiveness.

4. Measuring success

Most recruitment software on the market includes some kind of analytics, so you can measure the success of your recruitment campaign and make adaptions if necessary. A/B tests work well because you can see which methods work better than others.

There are two further elements to keep in mind during recruitment. First, never underestimate the relevance of candidate experience. According to PageUp, candidates who are satisfied with their candidate experiences are 38% more likely to accept a job offer. Here you quickly realise that you can significantly improve your recruiting results by perfecting the process and educating your clients on what makes an exceptional interviewing process.

The second element to keep in mind is that there is no way around the use of pay-for-performance providers. The advantage to these are that you only pay for performance and can therefore easily include A/B tests for effectiveness in order to adjust your measures ideally to the target candidate pool.

The standard of the recruitment experience – from hiring managers, clients, candidates and recruiters themselves – is increasing. Technology is a key driver behind a new breed of recruiters who are both strategic and savvy in their ability to source the right talent for their clients. The next step is to work with employers to create successful onboarding strategies to set new-starters up for a winning, long-term collaboration with their business. In turn, this will improve talent acquisition and staff retention.

Are you still looking for recruiting software? Take a look at Capterra’s list of the best Recruitment Software

This article may refer to products, programs or services that are not available in your country, or that may be restricted under the laws or regulations of your country. We suggest that you consult the software provider directly for information regarding product availability and compliance with local laws.


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