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5 recruitment strategies to hire the best employees

Recruitment strategies: applicant shaking hands with an employee

Key takeaways

  • Write a compelling job description highlighting the most enticing parts of the role to captivate potential candidates
  • Refine your employer brand by creating an impressive careers page and managing your online reputation
  • Improve your screening and onboarding processes to hire quality job candidates who are more likely to stay with your company for years

Finding quality candidates for your open positions can be a daunting task for small business owners. As the rise of remote work allows global companies to hire candidates from anywhere, the search for great employees has become more competitive than ever. In fact, 56% of recruiters fear having job openings they’ll never fill. 

The good news is that there will always be people looking for work. Convincing them to apply for and select your company is all about using successful recruitment strategies to stand out. Read along for proven recruiting tips that can help you hire the best employees.

5 best recruitment strategies

Implementing these five recruitment strategies can help you differentiate your workplace and captivate job seekers with your listings.

1. Create compelling job descriptions

Before learning new hiring strategies, refine your job descriptions first. A great job description is oftentimes your first impression. It gives potential candidates an idea of what makes your company different and why the role is exciting.

Instead of leading with what your company sells or which awards you’ve received, start with the most enticing part of the available position.

For instance, you can mention perks like flexible work schedules, career advancement opportunities, and the ability to work directly with the owners of your small business. Include information about your company culture to help potential candidates understand what life at work might look like. Then, weave in your brand personality to make your company feel more human, rather than using standard recruitment language.

2. Post on niche job boards

General career sites like Indeed and Monster get endless job postings each day, so it’s easy for your listings to be drowned out by the crowd. Luckily, these aren’t the only platforms candidates are using during their job search

When you post on niche job boards—those geared toward specific career fields, like HotellerieJobs for hospitality, Brewbound for the craft beer industry, and AngelList for startups seeking tech talent—your listings can better stand out to relevant job seekers.

3. Refine your employer brand

Recruitment strategies: entrepreneur using a laptop

Public perceptions can have a massive impact on the level of interest for your open positions. In fact, 75% of job seekers will consider your employer brand—which includes your company culture, core values, and mission statement—before starting the application process. If you want to attract top talent, your reputation and identity as an employer must be positive and stand out from competitors.

To shape your employer brand, use the careers page on your company website to show potential candidates why they’ll love life on your team. Emphasize the facts and values that make you stand out. For example, you can highlight your diverse leadership team to demonstrate that you promote an inclusive culture. You can also highlight how working for a small business allows employees to contribute more to the local economy.

Managing your reputation on online review sites is crucial too. When your company receives feedback from former or current employees on sites like Glassdoor or Indeed, respond to reviews promptly and professionally to show you’re listening—even when employees don’t have anything good to say.

Consumer reviews matter too. A person’s workplace is part of their identity, so a bad company reputation can have an effect on their decision to work for a particular brand. When you claim your Yelp Business Page, you can start responding to customer reviews as soon as you receive them.

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4. Invest in social media ads

People around the world use social media more than ever, so it’s only natural that the recruitment process should adapt in response. As many as 58% of hiring managers agree that social media recruiting is an effective way to find quality new hires.

In addition to promoting open positions to your followers, consider running social media ads targeted at demographics that might include your ideal talent. For instance, on LinkedIn, you can target people with specific job titles that indicate they’re qualified for your open position. This can be a great way to reach passive candidates who aren’t actively seeking jobs but might be willing to consider a company that catches their eye.

5. Create an employee referral program

Most staffing firm employees believe that employee referrals are the best source of candidates. Building a referral program is an effective recruitment strategy that can help you make the most of your team—and it’s simple to do so. 

All you need to do is offer your employees rewards (like bonuses or gift cards) in exchange for every qualified candidate they introduce to your company—or at least for every successful hire they refer. Promote your referral program through email, in a meeting, or with your internal newsletter for best results.

How to hire the best employees

Building your talent pool with effective recruitment tactics can help you find great candidates, but choosing the right employee is another challenge. The cost of hiring a new employee is about 1.25 to 1.4 times the base salary, which means a single employee with a $35,000 salary will actually cost from $43,750 to $49,000.

Here are three tips to help you select the best candidate to fill your next job opening.

1. Fine tune your interview process

Employee interviewing an applicant

Asking the right interview questions is key to finding the ideal candidate for a role. While your initial phone interview might include general questions—like what the employee is looking for or why they’re interested in your position—your following interviews should be more in depth. Ideally, include questions that uncover each candidate’s level of competency and their major personality traits to ensure they’re a good cultural fit. Using scorecards to rank your top candidates can help you stay organized throughout the process.

Keep in mind that your candidates are assessing your business as much as you’re assessing their abilities. After your pre-screening, create a positive candidate experience by prioritizing in-person or video interviews, which allow you to read each other’s body language and avoid miscommunication.

2. Conduct pre-employment screenings

Incorporating new employee screenings in your hiring process is essential for catching red flags before a candidate is onboarded to your team. Once a candidate accepts your job offer—which can be contingent upon a successful screening—automate a background check using recruitment software like Checkr or GoodHire to verify their identity and learn about any criminal records. Be sure to acquire their permission to do so.

Even before you make a job offer, you can verify employment to ensure your candidate’s resume is accurate and conduct reference checks to confirm you’re getting the best talent on your team.

3. Establish a strong onboarding process

Employee turnover can be expensive for any business. If you want new hires to stick with your company for the long term, effective onboarding can greatly impact retention. When employees have a great onboarding experience, 69% are more likely to stay for three years or more.

For the best results, create a thorough onboarding schedule that provides new hires with hands-on training, time to interact with their fellow team members, and opportunities to learn more about how your organization operates. During the onboarding process, also ensure candidates know who they can reach out to for support.

Grow your talent pool

Talent acquisition can be a time-consuming process for any business, but with the right recruitment strategies, you can gain good employees who will be loyal to your company for years to come. 

Start by refining your job descriptions and employer brand to stand out, then choose the right marketing channels—such as niche job boards and social media—to reach the right job seekers. Once you have a strong talent pool, start narrowing down candidates with effective interview, screening, and onboarding processes.

As your new hires officially join your team, you’ll want to give them the best work environment possible to convince them to stay for the long-term. Read about nine employee retention ideas that you can implement in your business.

The information above is provided for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice and may not be suitable for your circumstances. Unless stated otherwise, references to third-party links, services, or products do not constitute endorsement by Yelp.