Best Practices For Building A Recruiting Strategy
Every successful hiring and recruitment process, whether at the senior executive or junior level, starts with a strategy. The strategy is key for driving the direction and efforts to find the best-fit talent with the right skills, experience, and cultural fit. Many clients we work with don't know where to begin for creating a strategy or have begun recruiting for a role without a strategy in place. Below we have outlined a few things you will need to consider before starting your search.
Start With A Concise Job Description.
Building out the position profile or job description is the first place to start and helps guide and inform the rest of the strategy for research, interviewing and assessing the right candidates. Building the job description or position profile seems like a relatively simple task, but it must be carefully developed and planned out before starting your research. The more detailed and clear the job description is, the better it will yield high-quality and interested candidates. Below are some brief questions to ask yourself when building out the position profile:
What technical skills does this role require?
What sort of background or skills does this candidate need?
What sort of company or industry experience is required?
How will this role fit into the organizational structure?
How can this role grow within the team or organization?
What sort of personality type will thrive in this role and team?
Does diversity need to be considered?
What sort of values must this candidate possess?
Once you have a job description finalized, next you will need to create a Benchmark Profile.
Create The Benchmark Profile.
The Benchmark Profile is a fully realized and written profile of the “perfect candidate”. In recruiting and executive search, we live by the mantra that there is no “perfect candidate” but rather, “Best Athlete Talent.” Best Athlete Talent is the candidate that most closely resembles the ideal qualities outlined in the Benchmark Profile including skills, personality, expertise, diversity, and more. The Benchmark Profile is developed as a separate strategic document but rooted in the job description. It serves as the goal post or “perfect candidate” that all other candidates must be measured against - essentially the gold standard. The Benchmark Profile helps to further refine your targeted outreach and screening of all potential candidates and should include characteristics such as:
Years of experience
Career Aspirations / Goals
Personality Traits / Characteristics
Background or expertise
Once you have developed both the job description and the Benchmark Profile, you will need to agree on the top functional (hard skills) and behavioral (soft skills) that are “must-haves” for the role. Typically, we recommend selecting three for each (3 functional and 3 behavioral competencies) that are found in the ideal candidate. Prioritizing these core competencies above the others will make it easier to select the best candidates to move forward and assess later within the recruitment process.
Build A Target Company List.
Building off of the job description and Benchmark Profile, next you will need to create a strategic target list of where you will find candidates that are “Best Athlete Talent”. This should be a curated list of organizations that closely resembles your current company structure or your future growth plans. The purpose of using a target list is to start with a refined approach for finding like-minded talent, accustomed to similar structures and organizational processes. When building the target company list you should consider the below criteria:
Years In Business
EVP & Values
Set A Collaboration Strategy.
As with any critical hire, it is important to set milestones and hold regular check-ins and updates to inform progress. Whether you are working with an internal talent acquisition team or an external recruiting firm, these updates allow for collaboration and transparency when it comes to candidates and interviewing, and will keep the search and recruitment strategy on track. Within the initial collaboration session, you will need to identify and agree upon the interview strategy, process, and standard questions to be asked of each candidate. By settling on a uniform set of questions and establishing a consistent process, this will create an unbiased and objective environment for when candidates reach the interviewing stage.
Every week, new developments and milestones should be reached in the recruitment process until a candidate is hired and onboarded. The best approach for holding regular status reports and calls is on a weekly basis. Once you have set your cadence for regular status calls and meetings, it is time to start your research, sourcing, and recruitment marketing for your position based upon this strategy.
Identify Your EVP and Recruitment Marketing Strategy.
Part of building an effective search and recruitment strategy is understanding and properly marketing your Employer Value Proposition (EVP) through recruitment marketing. Part of this strategy is knowing what your company values, mission and vision are and leveraging it in attracting candidates. For example, when we are setting a search strategy we ask our clients “Why should a candidate come to work for you?” Defining the EVP early in the recruitment process is critical for:
Attracting the right talent
Selling a candidate on a role
Engaging candidates throughout the process
Creating a more transparent and better experience for candidates
Create alignment internally
The EVP will appear throughout the entire recruitment process even through to the final stages when making an offer.
Prior to Setting A Strategy - Consider This.
In some cases, before building a research and hiring strategy, companies will engage Chapel Hill Solutions with a Talent Mapping project. Talent Mapping is a proactive recruiting service that maps, visualizes, and tracks talent in the market including your competitor’s talent and organizational structures. Talent Mapping is used to discreetly identify potential candidates for pipelining and helps identify any skills gaps, opportunities and transformational changes within your organization or team. A Talent Mapping assignment will follow, monitor and track qualified talent in real-time for up to 6 months allowing organizations to strategically plan. adapt, and hire for the future.
Learn more about Talent Mapping here.
About The Author
With over 10 years of experience in search and business operations, Julian is a highly diligent and efficient marketer and operations manager. He is a proven leader who combines creative thinking and strong communications with operational strategy, business development, recruitment operations, and digital marketing. Julian joined Chapel Hill Solutions to modernize the recruitment industry’s approach. He is passionate about creating a transparent and collaborative relationship with his clients.
Connect with Julian on LinkedIn.