There are many different types of recruitment methods that organizations use to attract the best staff. Not every job has the same requirements, and each company has different needs. That means employers have to use hiring tactics that will match their environment and appeal to the candidates they’re looking for.
Various types of recruiting methods can be used within the same business, depending on the role and the department. For example, if you’re in manufacturing, you’ll have design, technical, marketing, sales, finance, admin and artisan roles to fill from entry to executive level. You can’t use the same hiring methods to find the best candidates within each division.
What is best: internal or external recruitment drives?
Neither is better than the other. There are pros and cons to both, depending on your business and the job you need to fill. So what’s the difference? Briefly, internal recruitment is when you source candidates to fill a role from within your existing workforce. External recruitment is when you go outside of your company to attract people you’ve never met before.
Internal recruitment can be a massive time-saver because there isn’t a protracted interview and onboarding process. The downside is that keeping everything close to home can stymie new ideas, innovation and diversity.
External recruitment brings in new ideas, a fresh approach and renewed energy. But it is a costly and time-consuming process. Candidates have to be sourced, interviewed, assessed and verified before making a hiring decision.
The 12 best recruitment methods you need to know about
Every recruiter knows that as much as we’d like to plan ahead so that we can fill vacancies within the best time to hire hiring metric, things regularly don’t go as we’d hoped. Under pressure, we fall into old habits (that we know don’t always work) because hiring managers are turning up the heat.
The temptation to drop the job post on every available job board and cross fingers that a great candidate will pop up is a common symptom of reactive recruitment. And sometimes we’re lucky, but more often we’re not.
Savvy recruiters know that they must have an arsenal of quick options at their disposal to attract people in different ways. We want to share the various types of recruitment you can use:
1. Direct advertising
Placing job adverts on your careers site, job boards, social media and industry publications is an excellent way to find lots of applicants. It also gives exposure to your employer branding and boosts your company’s reputation. The downside is that external advertising can be very expensive.
Also, if you don’t target the placement of your ads well, you could attract unsuitable applicants, or get too few applications.
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2. Talent pool databases
You should always search your talent pool databases for applicants and candidates that were not hired but were suitable enough to save. Most hiring decisions involve deciding between at least two or three candidates.
When a new vacancy comes up, search your talent pool for similar skills and experience. You could save yourself a lot of time.
3. Employee referrals
Most companies have some kind of employee referral program in place. Employee referrals is a combination of internal and external recruitment. Existing staff are encouraged to refer people they know for vacancies.
The value is that it’s cost-effective, quick and you can trust that employees won’t refer unsuitable candidates. Also, the new hire will already know more about your organization than an outside hire.
4. Boomerang employees
Rehiring past employees is gaining popularity. Known as boomerang employees, these are people who worked well at a company but then left on good terms for a myriad of reasons.
Employers are seeing the value of rehiring them because they know their abilities and the employee knows and fits into the company culture. Bringing a boomerang employee back on board reduces time to hire, eliminates the risk of a bad hire and reduces cost per hire.
5. Promotions and transfers
Promotions and transfers aren’t quite the same thing, but the concept is the same. Internal employees are identified to fill open roles. A promotion means that the person moves up the ladder and is given more responsibilities and also a pay increase. A transfer usually doesn’t involve greater responsibilities or more money and is a horizontal move.
Staff can be transferred to the same role in another branch or region, or they can take on a similar position in a different department or division.
6. Employment exchanges
Although not available in all countries, employment exchanges are mandatory in others. An employment exchange is a government-run initiative that keeps record of unemployed job seekers.
Employers submit new vacancies to the exchange and are given the details of suitable candidates. Using an exchange is cost-effective but mostly suited to more junior, factory, agricultural and artisan roles.
7. Recruitment agencies
You can outsource your hiring process to a recruitment agency. Agencies manage full cycle recruiting on your behalf. Although the cost of using an agency is high, it frees up your time to focus on more pressing matters. Recruitment agencies are a great option for hard-to-fill positions and for companies that don’t have the internal HR resources to focus on hiring.
You can also contract an external recruiter to make contact with specific people that you would like to attract to your company. You might know of a passive candidate who’ll be a perfect fit for your role, but they work for your opposition. So you don’t want to make direct contact. An executive search recruiter, or headhunter, would be the perfect choice.
8. Professional organizations
When you need to fill a highly skilled position, professional organizations can be an excellent source of candidates. Many professions require that on qualification, people register with the appropriate professional association.
There are also other organizations where registration is voluntary, but it adds to the credibility of a candidate’s qualifications. Partnering with these associations and organizations can put you in touch with top talent.
9. Internships and apprenticeships
Offering internships and apprenticeships is an excellent way to get to know the strengths of individuals and can be considered to be a working interview. During the contact period, line and hiring managers can evaluate the potential to identify interns and apprentices who can be upskilled and developed to fill future roles.
Future leaders have to start somewhere, and they will all be hired in an entry-level position to begin with. Well managed internship and apprenticeship programs are fertile ground for recognizing future talent and leaders.
10. Recruitment events
For big organizations, or companies planning expansion, recruitment events are perfect for attracting the type of people you need. Events can range from hosting open days to being at job fairs, holding a hackathon and graduate recruitment drives on campus. Events can be costly.
Job shadowing is another great way to get to identify potential candidates. It’s also an excellent means of promoting your employer brand and letting people know that your company supports developing talent.
11. Word of mouth
Big brands and multinationals can easily use word of mouth methods of recruitment because unsolicited job seekers approach them daily. Their employer brand is established, and they’re recognized as an employer of choice. All they need to do is put the word out that they’re hiring and they will get a good response.
This method can also work, though in outlying areas where single companies employ a substantial percentage of the local population. An example would be mining companies and sawmills. And in small towns high-street businesses can also attract applicants by spreading the word through the local grapevine.
12. Bulletin boards
There are still jobs that can be advertised on bulletin boards. Factory and agricultural jobs are typical examples. Unemployed people often wait at factory gates for day or contact jobs to be announced. In agriculture, seasonal workers gather at local markets or co-ops to see job lists put up by local farms.
What do these types of recruitment options tell us?
Firstly, there isn’t a single job selection process that’s the only way to attract applicants. Most importantly, though, these options demonstrate that recruiters must be creative.
Methods of recruitment in human resource management mustn’t be cast in stone. Recruiters and hiring managers must be willing to explore all forms of internal and external types of recruitment if they want to find the best candidates.
Of course, these aren’t the only types of recruitment you can use either. With the ever-present war for talent going on, your innovative recruitment methods will draw attention and make your employer brand stand out. Your company will be seen as an employer of choice, even if you’re a startup or a small business.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are recruitment methods?
A: Recruitment methods are strategies that an organisation uses to reach potential candidates.
Q: Why are recruitment methods important?
A: Optimized and effective recruitment methods, using new hire questionnaire, ensure that new employees have the relevant skills required for the role and for the company's future, while also matching the company culture.
Q: What are some examples of recruitment methods?
A: Some recruitment methods that are widely used are:
- direct advertising
- employee referrals
- hiring recruitment agencies
- word of mouth.