Recruitment Best Practices: Your Guide for Sourcing Talent

No matter how long you’ve been in the business, you’ve probably thought about what makes a great recruiter. There are thousands of pieces of advice out there, so knowing what really works isn’t easy.

That’s why we’ve created a comprehensive guide to help you cut through the noise. In this list, you’ll find advice on:

  • Streamlining your recruiting process
  • Sourcing top talent
  • Improving sales and marketing strategies

Are you executing the best practices in recruiting? Take a look at our list of best recruitment practices to see how you can improve.

Recruitment best practices: Streamlining your process

Best practices for recruiting begin with your internal processes. What are you doing to source talent behind-the-scenes? Take a look at these tips for streamlining your methods.

1. Create a system

As a recruiter, you have to complete a lot of tasks throughout the day. To get them done efficiently, you need a routine. Make a daily to-do list and mark off items as you finish them. Use a system like a recruiter daily schedule that will help you stay on top of recruiting activities.

When you get into a rhythm, you spend less time thinking about your next step. You can focus on completing tasks faster and more efficiently.

2. Think like an investor

When we talk about recruiting best practices, there’s little more valuable than your time. Time management for recruiters can have a huge impact on profitability. What tasks do you invest your time in?

Look at how long it takes to complete tasks. Decide if you spend too much or little time on each activity. Once you’ve put a value on tasks, you can use time management strategies to invest your time wisely.

3. Organize candidate pools

Applicants are all different. It doesn’t make sense to lump them all into the same group.

Separate candidates by skill, experience, and industry. You can also organize candidates by their level of interest and location. Use recruiting CRM software to create subcategories of candidate information.

4. Write client agreements

When you take on a job order, you and your client have expectations. It’s a good idea to get the expectations on paper before you source candidates. Miscommunication greatly decreases when you agree on terms from the start.

In the agreement, decide what recruiting and hiring roles you will take on. Will you write the job description, conduct interviews, or check in with new hires? Map out methods for sourcing candidates, such as phone screenings and pre-employment tests. Also, provide reasonable time frames for completing tasks.

5. Measure, review, repeat

To succeed in recruiting, you need to be able to measure progress. Use recruiting metrics to track how well you source candidates. Then, make data-driven decisions based on the information.

Common metrics include:

  • Time to fill (how long it takes to fill a position)
  • Response rate (how many people respond to your contact efforts)
  • Sendouts per hire (how many candidates you send to a client interview)

Recruiting metrics help you see if your methods are successful, or if you should make changes.

Recruiter best practices: Sourcing candidates

Executive recruiting best practices often come down to how well you source candidates. At the end of the day, you want to make more quality placements. The following recruiter best practices can help you find the right candidates.

1. Define the ideal candidate

Corporate recruiting best practices start with knowing the candidate your client needs. Before you find applicants, get a detailed picture of the ideal candidate. This will help you avoid generic results that water down your search.

Talk with your client to see what type of candidate they have in mind. Find out the skill set, education, and experience needed. Also, get an understanding of your client’s company culture. Create a comprehensive list of necessary qualities, as well as preferred characteristics. Use the list as a guide throughout the recruiting process.

2. Fine-tune job descriptions

The job description is a candidate’s first impression of the position. Make sure you’re posting accurate and enticing job descriptions. The description should include a job title, task summary, and desired qualifications.

As a recruiter, you can re-write the client’s job description. You know what attracts candidates to jobs. Use your experience to create a description that will draw top talent to you.

3. Don’t forget fundamentals

Between a fluctuating job market and evolving technology, recruiting is constantly changing. It’s important to be able to adapt to changes and utilize new tools. But, one of the recruitment best practices you can follow is to keep fundamental sourcing strategies of the industry in mind.

One of the old-school recruiting practices that shouldn’t be ignored is cold calling. Today, people decide which emails to delete within seconds. With a phone call, you actually speak to the individual. Cold calling for recruiters can make it easier to gain trust because candidates see that you’re a real person with a real opportunity.

4. Prioritize the candidate experience

It’s a candidates’ market, meaning there are more open positions than qualified applicants. Candidates have the upper hand rather than employers, which means it can be harder to source them. To secure talent, create an effective candidate experience.

Give candidates a simple application process. As you narrow down the candidate pool, update candidates about their application statuses. Answer candidate questions and listen to what positions they are looking for. Giving candidates a good hiring experience usually leads to better employee retention for your clients.

5. Leverage passive candidates

Sometimes, the person who best fits a position isn’t actively looking for a job. This individual is a passive candidate. Passive candidates are valuable in recruiting, especially for tough-to-place industries like technology.

Don’t “post and pray,” meaning you publish a job listing and wait around for resumes to flood in. You can’t post to job boards and rely on your job advertisement alone. You should be actively recruiting passive candidates and letting them know about the opening. Use candidate lists in your ATS software to find relevant passive candidates.

Best recruitment practices: Sales and marketing

No matter how good you are at finding talent, your recruiting firm won’t last long if you can’t sell. Make sure your sales and marketing efforts push you towards success.

1. Sharpen your sales skills

Recruiters have unique challenges when it comes to sales. You don’t offer something tangible, like a product. Instead, you’re selling the idea of a job to a candidate. Recruitment best practices include sales strategies that convince candidates to accept job offers.

Present yourself at recruiting networking events, put your services on your website, and update candidates about job openings. Make sure your brand is present on any marketing materials you distribute.

2. Keep up with trends

Smart recruiters know the industry constantly changes. To avoid being left behind, you need to follow current recruiting trends. Find out which industries are thriving and which are more difficult to place. And, learn how clients and candidates want to communicate, such as by email or phone.

3. Encourage referrals

Referrals are a major source for finding talent. Top Echelon reported that most recruiters (43.6%) found the highest quality candidates through referrals. Let your candidates know you accept and appreciate referrals.

For the best practices in recruitment, maintain relationships with your candidate pool. Fostering long-term communication makes recruiting through candidate referrals easier. The better rapport you have with a candidate, the more likely it is that they will refer someone.

4. Be active on social media

Modern recruiters should be active on social media. Social media accounts are great for boosting your brand. You can interact with candidates, post job openings, and keep connections updated. Social media allows you to stay in front of all your connections easily.

Social media recruiting strategies blend with other recruitment practices. For example, you can recruit users who are not actively job seeking through social media. A passive candidate could see the open job on their social media feed and apply.

5. Be a thought leader

By becoming a thought leader, you position yourself as an expert. Thought leaders are seen as authoritative figures in their industry. People know that you know what you’re doing.

How do you become a thought leader? Share your expertise through networking events, speaking engagements, and conferences. Publish blog articles that are relevant to the market you serve. And, establish a strong brand and offer information that helps your candidates and clients succeed.