min read

The full guide to external recruitment (2024)

This blog dives into how to do external recruitment with proactive sourcing, engaging ads and strategic use of agencies.

September 29, 2020
Yuma Heymans
December 13, 2023

In the ever-changing landscape of talent acquisition, the final quarter of 2023 presents both challenges and opportunities for organizations striving to attract top talent.

The aftermath of the Great Resignation has led to a paradigm shift in external recruitment methods, with new trends emerging that redefine the traditional recruitment playbook.

In this comprehensive guide, we delve deeper into these trends, offering insights and strategies for mastering the art of external recruitment in today's dynamic environment.

Trends that have driven the increased use of external recruitment methods

Remote Work Expectations: A New Recruitment Frontier

Remote work, once a perk, has now become a cornerstone of the modern job market. The pandemic-induced shift to remote work has left a lasting imprint on the workforce, with a recent survey revealing that a significant percentage of job seekers prioritize remote work options when considering new opportunities. This trend necessitates a two-pronged approach for recruiters:

  1. Flexibility in Job Offers: Companies are now expected to offer flexible work arrangements. This includes options for remote work, hybrid models, and flexible hours. To stay competitive, organizations must adapt their job offers to accommodate these expectations.
  2. Optimized Virtual Onboarding: The onboarding process for remote employees requires a different approach. Companies need to invest in virtual onboarding resources, ensuring a smooth transition for new hires, which can significantly enhance employee retention and satisfaction.

The Rise of Social Media in Recruitment

Social media has transformed into a vital recruitment tool. According to a recent study, 82% of job seekers use social media platforms for job hunting, and a majority of employers are now leveraging these platforms for talent acquisition. To capitalize on this trend, companies should focus on:

  1. Building a Strong Social Media Presence: An engaging and active social media profile can attract top talent. Platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter offer unique opportunities to showcase company culture, job openings, and engage with potential candidates.
  2. Leveraging Employee Networks: Encouraging current employees to share job openings and company news on their social media channels can amplify a company's reach and attract passive candidates.

AI Integration and Automation: The Game-Changers

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation are revolutionizing recruitment processes. Approximately 44% of companies are integrating AI into their recruitment strategies. AI can significantly reduce recruitment time by automating tasks like resume screening and initial candidate assessments. Key areas of focus include:

  1. Automated Candidate Sourcing: AI algorithms can scan numerous profiles and resumes to identify potential candidates, saving recruiters valuable time.
  2. Enhanced Candidate Matching: AI can provide a more accurate match between job requirements and candidate profiles, leading to better-quality hires.

Employer Branding and Flexibility: The New Battlefronts

Employer branding has become more crucial than ever. A strong employer brand can lead to a 50% reduction in cost per hire and a significant increase in the number of qualified candidates. To strengthen employer branding:

  1. Showcase Company Culture: Utilize various channels, including social media, company websites, and job fairs, to highlight what makes your company a great place to work.
  2. Flexibility as a Branding Tool: Flexibility in work arrangements is now a key aspect of employer branding. Showcasing your company’s adaptability to employee needs can be a decisive factor for many candidates.

The landscape of external recruitment in 2023 is multifaceted, shaped by evolving job seeker preferences and technological advancements. To navigate this terrain successfully, recruiters must adopt a strategic approach that is responsive and adaptable. By embracing these trends and implementing the outlined strategies, organizations can effectively attract and retain the talent they need to thrive in today's challenging yet opportunistic environment.

Methods of external recruitment

Let's dive deeper into three specific methods of external recruitment:

  1. Proactive sourcing
  2. Job advertising
  3. Using recruitment agencies

1. Proactive Sourcing: Finding Passive Candidates

Proactive Sourcing is about actively seeking out potential candidates who are not actively looking for new opportunities but might be the perfect fit for your organization. This approach requires a strategic blend of leveraging technology and building personal connections.

Utilizing advanced search techniques in talent search engines allows you to pinpoint candidates who meet specific criteria. Engagement through social media, industry groups, and commenting on relevant posts helps in making connections with these passive candidates.

Additionally, maintaining a database of previous strong candidates and continuously engaging with them can be a rich source of talent. This method demands a proactive stance in talent acquisition, reaching out to individuals who might not be on the job market but have the potential to bring value to your organization.

These are the best practices for proactive sourcing:

Leveraging talent search engines:

  • Advanced Search: Utilize talent search engines to find candidates who meet specific criteria.
  • Engagement: Engage with potential candidates by commenting on their posts and participating in relevant groups.

Networking and Referrals:

  • Industry Events: Attend industry conferences, webinars, and networking events to meet potential candidates.
  • Employee Referral Programs: Encourage your employees to refer qualified candidates from their network.

Social Media Sourcing:

  • Twitter and Instagram: Search for industry-related hashtags or profiles. Engage with potential candidates in a non-intrusive way.
  • Facebook Groups: Join industry-specific groups and participate in discussions to identify potential candidates.

Building Talent Pools:

  • Database of Previous Candidates: Keep a database of past applicants who were strong candidates but not selected for different roles.
  • Continuous Engagement: Regularly engage with this talent pool through newsletters, company updates, or industry news.

2. Job Advertising: Crafting and Placing Effective Ads

Job Advertising is about creating and disseminating job advertisements to attract the right candidates.

It begins with identifying the right platforms, which can range from general job boards to industry-specific platforms and social media. Crafting engaging job advertisements is crucial and involves clear job titles, detailed descriptions, and an emphasis on company culture and values.

SEO optimization of these ads ensures better visibility. However, it’s not just about placing an ad; it’s also about monitoring its performance and making necessary adjustments to improve its effectiveness. This category focuses on reaching out to active job seekers by presenting your company and the open roles in a way that resonates with the target audience.

These are the best practices for job advertising:

Identifying the Right Platforms:

  • General Job Boards: Platforms like Indeed and Monster reach a wide audience.
  • Industry-Specific Job Boards: Use platforms specific to your industry for targeted reach.
  • Social Media: LinkedIn, Facebook, and even Instagram can be effective, depending on the role.
  • Company Website: A careers section on your website can attract candidates who are specifically interested in your company.

Creating Engaging Job Advertisements:

  • Clear Job Titles: Use standard job titles that candidates are likely to search for.
  • Detailed Descriptions: Include responsibilities, required qualifications, and desired skills. Be clear about the nature of the job (e.g., remote, on-site, flexible hours).
  • Company Culture: Highlight your company's culture, values, and any unique benefits (like wellness programs, professional development opportunities).
  • SEO Optimization: Use relevant keywords to improve the visibility of your job ad in search engine results.

Monitoring and Adjusting Ads:

  • Track Performance: Use analytics to monitor how many views and applications your job ad receives.
  • Adjust as Needed: If an ad isn't performing well, tweak the language, platform, or even the job requirements.

3. Using Recruitment Agencies: Maximizing External Expertise

Using Recruitment Agencies involves partnering with external experts to enhance your recruitment process.

Choosing the right agency, one that specializes in your industry and has a strong reputation, is critical. Clear communication about role requirements and establishing a feedback loop are essential for effective collaboration. Understanding the agency's fee structure and discussing guarantees are also important.

This approach is about building a strong, mutually beneficial relationship with the agency to ensure they understand your business needs and can provide candidates who are not just qualified, but also a good fit for your company culture. This method adds an external dimension to your recruitment efforts, leveraging the expertise and networks of specialized recruiters.

These are the best practices for recruitment agencies:

Choosing the Right Agency:

  • Specialization: Select agencies that specialize in your industry or the specific roles you’re looking to fill.
  • Reputation and Reviews: Research the agency’s track record and read reviews from other businesses.

Establishing Clear Communication:

  • Role Requirements: Clearly communicate the job requirements, company culture, and what you’re looking for in a candidate.
  • Feedback Loop: Establish a regular feedback loop to discuss candidate quality and adjust strategies as needed.

Negotiating Terms:

  • Fee Structure: Understand the fee structure (e.g., flat fee, percentage of the candidate’s first-year salary).
  • Guarantees: Discuss guarantees in case a hire does not work out (e.g., free replacement, partial refund).

Partnering for Success:

  • Building Relationships: Develop a strong relationship with your recruitment agency. The better they understand your business, the better candidates they can provide.
  • Long-Term Strategy: Consider the agency as part of your long-term recruitment strategy, not just for one-off hires.

Effective external recruitment requires a multifaceted approach. By crafting engaging job advertisements, proactively sourcing candidates, and strategically utilizing recruitment agencies, organizations can significantly enhance their talent acquisition efforts. Each method demands attention to detail, a deep understanding of the target audience, and a commitment to continuous improvement and adaptation to market trends and candidate behaviors.

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