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Recruitment Strategies: Methods to Help You Find, Hire, and Retain Top Talent

March 25, 2024

In today's increasingly competitive job market, the task of finding and attracting top talent has become a challenge for organizations of all sizes. Candidates enter the job search with high expectations for the recruitment process and less of a willingness to settle for the wrong fit.

Attracting the best candidates requires you to implement best practices. Top performers have endless opportunities, and companies using effective recruitment strategies are the ones who win them over.

Below we're looking at the evolution of recruitment strategies and diving into techniques that can help you optimize your recruitment process to efficiently fill your job openings with the best and the brightest.

An Era of Redefined Recruitment Strategies

The traditional recruitment process is shifting in response to several key trends including technological advancements, changing candidate preferences, and changes in the labor market.

Digital platforms and online channels have replaced the newspaper ads and print flyers of previous decades. Candidates expect employers to use technology both in advertising open roles and streamlining the recruiting process.

The use of applicant tracking software has become standard for 99% of Fortune 500 companies, and a growing percentage of smaller companies also utilize the software.

There is also a growing emphasis on a positive candidate experience. In 2023, 52% of job seekers felt they had the upper hand in the job market, and refused to settle for a less-than-optimal recruitment process.

They are more likely to forego cumbersome applications and withdraw their candidacy when they feel their time is not respected.

Finally, many organizations are also leaning toward a greater balance between traditional qualifications and skills-based hiring.

Instead of choosing candidates based solely on their experience and credentials, companies are now prioritizing growth potential with talent development. Soft skills and learning agility can qualify candidates just as much as a traditional degree in some industries.


The Number One Recruitment Strategy

The reputation of an organization weighs heavily on a job seeker's decision to apply for a position or accept an offer. In recent years, a new phrase has been coined to describe this reputation: employer brand.

Employer branding encompasses all of the aspects that characterize you as an employer. It includes your company culture, mission, values, online reputation, communication practices, management practices, and a mix of other elements.

A positive employer brand is key in your endeavor to attract top talent. According to Glassdoor, 92% of people would consider switching jobs if they were offered a position with a company that had an exceptional reputation.

On the other hand, a negative employer brand prevents up to 86% of job seekers from even applying to a company.

However, employer branding isn't something that develops overnight; it's built over the long term. Here are a few strategies you can use to showcase your company as an attractive place to work.

  • Create an employee value proposition that highlights the benefits employees can expect in their role with your organization.
  • Audit your social media presence. Are you publishing strictly consumer-oriented content or is there a healthy mixture of posts that appeal to consumers and potential employees?
  • Showcase employee stories and testimonials that highlight employee achievements, career growth journeys, and experiences working for your company.
  • Recruit employees to act as brand ambassadors so they can advocate for your employer brand both in-person and online.
  • Determine your approach to Glassdoor. Candidates often use the website to gauge their interest in pursuing employment with a company based on the reviews of past employees. While Glassdoor encourages companies to respond to every review, it's prudent to create guidelines on how you interact with reviews left for your company.

Without a strong employer brand that candidates can access online, the impression they gather from your company hinges entirely on the interactions they have with the hiring team. One negative incidence can have a major impact on how candidates view your company.


7 Recruiting Strategies To Connect with Job Seekers

The recruiting process occurs in stages, beginning with your efforts to interest potential candidates in your company and encourage them to apply. There are several avenues and strategies you may consider using to connect with job seekers.


1. Start an Employee Referral Program

Statistically speaking, employee referral programs are one of the most effective recruiting strategies you can implement. In fact, 88% of employers believe them to be the best source of highly qualified candidates.

The value of employee referrals goes beyond having a built-in reference. People who know and like each other well enough to offer a referral are likely going to work well together, resulting in higher employee satisfaction and retention.

Referrals can provide greater access to passive candidates. Passive candidates are often the most ideal hires because they are so valued at their current job thanks to their top-notch performance.

Existing employees may be able to convince these passive candidates to consider applying or name someone you should contact who would be perfect for a vacant role.

Employee referral programs can also help save time and money on hiring since you're spending less on creating job postings and weeding through hundreds of potential candidates.

Some experts estimate the average cost-per-hire to be almost $4,700, while others find it to be as high as four times the position's salary. Even a referral bonus of a few thousand dollars means that your company is coming out ahead in the long run.

Once you create and launch your employee referral program, track metrics such as the number of referrals made, referrals who were hired, and what percentage of open positions were filled by employee referrals. Use this data to evaluate the efficacy of your referral program and make adjustments as needed.


2. Craft Compelling Job Descriptions

One of the first impressions a prospective employee has of your company is your job description. Make sure you're accurately reflecting what your company offers to candidates.

  • Keep it short and simple. The most effective job postings highlight the key values of your company and the essential skills required for the role.
  • Keep your descriptions consistent with your organization's language.
  • Focus on potential candidates rather than the company. How will employees contribute to the overall mission of the company? What opportunities are available in this position?

Experts have yet to agree on whether a job listing should include a salary range, but the number one reason that job candidates ghost a company is due to low salary. Posting the salary range in your job description can keep this from happening to you.


3. Use Social Media

49% of employees follow a company on social media so they can stay aware of job vacancies. A strong social media presence enables you to tap into a larger talent pool and attract both active and passive candidates.


Highlight Your Company's Culture

Using a mixture of social media content, you can highlight the unique aspects of your company's culture that help you attract - and retain - top talent.

  • Ask current employees to participate in creating content for your channels. Collaborate with people from different departments across your organization so you can share a variety of roles and present an inclusive picture of your company.
  • Post behind-the-scenes content showcasing a day in the life of various employees or milestone award celebrations.
  • Highlight the aspects of your company that set you apart from your competition.
  • Share career development opportunities such as training programs and mentorship opportunities. Include success stories from employees who have advanced their careers within the company.
  • Foster employee engagement by encouraging followers to respond to questions and prompts. Provide a timely reply to comments and participate in conversations.

Advertise Jobs

LinkedIn may be the standard place for professional networking but don't discount the idea of sharing job openings on your other social media pages, especially if you realize the most qualified candidates may not be on LinkedIn.

On Facebook, you can create a free job posting through your company's page. The posting will only be seen by followers and friends of people who share it, but you can also pay to boost the ad and have it appear in the feed of your target demographic.

More than one million openings are currently posted on X Hiring, where verified organizations can share critical roles they are trying to fill.

Instagram doesn't have a hiring/recruitment solution (yet), but you can use the platform to share openings and link to your careers page where job seekers can apply. You can also collaborate with influencers and industry partners to reach a broader audience of potential candidates.


4. Revamp Your Company's Careers Page

Done well, a careers page is a window into your organization and encourages job seekers to apply to open roles. Here's how to make the most of your page:

  • Showcase current employees with personalized bios and a rundown of what their position looks like.
  • Complete regular audits of the user experience of your careers page to ensure it's easy to navigate.
  • Communicate your company's missions and values - even if it's found elsewhere on your website.
  • Make sure the page is optimized for mobile devices. Over half of all job seekers use a mobile device during their job search.

Once you've optimized your careers page to function as a key recruiting strategy, monitor metrics such as the source of traffic, bounce rate, and organic traffic to determine if the page is truly effective or needs some more tweaking.


5. Highlight Employee Benefits

Let's talk about both kinds of benefits that employees are looking for - tangible and intangible.

Almost two-thirds of workers who left their job in 2021 cited low pay as their number one reason for leaving. Pointing out that you offer competitive compensation and outstanding benefits is one of the most straightforward recruiting efforts there is. Matching retirement, insurance, and other benefits can also draw in potential candidates who are looking for a place where they feel valued and fairly compensated.

But people aren't just in it for the money. The other most common reason people left their jobs in 2021 was because they had no opportunities for advancement, followed by the choice to leave because they felt disrespected at work.

Anytime you have the opportunity - whether you're posting job descriptions or speaking with new talent at a job fair - point out the unique opportunities working at your company offers.

Do you have a management training program? Are you committed to flexible working hours? Do you have an employee recognition program in place? Let potential candidates know all the positives they can anticipate.


RELATED: The Ultimate Guide to Employee Rewards Programs


6. Contact Former Employees

A 'boomerang employee' refers to someone who left a job and then returned to their previous employer, and it describes almost 20% of people who quit during the pandemic. Up to 28% of "new" employees are actually people who left the company within the last 3 years.

Harvard Business Review suggests reaching out to previous employees right around the one-year mark. If they're at all displeased with their new employer, this might be the push they need to return to you. This approach is typically most effective when it's accompanied by a pay raise or promotion.


7. Utilize Niche Job Boards

A niche job board allows you to target people within a designated talent pool who share a specific background or skillset.

Not only do these job boards allow you to better target qualified candidates, but they can contribute to greater diversity within your workforce when you choose to post on boards for groups who historically have a hard time entering the workforce.

Here are a few popular job boards you may consider utilizing.


Veteran/Military Focused

RecruitMilitary and Hire Heroes USA are military job boards that support veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses in their job search. You can post job listings on each and work with the website's recruiting experts to help find the ideal candidate for your role.


Disabled people

Chronically Capable helps you connect with qualified candidates experiencing chronic illness.

Ability Jobs is the largest job board for candidates who have a disability. You can choose from small job posting packages and unlimited packages.

On Deaf Job Wizard you can post deaf-related job ads for both deaf and hearing job seekers.


Recent graduates

College recruiting can help you find some of the best candidates who are just entering the workforce. College Recruiter helps recent grads and interns land entry-level positions. They offer a cost-per-click pricing model to help you hire at a lower cost.

Alumni Central is a job board where you can post openings exclusively for the university you graduated from.



Jobs for Refugees connects displaced individuals and employers in the United States, Canada, and a number of other countries. You have access to over half a million active job seekers and the support of the website's recruiting experts.



These job boards can connect you to potential candidates within your specific industry.

8. Visit In-person and Virtual Job Fairs

Job fairs aren't the outdated recruitment strategy you might picture them to be.

Because referrals often reign supreme during the recruitment process, in-person job fairs level the playing field for professionals who haven't had the opportunity to build a strong network that allows for referrals.

Job fairs can also be a successful recruiting strategy for organizations looking to fill job openings with a diverse talent pool. The events often attract a diverse range of candidates from varying backgrounds, skills, and experiences.

Finally, a job fair allows employers to meet with multiple candidates in a single location, offering a streamlined recruitment process where they can screen candidates, conduct interviews, and collect resumes more quickly and efficiently.


Best Practices for the Interview Process

A finely tuned interview process speaks volumes about what potential candidates can anticipate during employment with your company.


1. Be Transparent About the Interview Process

Once candidates are chosen to participate in the interview process, give them a rundown of what they can expect, including how you'll stay in communication and what the hiring timeline looks like. Communicating these deadlines can also help keep your recruiting team accountable and on track.


2. Design Structured Interviews

A standard structured interview process helps hiring managers make fair comparisons between potential candidates and eliminates potential bias during interviews.

During structured interviews, every interviewee is asked the same set of questions in the same order, and all answers are measured against a standardized rubric.

Compared to unstructured interviews, this systematic hiring strategy provides greater consistency and efficiency. A hiring manager or team works together before interviews to choose questions that are most relevant to the role and collect the most important information they need from a candidate.

Structured interviews typically touch on three types of questions to determine if candidates are the best fit for the role.


Job-specific questions

These questions center around the responsibilities related to the specific position and assess the knowledge the candidate has within the industry. (What software do you prefer to use for graphic design and why? What interests you about working for this company? What do you like and dislike about working in finance?)


Behavioral questions

Behavioral questions touch on professional experience and relationships. (What's the biggest challenge you've faced in your career? Tell me about a time you made a mistake at work. How do you handle conflict with a colleague?)


Situational questions

Use these questions to ask individuals to share how they would react in various scenarios they might encounter working for your company. (How would you respond to an unhappy customer? What steps would you take if you realized you weren't going to meet a deadline? What would you do if you made a mistake halfway through a major project?)


3. Communicate in a Timely Manner

The key to timely communication is considering how often you would want to be contacted during the hiring process. Keep potential candidates updated at every point, even if you're just sending an email to let them know that their application was received.

For candidates chosen to participate in interviews, aim to communicate every 2-3 days. You don't need to overdo it - just letting them know that interviews are still happening or that your hiring team is in the deliberation stage conveys that you're still interested in them as a potential employee.

62% of professionals lose interest in a job if they haven't heard back after their initial interview. Don't let quality candidates slip away because of a lack of communication.


DEI: More Than a Recruitment Strategy

DEI hiring is a holistic approach that requires intentional efforts to engage and employ candidates from diverse backgrounds. This isn't about making your company look good or filling a quota - it's about a commitment to eliminate hiring bias and build a team that includes people from all walks of life.

Establish diverse recruitment goals to hold your organization accountable and track progress. Goals should encompass diverse representation across various dimensions including race, ethnicity, disability status, gender, age, and more.


Metrics to Monitor in Your Recruiting Process

The best decisions are data-driven. Use these metrics to assess your current recruitment strategies and determine which techniques are succeeding and which need to be revised.



The time it takes to fill an open position often varies by your industry and the level of the role. Higher-level positions typically involve multiple interviews with different stakeholders, while entry-level job openings may be filled after a single round of interviews.

The Society for Human Resources Management offers a time-to-hire/time-to-fill spreadsheet where you can calculate the average number of days you should be taking to fill a role.



Cost-per-hire includes hard costs related to hiring, such as the cost of posting jobs online, employee referral bonuses, and recruiting tools.

It also includes the soft costs that can be more challenging to define, including lost productivity, onboarding, and the impact on team dynamics.


Source of Hire

Knowing where the majority of your top talent is coming from helps you determine where to focus your recruitment efforts so you can allocate resources efficiently.


Offer Acceptance Rate

If you have a low offer acceptance rate, your recruitment strategies likely aren't as effective as you believe them to be. Somewhere there is a disconnect between what candidates are looking for and what your organization can offer them.


Retention Rates

If you're constantly hiring to fill vacated roles, one reason may be a disconnect in your recruitment process. On the other hand, a high retention rate typically indicates successful onboarding and a strong company culture that employees want to remain a part of.


RELATED: Employee Satisfaction and Retention: 7 Strategies for Boosting Retention


Feedback From New Hires

Once new talent has been onboarded and become somewhat established in their new role, talk to them about what they liked - and didn't like - about your current recruitment strategies.

What feels accurate about your company's career page and what needs to be tweaked?

How did they feel about the level of communication you provided?

What messaging does your social media convey to potential candidates and new hires?


Are You Utilizing Employee Recognition in Your Recruitment Strategies?

A strong culture of recognition, where employees feel truly appreciated and seen for the work they do, can have a profound effect on your recruitment efforts. It will help you attract top talent who share your mission and values.

Terryberry's employee recognition platform is just the start of how we can help you transform employee engagement. Using our employee survey software, Be Heard,  you can administer surveys and collect feedback to gather actionable insights that can inform your next steps.

Schedule a demo today.