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Why Strategic Recruitment Is More Important Than Ever

Recruitment is its own strategic function. But it shouldn’t stand alone. Because finding and keeping the right people is inherently part of every business strategy, strategic recruitment must be fully integrated into every function. However, it’s the rare organization that makes this happen. 

The world is different now. We all know it and feel it in a multitude of ways: In the job market, which continues to challenge every employer and where candidates still hold the upper hand; in employers struggling to get used to the expectations and values of younger generations; and in the integration of technologies essential to maintaining a competitive position. 

The surest way to create sustainable growth and success in this complex and ever-changing environment is to develop well-conceived people strategies. Simply filling vacant seats is not a workable strategy, as many companies are learning. 

What is Strategic Recruitment?

Think of strategic recruitment as a sales process that requires you to go broad and deep in understanding every aspect of your organization, culture, and people. It incorporates best practices in everything from defining and promoting your brand to effectively welcoming and onboarding new hires. Because all the parts of your business are intertwined, inefficiencies or failings at any step along the way can prevent you from winning the talent you need.  

An effective recruitment strategy aligns with your company’s goals and values, offers a good value proposition to candidates and employees, and fosters fair and unbiased hiring practices. It includes plans for training and developing your people and analysis and metrics to assess and improve performance.  


Understand first, then strategize

For the first time in history, there are five generations in the workplace. Companies that compete successfully understand that accommodating them all increases collaboration, productivity, and innovation. As Baby Boomers retire and take with them many of the practices of the past, Millennials and Gen Z bring different expectations and values that drive new ways of doing things. “One size fits all” no longer applies to recruitment.  

In a first-quarter 2024 study TalenTrust completed with Optimize Inc., we found the two top concerns of workers today are compensation and flexibility. Further, these are the main reasons people stay or leave their employers. 

Knowing this, it makes sense that your recruitment strategy should include developing competitive and fair compensation packages. It should also provide flexibility in where and when people work and the freedom to choose their own benefit options and other aspects of work that increase their personal sense of wellbeing.  

Other recruitment strategies could include: 

  • Reach out to the “hidden” workforce of retirees, caregivers, people with long-term health problems, the formerly incarcerated, and others.  
  • Develop a referral program with generous compensation for successful referrals. 
  • Encourage and support internal mobility and in all directions, including horizontal and downward moves. 
  • Implement skills-based recruitment. 
  • Develop a recruitment marketing plan that includes ensuring an authentic and compelling presentation of your brand. 
  • Source broadly and proactively. 
  • Eliminate bias and ensure consistency in your interview process. 
  • Train hiring managers. 
  • Elevate candidate and onboarding experiences. 
  • Develop and optimize strategies based on data and recruitment metrics. 
  • Consider offering some of the many options to accommodate employees’ needs and preferences like remote and hybrid, part time, job share, contract, and gig work as well as the relatively new trend, “fractional acquisition”. 

A new trend: fractional acquisition

Over the past several years, there has been a surge in the use of “fractional acquisition” as a recruitment strategy. An alternative to hiring full-time employees,” fractional hires are typically used to fill leadership or management roles or when specialized skills are required on a project. Fractional hires provide agility in uncertain times without the commitment or cost of hiring full-time staff

Since there is no end in sight to an environment of continuous change, we need to learn to thrive within it. We are not only challenged by the big issues like how, where, and when we work, but also the increasing importance of nuance in the small and big things we can do to nurture employee wellbeing for a striking span of ages, now ranging from 16 to 75. 

In order to thrive, you have to win the best talent and keep them as long as you can. It’s impossible to respond to the speed and depth of change we will continue to face unless we integrate strategic recruitment into everything we do. 

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