What is a recruitment plan?

A recruitment plan is a strategy that outlines the steps a recruiter within a business will take to attract, evaluate, and hire new employees. The purpose of a recruitment plan is to ensure that a business has a clear plan and process in place to follow for attracting and retaining the best talent for the organisation, allowing each step of how they recruit to be built on and improved easily.

Every recruitment plan looks a little different depending on the company and their preferences for how they go about the hiring process and what they want out of it. Though many may include consideration of the best places – from job boards to social media – to advertise job openings, the best channels for reaching your specifically desired pool of potential candidates, and the most effective ways to evaluate and select candidates for hiring.

Overall, a recruitment plan is an important tool for businesses to ensure they have a steady flow of qualified and capable candidates to fill important roles within their company, and to make sure their hiring strategies are producing the best results possible.

Why is a recruitment plan important for your overall recruitment strategy?

A recruitment plan is important for several reasons, including:

Attracting the best talent

A well-designed recruiting strategy can help businesses implement a strategy to attract the best talent for their organisation. It can help companies identify the most effective channels for reaching the ideal applicant and highlight the benefits of working for their organisation, from LinkedIn to TikTok. This influences every aspect of your recruitment strategy, from job description to how long and detailed your hiring process gets.

Saving time and resources

A recruitment plan can help businesses save time and resources, such as by identifying the best channels for communicating with potential candidates, so you don’t waste time on other less effective channels. By clearly defining the recruitment needs and outlining the steps involved in the recruitment process, a recruiter can ensure that they are focusing their resources on the most effective activities.

An applicant tracking system can play a key role in streamlining processes to reduce wasted time for the recruiter when going through the steps of your recruitment strategy, and delays on the applicant side, as an applicant tracking system can automate emails and reference requests.

Ensuring legal compliance

A recruitment plan can help businesses ensure that they are in compliance with legal requirements when hiring new employees. Making sure every step of your strategy aligns with legal requirements also feeds into your employer brand. While legal compliance may not be an impressive enough feature you feel the need to ‘show off’, any malpractice applicants encounter may be shared, which can be detrimental to your reputation and public image.

Improving the candidate experience

By providing a clear and concise job description for your job postings on job boards, a simple and easy-to-use application process, and regular communication throughout the recruitment process, businesses can create a positive impression on candidates and improve their chances of attracting and hiring the best talent. Positive candidate experience is key to effective recruitment. This is because even unsuccessful applicants may prove valuable for future roles, so keeping in contact with them and holding them in your talent pipeline can save you time on having to conduct a full end-to-end hiring process later on.

Onboarding and retention

A recruitment plan can help businesses facilitate the onboarding and retention of new employees. By developing an onboarding process that introduces new employees to the company culture, values, and policies in a well thought out way, businesses can help new hires feel more satisfied and engaged with the company, and more motivated to stay in the long term.

Creating a successful recruitment plan

While your recruitment plan should be tailored to serve the specific recruitment needs of your organisation, there are some commonly used methods which are worth trialing:

Employee referral program

Implement an employee referral program to encourage your current employees to refer qualified candidates to your organisation. Offer incentives such as bonuses or extra PTO days for successful referrals. This can help prevent wasted time as if you are able to hire a talented applicant through an employee referral, you do not have to spend a large amount of resources or time searching for a suitable individual, so instead of channeling your energies into job posting across multiple job boards and social media channels, you can focus on other areas of your strategy.

Social media recruitment

Use social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to reach potential candidates. In terms of your recruitment strategy, social media can be utilised for more than job openings – you can use it to display your company culture, showing potential candidates the positive parts of working for your company. As a recruiter, you can also make use of social media to discover passive candidates, such as for when you are hiring for your more senior positions.

Virtual recruitment events

As part of your recruitment strategy, you may want to try hosting virtual recruitment events to connect with potential candidates in a more personalised way. This can include virtual career fairs, networking events, and company information sessions.

Employer branding

Develop a strong employer brand to attract top talent to your organisation. This includes promoting what it unique and competitive about your company culture, values, and benefits, and showcasing your organisation as an attractive place to work. This can be carried out on social media channels, your company website, email marketing and any recruitment events you hold. Hiring without any sense of your employer brand and how that plays into everything from how you write a job description to how you want to present yourself as a business in interviews.

Diversity and inclusion

Ensure that your recruiting strategy is inclusive and diverse, and that you are actively seeking out candidates from underrepresented groups. This can include partnering with diversity-focused organisations, using gender-neutral language in job postings, and training recruiters on unconscious bias. You may also choose to appoint a member of staff to champion diversity within your workplace, and include them in the recruitment efforts, especially for candidates with diverse backgrounds.

To conclude…

Devising a well thought out recruitment strategy can take a lot of time and effort. Often your first draft will not be final, as you will learn what works for you and gets you the results you’re after as you tweak your recruitment process along the way. While recruitment has seen many ups and downs over the last few years, from hiring freezes to a candidate led market, the great resignation and a global pandemic, devising a recruitment strategy which can grow with you will be crucial for your long term goals.

About the author

Hannah Elliott