How To: Develop a Recruitment Strategy

Stuart Jones
Head of Training and Development
Omni RMS
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An effective recruitment strategy will ideally take the form of a physical document – and in order to be most useful, must be developed in line with the overall business strategy. This document should provide a comprehensive blueprint for not only who your organisation wishes to recruit, but also for when, where and how that recruitment should take place. Of course, it’s impossible to predict all of your recruitment needs in advance, but with effective planning you should be able to identify where your key talent gaps and critical vacancies will be. This is the first step in moving recruitment away from a purely reactive function towards a proactive activity, giving you an obvious advantage when recruiting.

So who should be in charge of recruitment strategy? Ideally, the HR director or equivalent should be well versed in modern recruitment strategies and take ownership, consulting with a wide range of relevant stakeholders in the process. However, talent acquisition hasn’t always been a priority for traditional HR, and we often see HR Directors with little or no recruitment experience at all. We believe it’s this lack of expertise, or confusion over who should take ownership, which is one of the central reasons that recruitment strategy is so limited in so many organisations.

The result? Either no recruitment strategy, a recruitment strategy limited to vague aims & objectives, or a recruitment strategy developed by an operational recruitment manager who typically lacks the strategic perspective required. Sound familiar?Over the course of this blog series, we’re going to be delving into the components of the perfect recruitment strategy a little more deeply, but if you think it’s limited to workforce planning and developing a few sourcing strategies, think again. The challenge faced by recruitment and recruiters is the perception of the role as a transactional one, commencing at vacancy approval and ending at offer acceptance. It’s a damaging perception, and fortunately one that forward-thinking organisations are moving away from. Businesses must now view recruitment as a full lifecycle activity, and a recruitment strategy must consider  the entire employment process, right up until an employee leaves and ideally beyond.

In taking an end-to-end view of the recruitment process with your strategy you can be pro-active, working to an informed plan, developing platforms to engage talent ahead of requirements, maximising employer brand messages and bringing HR and recruitment much closer to the strategic core of your business. Once the document has been finalised, make sure it is communicated to the wider business and continually consulted, ensuring that recruitment efforts remain on track and in line with stated goals.

To participate in our cross-industry research into recruitment strategy, get involved by joining our Strategic Recruitment Forum on LinkedIn and taking the survey now.

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