These 3 Hiring Strategies Could Bring More Qualified Applicants

Joe Weinlick
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The job market is never static, but your hiring process might be. Whether employed or not, workers are always open to better opportunities, making it crucial for your company to adapt recruitment strategies to attract top talent. Instead of sticking to whatever worked in the past, test multiple recruitment strategies to find out what channels lead to great hires.

1. Compare Recruitment Methods

Too many companies focus on casting a wide net and whittling down their candidate lists from a broad spectrum of unqualified people. This method often leads to wasted resources and encourages reliance upon applicant-tracking systems, which can easily filter out strong candidates if their resumes aren't loaded with the right keywords.

A better option is to track the response rate and candidate quality of different recruitment strategies, letting you concentrate resources on the most fruitful hiring channels. According to LinkedIn's 2015 Global Recruiting Trends report, the best sources of quality hires have significantly changed over the past four years. Social professional networks account for 73 percent of quality hires, compared to 38 percent four years ago, while the prevalence of Internet job boards decreased from by 42 to 15 percent.

Build visibility and list job postings in places where typical job seekers in your industry look for information. For example, research targeted keywords to determine what industry-specific job sites, blogs, newspapers and online communities attract qualified candidates. This eliminates many job seekers who aren't passionate about the industry while helping you build rapport with knowledgeable professionals.

2. Strengthen Your Talent Branding

Tailoring recruitment strategies to passive candidates is difficult because they don't have immediate employment needs and aren't actively searching for jobs. Overcome this barrier by making your business stand out as a positive, motivating place to work. Talent branding capitalizes on your company's reputation, attracting qualified candidates through word-of-mouth referrals, targeted messages and employee reviews.

Every time current and past workers praise your company on websites such as Glassdoor, they send the message that your company values employees' well-being and actively contributes to their success. Include a value-focused recruitment section on your website. In job postings, draw readers in with impressive qualities of your company culture, policies and benefits, but conclude with a detailed description of hard skill requirements to discourage unqualified candidates from submitting applications.

3. Implement Skills Testing

Even when your recruitment strategies bring in promising candidates, you can lose them at the interview stage by asking questions that don't realistically predict job performance. Matt Doyle, vice president and co-founder of Excel Builders, invites candidates in for a short skills test after the phone interview, so he can assess practical knowledge before continuing with a formal interview. Whether fact-based or situational, a well-written skills test can identify candidates who inflate their qualifications or lack the experience to respond to hypothetical scenarios.

Understanding the job-search behavior and motivations of your ideal candidates can help you refine your recruitment strategies to achieve better results. At the same time, stay alert to candidates who have the values, work ethic and skills to succeed in other roles in your company, conserving the time and resources needed for future recruitment campaigns.

Photo courtesy of Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee at


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