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Many employers work very goal-oriented with recruitment, and based on their experience, they know what works and what doesn’t. They know which positions will attract many applicants, and they know which positions they can’t even get anyone to apply for. They know when they ought to contact a recruitment agency and, in most cases, they also know which one. But

So what is a recruitment strategy?

In short, a recruitment strategy is a document that lays out what recruitment needs the company has, what wishes the company has, and how these wishes can be fulfilled.

A recruitment strategy should contain the following:

1. A clear goal

What do you want to achieve with your recruitment strategy? The goals you set up for various activities need to be followed up on, and they need to be measurable.

2. Future recruitment needs

What do the plans encompass? Does the company need more employees, or are you forced to let some of the staff go? Which critical roles do you need to pay extra attention to? Does the need for staff vary based on the time of year? How do you handle the need for an increased skill level? Are many employees going to retire at the same time? The recruitment strategy ought to address these matters and how you will handle them.

3. Budget

Regardless of whether you are actively working with a budget, you should make a budget in order to get an estimated expense overview for anything related to recruitment – from posting job ads to involving a recruitment agency.

4. Where and how you plan on finding candidates that can be your new employees

You should find out what the most effective ways to find candidates for your company are. The amount of job ads on social media and other places online is increasing rapidly, and online job ads are therefore a great way to find potential candidates. Due to the rapid increase in job ads, it is all about keeping up.

In this day and age, it is possible to only have the job ads shown to candidates that possess the desired skills. For a lot of positions, it isn’t necessarily enough just to post job ads on job sites. Do you need to involve a recruitment agency? And if so, for which positions? And who decides which recruitment agency you should hire? In this regard it is beneficial to create a template

5. Recruitment of foreigners

Can your company gain extra benefits by employing people from other countries? To many companies, this is a yes, and to them, the next step is to find out what their opportunities are. Recruitment processes for different types of positions. Communicate which positions you are recruiting people for. Assess which positions you can use the same process for. Look into which types of processes you are making use of today and find out which of them that can be improved.

6. Equal rights and diversity

The recruitment strategy should encompass clear guidelines for how the company needs to address these two important things. Both areas can greatly contribute to the company. It is therefore important to take equal rights and diversity into consideration,

7. Discrimination

The Norwegian Equality and discrimination ombudsman (Ligestillings- og diskriminerings-ombudsmand, LDO) write the following on their website:

Good recruitment is equal rights recruitment. As the LDO sees it, good recruitment is a process, where you set up correct qualification demands for a position. The person who best meets these demands should be hired without looking at circumstances, that are not related to how the work is performed. A recruitment like this is an equal rights recruitment. We are aware that many recruitment processes do not happen in this way. For example, it has come to light that if two candidates have the same qualifications but one of them has a name that sounds Pakistani and the other one has a Norwegian name, the probability that the person with the Pakistani name is invited for a job interview is 25 % lower.

Take a look at how the recruitment processes at your company ought to be so they aren’t discriminatory. Photo, name, gender, age, religion, origin, orientation, and bodily constitution – all of these things risk being a source for discrimination. Your recruitment strategy should also state how everyone who works with recruitment in the company should handle this.

8. Profiling and the company’s image (employer branding)

These things should be a part of all recruitment strategies. It should not be the recruiting employee’s or the boss’ job to decide how the company should present itself to the outside world. These two things (profiling and company image), shouldn’t be governed by coincidence.

It is about how you communicate about available positions, career pages, how the recruitment agency meets the candidate, whether you are easy to get in contact with when the job seekers contact you, what is mentioned in the communication to the applicants (especially in the rejection letter/email), and many other things. The list is long. Be very thorough and focus on quality when you work with these things – it will pay off in the form of great results.

9. Employee retention

'Well-being at the workplace, career opportunities, pay, being seen, good management, a feeling of belonging … All of these things are important, and if you neglect any of these things, your employees might quit their job and try their luck at another company.

It costs a lot more to hire someone new than investing in the employees who are already valuable to the company. The two most important things you need to focus on are: offering a competitive pay and the opportunity for personal development.

10. List of recruitment goals

Spend some time figuring out which recruitment goals you need to achieve, and how you can achieve them.

11. A method for measuring the results of a recruitment strategy

These types of recruitment strategies often result in a lot of interest when they are introduced. But as is the case with so many other things, the interest tends to fade over time. It should be clearly stated who is responsible for following up, and who needs to ensure that the recruitment strategy is completed. You should also find methods for measuring how the strategy works and what should be changed.

Closing comments

The recruitment strategy needs to be flexible. It needs to be adaptable to any changes in the company. You cannot plan for everything, but the recruitment strategy helps to lead the company in a certain direction and thereby plot the course toward desirable goals. It needs to address how the processes should be and how the right people are to be found and hired.

Everyone in the company who works with recruitment – bosses, managers and recruiters alike – need to know the company’s goals and work to reach them. They should also get access to the results of all evaluations that are made.

A good recruitment strategy is a great investment, that is going to lead to even better employees and fewer instances of recruiting the wrong people.