Hiring is costly. In fact, the cost of a bad hire can be as much as a third of that employee’s annual salary.

So unless you like bleeding out cash, it’s important to avoid bad hires as much as you can.

A recruitment plan can be a helpful tool as you seek to improve the quality of your hires. It will help you set goals, identify your ideal candidates, and attract the right people to your organization.

Read on for some steps to help you develop a solid recruiting plan and strategy.


What is a recruitment plan?

A recruitment plan is your strategy for attracting, hiring, and onboarding the right talent. It generally includes the following:

  • Recruitment goals. What gaps currently exist in your organization? What are you trying to accomplish through your new hires?
  • Headcount planning. How many open positions do you expect to fill in the next 18-24 months? Do you have the budget and onboarding capacity to manage this number?
  • Ideal candidate profiles. Who is the person most likely to succeed in your organization? What skill sets do candidates need for each role? What are some red flags to keep an eye out for?
  • Employee value proposition. How will you demonstrate to your recruiters why they should work with you? What do you bring to the table besides a J-O-B and a paycheck?
  • Recruitment marketing strategy. How are you going to attract ideal candidates? Which job board or social media channels have the most promise? Are you going to hire a recruiter or recruiting agency?
  • Selection process. How are you going to sort out the wheat from the chaff? How many interviews will you conduct? Will there be a skills assessment? What’s the general timeline a candidate can expect?
  • Onboarding process. Once you hire a new employee, what’s the next step? How do you set them up for success in the organization as quickly as possible?
  • Tools and technology. What platforms do you need to be successful? Can you use any of your current technologies? What can you reasonably afford given your budget?
  • Recruitment budget. How much is this all going to cost? Do you have the resources to back up your plan? How can you make this process more cost effective?

This may seem like a lot of upfront work. However, these questions are inevitably going to come up along the way. It’s better to tackle them early in the process to avoid confusion and foster alignment among your team.


What are the benefits of a recruitment plan?

We all know: a failure to plan is a plan to fail.

This is especially true in recruiting. When you spend time developing an intentional plan and strategy, you can reap a number of key benefits:

  • Save time
  • Maximize your budget
  • Make better initial hiring decisions
  • Align your recruiting efforts with broad company objectives
  • Focus on building the right talent pipeline
  • Make the case to help secure your budget


6 steps to build a solid recruiting strategy

Building your recruiting strategy doesn’t happen overnight. There are lots of factors for both you and your stakeholders to consider. Here are six steps to keep everyone on the same page.


1. Define your goals

There are a number of reasons why you may be stepping up your recruiting efforts. These can include the following:

  • Increase headcount
  • Improve diversity
  • Reduce hiring costs & time to hire
  • Streamline recruitment processes
  • Improve employee retention
  • Build a stronger talent pipeline

When you’re crystal clear on your recruitment goals, you can choose the tactics and technologies that can get you there faster.


2. Forecast future hiring needs

Once you’ve defined your hiring goals, determine how many new roles you’re hiring for over the next 18-24 months. This will help you set expectations for the timing and budget required.

There are several factors that can impact your hiring needs:

  • Upcoming promotions that will leave positions vacant
  • Current employee churn due to retirement, resignations, health problems, and performance issues
  • New strategic initiatives that require additional internal resources or expertise
  • Current administrative and operational challenges that require additional support

No matter how great your company culture, no workforce remains stagnant. Understanding the upcoming changes to your workforce will help you identify gaps and proactively work to fill them.


3. Identify your ideal candidate

Before you go any further, you need a clear idea of who you want to hire. This will determine many important factors, including your marketing strategy, budget, and more.

For instance, if you’re looking for low-skill, temporary workers, you’ll want a low cost-per-hire, and will likely deal with a larger volume of candidates. Executive searches, on the other hand, require more investment, and you’re likely looking at fewer, high-quality candidates.

You should also set clear expectations on which types of candidates make good culture fits. Otherwise, you may hire someone with all the right qualifications, but they will not do well in your organization.


4. Examine your current strategies

Even if you’re sitting down to write a fresh recruitment strategy, that doesn’t mean you should start from scratch. Your organization already has hired people, and you should look to see what’s worked in the past, and what hasn’t.

Start by interviewing previous hiring managers. See if you can get honest responses about their challenges, and what could’ve made those processes easier. Ask about the qualities they looked for when hiring, and what sealed the deal. Finally, make sure you learn about red flags from the candidates they chose not to hire.

There also should be documentation on key details like corporate priorities, organizational design, compensation levels, and seasonality information.

Your recruitment strategy will certainly change over time. But the more you can ground it in reality from the onset, the fewer changes you’ll have to make along the way.


5. Structure a streamlined tech stack

Manual processes are inefficient and costly, even for smaller companies. By investing in modern recruiting technologies and incorporating them into your strategy, you can help deliver more value throughout the process.

These technologies include:

  • Resume screening & candidate qualification tools
  • Applicant tracking systems
  • Video interviewing software
  • Job boards, platforms, & communities
  • Reference checking platforms

Look at your recruiting goals and see if any of the available tech will help you reach those goals faster. If so, don’t hesitate to onboard those platforms.


6. Build out a budget for recruitment costs

You likely have documentation on previous costs per hires. Of course, if you’re adopting a more intentional and streamlined approach through your strategy, you can probably work to reduce that average figure.

That said, recruiting always has costs. Here are some of the top ones to consider:

  • Advertising on job boards and social media
  • Job fairs and campus recruiting costs
  • Recruiting technology
  • Branding expenses
  • In-house salaries and benefits of all involved
  • Background checks and drug tests
  • Recruitment travel expenses


Final thoughts

Hiring isn’t easy, especially in today’s market. But by adopting an intentional recruiting strategy, you can set yourself up for success and attract your ideal candidate—and hopefully your next hire.

If you don’t have experience in building a recruiting strategy, this could all seem overwhelming. We get it! That’s why Brightwing recruiting experts are here to help you along the way, helping you both in the planning and execution of your strategy.

Set up a call with one of our experts today.

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