11 Smart Recruiting Strategies That Work Every Time

Have you ever heard of horse betting? 🐎

This is when you bet money on a horse, and if that horse comes in first place, then you win the bet.

As the horses race (and so does your heart), you’re praying for the one horse you bet on to be the winner—so you don’t lose money or time.

The same thing happens in your hiring process.

Within a pool of hundreds or thousands of applicants, you bet on the one candidate you think will successfully make it to the bottom of your hiring funnel.

The one who’ll make it to your team for the long term…

The one who’ll help you make more money…

The one who’ll help you scale your business…

…Until they screw it up and you have to start the process all over again.

But what if you could take the “gambling” out of hiring and just bring on the right talent every time?

That is possible.

And all you need are the proven recruiting strategies for a successful hiring funnel.

And today, I’m going to show you:

  • What those 11 recruiting strategies are and how you can better apply them.
  • How each of them can help you improve your hiring funnel.
  • And how these strategies will guarantee you only hire the talent who’s a fit for your organization.

Ready to make your hiring funnel actually hire the right people for you? The first recruiting strategy is simple…

In a rush? Want to download this article as a PDF so you can easily take action on it later? Click here to download this article as a PDF guide.

 

 

Recruiting Strategy #1: Treat Your Hiring Process as a Hiring Funnel & Your Candidates as Leads

If you start treating your hiring system as a sales funnel, you’ll attract better candidates.

Why?

Because a sales funnel is a series of steps designed to guide visitors towards a buying decision.

And those steps are composed of marketing assets that do the work of selling like landing pages, retargeting ads, and email sequences.

Well, the same thing happens with your hiring process.

The more you treat it as a hiring funnel, the better results you’ll get.

Because the more closely you track each stage of your hiring funnel continuously and look for areas of improvement, the easier it’ll be for you to fill your open roles with the right people.

You see, hiring is a system, it’s a process, and you need to iterate on it to make it better.

You gotta see the applicants who enter at the top of your funnel to see which ones are more qualified to get to the bottom of it.

The same way prospects enter a sales funnel through different traffic sources, applicants can enter your hiring funnel through social media, job posting sites, or through your career page.

And after they enter your funnel, you’ll be able to track their journey through your hiring process and know where to optimize in order to get better qualified candidates.

For example, you’ll see a lot of applicants at the top of the funnel. But 75% of resumes are rejected before they even reach the hiring manager according to TopResume.

In the middle of your funnel, you’ll also see the candidates who are willing to apply for the job.

And the candidates who make it to the bottom of your funnel are the ones who actually apply for the job and are willing to move into the next steps.

And listen, if your conversion rate is more than 11%, you probably have a cool brand and a killer career website according to JobVite.

This is ours by the way…

Remember, your hiring funnel is like your sales funnel.

So you need to optimize your funnel to get better conversions.

Recruiting Strategy #2: Write a Persuasive Job Ad & Post It on Key Job Posting Sites (Think of Applicants as Prospects)

If you want to attract the right applicants, then you have to put together a compelling job description for the position.

For this, you can use copywriting formulas to boost conversions.

You see, the same way prospects read a sales page on your site before they convert, your applicants will be reading your job ad before applying to it.

So in order to convert job seekers, you have to follow high-converting copywriting techniques.

Because professionally written job descriptions that accurately represent your brand and explain the benefits of working for your company will make your applicants excited about the possibility of joining your team.

Therefore, more and more applicants will apply.

Also, be as clear as possible about who your company is looking to hire.

There should be no friction in this stage of the process.

Otherwise you’ll be attracting candidates who aren’t a fit.

To do this, ensure that you’re writing enticing job descriptions that will appeal to highly-qualified candidates.

Here are some tips on doing so:

  • Briefly introduce your company and describe how your company started or was founded and the products or services you sell.
  • Include important details about your company’s culture, mission, vision, and values. This will help you attract candidates who are interested in the same values of your company.

  • List all the skills and requirements you’re looking for in applicants. This will help you vet candidates.

  • List down all responsibilities potential hires will have to handle so there are no surprises later. Be as clear as possible about their scope of work, hours they’ll be requested to work, and any tasks they would have to complete.

  • Include the benefits applicants will get once hired to pique their interest and get them excited.

And once you have your job description ready, it’s time to post that job ad!

For this, simply choose free and affordable job posting sites where you can advertise your job ad.

Most of these job posting sites see billions of page views per month like Craigslist.

On top of that, 74.5% of people surveyed say job boards are the top resource when starting a job search according to Talentegy.

Source

Source

So all you have to do is find the one that suits you best and start seeing some great applicants coming into your hiring funnel.

Recruiting Strategy #3: Increase Brand Awareness (Make Applicants Be Invested in Your Brand)

Employer branding is simply how you market your company to all job seekers and applicants.

And the way you market your business for hiring purposes will have a huge impact on your ability to attract the best talent and actually make them want to join your team.

So to leverage employer branding in your hiring funnel, you must first determine what makes your business unique. Your value proposition.

Again, think here of a sales funnel.

What does your company sell? How does your company solve a problem for the audience?

And apply those questions to your hiring funnel…

What would make candidates want to actually be part of your organization?

What would really drive them to apply for the job role and keep their interest in the process?

What makes your company a great organization for your virtual teams to learn from?

So to increase brand awareness and make applicants want to actually be invested in your brand, follow these practices on your job ads:

  • Add the benefits applicants will get from joining your virtual team. For example, upgrading existing skills and learning new ones. In fact, 93.5% of people surveyed think it’s important to be able to find information on culture and benefits on a company’s career page according to Talentegy.

  • Include career development opportunities
  • Add competitive salaries and if it’s a part-time or full-time job

  • Highlight the workplace culture

And basically, add anything else that will make your brand attract high quality applicants.

Recruiting Strategy #4: Qualify Your Applicants & Get to Know Them Better to See If They’re a Fit (Do This to Find Out)…

The same way you qualify leads before getting on a call, you must qualify applicants to see which ones are a fit for the job role.

Your first step here is to ask any applicant interested in working with you to fill out an application form.

This will be your first step to filtering out those who aren’t a good fit.

Again, the same way in sales how you weed out prospects who aren’t a fit by surveying them, making them watch a demo video, etc. you do the same in your hiring funnel.

You make your applicants fill out an application form.

But don’t make the application form too long. Don’t ask them 100 questions or add 10 steps before making a hiring decision.

In fact, 57% of applicants lose interest in a job opening if the hiring process takes too long.

Source

And according to Recruiterbox, the best candidates are off the market within 10 days.

So be fast when moving applicants down your hiring funnel.

Also, on this form, be sure to request a sample of their published work.

This will let you take a look at the work they’ve done in the past and get a better idea of their skill level.

And although experience matters here, it’s not everything you should be looking for.

In fact, other qualities recruiters look for in potential employees are conversational skills, knowledge of the industry, and cultural fit.

Source

But this application form will give you a better sense of their abilities and personality.

Because even if you ask them hypothetical questions like “Which superpower would you have if you were a superhero?”, it will still give you an idea of their sense of humor and personality.

And sense of humor, personality, and cultural fit are important too.

That’s why 95% of recruiters consider culture fit to be a critical factor when hiring according to Totaljobs.

And it’s no wonder why 90% of recruiters have rejected candidates due to their lack of cultural fit according to Cubiks.

Recruiting Strategy #5: For Applicants Who Seem to Be a Fit, Assign Them a Skill Test to Test Their Knowledge, Ability, & Skills

A work sample evaluation or skill test is the most effective assessment method because it shows 29% of an employee’s performance according to Furst Person.

A well-developed skill test (AKA skill assessment) can shed ample light on a candidate’s…

  • Ability (what do they know and what are they able to do now)
  • Attitude (fit for your team)
  • Aptitude (ability to improve over time)

And if you don’t know how to create one, we have a skill test template you can follow.

According to Talent Board’s Candidate Experience Research report, 82% of companies use some form of pre-employment assessment tests.

Source

In our case, we have a very detailed skill test that we assign to the candidates that score well on their application form.

In this hiring process step, you’ll be testing your applicants’ abilities and aptitudes through a specific project.

This skill test will also give the applicant a better sense and understanding of your company.

They’ll see an example of a task that they’d have to complete in the future if they end up being hired and that really helps set the expectations.

The skill test is also a good place though to test applicants’ punctuality and responsibility and to check for typos and grammar.

Because even if you’re not looking to hire a content writer or hire a quality assurance specialist, you want that person to have impeccable writing skills.

Because as data shows, the lack of skilled and high-quality candidates is the biggest challenge in hiring for 67% of recruiters according to Jobvite.

Source

And you want to hire only highly skilled and talented team members.

Recruiting Strategy #6: Weed Out Applicants Who Aren’t a Fit by Interviewing Them (Filter the Ones Who Do This…)

Time to get on camera!

This recruiter strategy is nothing but weeding out applicants through an interview.

Nowadays, video technology is being used by 60% of hiring managers and recruiters according to Recruiter.

And actually, video is the most frequently used method for doing interviews.

Video interviews are now being used by 74% of HR professionals around the world according to LinkedIn.

And a survey by Workforce showed that 47% of companies use video for interviewing candidates to shorten the hiring timeframe.

Now, on your interview call, you should:

  • Evaluate the applicant’s professionalism
  • Note their presentation (how they’re dressed up and the background they have for the call)
  • See if they’re open to receiving feedback and/or constructive criticism

And for sure, weed out the applicants who do this during the call:

  • Show up late
  • Bring in excuses why they were late
  • Wear inappropriate outfit like Mickey Mouse pajama bottoms (yep, I interviewed someone with that outfit once)
  • Have an inappropriate background for the call like a couch with someone sleeping on it (yep, that also happened)
  • Don’t pay attention to what you’re talking about
  • Won’t stop talking and won’t let you talk
  • Uses inappropriate language

And don’t forget to always be nice to the person you’re interviewing.

Because 83% of talent say a negative interview experience can change their mind about a role or company they once liked according to LinkedIn.

So always keep in mind that you’re interviewing humans that you’re looking to connect and empathize with.

Recruiting Strategy #7: Keep Filtering Candidates by Assigning Them an On-Spec Project

This recruiter strategy refers to the on-spec project or task assignment to prospective candidates.

Any project related to the job position you’re looking to fill would be a good task for the candidate to complete.

With this assignment you’ll be able to see:

  1. The person’s promised skills in action.
  2. If the person isn’t willing to comply with the deadline you set up for the task and asks to delay it. We started considering this a red flag because we believe that if someone is really looking forward to being part of our team, they’ll prove it to themselves and to us.

Keep in mind that there’s always room for improvement when it comes to the on-spec project. And they can get better with some training.

But always avoid hiring bad hires and look out for red flags.

And with a bad performance in a skill test, you’ll be able to keep weeding out bad hires.

Recruiting Strategy #8: Be Objective When Trusting Applicants (They’ll Be Employees, Not Friends)

Most applicants will try to get you to like them.

In fact, 75% of HR managers have caught a lie on a resume, according to CareerBuilder.

Source

Because applicants (obviously) want you to like them, validate them, and approve them.

So let candidates prove to you what they’re really worth and how much value they can bring into your company.

Don’t make a hiring decision only based on their personality.

So be careful of considering any applicants your friends just because they’re nice to you.

Recruiting Strategy #9: Find Out If Potential Candidates Are a Cultural Fit for Your Organization

We always hire slow and fire fast because we truly believe that making it to our team long term isn’t only about having a good set of skills.

There has got to be some engagement and interest in belonging to the team.

So getting a better sense of an applicant’s personality is an important part of the hiring process.

Why?

Because would you objectively want to work every day with someone who’s always in a bad mood?

Or what about someone who’s stubborn and doesn’t like being flexible about certain tasks or requests?

Not good.

You must look for candidates who fit in your organization.

And those applicants will look to fit in your organization too.

As LinkedIn reports, 70% of professionals in the U.S. today won’t work at a company if it means they have to tolerate or deal with a bad workplace culture.

Source

So look for applicants who are a good cultural fit but also make your company be a great cultural fit for them too.

In fact, 25% of candidates say that a better company culture is among their top reasons for changing jobs.

Be upfront and ask them:

  • Why do you want to work for our company?
  • Why apply for this job position and not for another job opening?
  • What’s your availability?
  • Are you looking to work long term or short term?
  • Do you have any goals you want to achieve within the organization?

Those questions will give you a good sense of their personality and of their interest in your company.

In fact, 59% of applicants research the companies that they’re interested in applying to according to Talent Works.

Recruiting Strategy #10: Find Out If Candidates Are Willing to Commit to a Long-Term or Short-Term Relationship

So this recruiter strategy is very simple.

Just ask candidates upfront which they are really interested in with your company.

Are they looking for a long-term relationship with your company? Or are they looking for a short term one?

Neither of the answers are wrong.

Candidates are allowed to have different interests from your company.

But it would be in your best interest to hire the people who have your same interests. So, look to hire the candidates that are aligned with your company’s needs.

If they’re looking for a short-term work relationship, then if you hire them, don’t expect them to stick around for longer than what they told you.

Recruiting Strategy #11: Disqualify Fast

This recruiter strategy is really important.

You have to know when to say no to people. And you need to disqualify applicants who since the beginning of the process show signs that they aren’t a good fit for the job role.

Don’t waste your precious time pursuing candidates who have already shown signs of not being interested in being hired, or if they’ve shown any unprofessional behavior.

The same way I’ve told you to hire slow and fire fast, I’ll tell you the same here.

Hire slow and disqualify fast.

This will help you get rid of any possible bad hires early in the process.

Conclusion

Download the “11 Smart Recruiting Strategies That Work Every Time” so you won’t forget to take action on it later. Click here to download it now.

When you start seeing your hiring process as a funnel and applicants as leads, you’ll be able to better understand and optimize each applicant’s journey.

Each stage of your hiring funnel needs to be optimized in order for applicants to want to continue moving forward.

And these recruiting strategies help you do just that.

Here are some of the most important points for you to review them once again:

  • You must qualify applicants at the top of the funnel so people who aren’t a fit make it to the bottom.
  • Write persuasive copy for your job ad to convert more highly qualified candidates.
  • Post your job ad on the right job posting sites.
  • Avoid bad hires as soon as they show red flags.
  • Find out if applicants are a cultural fit for your organization.
  • Learn to disqualify fast.

After treating your hiring process as a sales funnel, and after applying these 11 recruiter strategies, you’ll be able to see better candidates in the pipeline. And therefore, you’ll end up hiring the ones who are a fit!

Now tell me something, what are your recruiter strategies when hiring new team members?

Have you ever treated your hiring process as a hiring funnel?

Let me know in the comments below.

Keep AutoGrowin’, stay focused.

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