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Develop a Strong Recruiting Plan for 2021

No matter the size of your growing business, there is always a need to recruit new talent. This is an especially challenging task as job vacancies rise due to growing skill gaps: a problem that affects many industries.

For example, in 2021, the estimate is that there will be 3.5 million job vacancies in the cybersecurity sector alone. And in manufacturing, there may be a job gap of 2.4 million jobs between 2018 and 2028. Such gaps make recruiting the right talent difficult but vital to the long-term health of your business.

To overcome workforce obstacles like this, it’s essential to build a strategic recruitment plan. Building and executing a great plan will increase your overall candidate engagement, reach skilled workers and decrease turnover.

What is a strategic recruiting plan?

A strategic recruitment plan outlines your annual hiring needs and recruitment approaches. A typical recruitment plan contains some of the following points:

  • Hiring goals 
  • Annual recruitment calendar
  • Contingency plans
  • Job posting standards
  • A plan to “keep it fresh” with changing circumstances

It is important to build a detailed strategic recruiting plan to ensure all potential recruiting needs and variables are considered. To help you get started, we have outlined some steps below! 

Step 1: Set Hiring Goals 

Defining goals allows you to measure hiring outcomes, plan backwards and establish hiring expectations. When identifying your recruiting goals, think of both short- and long-term goals. For example, if your business intends to achieve 5% growth this year, it could mean that you need a hiring increase of 5%.

When generating your hiring goals, you’ll want to consider the following points: 

  • Keep your goals measurable. Try to remain quantitative over qualitative. 
  • Keep your goals plausible. Consider your previous hiring accomplishments and use it as a starting point.
  • Keep your list short. Don’t overwhelm yourself or your team with too many goals. We recommend no more than five goals outlined in your recruitment plan. 

Step 2: Create a Calendar

Now that you have some clear and quantifiable goals, it’s time to create an annual hiring calendar. Timing is critical in the recruitment process. Most industries fluctuate in both need and availability of candidates. That’s why it’s essential to understand and map out the annual hiring patterns of your business. Doing so will allow you to plan ahead and reach candidates before the need negatively impacts your hiring pipeline. To help identify these fluctuations you can: 

  • Research hiring trends in your industry
  • Analyze internal hiring patterns
  • Review competitor postings trends
  • Connect with your department heads to identify when the extra addition of employees will be required

Step 3: Prepare for change

Although an annual hiring calendar can serve as a great planning tool, there is no way to predict every possible hiring situation. That’s why it’s important to consider how internal and external changes might impact your hiring pipeline, and develop contingency plans around these potential circumstances. Such circumstances can include events like economic depressions, environmental disasters and governmental policies. The necessity of contingency plans has never been more apparent with the rise of COVID-19 and its impact on the recruitment process

When developing hiring plans for environmental changes consider the following questions: 

  • What potential outside events may impact my business’ supply chain, staff or services? 
  • Will it increase or decrease my need for employees? 
  • How will it affect my recruitment budget? 
  • What do we need to do to counteract these changes? 

It is crucial to keep your plan flexible, and revisit it regularly. Pay regular attention to things like population growth and unemployment rates in case those factors impact your recruiting and continue to develop intervention plans as environmental changes occur. 

Step 4: Standardize your job postings

Now that you have a detailed plan to help your recruitment approach, you can now standardize how your business attracts the right people. Creating a job posting template is a great way to build consistency and make sure to always communicate job details that attract candidates with the right skills. 

Effective job posts also consider the interests and desires of potential candidates. Many companies include the responsibilities of a role but fail to communicate how the job will better the life of an employee. Consider adding employee benefits – both tangible and intangible — to the recruitment plan. Below are some employee benefits to include: 

  1. Culture of the workplace. Provide a brief overview of your company's mission statement and work culture. An estimated 70% of job seekers are more likely to apply for a job vacancy where the employer manages the brand, according to Glassdoor. 
  2. Tangible benefits. In addition to the cultural benefits of working for your business, it is also important to outline the tangle benefits they can expect from you. This includes vacation time, salary benefits, health care and so on. Ensure that these benefits and perks match up with your company's mission and goals. By doing this, you attract active job seekers AND passive candidates. 
  3. Orient the job seeker. Provide resources such as social media, videos and websites to help candidates gain an understanding of your business. 

Step 5: Revise and update 

Congratulations on creating your recruiting plan! But don’t let it gather too much dust. Iterating on your recruiting plan is just as important as creating it in the first place. We recommend reviewing and updating your approach every six months. Regular revisions will not only ensure a successful 2021 but success for years to come.