Fill your business with top talent by learning how to create a strong recruiting process.
As an entrepreneur, the idea of growing your team can be both exciting and terrifying. On the one hand, it’s exciting to have the resources and budget to bring on new team members, but on the other hand, your business is your livelihood — and you can’t afford to make a costly hiring mistake.
The recruiting and hiring process isn’t cheap. In fact, on average, it costs more than $4,100 to hire a new employee. And when you consider the time of onboarding and developing a new employee and the cost of potentially losing that employee, it makes it even more critical to ensure you make the right hiring decisions upfront.
When you operate a small business, your success depends on the quality and productivity of your team. Finding the right talent isn’t easy. It takes an excellent recruiting strategy to find and hire quality candidates.
So, whether you’re just starting or you have a team you’re looking to expand to build a sustainable business, you need to know how your team will grow over time. That’s why you should develop a recruitment plan to help streamline your hiring processes and make sure you have access to the talent you need when you need it.
What is a Recruiting Plan?
A recruiting plan is a strategy for hiring employees. It acts as a timeline for your company to find qualified applicants to continue growing without any gaps in employment for the company.
Recruitment plans are about much more than just knowing what roles are open. They’re an opportunity to align company goals and skills gaps with your hiring efforts to plan strategically. A strategic recruitment plan should include the positions you need to hire, a recruitment calendar, a list of tactics, and other essential details about managing your recruiting efforts.
To manage and grow a sustainable business, you need to be forward-thinking. A recruitment plan is not only important for filling job vacancies, but it also helps prevent costly hiring decisions. By taking a proactive approach and building out a plan in advance, you can save time and money and make sure your team doesn’t find themselves short-handed down the road.
In working with hundreds of entrepreneurs, we’ve found the first step in building a team is to create a recruiting plan that aligns with your business goals as you grow.
We’ve pulled our resources together to create a guide you can use to build a detailed recruiting plan for your business. In this post, we will discuss how to decide who you need to hire, tactics for hiring, and how to develop a recruiting strategy in the same way you would develop a marketing or sales strategy. We’ll also share a few key takeaways, including:
- How to align your long-term goals with a hiring strategy
- A practical tool to build a recruitment strategy with a clear timeline based on your goals
- Tactics for sourcing candidates and tips for how to stand out against the competitors
- A candidate selection framework you can utilize to make the best hiring decisions
With these resources, you’ll be armed with the tools you need to create a long-term strategy for recruiting top talent.
Identify Your Goals and What Roles You Need to Hire
The first step in creating a recruiting plan is to identify who you need. Planning your recruiting strategy involves not only analyzing your business goals but also considering how roles will need to expand and shift as the business grows. In this section, we’ll break down how to align your recruiting strategy with your long-term vision and identify the characteristics of the perfect candidate.
Identify your goals
The first step in any strategic plan involves looking at the long-term vision and goals for your business. By taking the time to analyze your vision, you allow yourself to step back and identify how your business needs to shift over time to hit your goals versus looking for short-term solutions.
It’s important to remember where you’re headed and why. Your vision should act as your north star. When you’re setting goals, they should be in pursuit of that end destination.
If you don’t already have a clear vision or feel yours is outdated, it might be time to take another look.
Once you have your goals, you can work them backward to decide what, or rather who, you need to accomplish those goals in a given timeline.
For example, let’s say you have a 3-year vision of hitting $10M in revenue, how much do you need to make this year to be on track for that goal?
Year 1 – $5 M
Year 2 – $ 7.5 M
Year 3 – $10 M
How does your company make $5M this year? How many salespeople do you need to hire and train this year to reach $5M? Next year?
What if you want to open a new office? Who do you need to hire and train to get your office up and running?
When it comes to recruiting, you should always be thinking three steps ahead. Breaking down your goals and developing a roadmap for your business will help you identify a timeline for future hires.
Identify roles and responsibilities.
Based on your long-term goals, you will need to fill specific roles in your company. Depending on the size of your business, you might be looking to build a sales team or a marketing team. You will want to lay out all of the roles you need to fill and outline the responsibilities of those roles.
For example, if you’re a solopreneur, you might be looking for someone who can pick up some of your administrative tasks or take over sales to help you focus on client work. In this scenario, do you want to hire a salesperson? An office manager? Someone who can do both?
By outlining the role, especially if it’s more of a hybrid role, you can identify the qualifications required of the person taking on the role.
From there, you will want to take a look at your current team. Do you already have someone who could take on these tasks? Would it be better to invest in training and hire later? Can you promote from within and hire someone to operate beneath this person?
Identifying the gap between the current employees and the existing needs can help you decide on your growth strategy. It allows you to look into whether or not employee development is the answer, if you just need a few projects done (contractor or subcontractor role) or if it’s truly time to hire a full-time employee.
Identify who to hire.
Considering the roles and responsibilities you wish to hire, you will want to think about who you are looking for. Are you looking for a specialist or a generalist? Are you looking for someone with industry experience or someone who can offer a new perspective on the role? Think about how all these things will impact your business.
In the early stages of your business growth, it makes sense to hire someone who is more of a generalist than a specialist. A generalist will thrive in an environment that is constantly changing and requires an all-hands-on-deck approach. Whereas when your business reaches the point that you have existing teams and departments, you might want to hire someone who is a specialist can dive deeper into a specific area of the business.
Write a Job Description
Once you’ve identified what role you need to fill and who you’re looking for, you need to write a killer job description.
Job descriptions are one of the most important components of your recruiting strategy. The value of your job description is two-fold. On the one hand, it’s the first thing people will see and maybe the introduction to your company. Secondly, your job description will be used to attract a specific person to your company.
Job boards are filled with thousands of openings, and one way to stand out is with a quality job description. Having a specific and clear job description will help you in attracting the right people for your role.
Your job description should be written specifically to attract the candidate you are looking for and show off your brand. The more you can showcase the skills and values you are looking for in a candidate, the more likely you will attract recruits who exhibit those qualities.
Once you’re identified who you need to hire, the next step is developing your plan.
Creating a Recruiting Plan
Recruiting plans are critical in creating a successful business. More efficient hiring saves time and leads to qualified and happy employees. Unfortunately, many companies fail to plan accordingly.
Often, owners complain about how hard it is to find quality people. The reality is, they lack a realistic plan that takes into account the number of people they need in their recruiting funnel to land the right person.
Think of creating a recruiting plan the same way you would think about building your sales funnel. You’re not going to find the perfect employee on the first try. You need to bring in several candidates who you will filter through until you land an “A” candidate.
In this section, we’ll share a tool you can use to nail the planning process, so you have the right timeline and the time to execute the plan to ensure you are bringing in top talent to your company.
Our Planning tool is designed to be a starting point in the interview process that helps plan out the activity you need to ensure you get the right hire.
When putting together your recruiting plan, one of the most important things to consider is how many people you need to hire by what date to hit your goals.
Everyone’s interview process will be different, but they will often include multiple steps. The most common of which are:
- Initial Screening
- Phone Interview
- In-person Interview
Each of these steps requires time and planning. To build out your plan, you will want to set hard deadlines for when a hire needs to be made so you can identify when you need to start looking based on the timeframe of your process.
By identifying your steps, you will start to identify the conversion rate for your process, and you’ll learn how many people you need to interview before making a hiring decision.
Planning your Time
Once you’ve identified how long it will take to complete your interview process, you will need to work back even further to plan time to dedicate to your recruiting tactics.
Not all tactics are created equal. Some will take more time and have the capacity to bring you dozens of candidates, whereas others might only yield a handful of candidates of higher quality.
The Recruiting Planning tool will help you understand how much time you need to spend on each tactic to bring in the number of candidates to hit your recruiting goal.
Once you’re identified who you need to hire, and how to build your process, the next is learning how to find them.
Sourcing quality candidates can be challenging.
As a small business, you’re running a lean operation, meaning you need candidates with the necessary skills to make an impact in your organization, but you’re competing against organizations with more resources at their disposal.
How do you ensure that you get the best people to join your team when you can’t match the same salaries and benefits as larger companies? It starts with learning how to incorporate the right tactics into your recruiting process.
To find good, qualified candidates, it’s not as simple as posting on a job board. Instead, you will want to put in the work to go out and find them. In this section, we’ll share tactics you can use to find quality candidates.
The first place people look for candidates is on job boards. Sites like LinkedIn, Indeed and CareerBuilder are still commonly used by recruiters and job seekers.
One way to stand out is by crafting a quality job description that highlights what’s unique about your company. Think of your job description as your elevator pitch. The same effort going into your company marketing copy should go into job descriptions because, for many, this job description might be the first time someone hears about your organization.
In the description, you’ll want to clearly outline the role as well, desired experience, and qualifications. Still, you also may consider adding the vision and the excitement for growth opportunities within the organization.
Identify Smaller Job Boards
In addition to utilizing big job boards like LinkedIn or Indeed, you can also find smaller job sites dedicated to only one job or industry. By niching down, you’ll gain access to a community of job seekers and recruiters with a specific interest or skill set for the role you’re looking to fill. You can find niche job boards covering everything from the retail industry to construction.
Utilize Your Network
One of the fastest ways to grow your team comes from your network and leveraging people you already know. Networking is an excellent candidate sourcing tool. Often networking is viewed as a sales tactic, but it’s also a great opportunity to connect with inactive candidates. When networking and talking with your sphere, you can use a specific need to plant the seed. For example, “Who do you know with experience in X, Y, or Z?”
Using needs, rather than just looking for someone in a specific role, you can narrow down an ideal fit.
And once you narrow down your ideal fit, networking is one of the fastest ways to grow your team. In addition to your network, you can utilize your team’s network to widen the scope and bring in even more quality candidates. To do this, you need to communicate who you plan to target so your team will have an active hand in helping you source for the company.
Use Your Website
Allow your website to do some of the legwork. You should have a recruiting page on your website. Often, candidates looking to work for a specific company will check to see if they have a careers page. This is a great way to self promote and highlight your company culture.
Use Social Media
Often people aren’t just looking to join a company. Many people are actively or passively looking to find their next job on social media sites like LinkedIn or Instagram. You can use social media strategically to not only post openings but showcase your company culture.
Find Passive Candidates
A majority of potential candidates– the people you want to hire– aren’t even actively searching for a job. So, to avoid letting a majority of potential candidates slip through your radar, you need to seek and go after ideal candidates aggressively.
Sometimes the best candidates aren’t looking for a new role. By identifying and reaching out to passive candidates will show that you are truly interested in their talent and will be sure to grab their attention. Using sites like Linkedin or personal connections will help you identify these potential candidates as well as raise awareness for your company.
When you first start your recruitment process, the first thing you want to do is to create a well-written job description and push it out through at least 3-5 job boards. Then, identify a few tactics you want to test out and see what delivers the best results.
In the next section, we’ll share a tool to help you select the best candidate based on your needs.
Many owners who are new to recruiting, struggle with deciding on what is most important to their business. When it comes to hiring, they end up gauging the candidate on personality and if they believe what they say.
Without clear guidelines, you have no measuring tool for hiring the right candidates. It can be easy to make a choice based on gut feeling. But when it comes to hiring for your business, instinct isn’t enough.
A little planning can go a long way, helping you feel more confident in the interview process to ensure you’re picking a candidate based on specific criteria.
Before you call candidates, read their resumes, or interview them take the time to think through who the perfect candidate is and what the top 3-5 attributes they must have to qualify for this role. From there, create a scoring system of 1-5 (3 being average) and know what they must score for each attribute to move forward. Don’t ever waiver from your scores if you scored them below your mandatory attribute requirement and then move on to the other candidates.
Our Candidate Selection tool to help you do just that. With a hire analysis, you can walk each candidate through your checklist to determine whether or not they are a good fit to move forward.
Used in tandem with your planning tool, this tool is designed to be a companion through the entire interview process. As soon as you determine you are ready to hire, this document is ready to be filled in. By filling this is in, you will have a set deadline for when the hire needs to be made; you will create your very own interviewing funnel process to systematically move candidates to the next stage, and you will have a purpose to each of those stages that will help qualify and validate that this person can graduate to the next stage.
Hiring the right talent is a difficult task that impacts on how your business runs now and in the future. Making the wrong choice could have lasting consequences, while the right choice could launch your business to the next level. Our guide to the recruiting process will help you design a structure for finding the right-fit candidate so you can be confident in hiring the right person.
You don’t need to be a recruiter to build a successful recruiting plan for your business. If recruiting isn’t your strong suit, and you don’t know where to start, you don’t have to go at it alone. Schedule a free two-hour session to dig into your business and develop a plan.