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How to Hire Employees: Proven Recruitment Strategies That Work

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How to Hire Employees: Proven Recruitment Strategies That Work

When it comes to hiring new employees, you want to attract the best people to your business. Experts and skilled professionals that will use their unique skills to elevate your business and take it to the next level. In this article we explore how to hire employees and proven recruitment strategies that work.

Unfortunately, this is often easier said than done. Finding the right people can wind up being your company’s biggest challenge and obstacle to success. That’s why we’re going back to basics. We are reviewing all of your major recruitment options. Including how they work, what they cost, and how/if they’ll produce results. Before we continue let me explain my rating system:

How to hire employees strategy rating key:

Each strategy we have added a summary review to easily digest, see below for each factor;


A low scoring strategy for speed factor would mean that the strategy takes longer to implement and run over a high scoring strategy.


A low scoring strategy for the cost factor would mean that the strategy is more expensive to implement and run than a high scoring strategy.


A low scoring strategy for the effort factor would mean that the strategy might need more resources and man-power to implement than a high scoring strategy.

UX (User Experience):

Waht is the overall experience of a person using a product / strategy. Especially in terms of how easy or pleasing it is to use. Low being a poor experience. This also might depend on the person using or implementing the strategy and is therefore a general score.


A low scoring strategy for the success factor would mean that the strategy has a lesser chance of performing than a high scoring strategy.

Now lets dive in:

Job Boards (Paid and Free)

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The most straightforward go-to option for many candidates and recruiters? Search the job boards. They’re one of the major players in the recruiting game today. With so many free and paid options out there – including ZipRecruiter, Glassdoor,, Google Jobs,, and Angel List – it’s easy to see why. This is often the first ‘go-to’ for companies when they start to think about how to hire employees.

For candidates, these job search engines are great places to review their choices. They can get an honest understanding of a specific company or position. For hiring managers, they provide a fast and easy way to put up a job and get access to a large pool of candidates.

And they really work. That said, not all job boards are created equal. As a hiring manager or business owner you’ll likely spend a lot of your time sifting through resumes of unqualified candidates before you find your golden egg.

Here are some great free job posting sites to get you started.

Staffing & Employment Agencies

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Today, there are lots of staffing recruiters and employment agencies out there. They work exclusively to help you find the best talent for your business. And some of these employment agencies are extremely specialized, well-connected, and successful. Executive search firms, for example, are experts at placing qualified executives in relevant, high-paying positions. While many other professional search firms can successfully place high-quality candidates in jobs that match their skills, interests, goals, and pay (check out the top 500 recruiting firms in America here).  

That said, results can definitely vary here as well. Many recruiters and headhunters have developed a pretty bad reputation for taking candidates’ and business’ money without understanding their needs or producing meaningful results.

SEE ALSO: 8 Things Google Says Recruiters Are – and 8 Things They Actually Are

With that in mind, make sure that you do your homework and choose an established recruiter or agency that follows best practices. Make sure they have the background and feedback to establish them as an expert.  

Job Marketplace Platforms

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When you’re looking for the perfect candidates, many search options – including LinkedIn or word-of-mouth recommendations – just don’t feel sustainable because they take a long time, require a huge amount of manual of effort, and simply don’t produce a high quantity of results to scale.

Job marketplace platforms – like,,,, and – aim to fix this problem. They streamline the process by either pairing companies with the right recruiters and agencies or pairing job seekers with the right positions for them.

It’s like a dating app for the job seeking world. – The concept really works, requiring less footwork, less guesswork, and fewer hiccups along the way.  

Corporate Recruitment Teams

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Another alternative? Take your recruitment efforts in-house and hire your own corporate recruiter to help you fill your jobs.

This route can have lots of meaningful benefits:

Cost: Generally speaking, in-house recruitment efforts can cost less than external efforts. making this a great choice if you want to save some money.

Industry knowledge: An in-house recruiter will work exclusively trying to fill your industry-specific employment gaps. This means that he or she may have a more complete, specialized understanding of your industry.

Company Knowledge: Any in-house team member will have a better understanding of your company’s mission and its culture. This means they’ll be very effective at both “selling” your company to potential candidates and at finding the candidates that are the best fit for you.

Commitment: You are more likely to have at least some degree of disconnect if you use an external recruitment model. This is simply because outside recruiters aren’t a part of your company’s infrastructure. They don’t have any skin in the game.

However, keep in mind that many businesses simply don’t have the need or the budget for a full-time, in-house recruiter. Be sure to analyze your current staffing processes. Including things like your current annual cost, your ROI, and your internal resources – and make a decision from there.


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In many senses, job fairs are like speed dating for recruiting. They don’t present the most consistent choice on the list. They do however offer a great way to have one-on-one, face-to-face contact with a lot of ultra-interested, highly qualified candidates.

That said, there are a few things to keep in mind if you want to attend or host an event with your best foot forward:  

Your hiring goals: What kind of candidate are you looking for? Entry-level? Specialized? Keep your larger goals in mind and attend your event accordingly.  Perhaps a college fair for entry-level positions, and an industry-specific fair for skilled experts.

Your representatives: Make sure you send the right people to represent your company and effectively recruit. This can include hiring managers, your HR staff, or other team members that can present your business favorably, screen candidates, and get on their good side to make meaningful connections.

Your material: Prepare marketing material and questions that feel personalized to the candidates. Put in the effort to help your company stand out from the pack.

Looking for more inspiration? Check out a list of can’t-miss 2018 recruiting and HR events here.

Employee Referral Initiatives

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An employee referral initiative is a recruiting strategy in which employers use rewards to encourage current employees to refer qualified candidates to their job or organization. This is an increasingly popular tactic for companies when executing on their how to hire employees plan.

On one hand, it makes perfect sense. Your employees already have an inside look at your organization. This means if they like their job – they’ll be great at selling your company, explaining the specifics of the position, and convincing their friends to join in.

Plus, as word-of-mouth marketing, it won’t cost you anything, and you’ll be very likely to get qualified candidates through their recommendations. That said, it can be difficult to design an execute an employee referral program that actually works. To get it right, make sure that:

  • Your referring employees know all the specifics of the job in question
  • You keep your employees updated on the process and acknowledge good referrers
  • You develop rewards that actually encourage employee participation, like tickets to an event, time off work, or a bonus.

Resume Databases (Paid & Free)

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As the name implies, resume databases – like,,, and – are platforms on which employers can access thousands of resumes at once with the goal of finding the most qualified candidates in the shortest amount of time.

While this can be a worthwhile route to take when strategising around how to hire employees for your business, it does come with its fair share of obstacles and bumps along the way. Specifically:

  • There are lots of bad resumes out there. It can be difficult to sift through them and find the high-quality, qualified candidates
  • It can be hard to get an accurate sense of a candidate from a simple piece of paper. This means you’ll likely have to engage in a multi-step follow-up process to really understand if a candidate is a fit
  • You will have to pay for a quality, up-to-date service

Freelance Economy

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Today, there are tons of platforms out there. These include UpWork and SnagAJob, that allow you to hire an independent contractor on the spot. Outsourcing your job search in this way comes with various pros and cons. On the one hand, you get:

A lower cost: Even at a higher hourly rate, freelance professionals tend to cost 20-30% less than full-time employees

A skilled professional: Freelancers are generally hired with specialized skills, and they’re able to get right to work. This lowers the learning curve and increases overall efficiency and performance

A quick process: Generally speaking, companies can find a skilled freelancer in a matter of days. Particularly if they go through a reputable platform.

Clear terms: You can set defined parameters and expectations from the start. That way it’s less likely for these to spiral out of control as time goes on or as the job evolves.

Flexibility: If you don’t like them, you can find someone else once they complete a specific task. You’re not tied down, and you don’t stand to face legal action or other obstacles if you decide to end a contract.

That said, there are also some concerns to keep in mind with this recruitment options:

It’s temporary: While you can have long-term relationships with freelancers – or even take them on as a paid employee – this is rare and often difficult to come across. More often, your engagement is limited, which means more legwork when it comes to employee turnaround.

Commitment: Freelancers often lack the commitment or the deep-level industry insight that a full-time employee will have of your business

Training: Even if the freelancer is extremely skilled or experienced, there’s a learning curve with every new company and job position. You’ll have to take the time to train them and acclimate them to your business each time you encounter a new freelancer. This could mean extra man-hours in the long term.

Social Media Recruiting

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Ah, social media. Today, it seems to be a vital component of most business operations and functions – and recruiting is certainly no exception. So how does it work and how effective is it as a tool?

In theory, it’s a great idea. After all, great recruiting is all about connecting with high-quality candidates and effectively communicating with them to fill a position. Today, there’s really no better place to connect and get your message in front of the most eyes than social media.

That said, getting it right can be very nuanced. Here are some tips and best practices to keep in mind:

Consider the platform: Instagram is a great place to “let down the fourth wall” a.k.a to be a little more fun and show your culture, your team members, and some behind-the-scenes information. Facebook, on the other hand, is a great place to get the conversation started and engage with your community on a deeper level. Consider the platform and tailor your content accordingly for maximum results.

Personalize your communication: Now, more than ever, people expect personalized, relevant, unique communication. That is especially true on social media. If you send a generic, masse message, your candidates will know, and you’ll likely lose them as a result. Don’t make this mistake.

Involve every employee: The idea here is simple. People are more likely to engage with other people than with official brand pages, and you dramatically increase your reach by getting your team members involved. Encourage your employees to get involved and share listings or company information. You’ll be more likely to get qualified candidates on your radar.

Also, keep in mind that social media is a long-game strategy; in order for it to be effective, you have to be consistent. You have to be on top of your online presence. So establish your parameters early. Make sure that you have the internal bandwidth to establish meaningful engagement and maintain your efforts.

Professional Social Networks (LinkedIn, etc)

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Touted as the “World’s Largest Professional Network,” LinkedIn is exclusively for job hunters and other professionals. This means that your content is bound to get in front of qualified eyes much more quickly and effectively than with other social networks. With over half a billion members – and members from all 500 of the Fortune 500 companies – that’s a lot of possible qualified eyes and without question should form some part of your how to hire employees strategy you are building.

We won’t get into the step-by-step guide to finding candidates – you can find directions on LinkedIn itself.

Here are some helpful tips and facts to help you nail your recruiting on this popular platform:

If you want to stand out, build your relationships: It’s not just about having contacts on LinkedIn, but also about building those relationships so that your messages don’t get jumbled in with everyone else’s. Stay in touch with previous, valued colleagues for future employment opportunities or for candidate information, and use your network to narrow your selection (a.k.a find employees by getting recommendations from people you trust, or search for employees based on their past or current employer).

Use the keywords: Your company’s profile will stand out and be searchable if it has lots of industry-specific keywords – plus, you’ll improve your SEO ranking. Similarly, you can find quality candidates on LinkedIn by searching for specific keywords on their profile that correlate with the skills you’re looking for.

Complete your page: Your page needs to be complete in order to show up in search results a.k.a in order for candidates to find your company organically. Make sure that it has all the information that candidates need to know about your company and that the information is presented in a professional, engaging manner – which includes a picture, a headline, and a business summary.  

Employer Branding Platforms

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Employer branding platforms like The Muse help you develop your “employer brand story” and share it with potential candidates in order to reach qualified candidates, inform them, and optimize your content.

This may seem unnecessary, but it makes sense in today’s Millennial-driven world: today’s candidates are looking to work for a company that has a relatable message or that they can “get behind” and understand on a more profound level. And, as The Muse puts it, “your employer brand lives in the answer to ‘So, what did you think of the company?’ after a candidate applies, interviews, or even encounters some of your employees at a networking meetup.”  

So how does it work? It’s not just using one platform like LinkedIn or – it’s setting your company’s tone and establishing your voice so that, when candidates find your company across platforms, they stop and actually take notice.

Overall, this is more of a behind-the-scenes effort, but it may really help you effectively focus your communication and your messages in order to resonate with your potential candidates.  

Company Website “Careers” Page

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Don’t underestimate the power of your own website and your unique content – particularly the content on your “Careers” page. Think about it: people today research any big decisions they make. That certainly includes the decision to take a new job. Even if they find you on another tool or platform, they’re going to ultimately visit your website to see what your company is all about. In fact, CareerXroads statistics show that they career pages actually account for 94.1% more hires than they did in 4 years ago. That’s nothing to sneeze at!

That’s why it’s important to fully optimize this page and make it attention-grabbing, engaging, and extremely clickable. This is a bit of a no-brainer for your strategy when considering how to hire employees for your company.

Here are some tips to get you started:

SEO: It’s hard to get in front of qualified eyes if you’re not getting on the first page of search engines. Or appearing in results at all. That’s why it’s important to make sure that you’re using the short and long-tail keywords that your candidates are typing into Google to search for your job and industry. This step really can’t be skipped.

Stay above the fold: Candidates will only stay on this page for seconds. Keep the information concise and – if you can- above the fold (don’t make them scroll!).

Include multimedia: Videos and pictures are much more readily consumed than long-form content, so include these elements when appropriate.

Convince: Show them your company culture. Use power words to really express to them what they’ll get out of joining your business. Make it easy for them to take the next steps by inviting them to apply at the bottom of the page.

Again, this is a more passive aspect of the recruitment process – but that doesn’t make it any less useful or important.  

RPO / Outsource Recruitment Teams

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According to the Recruitment Process Outsource (RPO) Association; RPO is“a form of business process outsourcing (BPO) where an employer transfers all or part of its recruitment processes to an external service provider. An RPO provider can provide its own or may assume the company’s staff, technology, methodologies, and reporting. In all cases, RPO differs greatly from providers such as staffing companies and contingent/ retained search providers. How? it assumes ownership of the design and management of the recruitment process and the responsibility of results.”

For many, there’s something reassuring about this idea. After all, the most common gripe about traditional recruiters and recruiting agencies is that they don’t deliver the results. RPO’s take responsibility over exactly that. The promise? Deliver jobs and improve a company’s recruitment processes. This in order to increase their success at finding candidates in the future.

Here’s what you can get with RPOs:

  • Lower cost
  • Specialized market knowledge
  • Scalable employee growth
  • More internal bandwidth for other tasks

That said, for many businesses – particularly those with low hiring volume and a strong internal team – this kind of robust recruiting support just isn’t necessary. They’re better off keeping their HR tasks in-house.

Looking for more recruiting information on how to hire employees or to start finding the right candidates today? Get in contact ASAP.

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