A Three-Step Approach to Recruitment

Business owners must shift their recruitment strategies away from the singular focus on “getting more applicants” and take a more holistic approach.

Steve Cesare
October 27, 2022

Ask any business owner to identify their primary human resources problem and you will instantaneously hear “recruitment,” “staffing,” “finding people,” etc. With a brisk national economy and a historically low unemployment rate, that problem will likely remain for a while. Thus, business owners must shift their resolution strategies away from the traditional singular recruitment focus to a more comprehensive and simultaneous approach incorporating internal, external, and technological initiatives.


Internal recruitment methods remain the most effective tactic in securing new employees. While a full-time recruiter is obviously preferred, despite their complaints about labor shortages, most companies have not yet chosen that option. In-house recruiters should receive base pay compensation, as well as placement pay for each new hire brought into the company, and a bonus for ensuring that monthly staffing goals are consistently maintained.

Most companies have an under-performing employee referral program. Typically, one or a combination of these three scenarios exists:

  1. These companies do not offer a lucrative incentive to motivate employees to recruit new candidates.
  2. No specific company manager is accountable for this program.
  3. Executives offer only rhetorical support in place of actual value (e.g. increased employee pay, better training, improving the company culture)

In general, successful employee referral programs offer employees a $600 bonus for each new supervisor brought into the company. Realizing that employee retention, not recruitment, is the ultimate goal, astute companies divide the referral bonus payout across three timeframes: $100 at the date of hire, $200 after the employee has been on the job for 90 days, and the remaining $300 after six months of employment. Within the context of business acumen, if the employees are not providing a steady flow of applicants each week, the bonus is clearly insufficient, in much the same way a sales commission plan or enhancement bonus plan would similarly fail.


Building upon internal recruitment efforts, companies must also broaden their scope to incorporate vendors, agencies, and customers to attract candidates. Stimulated by consistent executive and managerial contact, external sources should be contacted regularly on a bi-weekly basis, provided with recruitment materials (e.g., job descriptions, job applications, career ladder, training program), and rewarded with gift cards, additional business, discounts, public recognition, and on-site partnership appreciation events. In much the same way that marketing efforts precede sales, external recruitment partners contribute to overall staffing success.

Companies must also consider the use of an external contract recruiter or an independent contractor (i.e., 1099) to accelerate recruitment efforts. These individuals are paid exclusively on a headcount-add basis, with a backloaded bonus for satisfying new-hire retention thresholds (e.g., 90 days, six months, a full year).


Companies must extend their internal and external recruitment efforts with constant technological impact. Examples include:

  • A weekly refresh of the company web-site
  • A bi-lingual option home page
  • Semi-weekly social media posts
  • On-line recruitment videos (which are quickly becoming the new normal)
  • Consistent analytical focus of SEO efforts
  • Actual employee testimonials
  • Cell phone-friendly recruitment applications

Technology must be used more often, with increasing quality, and be managed more rigorously than ever believed.

In closing, recruitment is likely to remain a concern for organizations well into the future. To address that worry, it is suggested they interconnect internal, external, and technological initiatives as a key initiative to help them achieve their company goals in a sustainable manner.  

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This article was originally published on The Harvest Group and was republished with permission.


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