What do the words "Recruiting" and "Recruitment" even mean?

Feb 08, 2022

 

Small business owners sometimes find themselves in a place where they are being asked, “Will you be recruiting employees as you grow?” or “Where are you recruiting candidates from?” or “Who is handling your recruitment?”

Although you may have a basic understanding of what it means to “recruit” employees, my guess is that you are confused by all the questions. It makes you wonder:

What does recruiting and recruitment even mean?

And am I doing the right things to attract the best candidates now/in the future?

Am I using my time in the best ways to be effective with my recruiting as I grow my business?

 

Today’s blog will break this all down for you.

 

We’ll go back to basics because recruiting is such a foundational piece of building your business and it is important that you have a solid understanding of what goes into it from the ground up.

In a nutshell, recruiting or recruitment refers to everything from first identifying a staffing need internally in your organization to going out and finding and hiring the best candidate. The goal of recruiting is to hire that ideal candidate in a certain time period and within a set budget.

Steps of a recruiting process include (this is a condensed list, not all inclusive, to summarize the process for this blog’s purposes):

  • Creating a recruiting plan (aligned with the goal above of hiring within a certain timeframe in a specified budget)
  • Posting the job
  • Identifying qualified candidates
  • Screening and interviewing those qualified candidates
  • Selecting most qualified candidates
  • Hiring and onboarding the person (or people) selected as a best fit for the role

 

Who should spearhead recruiting in small businesses wanting to hire their first employee?

 

In small organizations who have a dedicated Office Administrator, Office Manager, Administrative Assistant, or Human Resources Administrator, recruiting typically falls on their list of duties.  If you, the business owner, are the only employee, the tasks associated with recruiting are yours --- or you can choose to seek external support through a recruiting firm, an HR Consultancy, or staffing agency, depending on the level of your need.

 

Where do you start to find candidates? We’ll tell you!

 

A low-budget way to recruit candidates is through networking and word-of-mouth. Word-of-mouth recruiting is an often overlooked, yet highly effective recruiting tool! We urge you, as the business owner, to think of which industry conferences and/or professional organizations it makes sense to join to get to know people in the same space who also have networks.  Attending events and spreading the word about your recruiting needs more often than not will bring forward some great options for candidates. For certain types of businesses, developing relationships with local universities can be an excellent way of generating a pipeline of candidates. This is a great option when you are seeking those graduating college with specific skills.

Of course, targeted job advertising (to professional groups and online newspapers and magazines, for example) and job boards (such as Indeed.com) are more traditional options that never hurt to throw into the mix of your recruiting plan.

Don’t forget about asking for referrals! If you already have an employee or employees who are doing a great job, encouraging them to refer people they know to apply is also a terrific way through which you can widen your recruitment efforts and candidate pool! Your best workers often have people in their networks also with a great work ethic. Maybe they didn’t even think to tell you about these people, but when you ask, they share a list of names! You can even take it a step further and set up a simple referral bonus program as a thank you to your existing employees for hired referrals. If you do set up a referral program, it works best to ensure the payout happens soon after the referred person is hired (we recommend within 90 days). Waiting too long to pay out a referral bonus can discourage employees from actively making referrals.

 

What are some non-traditional ways to find great candidates?

 

Proactively searching social media sites such as LinkedIn can also be well worth your time, rather than relying solely on job postings and job boards. LinkedIn is one of our favorite spots for finding “passive” candidates, meaning those who are not actively looking for a job. You can reach out to individuals who have the skills and experience you need and build a relationship with them so they think of you when they look for a new role in the future.

Why take this “passive candidate” search approach? Because the most in-demand candidates aren’t browsing traditional job boards for their next opportunity! They are likely happily employed and are confident that they will be sought out because of their exceptional skills/abilities/knowledge/experience. For example, software developers often fit this category. They have likely already been contacted by other organizations hoping to also lure them away. It’s never too soon to start building those relationships with passive candidates as described here.

 

Exactly how do you pursue and recruit these ideal candidates who are not actively looking for a job?

 

First of all - Don’t be pushy! Passive candidates will get turned off if you approach them too aggressively. Do that and you will surely turn them off and they will cut you off from contacting them again. Instead, reach out and ask to connect with a sincere personal note. From there, see if they are receptive to you asking more about their skills and if they are still receptive, ask if they would keep you in mind if they are at a point where they are looking to change jobs in the future. Let the relationship grow organically – maybe invite them to coffee if it feels right. Be sure to check in periodically and see how they are, with no agenda, just a check in to stay in touch. Always be sincere. Sometimes, all it takes is frequent touch points so they keep your business in front of mind, and so they know that the opportunity is there when they are ready.

Also, these “ideal candidates” for your role often do a lot of research before they move forward with next steps. Make it easy for them to learn more about you and your company. Having some great Google Reviews for your company never hurts so when they see your company name, and do research, that is one of the first things they find.  

 

In Summary

 

Recruiting is a rather simple and straightforward process – but effective recruiting requires a time investment, patience, and skills in knowing how to go about it. It is important to track your efforts and see what works and what doesn’t. If something doesn’t work, change it and try something else. Next time. Remember, as a wise man named Einstein once said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Over time, and as your business grows, you will find what methods of recruiting make the most sense for you and your organization.

 

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