Creating successful recruiting strategies: Forget the calendar

A recent Recruiting Trends article reports that in a survey of U.S.-based recruitment specialists, 76 percent of respondents anticipated that their talent acquisition budgets would remain the same or increase during the first quarter of 2011.

A severe case of optimism? Are budgets so low that keeping them the same might not result in robust hiring? Or maybe, it's an example of how we are constantly trying to adapt our work cycles and recruiting strategies to fit the calendar and other life events (i.e., big hiring pushes in September, slowdowns during the holidays, quick starts after the new year).

What any good recruiting professional will tell you, however, is that you can't count on the calendar. While there still might be the occasional bad winter event to slow things down (just ask anyone in the North, East, West, and even some in the South this year), in general, companies should be (and are) looking for talent year-round.

Talent and successful recruiting strategies are the fuel that enables a company to respond quickly or innovate at a critical time. And that time could be any time. Taking control of your recruiting and creating really successful recruiting strategies means breaking away from the calendar, thinking ahead, and preparing for the need for talent at any time during the year.

Here are some critical issues to think about when developing your recruiting strategies:

Recruiting timing: How long is it going to take to ramp up an internal recruiting staff? How long will it take to source and select a recruiting partner? It's a lot easier to find a partner and have them at the ready, or give them smaller projects during slow times, then to hire a full complement of internal recruiters and managers.

Recruiting resources: The recruiting process relies on people and technology. Job boards, social networking, corporate websites, and applicant tracking systems all eat up resources in the form of cash, support personnel, training, and/or maintenance. Include those resources in your strategies and look at the real costs above and beyond salaries and benefits.

Recruiting compliance: A compliant and efficient recruiting process usually includes many hand-offs, required documentation, and a dose of common sense. When the chips start to fly (or you find yourself without resources), many of these things go out the door. Map out a scalable process that will allow for the ups and downs while maintaining compliance and managing risk.

By the way, it's February. While there is hiring going on, a lot of it is in contingent or temporary labor. It seems that optimism shown in the Recruiting Trends article has yet to take hold.

Now's a good time to assess your recruiting strategy, and for once, ignore the calendar. Create a successful recruiting strategy that will last the entire year.

eBook: Successful Recruiting Strategies - Five Steps to Rebuild Your Recruiting Infrastructure

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