The economy seems strong while heading into this election cycle. November 2015 unemployment figures hit 5% for the first time since April 2008. Job creation also continues to grow steadily, with an additional 271,000 non-farm jobs created in October 2015. Many industries are seeing growth, and unemployment is down. Consequently, competition for the best talent will be stiff going into the new year. If your company, like many, is moving into a hiring phase after the start of the year, here are six steps to make sure you are ready to stay ahead of the competition.

  1. Check your bait
    Ensure that all of your talent-building strategies, from landing pages to job postings, are up-to-date and accurate. If new campaigns will be launched in these platforms, get as many eyes on them as possible prior to the official release. Incorporate feedback to make your bait as attractive as possible. It’s also helpful to assess the competition to know what your candidates are seeing when they shop around.
  2. Define your targets
    While it may be impossible to know precisely what positions and how many new employees your company may be adding during a time of growth, the more precisely this is defined upfront, the better. Make sure everyone in the recruitment and hiring process is on the same page with regards to the numbers and types of people you are looking to hire. You never want to find out there’s a must-hire in a key position when resources have already been allotted elsewhere.
  3. Fill your pipeline
    Recruiters should let their talent pool know as soon as possible when hiring will start. By giving your key recruits the heads up, you increase the likelihood they will apply if they are in the market. Even those who are not actively seeking new roles may be enticed to apply if given enough time to decide.
  4. Give your system a shakedown
    Testing and retesting every part of your recruiting, application, interview, and hiring process is the best way to ensure you provide candidates with a positive, streamlined process. Fixing problems now can save you from having to announce that you have to put hiring on hold while the boss makes decisions.
  5. Implement skills testing for candidates
    Setting up a skills-testing program prior to or as part of your interview process is a great way to make sure the candidates that look good on paper will be the best fit for your company. Incorporating objective testing data into your hiring protocol can ensure that decisions are being made on preset criteria as well as on subjective impressions.
  6. Get in the game early
    If at all possible, be the first to announce hiring in your market. Being the first to attract candidates can add up to big dollars in lower salaries, as these are prone to rise as hiring becomes more competitive. Additionally, a great first offer will often carry the greatest positive weight in a candidate’s mind.

What are your tips for recruiting in 2016?

Adina Miron


  • Avatar Makayla says:

    Thanks for these tips! We are in the process of creating our strategy for the next year and these will help guide us. All of the steps are valuable and important. The one we appreciate the most is the use of skills assessments. We get feedback from our managers when selecting the questions. This has proven to be the best tool ever. 

  • Avatar Jasmine S. says:

    This article is about modernizing HR and adapting to the new ways of recruiting, and I agree that those six steps should become mandatory for a good recruiter. They will help HR to connect with the pool of candidates, find the best of them, and bring them on board. 

  • Avatar Abigail W. says:

    HR departments need to align their strategy to the needs of the company. Building a valuable presence online, along with defining the talent they will be looking for, are just the first steps in recruiting. Combine them with skills assessments and you are on the right track.

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