Recruiting Methods To Help Get the Best Job Candidates

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated November 28, 2022

Published September 29, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

An employer's goal when starting a recruitment process is to hire the best candidate for the role. If there is a shortage of skilled labour, this means there are many companies competing for a small number of qualified applicants. Knowing the different ways to attract job candidates increases your company's chances of hiring the right person for the job. In this article, we discuss when to use internal and external recruiting methods, discover how to use technology to make recruiting more effective, explore recruitment methods, and learn how to increase diversity in the workplace.

Internal vs. external recruiting methods

Whether a company uses internal or external recruiting methods may be more suitable in certain instances:

When to use internal candidate sourcing

Hiring an internal candidate may be suitable in the following circumstances:

  • when you need to save time onboarding since an existing employee knows the internal systems, processes, and culture of the company

  • when you want to keep a highly valued employee with the company

  • when you want to promote a positive culture by showing there are opportunities for career growth within the company

  • when you're looking for a faster way to transfer an employee from another team for a short-term project

Employers may also identify a high-performing employee as a successor to fill a key leadership position. This ensures that critical operations continue if the leader leaves the organization.

When to use external candidate sourcing

Hiring an external person can be more beneficial in the following circumstances:

  • when requiring a specific academic degree, certification, or skill set that is missing on the team

  • when hiring for a newly recreated role

  • when hiring for many positions when a company is growing

  • when expanding the diversity of a team to reflect the customer base a company wants to serve

Read more:

  • The Advantages of External Recruitment to a Company

  • Guide to the Process of Recruitment (With Tips)

Using technology to make recruiting more efficient

Employers may use applicant tracking systems that streamline the screening process and make it more effective. These systems manage the selection process in the following way:

  1. Interested candidates upload their resumes into the system.

  2. Recruiters can program the software to identify resumes that match the job requirements.

  3. Recruiters send resumes that match the requirements to the hiring manager.

  4. When a candidate is hired, the company can upload their personal information from the applicant tracking system to the payroll system.

Companies can use technology in other ways, including:

  • holding virtual career fairs to reach a larger audience of applicants who are outside the city where the company is located

  • conducting virtual interviews of applicants who live out of town before deciding to invite them for an in-person interview

  • answering basic questions from applicants using artificial intelligence

  • scheduling interviews using an automated booking tool

Recruitment methods

Deciding on the best recruitment method depends on who the employer is trying to attract and the type of role they are hiring for, including:

Direct advertising

Companies can start the recruitment process by advertising their jobs on career sites to help ensure their post gets high visibility. Posting on a career site also raises a company's profile. A job description can have the following components:

  • clear job title that is recognizable within the industry

  • detailed description that clearly describes the responsibilities of the role

  • list of educational requirements of the job

  • list of skills and qualifications needed

  • description of the company and the type of work culture employees can expect

A job description written with engaging content can encourage employees to apply if they think their skills match the criteria of the job.

Read more: How To Write a Job Description (With Template and Example)

Engage on social media

Posting on social media is another way to promote an employer's brand. Recruiters can meet people online who are interested in working for the company or who can connect them with other prospective candidates. Postings help give potential employees a sense of an organization's work culture. They can include pictures taken at company events or employee testimonials that describe their own work experience.

Create a talent pool

Building an internal talent pool reduces the time a company needs to source new candidates. Companies can build a database by reviewing resumes from previous job applicants who were close to being hired. Over time, this internal database grows to include many high-quality candidates who are familiar with the organization and how it operates.

Interact with passive candidates

Some candidates are well-qualified but not ready to leave their current job. A manager or recruiter who establishes a connection with a passive candidate and continues to build a relationship with them ensures this candidate keeps their company in mind when they are ready for a change. Sharing relevant industry information with a passive candidate and keeping them updated on any of the company's developments are effective ways to keep the connection.

Implement an employee referral program

If a company already has a great team of employees, an employee referral program can be beneficial. Benefits of hiring a candidate referred by another employee include:

  • Attracting top talent: A potential high-performing employee may be more willing to join an organization on the recommendation of someone they trust.

  • Increased retention: Someone hired through a referral is likely to stay longer.

  • Lower recruitment costs: Hiring a candidate referred by another employee saves time and money by eliminating the need to advertise for the job and screen resumes.

A good referral program needs to provide meaningful incentives to have an impact. An organization can structure a referral bonus and pay a portion when the candidate starts the job, then pay the rest after the employee has completed their probationary period.

Rehire past employees

Rehiring a past employee, or boomerang employee, who left on good terms can be another effective recruitment method. Benefits of rehiring a former employee include:

  • Reduced onboarding costs since the former employee is familiar with the company's internal systems and processes.

  • Improved performance since the former employee may have gained new skills in their other job.

  • Improved organizational culture since the returning employee has a greater appreciation for the company that they can pass on to others.

Maintaining contact with former employees is a great way to keep them connected to the organization and allows for opportunities to return.

Hire a recruitment agency

Companies hire recruitment agencies to handle the more time-consuming stages of the recruitment process. Depending on the agreement, the recruitment agency handles the upfront screening of resumes, administers skill tests, and conducts initial interviews. After these steps, they select the most qualified candidates to meet with the hiring manager. Recruitment agencies are also in a better position to approach a potential candidate who is a direct competitor.

For more senior-level employees, such as those in CFO or CEO positions, companies may hire a headhunter. A headhunter contacts passive candidates who are already working. They speak to the potential applicant about the opportunity to gauge their interest in the position. The screening process for more senior levels is more intensive, with final interviews conducted by a hiring committee or board. Spending time with a selected agency is a good way to help them understand your company's business and culture.

Read more:

  • Headhunting vs. Recruiting: How Are They Different?

  • How To Find the Right Headhunter (With Tips and Benefits)

Connect with professional associations

A profession that requires licencing, registration, or a designation may have an association that oversees the standards of that profession. Networking with professional associations can help connect you with candidates with specialized skills. Posting on the association's job board ensures you are targeting an audience that matches the skills needed for the job.

Related: Why You Should Become a Member of a Professional Group

Career fairs

Companies may decide to hold career fairs if they have several job openings and are trying to attract entry-level positions. Colleges and universities host career fairs for students close to graduation and invite companies who have job openings where students can apply their skills. Fairs can also give companies the chance to meet graduates face-to-face to conduct informal pre-interviews and promote their employer brand.

Read more: Top 10 Recruitment Skills for Successful Recruiters

Increasing diversity through recruitment

Most companies have set a goal to expand diversity within their workplace and commit to recruitment methods that are more inclusive and discourage bias, including:

  • Blind screening: hiding personally identifiable information during the initial screening of the resume

  • Blind interviewing: having a candidate complete an online questionnaire or online chat

  • Implementing a two-person pool: ensuring that at least two diverse candidates are short-listed

  • Offering internship opportunities to diverse candidates: encouraging diverse groups to intern at your business to gain work experience, resulting in a higher likelihood of them remaining at the company once the internship is over

  • Reviewing job posting language: removing any terms that might show bias


  • What Is a Recruitment Strategy? (With Importance and Tips)

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