Recruiting tactics

Recruiting tactics

Finding the best candidates in your area.

With the proper strategy, recruiting is something every company can excel at. Several resources are available, which can make it difficult to determine where to begin. In this article, we will discuss a couple of steps and strategies focused on getting candidates through your door. Always keep in mind, different resources will yield different results in your region.

Recruit with purpose

Prior to engaging in any business task, it is important to identify your goal; recruiting is no different. The first step  of recruiting is to understand the role(s) you are looking to fill, what the core responsibility is and how the role fits within your organization. Everyone involved in the hiring process should have a clear understanding of the position(s).

Next, survey the landscape. Draw a 30-mile radius around your work location — most recruiting should be focused within this area. Also, take note of the available resources, such as higher education facilities, work development centers, large competitors or companies with employees that have transferrable skills. These are some of the potential recruiting hubs you need to be aware of.

Remember, compensation matters a great deal with distance. If you are recruiting a position for $10 per hour, you might want to limit your search to candidates within 15 miles; if the role is for $20 per hour, you can expand.

Moreover, never forget that recruiting is a sale. Every aspect of the recruiting process should be treated as a sale, especially in a competitive market. Sell potential candidates on why they should work for your business. The goal is to have every candidate want to become a part of the team.

The goal of the employer is to choose the best available candidate — and to do that, options are needed. The ideal scenario is to have multiple candidates willing to accept the opportunity.

As mentioned earlier, be sure to take advantage of recruiting resources. These include the following.

Higher education

In general, every higher education facility will have resources available for employers. Some will have job boards at their physical locations, electronic resources so employers can post jobs/search resumes and career centers. If there is a career center, I recommend scheduling an in-person meeting with a staff member to learn about the center’s resources and student base. And, owners and operators should always grab a business card for their recruiting networks. Employers should do this with all higher education facilities located in their areas.


Depending on location and position, Craigslist might be one of the most reliable resources for recruitment if used properly. Depending on the market, posting overall hourly roles can maximize the return on investment with this website. Employers should not spend too much time posting management-level roles, unless their specific markets warrant these job postings. With Craigslist, consider these few key factors:

  • If you have the option, include a logo with color, the company name and a brief “about us” description; this should be one short paragraph at most.
  • Use partial job descriptions (one to two paragraphs) with the pay rate. Craigslist users will spend an average of 10 seconds looking at the posting before deciding to apply, and an overly long job description will deter this action.
  • Always include an email address at the bottom of the job description with contact instructions; for example, “How to apply: Please respond to this posting by emailing your resume to [email protected]
  • Post openings multiple times per week in multiple sections, where hypothesized candidates may have transferable skills; for example, if an employer has a general labor opening, he or she might post the same opening under manufacturing, labor, health care, customer service, etc. Certain candidates will search one section at a time, although they could have experience in different fields.

Job centers

Most government-operated job centers and online websites are free but require a lot of information (and your time) as well as an approval process. Furthermore, the resources will vary from state to state. Currently in Wisconsin, as an example, if a person wants to receive unemployment benefits, he or she must have an account and resume posted online at the state’s job center, which makes this an incredible resource.

Opportunities are available to search resumes, mass email, post jobs, arrange booth interviews as well as other good options if the candidate base is there. I would recommend meeting face to face at least once to gain an understanding of the specific opportunities to promote your business to candidates.

Paid websites

I suggest using paid job-listing websites with caution. They can be expensive and may be bogged down with irrelevant openings. If an employer is using a paid site, I recommend incorporating a monthly fee option to search resumes offered by some popular job-listing websites. For example, $500 per month on one website can get you 300 resume views a day. If you do not have the time to search resumes and make the decision to utilize a paid job board, do prior research. A dominant, paid job board most likely exists for each market. Employers can call the website’s customer service and ask for the local data/number of candidates to get a general idea of better options when making financial investments.


The previous sections were focused on tactics that would be more successful for hourly roles. When it comes to entry-level positions, LinkedIn may not be an ideal resource worth utilizing on a consistent basis for some markets. However, LinkedIn is a good way to build a personal, organizational and recruiting network. Consistently building a network will pay dividends in the future. There are excellent options to utilize LinkedIn for the right job opportunities. Employers should research to learn where the best opportunities are for their specific markets.

Traditional media

There is a time and a place to utilize traditional media, such as newspapers, print advertisements, billboards and signs. That time is after an employer has used all other resources. Unless your research determines otherwise in your market, the return on this investment is generally not comparable to electronic resources. High-volume recruiting might warrant the use of traditional media;, otherwise focus on alternate avenues.


First and foremost, be honest and set clear expectations while recruiting. One of the most important factors in both obtaining a higher success rate and reducing turnover is setting clear expectations. Not every candidate will be perfect for the same opportunity. However, to give your business the best chance of success, it is important to be honest from the start.

I suggest creating a document with recruiting usernames and passwords. When utilizing a lot of electronic resources, this organizational tip will save time in the future.

Furthermore, try to focus your efforts on Mondays through Wednesdays. Research indicates job websites are most active on Tuesdays, so take advantage of that time frame. Implementing some of these strategies discussed in this article can help owners and operators generate more potential candidates and, most importantly, get more quality candidates in the door.

Chris Ciechanowski is the director of human resources for Cleaning Systems Inc. If you have questions or would like additional information, please email [email protected].


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