Recruitment Strategy And Engaging Your Talent Pools

Globally in 2015, companies were sure to spend roughly $514 billion on marketing campaigns to increase the sales of products and services. The competition for new customers is at an all time high. Companies are spending record amounts on winning business, but what about the business they already have? During a recent conference Genesys  reported that only $5 billion was spent in customer service. To sum this up, only 1% of a companies budget to get and retain customers, is spent on ensuring they return. Does your recruitment strategy only take talent attraction into consideration?

There are surprisingly similar behaviours in the recruitment industry. Some of the following can account for a significant portion of  a recruitment budget:

Job boards

This is one of the most popular forms of advertising a job and where significant costs can be accumulated. It is the go to for people who are actively job seeking. The cost of using a job board and the value doing so, is solely dependant on the type of person visiting the website.

Considerations – Choose your job boards carefully, decide if the positions you are recruiting for are generalist and warrant a mainstream job board like Reed. Alternatively you may want people with niche skills and need to use a specialist job board like Rigzone for the O&G industry. Taking the approach of advertising your job everywhere, will cost significantly more than need needed. Additionally, it will dilute the quality of candidates, costing you more time and could give the impression that you don’t really know what type of person you are looking for. Before deciding which job boards to use, meet with the sales person and find out what type of people visit their site and drill down into the data. Once you have decided who to use, track your candidates to find out if the job board is providing a good ROI.

LinkedIn recruiter

If you have been involved in the purchasing of LinkedIn Recruiter then you will know it doesn’t come cheap! LinkedIn boast 4.7 million users in the UK alone and almost 500k of those used the site in one day at the start of 2016. No job board I know of can boast figures like that in the UK and LinkedIn have the unique selling point of having people that are not necessarily looking for work, but can be engaged with all the same.

Consideration – Although LinkedIn is a pricey option for your recruitment strategy, it also offers access to more talent than most traditional job boards, with the benefit of allowing you to find both active job seekers and non active talent. Consider a strategy that will focus on attracting both groups of people and then work on an engagement strategy that will make them WANT to work for your company.


Choosing your applicant tracking system (ATS) should be one of the most considered choices you make in your recruitment strategy. Your ATS will be the centre of all your activities, making sure candidates can apply and their details are stored in a way they can be searched. If you choose the right system you will be able to use it as an engagement tool, keeping your candidates fresh, engaged and feeling cared for.

Considerations – If your already have an ATS then you might just be stuck with it, but it can be amazing what a smart developer can do to hide the cracks in an ageing system. If you have the privilege of choosing a new system, make sure you consider your full recruitment process from start to end and that candidates need to be engaged throughout. 


Whether you host you own or attend an industry recruitment event, this option can cost you dearly in terms of both time and money. The cost can be high but on the up side you have the potential of engaging with a large number of people who, if you select the right event, will be potential future employees. 

Consideration – By hosting your own event you can increase the chances that the talent you attract will be what you are looking for. The challenge is attracting enough people to make the event worthwhile. To hold your own event you will need to have a well developed brand, an event marketing campaign and a great reason for people to attend. The key part of holding or attending an event is capturing as much data as possible. By doing this you will be able to engage with candidates in the future and your ROI from the event will improve considerably. The are a number of good tools out there to capture candidates data at an event, including LinkedIn checkin or you could use google forms(for free!).

Third party agencies

Anyone that talks to me about their recruitment strategy will know I am not fan of the third party recruitment agency model. Don’t get me wrong, there are some great agency recruiters out there but if you do a cost benefit analysis, you will quickly see that there are a lot more efficient and sustainable service models out there. If you do engage with agencies make sure you use one that specialises in the talent you are looking for and understand how they are going to represent your business.

Considerations – Third party agencies can be a great way to fill a gap while you develop a more sustainable recruitment strategy. The big benefit is that is an agency doesn’t deliver, it is unlikely to cost you but consider the cost to the business if that position goes unfilled. If you use an agency, try giving the job to just one great recruiter and give them the ownership of filling the vacancy. By doing this the agency will throw all its ability into filling you job and you might even be able to negotiate a better rate for exclusivity.

Recruitment Strategy

In the same way that marketing spends most of its budget on attracting new customers, the recruitment industry spends significantly more on attracting new candidates. Especially when using agencies as you pay every time you recruit and get no benefit from additional candidates or the advertising you are paying for.
During each step of your recruitment strategy you should be considering the best way to make sure any investment you make will provide long term benefit in the future. Engaging the talent pools that you are interested in will grow your talent pool and mean you need to spend lees money in the future to re-find people. Invest now in attracting and then engaging talent pools and you will be well on the way to creating a truly sustainable recruitment strategy.


Iain Hamilton

I have had the privilege of gaining a diverse array of experience in both in-house FTSE100 and recruitment agency style positions. More recently I launced People Traction. Check out our services here.

Throughout my career I have been passionate about providing a seamless and enjoyable application process and have lead projects to design company websites, careers sites and job boards.

I have been instrumental in creating and delivering global proactive recruitment strategies and training recruitment teams in how to pro-actively resource passive and active talent. The results of delivering a pro-active recruitment strategy have shown significant reduction in time to fill, improved candidate quality and significant cost savings.

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