How to Make a Recruiting Plan

by Sam Ashe-Edmunds; Updated September 26, 2017

A recruiting plan is a proactive method for helping businesses attract and hire the best candidates for each position. Creating effective recruiting strategies includes developing an organization chart, writing detailed job descriptions, developing the best compensation plan possible, using effective interviewing techniques, and taking advantage of the right tools to advertise openings.

Create an Organization Chart

Your recruiting plan starts with knowing what jobs you need to fill. Waiting until one of your more employees has too much work to do leads to reactive hiring and ineffective recruiting. Create an organization chart for your business showing where you are now and where you’d like to be in three years. Organize your chart by department or function, show the hierarchy of managers and subordinates, and create specific job titles for each position.

Write Detailed Job Descriptions

To effectively recruit the right people for the right job, both you and candidates should be able to match an applicant’s skill set to a job description. Write a job description for each position at your company, which should be complete enough that it can form the basis of an employee’s annual review. Include your current staff by asking them to review the initial draft of the job descriptions you’ve created. The employees who will work with whoever fills a particular position can give you realistic descriptions of what that person should do.

Check Out the Competition

Look at want ads for similar positions other companies are filling. Check out the job descriptions they give, skills they require and compensation they offer. Contact your friends and peers who hold the same position you are trying to fill, or who work closely with people in the position to get their input.

Put Together Compensation and Benefits Packages

Once you know the position you are looking to fill, what the exact skills successful candidates must have and what other companies are paying these workers, create your compensation package. Compensation includes more than just pay. It can include relocation expenses, health benefits, 401(k) match, free parking, internal wellness program or paid gym memberships, paid time off and other perks. In addition to compensation, outline the growth potential for a new employee and how her career might progress at your company. You might also negotiate flexible working hours for certain candidates to reduce time spent in traffic or make child care easier.

Create Success Benchmarks

Write a list of key performance indicators, benchmarks or other measurements that let you see how successful your recruiting is. Parameters might include number of qualified applicants for each position, an annual decrease in turnover, reduced employee training costs, employees who are promoted (vs. the need for hiring external candidates) and supervisor reviews of new hires.

Use a Variety of Methods to Announce the Job

When you’re ready to hire, use a variety of communications methods to let people know you are hiring. Start by letting your employees know you have a position that needs to be filled and allow employees to apply for the job. Before you do, check out this list of advantages and drawbacks to posting jobs internally to avoid any hurt feelings or potential defections among your current employees.

Asking employees to pass along your job posting to peers they feel are qualified is a key method for recruiting high-quality candidates, according to Jerome Ternynck, founder and CEO of SmartRecruiters. In addition to general job boards and classifieds, visit trade and professional association websites that might have job boards with a specific focus. Post the job on your social media pages and contact vendors and suppliers to let them know you are hiring.

Conduct Thorough Interviews

Create a list of questions you will ask during interviews that go beyond reviewing a candidate’s work history. Ask how a candidate has solved problems or situations you have during the work career, and how she might help you with specific goals you have. Ask your department heads to help you formulate questions by asking them what they want to know about new candidates. If you plan on having background checks, create a list of providers you can use. Don’t forget to sell the positives of your company, including its stability, growth and new products or services, to entice candidates with multiple offers.

Don’t Wait Until You Have an Opening

Your recruiting plan should be useful for any position you fill and be easy to begin implementing as soon as you know you have a need. You might have a sudden resignation, unexpected retirement, termination or death of an employee.

  • Have up-to-date job descriptions for every position at your business.
  • Have a list of skills, abilities and competencies each position will require and a list of interview questions for each potential hire.
  • Know what advertising channels you will use to post each job.
  • Keep compensation rates up to date for positions you feel you might have to fill during the coming year.
  • Research and create a list of headhunters or executive recruiters you can call to help fill high-level positions.

While you might have to do some specific research each time you have a new job to fill, the procedures you use to recruit new candidates should be the same for each position.

About the Author

Sam Ashe-Edmunds has been writing and lecturing for decades. He has worked in the corporate and nonprofit arenas as a C-Suite executive, serving on several nonprofit boards. He is an internationally traveled sport science writer and lecturer. He has been published in print publications such as Entrepreneur, Tennis, SI for Kids, Chicago Tribune, Sacramento Bee, and on websites such Smart-Healthy-Living.net, SmartyCents and Youthletic. Edmunds has a bachelor's degree in journalism.