Recruitment techniques are always evolving, and the Internet has significantly changed the landscape in recent years.

Around two thirds of UK companies are using ‘new media’ to attract candidates (CIPD 2015), but traditional methods are still viable — and a mix of the two may is favoured by many. Here’s a round-up of the most popular employee recruitment techniques.

Recruiting internally


There are many great reasons to recruit internally. Firstly, it can work out cheaper than advertising externally or using agencies — you can just run an ad for free on your company intranet or message board.

Secondly, having a policy of regular internal recruitment creates a strong progression path for your employees. That’s great for staff morale, motivation and retention. And when you do hire externally, you can promise excellent progression opportunities.

And thirdly, internal recruitment is useful for succession planning. Your present leaders aren’t going to be around forever, so it’s a good idea to develop current staff as their successors.

Advertising externally


External advertising is the biggie. There are lots of options, with new methods emerging often. And every company needs to advertise externally sometimes — especially when you’re growing.

Print advertising


Print isn’t actually dead. The print job ad might be the most traditional of all recruitment techniques. But so long as sector-specific journals and magazines are around, print ads are a great way to reach a well-defined segment of job seekers.

Web advertising


The strength of Internet advertising is proven by its growth — it’s predicted to overtake TV as the biggest ad medium by 2019 (pwc, 2015).

Advertising on recruitment websites promises a potentially wide reach at low cost. Job seekers can use Google to find specific types of job at a range of the most popular recruitment websites. And it takes only a few minutes to set up an ad.

You can also advertise vacancies on your own corporate website, although ads may be less visible than those on major sites.

Social media


Being active on social media services like Twitter allows you to ‘meet’ potential candidates in lots of ways: through shared connections, through shared discussion topics, and because it’s easy for job seekers to contact you. A quarter of UK companies are recruiting via professional networking sites like Linkedin (CIPD 2015).

Your social media activity also expands your employer brand, showing candidates what your organisational culture is like. That’s great for attracting top talent, assuming your culture is good.

It works the other way too. You can use social media to screen candidates, assessing their suitability based on the content of their online posts.

Talent search


The popularity of online recruitment has made talent search a feasible alternative to job advertising. Popular recruitment sites hold databases of thousands of CVs, which you can search using keywords to find potential candidates. There are pitfalls: the process can be time consuming, and stored CVs may not always be up to date.

Many recruitment agencies also offer specialised talent search services using their own database of job seekers.

Using recruitment agencies


Speaking of recruitment agencies, the proportion of UK organisations that use them is growing: 40% now use a mix of in-house and outsourced approaches (CIPD 2015).

A good recruiter is motivated (because they’re on commission), has recruitment skills and experience you may not, and can access a large network of potential candidates. Using a recruiter costs money, but it does keep your time free to do the things you’re best at.

For the best results, use a recruiter that understands and has contacts in your sector.

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