Acquiring a first-rate staff is a crucial part of every business. Employees impact the quality of service that a company offers, and reliable service translates into a loyal customer base. Employee recruitment should be a priority within every type of business, whether it is a small, privately owned company or a public corporation with hundreds of workers. It is best to approach recruiting as an ongoing process, rather than as a temporary project to tackle when an employee decides to leave or give notice. There are numerous angles to consider, from the way you want to market an open position to how your company should collect resumes and conduct interviews. Countless recruitment options exist, and evaluating each open position as a unique hiring situation will ensure that you are using the most effective and efficient methods possible.

Prepare ahead of time for recruitment

Uncovering the strongest candidates in today's marketplace requires more than simply posting a job opening online or running an ad in the local newspaper. Although these standard approaches can sometimes yield positive results, there are many other ways to ensure that you're recruiting competent candidates. For instance, cultivating a referral network of current and past employees and business acquaintances can give a company wider reach within an industry. If you notify these contacts of openings within your organization, they can help spread the word about any availability and recommend skilled colleagues for open positions.

Building up a database of potential applicants is another successful recruiting strategy than companies can use. Large corporations have an easier time doing this, as they often have a steady influx of resumes coming in when they aren't searching for immediate hires. If you are involved with a smaller business, consider aligning yourself with a professional recruiter who has already developed useful contacts and a strong talent pool to choose from. Companies that only field resumes when they are hiring can end up selecting employees based on timing and convenience instead of compatibility with open positions. Ongoing preliminary recruiting is essential because it keeps companies in contact with the job seeking population.

Find a serves as a directory for numerous professional recruiting firms, while this link from The Riley Guide site provides a short list of well-known recruitment agencies in the U.S. (Be aware that the previous page is directed toward job seekers; this gives you an idea of the type of internet resources that they encounter and use to guide their job searches.) Even companies that plan to manage their recruiting efforts on their own can benefit from researching the industry and browsing through the sites of professional recruiting firms for ideas.

How to begin the recruiting process

Before you take any active or permanent steps toward recruiting a new employee, you should to assess the job(s) that you will be advertising first. Drafting a thorough job description is necessary, and this process can help employers pinpoint exactly what they are looking for in their new hires. It also forces employers to define the positions that they are trying to fill. Instead of limiting your applicant pool with a lengthy list of necessary degrees and qualifications, think about the personality attributes and the skills that you are searching for in an employee. Focus on describing the type of environment that the employee will be placed in, the management style of the organization, and the tangible and intangible benefits of the position. An initial job description is meant to attract candidates, not scare them away.

A company should also consider the type of employee it wants to hire (e.g., full time, part time, temporary) before publicizing a job. There are advantages and drawbacks to every type of hiring situation, and executives within a business should assess their overall workload and their budget before making any definite decisions in this area. Legal considerations will also play a role in the type of employees that you take on. Full-time employees are entrenched in the activities of a company, and they are able to contribute a great deal by working 40 or more hours a week. They expect to be compensated with vacation time and sick leave, retirement fund contributions, and health benefits. Part time employees contribute fewer hours and, in turn, receive fewer benefits. Creating attractive benefit packages for both full-time and part-time employees is one of the easiest ways to recruit quality staff members.

Temporary employees work for various companies, usually on a daily or a weekly basis. They are often employed by temporary staffing firms, and these firms determine where the employees will be working and for how long. Temporary staffing firms handle the workers' wages and are responsible for withholding taxes, and in recent years, some have developed benefit packages to help out their more active employees. A company that uses temporary employees has less human resources and staffing responsibilities, but they do not play a role in recruiting the workers either. It is important to research any staffing firm that you do business with beforehand to ensure that the organization uses a thorough screening process and maintains a dependable reputation. Temp workers are usually hired for clerical and technical tasks or manual labor.

A "contract" or a "leased" employee is similar to a temporary employee in the fact that he or she does not have a permanent position. Contract employees provide specific, advanced, and professional skills, so they are paid more than temporary employees. Contractors also have longer assignments, staying at certain organizations for a few months or one to two years. Staffing firms still handle the wages and the paperwork for contract employees, which is why some workers choose to become independent contractors, securing work on their own and retaining most of the profits from it.

Every employment route involves some legal liability. These are numerous U.S. laws regarding employee recruitment and relations, and companies need to be aware of all the regulations that affect what happens before, during, and after the hiring process. Here are some helpful websites and links that you can use to research this topic further:

Choosing the appropriate recruiting strategy

As mentioned earlier, the easiest way to find and hire quality employees is to plan ahead and experiment with different recruiting methods. Referral networks and applicant databases are great resources for larger corporations, while professional recruiters make these networking tools available to smaller businesses. Factors like the internal structure of your company, your budget, and the job itself will all impact the kind of employee that you'll be looking for and how you'll publicize the opening. Networking and industry research are the best ways to seek out passive candidates (or experienced professionals not currently looking for a job), while job postings attract more entry-level workers and active job seekers. Participation in regional job fairs and recruitment on college campuses are two other methods that many businesses and corporations also use.

It is always a good idea to make the general public aware of any job openings at an organization, as it increases the applicant pool and lessens the chances that discrimination claims can be made against a company. You can publicize a position in a newspaper or on a bulletin board, but the most common way that this is done today is through an online job posting. Countless electronic recruiting sites and services exist, so choosing the one that best fits your needs is a subjective process. Certain websites cater to different industries, regions, and audiences, and their services can range in price from a few dollars a month to thousands of dollars a year. There are various organizations that operate free forums as well, and some companies simply post job openings on their personal sites. Several big-name sites that specialize in serving every type of employer are as follows:

  • Yahoo! Hot Jobs

    If you want to explore the recruiting process further and learn more about the various approaches that your company can use to find great employees, check out the following resources:

  • The Riley Guide: For Recruiters and Employers
  • Workforce Management: Recruiting & Staffing
  •'s Recruiting Section