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Staying Competitive: Five Must-Ask Questions for Your Recruiting Strategy

Strategy“We need new people practices. Nothing has changed in HR as far as our people practices,” Mara Swan said during her session “Linking Your Recruitment Strategy to Your Business Strategy” during the recent ERE Recruiting Conference & Exposition in San Diego.

According to the EVP of global strategy and talent for Manpower Group, the problem with many companies’ current recruiting efforts is that they are no longer relevant in the current workforce climate. The old way of doing things is no longer sufficient in today’s workforce. The labor market has gotten tighter, workers have more choices as to how they want to work (thanks in large part to technology that enables them to work more independently), and the demand for talent far outweighs the supply in many industries.

Therefore, the challenge employers have today is figuring out how to remain competitive and execute their business strategies in the face of a talent shortage. To do this, Swan suggests starting with the following five questions:

  1. Do I understand the shift my company needs to make to remain competitive?
  2. Do I know the jobs that drive time to value in my company?
  3. Do I know what mindset and capabilities are required?
  4. Are our work models and people practices robust enough to attract and retain the talent we need to be competitive?
  5. Am I doing what is needed to ensure our talent strategy is connected to our business strategy?

The answers to these questions provide the information companies need to understand their needs and align their recruiting strategies with their business strategies.

In addition to understanding the internal forces that affect their business, employers must also consider the external factors as well. In other words, they need to synchronize their recruiting strategies with the supply and demand of available talent (something only 41 percent of companies currently do, according to Manpower’s research).

“Your recruitment strategy should really be in terms of supply and demand,” Swan says. Understanding the current state of the where the current (and future) supply of talent is versus the demand will help you make more efficient decisions in terms of where to allocate your recruitment marketing dollars. (A tool such as CareerBuilder’s Supply & Demand Portal, for instance, reveals where the supply for specific jobs and skills is the greatest, where demand is highest and who else is competing for the same workers, all of which helps you zero in on the best places to recruit.)

In short, the old way of doing things in recruitment no longer applies in the current workforce climate. If jobs are going unfilled, that should be a wake-up call that something about the strategy needs to change. It’s time to rethink recruitment.

Mary Lorenz

About Mary Lorenz

Mary is a copywriter for CareerBuilder, specializing in B2B marketing and corporate recruiting best practices and social media. In addition to creating copy for corporate advertising and marketing campaigns, she researches and writes about employee attraction, engagement and retention. Whenever possible, she makes references to pop culture. Sometimes, those references are even relevant. A New Orleans native, Mary now lives in Chicago, right down the street from the best sushi place in the city. It's awesome.


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