Proactive vs. Reactive: Strengthen Your Recruitment Strategy

Does your company’s recruitment strategy look something like this?

  • Employee gives notice/is terminated/is promoted
  • Company posts open position on ATS
  • Company conducts interviews for undetermined number of weeks until proper candidate is found
  • Candidate then must give notice to now, former employer
  • Candidate starts at Company

This is an example of what is known as reactive recruitment. With reactive recruitment, the process of finding candidates begins only once a known need arises. Seems logical, right? Also seems to take a while though. At your company, how long does a position sit vacant until the proper candidate is found, vetted, and can start work. So really, reactive recruitment means that a company is starting off late in the process and costing themselves extra money. That's where proactive recruitment comes in.

Recruit Like the Pros

Successful proactive recruitment is akin to successful sports recruitment.

  • Coaches know what positions they may need more depth in, or may be rotating off.
  • They keep an eye out for up and coming talent by sending scouts to schools and attending combines.
  • Teams and/or schools (depending on the organization) are always finding ways to get their names out there, through commercials, social media, and charitable giving.

When we look at sports organizations, this makes sense. So why don't more business organizations adopt this model? Really, it's a matter of habit; a habit that can be changed with a few simple steps.

First and foremost, know what you don't know. Confusing, right? You can't be proactive if you don't know what your future hiring needs are going to be. Meet with your teams regularly. Know which employees may be struggling and "rotating off" soon, or which may be excelling and getting promoted, leaving a need at that position. Find out if departments may be growing and need more team members. So, know what you don't know.

Second, have a book of talent ready to go. This means interviewing people, even when you don't have positions available. This may seem counterintuitive, but it actually makes perfect sense. The more people you meet with prior to having a need, the faster your hiring process can move once the need arises. Attending job fairs is another great way to build a block of talent, especially for entry-level positions.

Third, establish a solid marketing and advertising plan. It should include a strong social media presence, incorporating Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, among others. Consider including community outreach programs or charitable giving. The more brand recognition your company has, the more likely candidates will seek out your company when job searching. This is important because it not only increases your candidate pool, it increases the quality of candidates applying as well.


The more you practice these steps, the more they will become second nature. Would you like to take the first step in being proactive with your recruitment? Subscribe to receive our blogs.

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