Recruitment Strategy: Elements of Success & Template

In this day and age, a recruitment strategy is critical to the future of any business. But how do you begin to think about attracting talent, and how do you differentiate yourself from the competition? Let’s dive into what effective recruitment strategies look like.

Recruitment Strategy

Recruitment And Retention Strategies

Strong recruitment leads to strong retention. It makes sense, right? If you do a better job of hiring people who are a good fit for the role and for your organization, the chances are higher that they’ll remain at your organization. Therefore, a good retention strategy always begins with a good recruitment strategy at its core.

So, how do you recruit the right people? Effective recruiting requires effective salesmanship – you must know your audience and tailor the message to them. Without understanding what candidates care about (pay, growth opportunities, meaning, etc.) you can’t effectively sell your organization or the role.

In a tight labor market, you can’t just post a job on an online job board and expect 200 qualified candidates to come breaking down your door. Beating the competition to top talent requires thinking differently about recruitment than everyone else.

Elements Of a Successful Recruiting Strategy

Generally, a successful recruitment strategy clearly articulates a company’s brand, the necessary skills required for certain positions, and outlines a plan for growth and flexibility within the open role. Additionally, targeting your recruitment strategy to both active (i.e., people currently looking to get hired) and passive (i.e., people gainfully employed or happy to not be working but open to new roles) candidates through networking can be highly effective.

Keeping these elements in mind, the following sections outline the similarities and differences between the two types of recruiting strategies: “creative” and “corporate.”

Creative Recruitment Strategies

It doesn’t take much to be considered “creative” when it comes to recruitment. Our advice: go where others in your space aren’t looking and stop using the same language for every audience.

Here’s a great example: In the mid-2000s, some consulting firms, who were competing against peers for talent at top MBA programs, began to structurally recruit PhD and other advanced degree candidates. McKinsey was one of the first of the top firms to do this, recognizing that PhDs often have equivalent (or better) analytical and problem-solving skills than MBA students.

However, the firm messaged specifically to these candidates by showcasing how the skills they’d built in academia were a fit for consulting and how a role at McKinsey offered broader career and impact opportunities. In addition, the firm empowered them to navigate the daunting interview process by providing interview prep resources. This gave the firm an early pipeline into another community of top talent that wasn’t traditionally recruited. As a result, McKinsey diversified its talent base while continuing to position itself for future growth.

In the same vein, consulting firms and Fortune 2000 companies leverage the Management Consulted community to gain access to talent. 1.2M annual readers/listeners and 75K email subscribers trust MC to provide alerts on open positions across industries. The MC community is made up of current and former management consultants; prospective consultants with strategy, sales/marketing, finance, tech, engineering, and law backgrounds; and students from top undergraduate and MBA programs.

We give you a chance to put a “face to the name” by facilitating virtual info sessions that allow you to speak directly to our community. Reach out today to learn more about getting your open roles in front of our rockstar community.

In addition, many creative recruitment strategies focus on offering incentives to pull potential employees away from similar firms that are also hiring. Some examples of creative recruitment strategies include offering relocation reimbursement, profit sharing, unlimited performance bonuses, increased PTO, and more.

Employee referrals are also one of the most effective ways to fill a position. Leveraging current employees invests them in the search process and expands your pool of potential applicants.

Creative recruitment strategies usually rely heavily on the internet, so concepts such as hosting virtual happy hours and job fairs, or even advertising a position through Management Consulted, are innovative solutions to the age-old problem of finding the right candidates.

Corporate Recruiting Strategies

In comparison to creative recruitment strategies, corporate recruiting strategies are more formal and targeted plans to hire a candidate, with account budgeting and resource management at the forefront.

Corporate recruiting strategies rely heavily on more traditional forms of advertising, marketing, and communication to get the word out about a job. This includes creating a clear profile of the type of employee a company is looking for and going only where prior experience says that type of candidate can be found.

A good example of a traditional corporate recruiting strategy is the use of target schools and former employee hiring pools. However, traditional methods are running up against constraints in this new era of talent acquisition – even McKinsey & Co., a strict adherent to the target school model, hired analysts from over 370 universities last year.

Recruitment Strategy Template

If you’re looking for a recruitment strategy example, check out the following recruitment strategy template from Partnership for Public Service. It includes a step by step instruction guide on how to plan, source, attract, and engage new hires and potential employees. This plan specifically outlines how to determine your recruitment goals, target the right sources to search for talent, and train managers on how to interview and communicate your brand effectively to potential applicants. The following link also includes a recruitment strategy template for every HR department and hiring manager that needs to develop or improve their recruitment strategy.


There are several recruitment and retention strategies that can be utilized to find the right employees. But if you take one thing away from today’s discussion, it should be this – if you’re doing things the way you’ve always done them, you’re missing out on talent.

One creative solution? Working with Management Consulted to fill open roles. Schedule a free call with a member of our team today for more information.


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Filed Under: Corporate Training