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4 Recruiting Models: Which is the Best for Your Company?

ByJeff Zinser, writer
Apr 26, 2018
Image Credit: Jacob Lund/Shutterstock
> Human Resources

Hiring the right people starts with having the right recruiting model in place.

Today, companies are in the midst of a quiet crisis: hiring in a competitive labor market. It’s important to realize that if you can’t hire well, your business model will drastically suffer.

When jobs remain unfilled for weeks, months or years, it's only natural to find a scapegoat rather than take a long look in the mirror. What used to work five years ago is now the worst way to recruit talented employees, and companies need to adapt to the ever-changing job market.

New statistics on unemployment in the U.S. are encouraging from a recruiting standpoint, but need context. The U.S. unemployment rate stands at 4.1 percent, which at a glance looks great. However, it is actually lower for professional talent, approaching 2 percent in some regions. This is a historic first and requires some strategic thought about how you recruit.

Here are four recruiting models to consider.

1. Old school recruiting

Not so long ago, if you needed to fill long-time vacant job openings, the process went something like this:

  • HR runs advertisements to attract prospects.
  • Prospects respond.
  • HR evaluates each candidate.
  • HR contacts prospects to answer screening questions.
  • HR interviews prospects.
  • Prospects accept or decline the job offer.
  • If this process fails, rinse and repeat as needed.

If your recruitment process looks like this, you're trapped in the old school recruiting model and are in need of a change. Hiring this way can take weeks, if not months if nothing goes unchanged.

There are many ways the old school recruiting model fails, the least of which is not having enough control of how job seekers receive information. Job seekers hate the tedium of responding to ads, and you hate running ads because the process is too slow and generally ineffective.

Statistics on job openings suggest that this approach isn't working and hasn't worked for years. Today, a staggering 6.1 million jobs remain unfilled. To grow your business, you have to stand out.

2. Fully outsourced recruiting

The benefits of outsourced recruiting are:

  • Less internal labor costs.
  • Fewer technology costs.
  • Better results at lower costs.

Notice a pattern? It is the same strategy behind outsourcing payroll, benefits, legal or accounting: Cheaper and better results.

The decision to allocate resources this way is a strategic choice but beware that the success of outsourced recruiting depends heavily on tasking the right HR professional to select the right vendor.

Maximizing success requires that both you and your recruitment vendor understand each other's processes. Imagine the frustration when a vendor doesn't have a reliable point of contact or clear instructions. With mutual trust and reliability, both sides should be able to work collectively to meet their goals.  

3. Light internal recruiting

As a hybrid strategy, this recruiting model attempts to strike a balance between using internal HR resources and hiring a recruitment vendor. Often, this model is a small team within an HR department that serves as a task force for vetting prospects.

The problem with this model is that it’s more expensive than you would normally expect. If you do manage to control labor costs, it can still end badly. Even entry-level recruiters can command annual salaries as high as $75,000. Plus, your team can change over time as people leave for better jobs. You become a farm team, training recruiters from outside firms or larger companies.

4. Heavy internal recruiting

Think of this recruiting model as the ultimate all-in approach. Most often, global corporations use this recruiting model and benefit from a seven-figure ad budget. Although, if you're a growing company, this method won't produce the results you’re seeking.

Branding is a prime example. Global corporations with household names benefit from their brand recognition. Job seekers are more likely to apply for jobs at recognizable companies.

Technology, such as social media and applicant tracking software, plays a pivotal role in internal recruitment at large companies. Furthermore, established brands complement technology with advertising support, which growing companies simply do not have.

No matter which recruiting model you use, there are pros and cons to each one. Most often, it's a trade-off between cost and resources.

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Jeff Zinser
Jeff Zinser
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Jeff Zinser started Right Recruiting in 2003 after a successful career managing a Philadelphia-based national recruiting organization with offices in multiple cities. Jeff began his career in recruitment in 1980 after studying Labor Relations and Economics at Penn State. In addition to running Right Recruiting and managing projects, Jeff has been a resource on employment issues for FoxNews, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Fortune Magazine, FastCompany, FierceCEO, CBS and other regional and national media outlets. He has also appeared on multiple symposiums at institutions like Drexel University and TED Talk heroine Amy Cuddy.
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