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

business.com editorial staff
business.com editorial staff

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

  • Old school recruiting models are in need of change.
  • Fully outsourced recruiting is a great option for companies that don't have the resources to hire internally.
  • Social media and applicant tracking software plays a pivotal role in internal recruitment at large companies.

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.

Here are four recruiting models to consider.

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 over 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.

To grow your business, you have to stand out.

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.  

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.

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.

Innovative recruitment strategies

Recruiting can be challenging, but along with the above recruitment methods, there are a number of innovative ways to expand your recruiting methods. When it comes to recruitment methods, one of the best options is through employee referrals. Referred employees are often more engaged, more productive and are more likely to remain loyal. This is the time of technology, so why not utilize modern methods to recruit new employees. Some ways to use modern technology as a recruiting method may include:


Although texting may not be thought of as innovative, when used as a recruiting strategy, it can be very effective. The majority of text messages get read, so this method is an ideal way to engage with potential applicants during the process of recruitment, schedule assessments and interviews, and update candidates on the interview progress.

Social media

People spend about 45% of their time on mobile devices, so what better way than to use social media in your recruiting efforts. If you are searching for qualified younger generations to fill positions, social media sites such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are ideal places to start.

Video recruiting

The use of video technology is a great way to interview candidates that live near or abroad. Video interviewing can save you both time and money while allowing you the access of a large candidate pool. Video interviewing lets you collect a wide range of data, such as nonverbal communication and verbal responses, which allow you to identify a candidate's reactions, without spending the time and money for an in-person, in-office interview.

Recruiting in modern times can be challenging as well as exciting, but in order to find the ideal candidates, you'll need to be creative and step outside of your comfort zone by trying new, innovative methods.

Image Credit: fizkes / Getty Images
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