Press & Media

5 Critical Focus of Targeted Recruitment 


In planning a recruitment process, a crucial question needs to be addressed: “Who should be hired?” The answer to this question affects two critical points in recruitment, namely: 

  • What recruitment messages that organisations want to communicate, such as when rehiring former employees, employers do not need to provide detailed information about the organisation. 

  • How an organisation publicises a position, such as recruiters looking to fill positions with older workers should recognise that they might be less likely to use some forms of social media. 

James Breaugh’s research on employment found that relatively few research has addressed the topic of targeted recruitment. Yet, combining the existing research with practitioner reports on this topic allows for some good recommendations. Employers usually focus on skills, experience, education, and other worker-related attributes when deciding what groups to target for recruitment. This narrow focus is understandable, but employers could benefit from broadening the range of factors considered. 

See also: 4 Examples of Successful Recruiters 

Looking at a job applicant’s perspective could offer insight into other factors to consider in deciding whom to target for recruitment. Here are five focuses for recruiters when deciding targeted recruitment. 

Position attractiveness 

SHRM research shows that job candidates evaluate the overall attractiveness of a job opening based on desirability of attributes it offers, a likelihood of receiving a job offer and a number of alternative options job seekers have within the company. It can be difficult for an employer to change individuals’ attitude about an organisation, therefore it makes sense to target individuals who are positively predisposed to working in an organisation. These might include people who previously applied for a position within the organisation, people who follow the organisation on social media, current customers of the organisation, people who will not need to relocate, and those who are similar to current employees. When targeting candidates similar to the current employee base, employers must do it in the right way and thus make a position more attractive to these groups. 

Position insight and self-insight 

No employer wants to hire individuals who are not a good fit both in terms of skills and job expectations. Two factors to consider in recruiting are a candidate’s understanding of what the position entails (position insight) and a candidate’s awareness of his or her talents and interests (self-insight). To maximise both factors, it makes sense to focus on recruitment carefully. In this targeted series, employers might want to consider targeting those who are former employees, former interns. Temporary workers and candidates who have worked in similar jobs with other employers are also likely to have considerable position insight and self-insight. 

Targeting customers 

A number of organisations have targeted customers for recruitment, such as Ikea, Wells Fargo, and Cabela’s. Targeting customers as future workers can be a particularly effective strategy for small organisations because their customers are usually easy to contact, have a good sense of the workplace and often have a positive impression of working there.

Targeting seniors 

SHRM reported that older individuals are often overlooked as a source of talents. The truth is, older workers offer advantages of being willing to work part-time and not needing health insurance if they qualify for Medicare. Some employers have also found that even for those older workers who do not qualify for Medicare, the higher health care costs are offset by lower rates of absenteeism and turnover. 

Targeting for diversity 

Many employers are committed to having a diverse workforce because it makes good business sense. If employers want diverse customers, their workforces should reflect that diversity. Some employers seek diversity in their workplaces because they have a sense of social responsibility. Meanwhile, some others seek diversity to reduce the likelihood of a lawsuit or to comply with Employment Law requirements for government contractors. Whichever the reason is, a recruitment process that reaches a diverse audience is key to attracting a diverse workforce. 

To this matter, employers should not only consider individuals with disabilities, but also those with criminal histories. Avoiding hiring a candidate with a criminal record can be misguided, especially for an employer with hard-to-fill positions. Ex-convicts could make excellent and loyal employees. Hiring these groups, employers should put a policy in place in order to avoid discrimination practices within workplace towards certain groups, including pay, job accessibility, job responsibility, etc. 

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