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Top Talent Recruitment: Methods Demystified

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Effective recruiting strategies can help your company attract, hire and retain top talent.

Since many industries are experiencing high unemployment rates, competition for qualified employees is becoming increasingly fierce. Additionally, new technologies and advances require business owners, human resources managers, and recruiters to employ effective recruiting strategies to find, evaluate, and select the best candidates for open positions.

Each small and medium-sized business may need to develop a different recruiting strategy to meet their hiring needs, such as: in terms of function, department and budget. But how do you decide on the right recruiting method that will help you find the best talent?

In this article, we'll introduce you to the latest internal and external recruiting methods for finding top talent, discover creative techniques for targeting passive candidates, and explore different methods for evaluating applicants.

Internal recruitment methods

Before you start looking for external candidates, you can consider your existing employees for open positions within the company. This reduces the time required to build a pipeline and increases the chances of finding qualified and committed candidates. Gartner research confirms that recruiting internally can help you increase flexibility, increase employee retention, and save time and money.

Here are some methods of internal recruiting:

Employee recommendations

Employee referrals are often the most commonly used internal recruiting methods because employee referral programs benefit the employee, the referred candidate, and the company simultaneously. Employees who work within the company are familiar with the company's values and goals. Therefore, they are more likely to recommend people who have the right skills for open positions and are a good fit for the company culture.

Companies often reward the referring employee with a bonus if an applicant they recommended is hired. According to Aptitude Research, 62% of companies have reduced their average time to hire by using recruiting programs. Shelbye J. Reese, Marketing Director of Deshazo LLC, values employee referrals because they "bring in the best candidates because these fields typically have a network of other professionals and these employees can speak to the true experience of working for your company.

Internal transfer

Providing your employees with internal mobility options gives them the opportunity to develop and grow professionally while retaining top talent. Internal transfers help build a culture of continuous learning and development as employees can discover new challenges and expand their skills. This method can be particularly effective when filling positions that require specific knowledge of your company's operations or industry.

Below are some best practices for internal transfer:

  • Create transparency about open positions: Operate an online portal to simplify job applications and make them easily accessible to all employees. You can conduct workshops to sensitize employees about the portal and explain to them how suitable candidates can apply for open positions.
  • Help employees evaluate new opportunities: Provide self-assessment tools, career counseling, and feedback sessions to help employees evaluate opportunities based on their skills and career goals. Interactive workshops can also help them identify their strengths, interests and opportunities for improvement.
  • Hire internal consultants or mobility teams: Experts with deep industry knowledge can help match employees with the right tasks. They can advise employees on their career options, facilitate the application process and support their onboarding and integration.

Upskill employees

Another internal recruiting method that can be very successful is giving your employees the opportunity to acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to take on new roles within the company. Upskilling employees can help you fill gaps in your company and contribute to their professional growth.

You can start this process by conducting a skills gap analysis to identify the areas in which your employees need training. Then create targeted training programs that prioritize development in the identified areas. This way, employees learn what career paths they can pursue if they take advantage of specialized training programs.


Recognizing and promoting internal talent motivates employees and helps companies retain top performers. When a position opens up at a higher level within the company, consider internal candidates who have demonstrated exceptional skills, performance, and potential in their current position.

A promotion from within your own ranks boosts employee morale and sends a clear message about the growth and advancement opportunities within your company. It also promotes healthy competition and awakens the ambition of your employees as they see the potential for professional development.

External recruitment methods

While internal recruiting methods often help find the best candidate for a job, you may need to look for candidates outside your company to reach a more diverse talent pool and fill specific or hard-to-fill positions.

Below are some of the most common external recruiting methods used by employers:

Recruitment agencies

Hiring an experienced recruiting agency can help you find qualified candidates, especially if you don't have the in-house resources or expertise to conduct a comprehensive candidate search. Recruitment agencies have established networks and expertise in specific industries, allowing them to efficiently identify and connect qualified applicants. They can handle various aspects of the recruiting process, including job posting, candidate screening, and initial interviews, to save your internal resources time and effort.

Campus Recruitment

Collaborating with colleges, universities and other educational institutions is an effective way to attract new talent. Campus recruiting programs allow companies to connect with students and recent graduates. Attending career fairs, hosting information sessions, and offering internships or co-op programs can help you expand your company's reach and attract promising young talent.

Social media

Online platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram can help you promote your brand, post open positions, network with potential candidates, and engage with talent communities. Create content that appeals to the talent you want and use targeted advertising to reach qualified candidates who may not be actively seeking job opportunities.

Applicant tracking systems

An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) can help streamline and automate various parts of the recruiting process. It manages job postings, tracks candidate applications, and streamlines communication with candidates. It also allows you to efficiently screen and rank applicants based on predefined criteria, ensuring a more organized and efficient selection process. ATS systems also have analytics and reporting capabilities that allow you to learn more about your hiring efforts and use that data to make better hiring decisions.

Virtual reality recruiting

Virtual reality (VR) recruiting is an innovative approach that allows applicants to experience simulated work environments and gain insight into your company's culture, values and everyday work routine. VR recruiting can be particularly effective when filling positions that require specialized technical skills or assessing a candidate's ability to handle difficult situations. By immersing candidates in virtual simulations, you can accurately assess their skills and cultural fit.

Talent pool database

The use of talent pool databases, such as Online job boards and professional social networking platforms give you access to an extensive database of potential candidates who are actively seeking job opportunities. On these platforms you can search according to various criteria, such as: Search for candidates based on skills, experience and location. They give you the opportunity to proactively approach candidates who meet your needs, creating a pipeline of potential employees for current or future positions.

Systems with artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) systems are revolutionizing the recruiting process by automating repetitive tasks, analyzing resumes, and assisting in candidate selection. AI-powered recruiting solutions can quickly sift through large volumes of resumes, identify the best candidates, and even conduct initial interviews using chatbot technology. These systems can save a lot of time, allowing hiring managers to focus on building relationships with candidates and conducting more in-depth assessments.

Recruitment methods for evaluating candidates

In addition to traditional interview and resume selection processes, you should revamp your recruiting strategy and incorporate the latest technologies to assess applicants' skills and potential.

Using new assessment methods designed and implemented to minimize bias and promote inclusivity can also help you attract non-traditional candidates, according to Gartner's "5 Best Practices for Recruiting a More Diverse Workforce."

Online personality surveys

Online personality tests offer a nuanced approach to evaluating applicants by providing insights into their soft skills, communication styles and problem-solving approaches. Incorporating personality surveys into your hiring process can help uncover hidden talents and provide a more holistic understanding of each candidate's abilities.

Group activities

Group activities provide a dynamic way to assess candidates' collaboration, communication and problem-solving in a team. Incorporating group activities into your evaluation process allows for a more active display of a candidate's skills and encourages individuals to showcase their collaborative skills.


Gamification engages candidates by incorporating game elements and mechanics into the hiring process. By using interactive challenges, simulations or virtual scenarios, companies can assess their candidates' cognitive abilities, problem-solving skills and decision-making skills in a fun way.

Choosing the right recruiting methods for your company

When working on your talent acquisition strategy, it is important to select the recruiting methods that best fit your individual business needs and goals. Below are some best practices for choosing recruiting methods for your company.

  • First, understand your needs: Think about what specific skills, traits, and qualities an applicant should have to be successful at your company.
  • Assess industry trends: Stay abreast of the latest trends in your industry and align your recruiting methods with those trends to position your company as forward-thinking and attractive to top talent.
  • Consider candidates’ experiences: While you’re evaluating candidates, they’re also evaluating your company. Consider how each recruiting method impacts the candidate's journey and ensure you create a positive experience for potential employees.
  • Balance internal and external approaches: A balance between internal and external recruiting methods ensures that you maximize the potential within your company while bringing in new perspectives.
  • Use technology wisely: Evaluate applicant tracking systems, artificial intelligence solutions, and other tools to streamline your workflows, improve decision-making, and contribute to a more effective recruiting process.
  • Assess cost-effectiveness: Consider the long-term value of each recruiting method and weigh the benefits against the costs to ensure a sustainable and resource-efficient approach.
  • Develop a tailored strategy: There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to recruiting. Your job is to develop a recruiting approach that identifies top talent and aligns with your company goals.

Next Steps

In a dynamic and talent-driven business landscape, identifying and hiring top talent is not just a task, but a strategic necessity. With a comprehensive recruiting strategy that includes both internal and external methods, companies can build a high-performing workforce that is flexible, diverse and drives success.

When crafting your recruiting strategy, prioritize internal talent, expand your reach externally, and use interactive and inclusive assessment methods.

Investing in effective recruiting strategies is vital for business success. With tools like IceHrm, streamline your process for lasting results.

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