Guide to How Companies Recruit Employees

MultI-pronged Employer Recruitment Strategies

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How do companies recruit in an era where technology rules? Recruiting and hiring have changed significantly over the years and continues to evolve as technology changes. It's important for job seekers to be aware of how companies recruit so they can take advantage of the ways that companies are finding qualified applicants to hire.

What Is Recruitment?

What is recruitment? Recruitment is one of the steps in the hiring process companies use to recruit and hire new employees.

The recruitment phase of the hiring process takes place when the company tries to reach a pool of candidates through job postings on company and external websites, job referrals, help wanted advertisements, college campus recruitment, social media recruiting, and other recruiting outreach.

Job applicants who respond to the recruitment efforts of the company are then screened to determine if they are qualified for the job.

Selected candidates are invited to interviews and other methods of assessment. Employers may check the background of prospective employees, as well as check references prior to making a job offer and hiring the top candidate for the position.

Passive Vs. Active Recruiting

In some cases, employers passively recruit by simply posting jobs on their company website and waiting for applicants to find the job posting and apply. They don't need to do anything else because of the volume of applications they receive. Other companies are actively recruiting candidates using many different ways to connect with and engage potential employees. Even if they do get many applications they want to be sure they are reaching the best candidates including those who may not be actively seeking employment, but may be interested if they saw a job posting or were recruited.

Recruiting on Company Websites

Many large corporations have more applicants than they can readily manage, so there is no need to advertise extensively for candidates for employment. For example, Southwest Airlines received 342,664 resumes and hired 7,207 new employees in 2016. That's a lot of applicants for every available job. Still, Southwest has a Careers section of the company website with information on jobs, benefits, the company culture, internships and tips on what it's like to work at Southwest. Applicants can apply online by uploading, copying and pasting, or using the resume wizard to get their resume into Southwest's applicant systems.

Reports indicate that Google receives millions of resumes each year and many other major employers receive comparatively large numbers of applications, as well.

If you know of companies where you would like to work, your first step should be to check out the company website to find available openings and apply online. Going directly to the source will get your application in the system fast, and you may be able to sign up to be notified of new job openings as soon as they are posted.

Job Boards

Job boards still play a significant role in company recruiting. Major employers post open positions on job boards like,, and Job seekers can create a profile on these sites and upload resumes and letters to apply for jobs. In addition, many of the top job boards have mobile apps so you can job search on the fly from your phone or tablet.

Job Search Engines

Job search engines are a good way for job seekers to get job listings fast, because they search many sources where employment opportunities are listed. Even though a job search engine finds many jobs automatically when it searches the Internet, companies use them to recruit directly as well.

For example, is a national job search site administered by DirectEmployers, a nonprofit human resources consortium of leading global employers, and the National Association of State Workforce Agencies. Job listings from member companies are posted directly on the US.job sites.

In addition, employers that would like their open positions featured on a job search engine can, for example, tap into's Recruitment Advertising Solutions to receive premium web placement, feed jobs from the company website to Facebook and take advantage of a variety of other recruiting options.


LinkedIn continues to be the dominant network for professional recruiting with 96% of employers surveyed by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) in 2015 using it to recruit.

LinkedIn's Recruiting Solutions enables companies to easily source candidates, share and advertise jobs on LinkedIn and create company career pages to attract and engage talent.

Job seekers can search for job openings directly on LinkedIn and follow companies to get the latest news and current job openings. To use LinkedIn most effectively, your profile should be carefully optimized so recruiters can find you when they search for qualified candidates.


Yes, companies do still place help wanted ads in newspapers, and your local paper can be a good source of job listings. You don't have to buy a paper to find the listings. Check online, and you'll find classified ads for a variety of local jobs on your newspaper's websites.


Employers love referred candidates because the applicant has a recommendation in advance from one of the company's employees. When there's a referral, there is a better chance of getting a qualified candidate because the employee knows the company and the type of person needed for the job.

Plus, referrals streamline the hiring process. In fact, some companies pay bonuses to employees who refer candidates who are hired. For the job seeker, getting a referral from someone who already works at a company can be a great way to get your resume a close look from the hiring manager.

Social Recruiting

The use of social recruiting, which takes place when companies use social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to advertise job openings and recruit potential employees is continuing to increase. HR Managers who responded to the SHRM survey considered Linkedin the most effective (73 percent) social media site for recruiting, followed by Facebook (66 percent) and Twitter (53 percent).

Companies, large and small, have Facebook and Twitter pages where you will find company information, job postings, tips and advice for applying and information about what it's like to work for the company. Companies often post open jobs to these sites prior to posting elsewhere, so if you follow the company on Twitter or like it on Facebook, you'll be able to get a head start on getting your application in.

In addition to companies participating in social recruiting efforts, the job boards also have a strong social media presence. Most top sites have Twitter pages where they tweet job openings and career advice. On Facebook, for example, you can find job listings and career tips on the Facebook pages of many job boards.

Walk-In Applications

Many smaller employers do still hire the old-fashioned way with a sign in the window. If you're interested in a job with a local company, don't hesitate to apply in-person if you see a sign or stop in and ask if the company is hiring if you don't. You have nothing to lose, and a job to gain, by asking a quick question.