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6 steps for developing a recruitment plan (with templates)

6 steps for developing a recruitment plan (with templates)

Alyssa Towns
August 1, 2023
Updated on:

6 steps for developing a recruitment plan (with templates)
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It’s no secret that recruiting and hiring can be costly. According to Zippia, the average cost per hire is $4,700. On top of that, it costs up to 40% of an employee’s base salary to provide a new hire with benefits. Multiply that by the number of new hires you plan to add to your team this year — you might be seeing a lot of dollar signs. 

The solution? An effective recruitment strategy and plan is the secret to keeping recruitment efforts consistent and viable so you can focus on adding great talent to your team without eating costs. Read on to learn what an effective recruiting plan is, how to create one, and review the templates we’ve rounded up for you.

What is an effective recruiting plan?

An effective recruiting plan is a predetermined strategy for human resources (HR), hiring teams, and recruiters to follow throughout the hiring process. Hiring plans help those in hiring positions gain more control over the hiring process through streamlined operations and procedures. Recruiting plans also provide insight into hiring timelines so hiring managers know what to expect regarding turnaround time when they post an opening. 

You might be asking: what’s included in a recruiting plan? A recruitment plan template consists of a structured document designed to outline a step-by-step approach for efficiently management an organization’s recruitment needs. It encompasses a strategic plan with a recruitment strategy, hiring process, and onboarding plan. Additionally, the recruitment plan template streamlines the recruitment team's efforts by organizing resumes and categorizing potential candidates, ensuring a systematic approach to identifying the right talent for the organization. 

Effective recruiting plans vary across company sizes and industries. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach, but some general steps exist to create a solid recruitment plan for your business. Let’s dig in!

6 steps to create a rock-solid recruitment plan

Creating a rock-solid recruitment plan doesn’t happen overnight. You should follow specific steps to help you make the best strategic recruitment plan possible. At a high level, the steps include understanding your recruiting needs, forecasting future roles, identifying how you’ll source candidates, developing a screening process, and implementing an effective onboarding process.

Follow these six steps to draft a recruitment plan for your organization. Don’t forget to tailor each step and skip around as needed. 

1. Understand your recruiting needs and develop goals.

To create an effective recruiting plan, you must understand your organization’s recruiting needs and the goals you want to set to fulfill those needs. Don’t worry, you don’t have to do this part alone! Identify key stakeholders that should be a part of this process. This could include the entire recruitment team, hiring managers (and anyone else who makes hiring decisions), leaders, and the human resources team. For example, coordinate the growth trajectory objectives of the business with leaders to set clear targets around hiring and talent acquisition. These objectives should guide the recruiting team’s daily activities and workflow processes. 

As part of this step, you should also consider developing specific hiring goals such as reducing hiring time, moving recruiting efforts in-house, or finding new sourcing pipelines. Your goals should be clear and in support of your company’s mission and values. It will also be helpful to establish a recruitment budget when planning your goals so you can consider the budget as you iron out the rest of your plan.

2. Forecast your hiring needs and define the roles. 

Next, you’ll want to forecast your hiring needs and create a list of the roles to recruit for. A six-month or one-year forecast can be beneficial, but it’s best to identify a forecasting plan that works well for the size of your organization. As you list out the roles, add timelines for filling each position. Don’t forget to consider turnover estimations and encourage hiring managers to leverage a skills gap analysis to identify the roles they will need to hire for.

Once you’ve identified the roles you’ll need, work with the right key stakeholders to draft job descriptions for each position. Ensure you ask for all relevant information, including necessary skills, certifications, education, and preferred experience.

Pro-tip: Consider creating a recruitment plan timeline template (or a visual representation of the sequence of events involved in the recruitment process) that you can share with key stakeholders for each role from start to finish.

3. Commit to a candidate sourcing strategy.

Sourcing is a huge component of a recruiting strategy, and there are many avenues you can take to source candidates. Generally speaking, sourcing refers to identifying top talent for open roles at a company. And the techniques you select for your sourcing strategy will likely vary based on the size of your team, your industry, and the number of roles you’re trying to fill. Some everyday sourcing activities include: 

  • Identifying specific job boards to post open roles 
  • Using social media sites (e.g., sharing job postings on LinkedIn) 
  • Outsourcing to staffing partners or hiring a recruitment agency 
  • Developing an employee referral bonus program 
  • Attending in-person and virtual hiring events and job fairs

4. Develop a screening process.

Once you source candidates, you’ll need to screen them to ensure they move through your interview process and reach the hiring manager. Screening can vary across departments and roles, but having a consistent initial screening process can be helpful. For example, all candidates may complete a 30-minute screening phone call with a recruiter before moving on to the following screening stage. Be mindful of candidates’ experiences and avoid creating too many layers during the screening period. Candidate screening activities might include:

  • Using applicant tracking systems (ATS) to filter out unfit resumes 
  • Conducting phone screenings 
  • Scheduling panel interviews in person or virtually
  • Conducting a skills assessment during an interview

5. Establish an effective onboarding process.

Recruitment efforts extend beyond sourcing and screening. The onboarding process can make or break the new hire experience for your new employees. One employee onboarding report suggests that 64% of employees are likely to leave a new job in the first year of employment following a negative onboarding experience. The best recruitment plans cover planning for the onboarding process, including setting up on the first day, job training, mentorship programs, providing equipment, and ensuring you give new employees what they need to excel in their new role. 

6. Implement your plan and review it regularly.

It’s unlikely that your recruitment plan will be perfect on the first go-around, and it should evolve as your company grows. Set your strategies to the test, and adjust your plan over time, reflecting your organization’s agreed-upon recruitment goals.

Recruitment plan templates to get you started

Developing an employee recruitment plan doesn’t have to feel overwhelming. There are many free resources available that can make the process smoother for you and your team. Recruitment strategy templates and candidate trackers can help you stay on track — all you need to do is find the right template. We rounded up a few options we thought would be most valuable: 

Simplify your recruitment process with Clockwise 

There’s no secret to it—recruiting and hiring requires a lot of time, especially regarding screening and interviewing potential candidates. Finding the best time to meet with candidates can be painful and daunting, but the right tool can help make scheduling interviews a breeze. 

Clockwise facilitates scheduling. With its AI meeting scheduling tool, Clockwise Links, you can share your availability instantly without losing control of your schedule and calendar. Clockwise Links protects your scheduling preferences and uses AI to suggest meeting times that optimize your schedule for productivity. It takes Focus Time, preferred meeting hours, no meeting days, consecutive meetings, lunchtime, travel time, and more into consideration before surfacing the best time to meet. 

Not only that, but Clockwise can also help you preserve Focus Time so you can dive into the nitty gritty of recruiting, which might include tasks like updating job descriptions, recording notes from screening calls and other interviews, and posting vacancies on LinkedIn. You tell Clockwise how much Focus Time you need each week for your tasks, and it automatically protects that time for you. 

Go forth and deploy your recruitment strategy

With the right recruitment plan, you will quickly find the right candidates for your organization. Aim to create a recruitment plan that supports your business structure and goals. Follow the six-step method to create a recruitment plan for your organization, which covers everything from forecasting hiring needs to building a sourcing strategy. Review your plan regularly and adjust the sails as needed.

Read next, how to use AI tools for recruiting.

About the author

Alyssa Towns

Alyssa Towns is a freelance writer for Clockwise based in Denver, CO. She works in communications and change management. She primarily writes productivity and career-adjacent content and has bylines in G2, The Everygirl, Insider, and other publications. When she isn't writing, Alyssa enjoys trying new restaurants with her husband, playing with her Bengal cats, adventuring outdoors, or reading a book from her TBR list.

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