6 steps for developing a recruitment plan (with templates)

recruitment plan template

It’s no secret that recruiting and hiring can be costly. According to Zippia, the average cost per hire is $4,425, and up to 40% of an employee’s base salary to hire a new employee with benefits. Multiply that by the number of new hires you’re planning 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.

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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. Recruitment plans help those in hiring positions gain more control over the hiring process through the use of streamlined processes and procedures. Recruiting plans also provide insight into hiring timelines so hiring managers know what to expect as far as turnaround time goes when they post an opening. 

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

6 steps to create a rock-solid recruitment plan

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 need to have an understanding of 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 hiring managers, leaders, and the HR team. For example, coordinate the growth trajectory objectives of the business with leaders to set clear goals around hiring and recruiting. 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 specific to 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 take it into consideration 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 role. Don’t forget to take turnover estimations into account, 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 role. Ensure you ask for all relevant information including necessary skills, certifications or education, and preferred experience.

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 the process of 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 common sourcing activities include: 

  • Identifying specific job boards to post open roles 
  • Using social media recruiting 
  • Outsourcing to recruitment and staffing agencies
  • 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 should 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, maybe all candidates complete a 30-minute screening phone call with a recruiter before moving on to the next screening stage for their role. Be mindful of candidates’ experiences and avoid creating too many layers during the screening period. Candidate screening activities might include:

  • Using applicant tracking systems 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. 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 ahead for the onboarding process which includes set 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. Put your strategies to the test, and adjust your plan over time, always reflecting your organization’s agreed-upon recruiting 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 for you. We rounded up a few options we thought would be most valuable: 

Go forth and find great talent

With the right recruitment plan, you’re bound to find the right candidates for your organization in no time. Aim to create a recruitment plan that supports your business structure and goals. Follow the six-step plan to creating a recruitment plan for your organization, which covers everything from forecasting hiring needs to create a sourcing strategy. Review your plan regularly and adjust the sails as needed. 

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