Too often, we tend to think of performance management as a process focused strictly on the after-hiring side of things. That is natural. After all, that’s where the rubber meets the road, so to speak. However performance starts before the employee ever walks through the door. Your employee recruitment practices should be designed to ensure your new hires are the right fit for your organization.

However, performance management begins long before you ever hire an employee. Creating accurate job descriptions is part of it. So is creating an employee recruitment plan. Without an accurate employee recruitment plan, you cannot ensure that you’re bringing the right people on board, but the process of creating such a plan can be problematic.

Employee Recruitment

Why Is a Recruitment Plan Even Necessary?

You could be asking yourself, we already require resumes and require applicants to go through several interviews. Why do we need yet another piece to the hiring puzzle? The truth is that interviews and applications are great, but they only go so far and are insufficient to ensure that you’re hiring the best possible candidates. To achieve that goal, you need a plan.

Steps in Creating an Employee Recruitment Plan

To create an accurate, usable employee recruitment plan, you’ll need to complete several steps. We discuss those below in chronological order.

Is There a Need?

First, make sure that there is an actual need to hire a new employee. If you have the existing talent in-house, are they interested in moving to the vacant position? Do you even know if you have the in-house skills required for the position?

The right performance management system can help. It tracks skills, aptitudes, interests, and more. You can then connect vacant positions with existing employees, moving them forward along their desired career path. Then, you can hire for another position, instead. This process is called succession planning, and it allows you to improve employee loyalty while reducing the time and costs associated with employee churn and ongoing hiring.

During this time, you will need to take a couple of other steps. First, create a job specification using both an accurate job description and a job analysis. This will help ensure that you have an accurate idea of the skills and capabilities necessary for in-house talent or new hires.

If there is an actual need to hire a new employee for the initial position, it’s time to bring together your team. You will need the HR recruiter, the hiring manager, and any other stakeholders with vested interests in the hire, such as managers who are customers of the position, and even coworkers.

Define the Necessary Characteristics

Using the job specification you created in the previous step, you now need to define and rank the characteristics that you must see in an applicant. Note that this may also be an opportunity to refine the job specification using feedback from others, including employees who previously were in that position and performed the job successfully. You will need to rank:

  • Characteristics and qualities
  • Job experience
  • Education level
  • Soft skills
  • Hard skills

When it comes to characteristics that you want to see in an employee, other than the skills necessary to do the job, you will also want to see:

  • Integrity
  • Innovation
  • Problem-solving capabilities
  • Conflict resolution skills
  • Responsibility
  • Curiosity

The hierarchical list you create here will provide your HR recruiter with the information necessary to create compelling, accurate job descriptions to be used during the hiring process. By prioritizing the characteristics and qualities most necessary for the job, you accelerate the process of screening applicants for the interview process.

Know Where You Will Post the Description

Your job description must go out into the wild to attract potential candidates, but where will you post it? Your corporate website is a given, but where else? Numerous hiring websites offer plenty of possibilities –,, and are just a few of them.

You also have other options. You can ask existing employees for referrals or to ask their connections on social networks like Facebook or LinkedIn, for instance. The point is that you must create a deep pool of potential candidates, all with the skills, capabilities, and characteristics defined in the previous step.

Who Will Interview Them?

Before you can begin the hiring process, you will need to decide who will interview job candidates and in what order those interviews will take place. Many companies choose to begin with a basic phone interview for general screening purposes. From there, potential hires move to in-person (or video) interviews with specific people in the organization or groups of people.

You can include virtually anyone necessary in your employee recruitment interview, but make sure that you are screening for the right things throughout the process, including the following:

  • Job fit
  • Characteristics/qualities fit
  • Cultural fit
  • Technical skills (if applicable)
  • Hard and soft skills

Create the Right Onboarding Process

After the interview, successful candidates will be onboarded into the company. This process is crucial to get right. It provides not just an introduction for the employee, but can also be an important way to instill cultural values, assess capabilities, provide on-the-job training, and so much more.

Your onboarding process should be more than simply watching an orientation video and completing some mandatory corporate training via your LMS. The employee should be actively engaged, provided with adequate time to get up to speed, and offered a guided experience to take a deep dive into the company, what it does, why their role matters, and who they will be working with.

Wrapping It All Up

Creating an employee recruitment plan does require time and effort. However, with the right tools, such as a modern performance management system, and the right people, it becomes simpler. And, with an accurate plan, you can ensure that you are truly hiring those best suited for the organization and the job role.

With better hiring, you also achieve other benefits, including reduced hiring-related costs, improved employee loyalty, decreased attrition and churn, and an improved ability to compete within your market. Without an employee recruitment plan, you are essentially “flying blind”, which is no way to grow a business.