Recruitment Methods

  • Recruitment
Recruitment Methods
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Peninsula Group, HR and Health & Safety Experts

(Last updated )

What are the different methods of recruitment your business can use? We explore your options in the digital era, ensuring you can reach talented candidates with ease.

As your business grows, so will your workforce. That is why you need to know the best methods for recruiting new employees.

If not, you could find yourself struggling to fill vacant roles. This could lead to a drop in productivity and increased employee turnover.

In this guide, we'll look at what recruitment methods are, some of the most popular methods of recruitment and the benefits of them.

What are recruitment methods?

Recruitment methods are the various ways that employers identify potential candidates. Having a range of methods can help your source qualified candidates from a range of backgrounds.

This can help you hire top talent and fill vacancies quickly and easily. This in turn can help you grow your business, meet important deadlines and solve pressing business problems.

What are the main types of recruitment methods?

Most recruitment methods fall into two main categories. These are external and internal methods.

While each of these are different, neither one is better than the other. They both offer employers the chance to expand their talent pool which can help them hire a diverse workforce.

Every job role is different and requires different skills. That's why it's important for companies to utilise recruitment methods at their disposal.

Let's explore them in more detail:

External recruitment

External recruitment is when you hire candidates from outside of your company. This can help you attract candidates with new skills that your company needs to grow and expand.

Recruiting externally can help you bring in new viewpoints and ideas. This helps you find new approaches to ongoing problems. However, it can be more costly and time consuming as you need to source candidates before interviewing them.

Internal recruitment

Internal recruitment is when you source and hire candidates from your existing workforce. Recruiting internal employees can help you retain top talent and minimise staff turnover.

You can recruit internally by offering current staff promotions or an internal transfer to another department. However be aware that these are not quite the same thing and can come with different requirements and rules.

There are some issues that can arise when recruiting internally. By keeping your talent pool small you can limit the amount of diversity in your workforce. This can prevent new ideas coming to fruition and limit your company's innovation.

Benefits of using different recruitment methods

Investing in new recruiting methods can help you discover the best candidates for a role. When performing a job search, potential employees may use multiple platforms and avenues to find the best fit.

By not utilising multiple methods you may be missing out on some great candidates that could improve your workforce.

What are other types of recruitment methods?

Every employer should have a range of recruitment methods within their arsenal. This can help them to plan ahead and fill vacancies quickly and efficiently.

Relying on one method can mean that you miss out on great suitable candidates that can help motivate and drive your current employees and company goals.

Direct advertising

This is when employers place adverts on career sites, public job boards or in industry publications. Direct advertising can be a great way to advertise to a range of candidates and it gives great exposure to employer branding.

However, this type of advertising can be very expensive and slow down the hiring process.

If job ads aren't targeted correctly you could attract unsuitable applicants. This can waste both time and money making the recruitment process more difficult.

Employee referral program

Employee referrals are a great way to utilise word of mouth. Your employees likely know what skills are needed to thrive in a role. Therefore they can help you identify the best candidates without the need to post expensive job adverts.

Not only are employee referrals a cost effective recruitment method, they also allow potential candidates to understand more about your company culture. A direct word of mouth recommendation is usually much more trustworthy than job ads placed on online job boards.

This method can help attract passive candidates who take an interest in your company. You can encourage your staff to refer potential candidates by offering financial incentives or company perks and benefits.

Talent pool databases

A lot of hiring decisions end in an employer having to make a choice between two qualified candidates. The one who isn't chosen is often very talented but may not be suited for this particular role.

In this instance employers may save the employee's details in case a more suitable role becomes available. Contacting applicants within your talent pool can help you identify job seekers with the right skills and experience quickly and efficiently.

Boomerang employees

Sometimes employees will leave your business due to external circumstances. This means that they leave on positive terms with their managers and senior employees. Because of these strong relationships they may be considered for future roles.

Boomerang employees have the benefit of already fitting into your company culture and internal structure. This often places them above other potential applicants as it makes the induction process quicker and helps minimise the risk of a bad hire.

Recruitment agencies

Recruitment agencies are a great way to outsource hiring. Recruiters will monitor your company's job openings and take a hands-on approach to attract applicants.

They can do this by placing job adverts on various platforms for you. But they may also make direct contact with passive candidates if they have the relevant skills needed.

However, a recruiter costs money and can increase your hiring costs dramatically. While they may have better recruitment tools and hiring tactics, you will need to compare their worth to the costs. Once recruitment agencies have found a potential new hire, they will arrange an in person interview.

Recruitment events

Recruitment events or job fairs are a great way to generate interest around your business. Many talented candidates visit these events to find their next job or to explore a similar position at a new company.

These events are a great way for your HR team to widen their talent pools. However your team should know exactly the kind of candidate they want to attract for a new vacancy. Otherwise they may come away with too few applications or attract unsuitable applicants.

Professional associations

Hiring for highly skilled positions can come with its own set of challenges. During this recruitment process your hiring managers may struggle to find candidates with the necessary skills.

Many professions require candidates to join an appropriate professional association. When performing a talent search these databases can help you find credible candidates that fit your job description.

Social media

Professional social media platforms have become one of the most common, innovative recruitment methods. These sites allow you to list job postings at a much lower price than online job boards.

They also help you target passive candidates as well as those actively looking for roles. These sites can also help with employee referrals as they provide direct links to company pages and application sites.

Offline vs online recruitment methods

Different recruitment methods create different results. Both offline and online recruitment methods can aid in the hiring process, but online applications have become much more common.

However every recruitment method has its merits. And ultimately the type of method or job advertisement that you choose to utilise will depend on the role and candidate you want to attract.

Online recruiting is faster and can expose the same business to a wider array of potential applicants. This can help promote an employer brand and help you use more recruiting tools.

Offline recruiting methods however are often more cost effective. They can also result in a better employee retention rate due to the amount of face to face communication.

How to best utilise your recruitment methods

When conducting your hiring process there are a few things that you should keep in mind. This can help you to find the best fit for you and your company and avoid a bad hiring decision.

Let's explore some tips to better improve your recruitment method.

Create effective job listings

A great job post is the first step to attracting the best talent. With so many candidates looking for job listings online and on social media, yours needs to stand out.

An informative and clear job post limits the number of questions from applicants. This leaves you with more time to focus on finding the best person for the role.

A good job advert should be more than just a description of the role. You should provide insight into your company's values, culture and brand identity.

Prioritise diversity

A diverse workforce is often a more successful one. Workforces flourish when there are a range of new ideas being brought in by all employees. These new approaches can help you to solve difficult problems quickly and efficiently.

Promoting diversity in the hiring process is a great way to achieve this. Encourage applicants from all backgrounds to apply by highlighting the inclusive nature of your business. In return you will receive a diverse talent pool of innovative ideas.

Create a positive experience for candidates

Your hiring process is often the first insight potential employees get into your business. That's why you want to ensure that it's a good one. It's important to manage the recruitment process fairly and correctly by informing candidates of your decision promptly.

This allows them to consider their options and apply elsewhere if needs be. A bad recruitment process can discourage an applicant from accepting a role. You should be clear about what the process entails and how long it will take. As well as if they will need to complete a task.

Keep your options open

It can be tempting to rush into a hiring decision. Especially if the candidate feels like a great fit for your company. However, doing so can result in a poor hiring decision. The last thing you want is to let a new employee go right after hiring them.

Take your time and consider all the applicants you have on offer. And explore different avenues for meeting possible applicants. Doing this can help you make a better informed decision that can improve your company's growth.

Focus on potential

When recruiting, hiring managers can begin their search with a list of non-negotiables. While finding the perfect candidate that ticks every box would be ideal, they likely don't exist.

New recruits may need some time to settle in and develop their skills before they can make the role their own. Focusing on training and development needs can help you grow the ideal candidate. This employee will then repay your investment with increased productivity and loyalty.

Get expert guidance from Peninsula on recruitment methods

It's important for all businesses to get recruitment right. Otherwise they may face staff shortages, costly recruiting fees and high employee turnover.

When businesses get it right they are rewarded with employee loyalty and higher levels of productivity.

Peninsula offers expert advice on managing Tribunal time limits. Our HR team offers unlimited 24/7 HR employment services which are available 365 days a year.

Want to find out more? Contact us on 0800 028 2420 and book a free consultation with an HR consultant today.


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