Quick strategies to be a smarter recruiter

There are 10 zillion things in the world you can do to hire better and faster. Some of them could even be cool magic tricks. The Google search for ‘Hacks to recruit better’ returns 1,36,00,000 results in 0.42 seconds.

Of those ton of things, only a numbered few are in your power. They are things YOU can change,

  • Today, right away. Not in the next 5 years.
  • Which are purely in your control, meaning, you get to drive them or initiate them.
  • That doesn’t involve a budget negotiation with your executive team.

5 Practical strategies you can practice to be a recruiter that truly makes a difference

Any business challenge comes down to doing something faster, doing something better, doing it with a lot more expertise or ease or finesse. 


So does hiring! Every challenge that revolves around hiring comes down to hiring faster, hiring better, and hiring at the efficiency level of MAXIMUM. The techniques we discuss today will help you affect exactly the time and quality involved in hiring, and chisel the methods of achieving them both.

#1 Take control of the time spent in the process

The understanding of time-to-fill can be different for different stakeholders. 


The recruiter’s clock is ticking for a job that needs to be filled. The hiring manager’s clock is ticking for the day the employee is fully ramped up and ready to contribute. The management’s clock is ticking for something that needed to be done 20 years ago – like workforce planning or management.

So, you get the drift right? One company, different people, different time clocks.

As a recruiter, sometimes you need to know how to take the lead and give people what they want in the process. For example, what if you could cut down the time-to-fill or time-to-ramp up for your hiring managers? What if you could analyze a little bit and forecast what roles are going to eventually open?

Don’t wait for the requisitions to be approved. Instead, you be the one to show hiring managers the roles that could potentially open up. Let them know that if they need a hire in 3 months, ‘NOW’ is when they should open that requisition. That’s how you stay ahead of time in the process.

#2 Be equipped to screen without your hiring manager

Another way to cut down time in the hiring process is by equipping yourself and your recruiting team to screen.

Sometimes you’ve got to equip yourself to screen. Other times, you’ve got to accept that maybe someone else can do it better – like an external agency or pre-assessment test providers. Try to find one that integrates with your ATS. It will make the job so much easier.

Pre-assessment tests are very useful additions to your recruiting arsenal, especially when you are recruiting for tech roles. They eliminate bias, work like a machine, and most importantly don’t involve your hiring manager’s availability or time. You can simply swing it on your own.

Pro tip: Before you start the process, try to get your hiring manager to do a brief of his expectations to your outsourcing firm or your test providers.

Here’s a library of stories on how pre-assessment tests have been simplifying screening for recruiters at LinkedIn, Atlassian, Morgan Stanley, Paypal, Randstad, and so many other companies.

#3 Fill roles internally

Some of the candidates you are looking for are working on other roles or jobs inside your company. So look right there. You can start by analyzing which roles have a history for accommodating internal hires.

Internal fills are a great hack, especially for hard-to-fill roles. You can simply move talent from a slightly easier-to-fill role to a hard-to-fill role and then backfill the easier-to-fill roles.

For example, if you notice that 9 out of 12 product management roles were filled by internal hires, then simply focus on internal hires for product management because it’s already working for you. This will definitely widen development opportunities for your current workforce. Meanwhile, you could free up recruiting resources to focus on external hires or outbound leads for other roles.

#4 Be in your candidate’s corner

Think of recruiting like matchmaking. As bizarre as it sounds, it’s true. You are not just there to help a company find its candidates but also to help candidates find their dream jobs. And sometimes that means being in your candidate’s corner. Set them up for inevitable success.

  • Whether it’s the interview time, who’ll be interviewing them, what will be expected, the direction to the parking lot, give them all the deets. Keep them informed and leave no room for errors from your side. This will steer clear of any opportunity for anxiety and help them bring their best self to the interview.
  • Ask them in advance (over an email, preferably) if they have any questions for you or the hiring managers. This will give them time to think about it and shoot any questions they have. In an interview set up, a lot of candidates might not be able to spontaneously think of what they’d like to know.
  • Give them honest feedback when they don’t make it. Do it with honor. Tell them what didn’t work out and why. Show them what they can do to be better. We all have the power to make someone’s life better, or at least their day, so let’s do it. Your feedback can look something like this👇 

#5 Go beyond the recruiting team and job boards

Your hiring managers may attract more candidates than you if they were to source. Yet they may not be naturally good at it or motivated to do it. That’s where you come in.

Okay, let’s face it. They may not take your advice on networking, engaging, or connecting with candidates right away. You have to show them how and show them why. Start by working with hiring managers who might want in and are desperate to find candidates right away. Work with them and build success stories that you can then use to drive conversations with other hiring managers.

Some of the things you can get them to do are:

  • Engage in communities where you would like to source from. It doesn’t have to be a conversation about a job. You can motivate them to share an opinion, point of view, or proven solution which will help them gain attention and credibility to your employer’s brand. (Teach them how to have those conversations if necessary.)
  • Host meetups or hackathons where passive candidates have an opportunity to see what it may be like to work with you or work at your office.
  • Webinars are another great way to gather potential candidates – you can invite your hiring manager or someone from their team or network to host a webinar on a subject matter that might interest the ideal persona of candidates. When they sign up, you can invite them to pursue an opportunity with you.

When you work with hiring managers, don’t just throw work at them. Call out their contributions and how it influenced the hiring success in your company’s public forum. If possible get your management to include that as a performance indicator for performance reviews as well.

You don’t need to push that recruiting ship all by yourself. You just need to get your hands on the rudder.

Now go be that recruiter who makes hires happen,  makes them happen faster, effortlessly. 🙂