Photo: DC Studio, YFS Magazine, Adobe Stock

Is Your Employee Recruitment Strategy ‘Post and Pray?’

Elevate your employee recruitment strategy far above 'post and pray' to attract, interview, and hire the best talent.

Do you hope the right candidates stumble across your job postings? Do you pray they want to sign on with your organization? If you do, you’ve fallen victim to an all-too-common recruitment strategy: “post and pray.”

The good news? There is a better way. Let’s walk through how to assess what’s working with your recruiting, what isn’t, and how to benefit from new—and proven—recruitment strategies.


Start with three questions

Three simple questions will reveal a lot about your company’s current talent-seeking approach:

  • Do you have internal recruiters or partner with recruitment agencies?
  • Do you rely on networking?
  • How do these people or groups find job candidates?

If your recruiting staff and partners primarily use job boards, such as LinkedIn, ZipRecruiter, or Indeed, to find new employees, they, too, are banking on ‘post and pray.’ This strategy is no different from the traditional want ads that once filled local newspapers. The only difference between the pre-internet era and now is that you have more space to post your ad.


Time and costs can spiral with this high-risk strategy

Every day on LinkedIn, hiring managers and other employees announce, “We’re hiring!” Did LinkedIn, or should I say Microsoft, tell them this is an effective way to find candidates? Who do you think responds to want ads and “we’re hiring” ads? It’s usually not the people you’re interested in hiring.

Here’s why I’ve found this strategy to be ineffective and, worse, a waste of everyone’s time. I once had a conversation with a hiring executive who relied on ‘post and pray.’ She received close to 400 resumes and, out of those, found only two or three candidates who could even be considered for an initial interview, much less fill the important role.

This result isn’t uncommon. While the number of resumes submitted for online jobs may vary, the percentage of acceptable candidates is often in the single digits, unless you’re desperate to fill the role quickly.

This means that the time it takes to find someone via online job boards can take up to several months. As days and weeks tick away, associated costs can quickly spiral out of control and consume your budget. There’s the time and money spent to sort through all those resumes. Next, you’ll need to allow time for a hiring staff member to prepare and conduct interviews via telephone or videoconferencing before setting up in-person interview sessions.


Recruitment professionals help you move away from ‘post and pray’

Hiring an agency recruiter is often the answer for companies that don’t have adequate staff capable of conducting a candidate search thoroughly. Working with internal recruiters can also help, as long as your company is willing to invest in training, coaching, and building the right internal team.

If you’re going to hire internal recruiters, you need to know how to interview them to find out if they’re actually trained headhunters or are simply “order fillers.”

Photo: DC Studio, YFS Magazine, Adobe Stock
Photo: DC Studio, YFS Magazine

Order fillers typically use post-and-pray methods and LinkedIn’s mass messaging, so they don’t know how to headhunt. That means you’ll need to train and coach them. Or, hire someone who knows what it means to be a true headhunter and have that person train these employees.

Trained recruiters use their time more effectively and will get you better results. Will it cost money to hire better people and train them? Yes, but the ROI will be significantly higher and well worth your while.


How to attract and hire the best talent

Once you’ve decided your recruitment strategy needs an upgrade and you have the right internal recruiter(s) on board, there are four smart ways to attract, interview, and hire the best talent as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.


1. Create a well-defined employer brand

Today’s job seekers want to know one thing: why they should consider working for your company. In such a complex, post-pandemic job market, it makes sense that prospective employees want to understand your organization’s culture, mission, and values. All this was true before COVID-19, but it’s even more so now, as workers have worked remotely and experienced an improved work-life balance.

Broadcast your organization’s best features and let potential candidates know how you stand out from the crowd. A few ways to build your employer brand include:

  • Build and regularly update an informational—and welcoming—careers webpage.
  • Highlight employee testimonials (written or video) to reassure job candidates that you’re an employer of choice.
  • Give potential candidates a preview of what a day in the life of the average worker looks like in your organization.
  • Create a culture of retention by giving all new hires a clear and quantifiable roadmap to career success.
  • Keep track of your online reputation by reviewing your careers webpage, social media accounts, and reviews on websites like Glassdoor. Address any issues with honesty and appropriate humility, then ask existing and former employees to post positive reviews to restore balance.


2. Write can’t-miss position descriptions

I’ve found that many things can go wrong when writing position descriptions, especially in the post-and-pray paradigm. If your position description is inaccurate, incomplete, or even obsolete, you stand to lose an opportunity to connect with high-caliber talent.

Once you’ve laid out the basics of the position you’re looking to fill, such as requirements and desired qualities, you can lean into pitching your company. Here are a few tips for writing compelling position descriptions that will resonate with your ideal candidates:

  • Identify key roles in your company, such as the position’s department manager, supervisor, team leaders, and project team members.
  • Provide in-depth information about potential promotions, professional development, and training for leadership positions that will be available to the chosen candidate at some point.
  • Lay out the perks, such as remote or hybrid work models, corporate outings, and employee recognition and rewards.


3. Boost your employee value proposition (EVP)

Letting prospective employees know how much you value their future work is essential to attracting and landing the best talent. While salary is critical to your EVP strategy, it’s not the only thing that will give your EVP profile a huge boost:

  • Promote work flexibility. Work flexibility is essential in today’s post-pandemic professional climate. When it makes sense, offer remote, hybrid, and shift-based work options to show you care about helping employees meet their goals in the best possible conditions.
  • Tout your tech. Reassure candidates that your organization regularly acquires and continually maintains top, cutting-edge technology that allows everyone to do their jobs efficiently and thoroughly.
  • Offer remote discounts. Offer remote and hybrid candidates discounts for memberships with coworking spaces or provide gift cards for popular coffee shops that welcome remote workers.
  • Provide more time off. Extend additional vacation, sick days, and other paid time off (PTO) to prospective employees.
  • Build team spirit. Organize group volunteer days to serve the community, build camaraderie, and welcome new employees.
  • Boost in-office amenities. Make your corporate environment comfortable and welcoming to prospective hires. Create relaxing spaces and offer in-office amenities, such as lounges, on-site gyms, coffee and snack bars, Ping-Pong tables, and craft rooms.


4. Make social media recruitment a priority

Social media is an excellent way to reach out to both passive and active job candidates. Reaching passive candidates who possess all the qualities you want is the pièce de resistance of recruitment strategies. Once you develop an upbeat social media presence that reflects your brand identity and values, you can catch virtual passersby who might want to become a part of your organization.

A few tips for finding success in social media recruitment include:

  • Use more than one social media channel. Develop and foster a strong presence across two or more social media channels and platforms, including LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, or TikTok.
  • Create candidate personas. Who is your potential audience for each social media platform? Create candidate personas to work through what will appeal to them.
  • Capture the best of your organization on video. Show your organization’s environment and happy employees in the best light, then post these videos to your social media platforms.
  • Post more content. Produce additional content, such as infographics and articles.
  • Ramp up engagement. Post consistently and invite visitors to engage by asking questions or posting contests and quizzes.

I hope these ideas help elevate your recruitment strategy far above post and pray so your business and employees can thrive together.


Carol Schultz, founder, and CEO of Vertical Elevation is a talent equity and leadership coaching and advisory expert with 30 years in the business. She’s helped hundreds of companies transform their organizations and create sustainable, talent-centric cultures that run at maximum efficiency. Her new book is Powered By People: How Talent-Centric Organizations Master Recruitment, Retention, and Revenue (and How to Build One). Learn more at verticalelevation.com.


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