9 Steps to Gain Competitive Advantage Through Recruitment

recruitment strategy

A company is only as good as its employees. Regardless of an organization’s reliance on technology, human workers will always be at the center of vital operations. Therefore, it would be unwise for any hiring manager to minimize the importance of a solid recruitment strategy. If you are looking to gain a competitive advantage through talent acquisition, this article is for you. We have compiled a list of ways to bolster your recruitment approach and get the most out of your workforce.

1. Define Your Employee Value Proposition

The best organizations are meticulous employers. However, most self-aware top-tier employees are choosy, too, and will prioritize companies with a clearly defined Employee Value Proposition (EVP). EVP refers to the benefits an organization promises its employees for their skills, capabilities, and contribution to the company. The ecosystem of recognition, support, and values you offer your employees brings out their best. A proper EVP should include the following:

  • Financial rewards, i.e., basic salary, overtime remuneration, bonuses, and stock options
  • Employment benefits, including company-sponsored holidays, paid leaves, retirement benefits, health insurance, and gym memberships
  • Career development opportunities, including leadership training, technical training, promotion opportunities, and mentoring and career maintenance
  • Work environment elements, e.g., working hours flexibility, work-life balance, team building, recognition, employee wellbeing, workspace design, and communication systems
  • Company culture

With a clear EVP, you attract top talents and ensure your new employees have realistic expectations before committing to joining your company.

2. Switch to Agile Recruiting

First used in software development, agile recruiting uses a flexible employee acquisition strategy. It involves using short, easily alterable processes accompanied by periodic checkpoints to offer efficiency and flexibility to the hiring team.

There is no one-size-fits-all agile recruiting strategy, meaning your company’s needs and the existing recruitment blueprint will determine what works best for you. The bottom line is to ensure you can tweak your recruitment strategy in the future without compromising efficiency.

Agile recruitment helps speed up decision-making and increases team cohesion, unlike conventional methods that did not let hiring managers see who was approved for an interview before sourcing and screening. It also provides you with analytics, which you can use to adjust your strategy even further in the future.

As a charity or nonprofit organization looking to keep its hiring costs low, agile recruitment is more of a necessity than a choice. It ensures you enjoy more productivity from your hiring team and new employees and helps you save resources for other, more critical operations.

3. Engage With Candidates Meaningfully

Asking candidates irrelevant questions can be the biggest undoing of any hiring team. Wrong questions may attract the correct answers, but from individuals who are not qualified for the position. You can only tell if a candidate has relevant skills by asking them questions that fall in the realm of the role they intend to play.

It would also help if you saw beyond language limitations, confidence issues, and other secondary considerations that tend to mask proficiency in job-related aspects. While interpersonal/communication skills, confidence, a growth mindset, and generosity carry some weight, they are not the priority. An employee charged with systems administration ought to be an IT expert first. Their ability to communicate effectively should be an added advantage and the difference between them and other equally good IT experts.

It is best not to use a strict interview template for various positions, no matter how closely related. Instead, take the time to understand each of the roles in your company. Then plan your interviews with the specific role demands in mind.

4. Use Job Interviews to Elicit Enthusiasm

Traditionally, job interviews gauge a candidate’s aptitude for a role. But since they involve engaging a candidate in person, you can use them to discuss your company’s goals superficially and ease any nervousness that candidates may have.

It is common for high-potential candidates to change their minds about an organization mid-interview. A good hiring team will never overlook the power of first impressions. You want to be as professional as possible but not gloomy and forbidding. By creating a positive environment, you elicit comfort and bring out the best versions of your candidates.

Discussion of the company culture and goals, even in passing, also helps candidates gauge their readiness for workplace demands before committing. It provides an extra filtration layer and saves time and resources for your hiring team. 

5. Avoid Settling for the First Option

Many companies recruit on a first-come, first-served basis to save time and money. That is a straightforward way to miss better-qualified candidates and potentially ruin your company’s image. Increasing your pool of options increases your chance of landing the perfect employee, notwithstanding the level of intricacy of the position.

If you are on a budget, consider creating a detailed job advert so you only receive applications from high-quality prospects. You may also want to spread your interview appointments over a week or fortnight to give your hiring team enough time to interview as many candidates as possible comfortably.

It is also worth noting that specific skillsets are difficult to find in today’s competitive talent market. If you come across a candidate with the right attributes early on, do not gamble with your time. Be brave and make that decision, even if it means turning away a trail of other candidates. This will expedite the process and save you a fortune and may reduce the chances of losing highly qualified candidates.

6. Diversify Your Workforce

According to research, you can enhance workplace productivity and efficiency by 35 percent by diversifying your workforce. The more you add employees of diverse backgrounds to your team, the higher your chances of recruiting a bilingual employee. Individuals who speak more than one language have proven to earn more for the organizations they work for than their monolingual counterparts. In addition, these workers make it easier for their company to understand and negotiate with partners and clients who speak other languages.

Diversity also exposes an organization to more ways of tackling problems. In addition, these workers make the company more desirable to partners, clients, and prospective employees. A recent Glassdoor survey shows that 57% of employees believe their companies should be more diversified. As a result, you stand a better chance of landing the best talent by using a workforce diversification strategy.

It is also essential to avoid diversifying for the sake of diversity. Instead, your top priority should be to hire the person with the best combination of valuable traits.

7. Embrace Technology

One of the easiest ways to enhance your talent acquisition process is by making data-based decisions instead of relying on intuition and stagnant techniques. For example, keeping track of quantity metrics such as the number of job orders, new candidate presentations, and new market presentations can help simplify the identification and recruitment of candidates while reducing costly human involvement.

Applicant tracking systems are software applications that organize and help you make sense of recruiting data. For example, they allow you to manage email lists and separate candidates and job orders from raw spreadsheets.

You might want to use a candidate relationship management tool for candidate sourcing. For example, the typical recruiting CRM application helps you streamline data and processes and log notes on candidates and sourcing networks.

Finally, consider setting up Google Alerts to keep up with job hunting and employee recruitment market trends. The better you are acquainted with what job seekers want, the easier it is for you to attract and retain top talents.

8. Find Candidates Through Your Network

Most employees willing to work for nonprofit organizations and charities are purpose-driven. In any case, your best bet to find this breed of employees is to talk with your current employees, other nonprofits, volunteers, and board members. There is a good chance some of them know people who share a passion for your organization’s mission and are qualified and skilled for the open post.

9. Offer Additional Non-traditional Benefits

Since nonprofits offer lower salaries than for-profit organizations, nonprofit CEOs often provide additional employee benefits to make their jobs more attractive. The most common benefits include shorter working hours, flexible work schedules, and the option to work remotely. In addition, other nonprofits have successfully provided career development opportunities, fully funded by other companies supporting their cause.

If your organization has these or similar arrangements in place, it would be wise to mention them in your job ads. However, most prospects will assume what you have in the ad is all there is to offer and will only apply if they are satisfied with what they see.


Every organization has its way of attracting and retaining talents. However, that is not to say you cannot add to your current approach and enhance its effectiveness. Hopefully, this post helps simplify your hiring process and gives you a much-needed edge over your competitors.

Author Bio

Since 1997 David Hutchinson, the president of Cause Leadership – a nonprofit executive recruiter firm, has successfully placed senior-level candidates with a broad spectrum of organizations in the charitable sector. He also has a great interest in helping charitable organizations diversify, become younger in their leadership, and better represent their own clients.


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