Even as the job market becomes increasingly competitive, the work of selecting individuals for long-term success within an organization does not get any easier for recruiters. Skill sets continue to expand and diversify while expectations rise, not merely because of the competitive talent pool but because businesses feel more than ever the need to make perfect choices in human resources.

Recruiting itself has evolved with the times. In the 21st century, recruiters are taking advantage of many techniques and avenues to find employees. For recruiters, it’s important to keep abreast of the trends. And for job seekers, learning about recruitment from the HR point of view can prove enlightening as to how the job placement process works inside and out. This includes understanding the nuances of both internal and external recruiting techniques.

Internal Candidates
Recruiters like internal prospects because the overall cost is generally lower and the employee has an understanding of the corporate or organizational culture. On the other hand, there may be a concern that an internal candidate may have already been promoted to their peak competency.

Internal recruiting can be very fruitful but requires a measured hand. Modern internal recruitment techniques include:

  • Skills inventories — Keeping a database of skill sets, personality traits and areas of expertise will help a company keep an objective record of who does what well. It can be easy to associate someone so closely with their current position that it becomes difficult to re-imagine them otherwise. Tracking this info over time, even when an employee is not under consideration, helps human resources when the time comes.
  • Collaboration and shadowing — Organizations can assign an employee to shadow a superior or someone in another department, or they can assign the employee to collaborate on a project with someone for the purposes of experimenting in new roles. Working together on tasks can produce fruitful results in and of themselves, while human resources can monitor the situation to see how the employee performs in a new situation.
  • Traditional internal job postings — Listing openings in newsletters, emails and on bulletin boards makes staff aware of their upward mobility options and helps alleviate the disappointment people can feel when a hiring is suddenly announced for an unknown vacancy.

External Candidates
External recruitment gives a company the largest pool of candidates and helps bring new life and ideas to the organization. Markets that stress innovative and revolutionary thinking may especially value external candidates. The process consumes resources, however, so it needs excellent strategizing. Online job postings were still novel not very long ago, but then the social media revolution changed recruiting again.

Today, human resources departments have a variety of external recruiting options:

  • Social media interaction — Industry-specific and job-specific groups and forums within the big social media sites can yield promising candidates. These prospects are clearly investing their time and being immersed in their profession. The social platform also makes it easy to investigate a candidate further before proceeding.
  • Jobs sites — To the candidate, online job postings can feel disheartening because of the thousands of applicants a position may garner. For recruiters, the online system makes it easy to search resumes for keywords and quickly focus on the most credentialed candidates.
  • Freelance to full-time — Bringing workers in for freelance assignments helps get projects finished and gives an organization the chance to vet potential employees. This is a low-risk situation because the company does not commit to benefits and other hiring costs. This helps if the organization is not even sure the job opening should exist in the long-term.
  • Hire MBA or online students – Those currently attending a business degree online or obtaining their Masters degree at a local campus can be great candidates for positions you might have available. Check out local campuses or online student directories to find valid candidates.