6 Steps to Developing an Effective Hiring Strategy


The capabilities and attitudes of the people you hire have a significant bearing on your company’s performance in the marketplace. Every single employee is a valuable asset, and an investment that carries risks. 

As Jimmy Rigg, Managing Director of RGF Executive Search Vietnam, puts it: 

A bad hire, like an incorrigibly rude customer service staff or dishonest salesperson, can be costly to the company because of the dire effects it will suffer as a result of that individual’s behaviour and actions.

Here’s a logical approach towards the planning, measurement and achievement of your hiring goals, and mitigating hiring failures: 

1. Align your hiring strategy with the company's business plans

The worldwide impact of the current trade war between the USA and China is a good example of why it would be very short sighted of a company to develop a hiring strategy without reviewing business goals to ensure that they are attuned to current internal and external environmental factors.

Your business plan is essentially a determinant of your hiring strategy. So be mindful of the impact of shifts in the business environment, and industrial and market trends on your business goals. 

Factors such as globalisation, new technologies, changing demographics, unemployment rate and availability of talent will determine the achievability of those goals, be it to introduce new product lines or services, expand into new geographic areas, or make acquisitions of business units. 

It’ll also pay to forecast any possible changes in the business or recruiting environment in the next few years that might impact the company’s current strategies, approaches and processes.

Talent wars are heating up as the growth of emerging economies accelerates. It is critical that your hiring strategy is not rigidly structured, but able to “flex” in accordance to changes in the marketplace.

2. Establish your HR goals, strategies and plans 

The hiring process is generally a complex, time-consuming and costly affair. So strive to focus your attention on the highest-priority business goals and hiring objectives. 

First, determine the business goals you wish to impact; for example: expand the marketing team by 25 per cent in the next six months to cope with the growing demand.

Next, determine what your staffing objective is, what you are looking for in a candidate, the recruit processes you want to employ, and the budget you have to work with.

Determine if the necessary skills to grow the business are already in existence within the organisation. If not, determine whether it would be better to develop them through training or upskilling programmes.

3. Assess your hiring options

You can look at the hiring process as an opportunity to take stock of your human resource “inventory” and make improvements to it.

It’s always a good idea to look internally for potential candidates first. Determine if any top performers and existing employees within the company can step up towards meeting that higher growth target or any other stipulated goal. 

An existing staff member who is qualified to be deployed or promoted to a new opening can be valuable as he or she is already familiar with the company structure and culture, and therefore easier to train and able to grow into the new role faster.

Determine if it might be more cost-effective to hire contract staff or temporary help. This is especially so if any spike in demand or workload is clearly perceivable to be a short-term phenomenon.

4. Engage the expertise of relevant personnel 

The process of hiring talent will involve the deployment of resources across the organisation. So it’s likely you’ll have to collaborate with the relevant personnel throughout the course of the hiring process:

Internal staff: Enlist their help to specify the qualifications requirement and description of the position, evaluate and define the recruitment options, produce advertising materials, and screen, interview and evaluate prospective candidates.

Training and development team: Collaborate with the relevant personnel to prepare any orientation/training materials and assign training personnel necessary for getting the new hire up to speed in his or her new role.

Human Resources department: Ensure that the HR team has a clear understanding of your hiring requirements and expectations from the candidates you are seeking, so that they can manage the hiring process more effectively and help you find the most suitable candidate/s.

Headhunters: Jimmy recommends that any collaboration between the headhunter and the client to map out an effective recruitment strategy should be carried out at the early stage.  

Being specialist headhunters, they have worked with many employers and candidates over the years.This experience puts them in a very strong position to support the development of an effective hiring strategy for employers in two ways: 

  • Firstly, in providing employers with a clear perspective of what is attractive to top talents
  • Secondly, having sound knowledge of the strategies that will bring success. 

He said this is crucial, especially when they are devising their workforce strategy and planning its execution. As specialist headhunters, we have the in-depth knowledge and understanding of the market and talents within that space. This allows us to work with our clients to effectively identify where and how we can help to fill in the talent gaps within their organisations.

“As headhunters, we are also in the position to offer consultation services and help our clients identify market trends, especially in the business and talent space, to give them a better understanding of the happenings within the industry,” he added.

5. Develop a budget plan

Set your budget around prioritised goals and programmes. It’s important to remember that a hiring strategy development and goal-setting process that’s independent of the budgeting and resource allocation processes will invariably fail.

Collaborate closely with the relevant finance personnel and recruiting programme managers to re-examine the budget whenever any component of the hiring process requires adjustment, such as:

  • A change in the direction/focus of the hiring strategy/goal
  • Additional headcount or time that’ll be necessary for you to reach your designated goals
  • A quantum improvement in efficiency and/or effectiveness that could be made possible with the introduction of technological input

6. Determine your timeframe

The hiring process – from the time a position is opened up to the time it is filled –involves tedious preparation. Using an orderly, commonsense approach towards developing your timelines will help steer the entire process towards fruition more efficiently, and within the given budget.

You’ll need to allot deadlines and effectiveness metrics (using periodic assessment points) for the recruiting, evaluation and hiring tasks. The entire length of these processes will have a direct bearing on your recruiting options, and how much manpower and expenditure you’ll need to incur in order to accomplish your goals.

Before you determine when is the ideal and absolute latest date the new hire should get on board, you’ll have to factor in the amount of time the new hire may need to give notice to his or her previous employer, training and acclimation time.



In this article:

Jimmy Rigg, Managing Director, RGF Executive Search Singapore
Jimmy Rigg
Managing Director
RGF Executive Search Vietnam