Selecting and using the right media is essential

Selecting and using the right media is essential for gathering a wide field of applicants. It's no use advertising in any newspaper or journal if you're only going to get limited interest. It's normally much better to go to an agency or head-hunter with a precise brief. While this is likely to be much more expensive in the first instance, you will normally get your money back through savings in time and resources in not having to sift through a lot of unsuitable candidates.

Recruitment advertising is expensive, especially when it is not effective in attracting the interest and field of candidates required. Get into the habit of constantly reviewing and monitoring the effectiveness of the way in which you attract and retain the staff that you want.

How to recruitment cost effectively:

  • target the right audience by choosing the most appropriate medium/media

  • ensure that the method chosen will generate an adequate number of replies

  • make sure that the wording of the job ad minimises the number of wasted replies

  • take advantage of the opportunity to promote your organisation as a good employer

The cost effectiveness of recruitment methods

It is essential to find the recruitment methods that yield the best results in terms of able candidates for the least cost. However, the issue of choice of recruitment method is rarely an easy one. The most expensive methods are:

  • advertising in a national newspaper
  • using the services of a headhunter

The least expensive are:

  • informal or word-of-mouth methods
  • the Job Centre

Some methods work better than others mainly because they tap into the channels that applicants themselves use. It is not necessarily the most expensive methods that yield the best results.

Methods need to be appropriately matched with the types of position on offer. The 2008 CIPD survey on recruitment found this picture:

  • Local newspapers are the best source for clerical and administrative posts, manual workers and for service staff

  • Recruitment agencies/search were the most effective method for senior managers, directors, managers and professionals

  • Specialist papers/trade press was the second most used method for managers and professionals, with national newspapers the second best for senior managers and directors.