Blogs >




How to create effective recruitment strategy

An old saying goes, “you’re only as good as the people you hire.” And this is especially true for start-up businesses, which are often built on the strength of a small team of highly talented and dedicated individuals.

For a start-up, getting your recruitment on-point is essential. The right team can make the difference between success and failure. So, it’s crucial to assess the skills and qualifications of potential new employees and their fit with your company culture.

With the right team in place, a start-up can achieve great things. However, if recruitment is done poorly, it can lead to disharmony and ultimately lead to the failure of the business. Therefore, creating a robust recruitment strategy is vital for every start-up business.

But with so many different methods available to you, how do you know which one is best for your company? In this article, we will discuss the different types of recruitment strategies that are available to start-up businesses, and we will help you decide which one is right for you.

What is a recruitment strategy, and why do you need one?

A recruitment strategy is a plan of action that businesses use to identify, attract, and hire the best-qualified candidates for their open positions. Plus, it also establishes the recruitment methods the company will use for their recruitment campaigns. In other words, it’s a road map that will help you find the right employees for your company.

There are many reasons why start-up businesses need an effective recruitment strategy. Firstly, it will save you time and money in the long run. A well-thought-out recruitment strategy will help you target suitable candidates, and it will also help you avoid making costly hiring mistakes.

Secondly, an effective recruitment strategy will help you build a strong team of employees aligned with your company’s values and culture. This is extremely important for start-ups, as it can be challenging to change a company’s culture once it has been established.

Thirdly, a good recruitment strategy will help you identify potential future leaders for your company. This is especially important for fast-growing businesses, as you may need to promote from within to fill senior positions as your company grows.

Fourthly, an effective recruitment strategy will help you improve your employer brand. This is the image of your company that potential employees have in their minds. A strong employer brand will attract top talent to your company, and it will also help retain your best employees.

Finally, a good recruitment strategy will ensure that your recruitment process is fair and compliant with the law. This is vital for start-ups that may not have in-house knowledge of employment law. For example, you can be sued for discrimination if you are found to have treated certain candidates differently during the recruitment process. And that’s the last thing your fledgling business needs to focus time and money on defending.

The different types of recruitment methods available to start-up businesses

When it comes to recruiting staff, you have two options. Quite simply – do it yourself, or pay another company to do it for you.

Both methods have advantages and disadvantages, and it may be that you take a blended approach of doing some recruitment in-house and sub-contracting other roles to an agency.

In-House Recruitment v Agency Recruitment

The main advantage of in-house recruitment is cost. Recruitment agencies charge a fee for their services, usually a percentage of the new hire’s annual salary. And that can be a significant amount of money, particularly for senior positions.

For companies on a tight budget, looking to save money, recruiting staff without using an agency may be the way to go. There are several ways companies can source their own candidates. For example, many companies post open positions on their websites or job boards. In addition, personal referrals from existing networks can be a great way to find qualified candidates. Another option is to use social media to reach out to potential candidates. 


However, the flip side of recruiting in-house is time. It takes a massive amount of time to run an effective recruitment campaign. And that’s time you could be using to develop your product, generate sales, run marketing campaigns, or raise funding. Plus, it can be a steep learning curve if you don’t have someone in your company with recruitment experience.

Recruitment agencies take care of the entire recruitment process for you, from advertising the role to screening candidates and conducting interviews. This takes a lot of pressure off start-up businesses that may not have the internal resources to devote to recruitment.

It’s also worth noting that recruitment agencies have access to a much wider pool of candidates than most companies. This is because they build and maintain databases of pre-screened candidates. Plus, they reach out to passive candidates who are not actively looking for a new job but may be open to the right opportunity.

So, if you choose to recruit in-house, plan your time accordingly. Set your times each day when you will review CVs and have pre-screening calls with applicants. Once you’ve created an interview shortlist, coordinated diaries and scheduled interviews with candidates, make sure you stick to those times. If the candidates are in work, rescheduling may be a pain for them and give a negative view of your business.

However, if you want to go down an agency route, there are four recruitment methods you can opt to use.

Competitive Contingency (CC) Recruitment

Most of the world’s recruitment is done on a competitive contingency basis, which is probably why most of the world has a negative view of recruiters.

CC is not a good way of recruiting. It’s rarely effective, and everyone involved usually has a bad experience. Here’s how it works:

  • The hiring company agrees on the recruitment fee with multiple agencies. Typically 3-5 companies. But only the one that places the successful candidate will be paid for their services. This puts the focus on speed rather than quality.
  • Through job boards and internal databases, the recruiters identify candidates who approximate the job specification and forward their resumés to the client.
  • As such, the client receives a torrent of resumés to review.
  • Frequently, none of the candidates are suitable for interviewing, so the client requests more. But the recruiters have already moved on to the next assignment, where they roll the dice on finding the number one candidate for that client instead.
  • Communication between recruiter, client, and candidate is usually poor, which is why recruiters get a bad press.

 In short, there is no commitment from any party involved, which is why only approximately 1 in 7 recruitment campaigns run on a CC basis is actually filled.

So, a better method is…

Exclusive Contingency (EC) Recruitment

An exclusive contingency process is similar in format to a CC, but the client commits to working with only one recruiter for a period of time.

EC is more likely to result in a successful placement because there is a higher level of commitment from both the client and recruiter.

Therefore, the recruiter is incentivised to invest more time and resources into searching and selecting a shortlist of candidates who meet the client’s criteria.

However, the client has no financial commitment, which places all the risk on the recruiter. As such, they will only accept the assignment if they feel they can fill it quickly. They’re unlikely to agree to work on a senior level or highly technical role on an EC basis.

Which leads us to…

Retained Recruitment

Statistically, recruitment processes run on a retained basis are highly likely to be completed successfully (bearing in mind that no method is 100% guaranteed to work perfectly).

In a retained assignment, the client pays an amount before the recruiter begins working on the role. This financial commitment secures the recruiter’s services and allows them to commit as many resources as required to the position.

For example, they could pay a professional copywriter to create a bespoke job advert aimed at the target audience and invest time carrying out a targeted headhunt for specific candidates. Retained recruiters usually work in small teams of researchers and recruitment consultants.

As the commitment from both parties is high, retained campaigns are the preferred method for professional recruiters working in niche markets.

And then, once you’ve worked with a recruiter for a while, you could discuss a…

Managed Service Provider (MSP) Agreement

Even though a retained process gives clients and candidates the highest level of service, it is still a one-off transaction. So, if your business is set to grow significantly, it’s definitely worth discussing an MSP with your recruiter of choice.

Managed services are a bespoke agreement where the client outsources all of their recruitment requirements to a single recruitment company for a fixed monthly payment.

The main advantages of this type of agreement are that the client can effectively “recruit on-demand” without worrying about the associated costs. Plus, the recruiter can dedicate a team within their business to servicing that client.

And having a department focused on one client allows them to build a deep understanding of the client’s organisation, culture, and specific requirements. Also, by knowing the client’s future plans, the recruiter can build a talent pool of prospective candidates ready to support the growth of the business.

An MSP effectively gives a company a recruitment division without the cost of setting one up in-house.


Recruitment in any business is a complicated and time-consuming process, but for a start-up, it’s critical to get it right.

A business can choose from several different types of recruitment processes, and the most appropriate method will depend on the company’s specific needs and available budget.

If you’re not sure which type of recruitment process would be best for your business, speak to a professional recruiter who will be able to advise you on the best course of action.

And if you’re looking for a reliable and experienced recruitment partner, contact Kensington Additive today. We’d be more than happy to discuss your specific requirements and advise on the best way to move forward.

Related news

Join our newsletter

Sign up to discover the latest jobs, market insights, blogs and more

    By signing up to our newsletter you consent to receive marketing emails from Kensington Additive