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Recruiting on a Time Crunch – 5 Effective Strategies

Let’s imagine that one of the employees in your organization handed in their notice. You weren’t expecting it, as the employee didn’t talk this through with you before making that decision. Now you feel pinned to the wall and urgently need to start looking for their replacement. How to not get into a panic mode and avoid stressing out about not being able to stick to the deadline for filling the vacancy?

Keep reading to find out the 5 effective strategies that you should implement when recruiting on a time crunch!

1. Have a plan of action

An effective recruitment plan allows you to critically look at the effort that must be made to fill the staff shortage. A strategic recruiting plan should include not only the numbers, but also details of the position you want to hire for, candidate tracking and evaluation tools, budget information, a recruiting calendar, and an evaluation form, so you can continuously improve your recruiting efforts.

Elements of a strategic recruitment plan:

  • analysis of the organizational culture and the nature of the job position,
  • creation of a tailored candidate profile (candidate persona),
  • selection of recruitment tools to search, track and evaluate candidates,
  • the recruitment budget (including e.g. the cost of the tools listed above),
  • the recruitment calendar.

That kind of plan will give you the necessary information, ease the stress caused by uncertainty and most importantly, grow chances of filling the vacancy effectively – as Antoine de Saint-Exupéry once said: “A goal without a plan is just a wish.”

2. Create a candidate profile

This step might seem very obvious, but it’s important to remember about being as specific as possible when identifying who you’re looking for. Who was the person that just left the said position? Was that an example of an ideal employee? If yes, then which of their traits make you think that? The sooner you answer those questions the better, as they bring a laser sense of focus to the hiring process and make recruiting more efficient.

LinkedIn Talent Solution suggests that you should align with the rest of the hiring team on 3 to 5 integral skills an ideal candidate might have. It is worth paying attention to such elements as education, level of specialist knowledge, professional experience, as well as motivation and personality traits. When creating a candidate profile, it is worth remembering that the requirements should be adequate to the position and realistic. Excessive expectations may result in not finding any candidates for a given position, while underestimating may result in the employment of a person unprepared to perform a given scope of duties.

Additionally, you should determine any “no-goes” and red flags that immediately cross out a potential candidate from this position. This might be something like a too short job experience or a lack of an essential skill. This will save you time when scanning the profiles, as you will know right away that a candidate doesn’t meet your expectations.

3. Check internal resources

A possibility of a faster hiring process is through checking the internal resources in your organization and filling the open role with one of the existing employees. It’s likely that 

you are aware of their working style and you know that their values align with your organization’s — so you can move right to the next stage of your interview process. Even though internal hires still need to receive onboarding for their new roles this process will surely take much less time than with an external hire.

According to research conducted by HCI and Oracle and released in early 2015, 60% of employers said that workers who were promoted into jobs performed significantly better than employees hired externally into similar positions. It comes from the fact that developing and advancing your existing employees is a big morale booster, as they feel that the organization values their contributions and invests in their career development – which directly improves self-confidence and, therefore, productivity.

4. Make use of job portals

Potential candidates are somewhere out in the world, to find the one that suits the job description best it is worth posting a job offer. LinkedIn itself has over 760 million users, with more than 260 million of them active monthly. 75% of people who recently made a job switch used the platform during their decision-making process.

Moreover, you can act proactively and shouldn’t wait for potential candidates to contact you out of the blue. Start messaging people who seem interesting to you, but remember that your message should be built in a smart way. The average person gets 121 emails a day, so make your message stand out, e.g. by writing an intriguing, personalized subject line – maybe you can mention something which made this person’s profile unique or something from their personal interest list available on the job portal. Additionally, remember about ending with a call to action – suggest times to connect with candidates to clearly communicate your interest.

Let’s not forget about social media, as social recruiting is becoming increasingly popular, especially when companies begin targeting younger, as well as tech-savvy generations. Research firm, Aberdeen Group, found out that 73% of 18- to 34-year-olds found their last job through a social network. Moreover, as of 2019, the average daily social media usage worldwide amounted to 144 minutes per day. So, if you want to target the youngest and most motivated group in the workforce, make sure that you use platforms that appeal to them. To give an example, Facebook Jobs launched in February 2017, allowing employers to post positions in a targeted manner. As the platform has 2.8 billion active users worldwide it is a great place for looking around. Additionally, remember about creating a presence on social media that will align with company values and employer brand, don’t become a mindless “job offer spammer”.

5. Ask for professional help

Okay, let’s assume that you did all of the steps above and there’s still no potential candidate visible on the horizon? Then you should try reaching out for professional help. For example, you can start a collaboration with a recruitment agency, who will support you in the process. They can provide you with carefully assessed candidates as they have a large talent pool with already pre-screened and pre-referenced potential employees. Moreover, the recruiters are often highly specialized and have in-depth knowledge of particular employment sectors.

Additionally, if conducting job interviews became an unpleasant necessity and you happen to squeeze them in between other important projects or neglect your other working duties because of them – it’s good to do something about it. The recruitment agency will conduct interviews with candidates for you and you will receive a ready-to-hire list of recommended, carefully-scanned, best candidates.

Do you want to learn more about working with a recruitment agency? Read the article “RPO, Recruitment Agency, Freelancer“!


Recruitment process is often complex, demanding and can be very challenging, especially in unexpected situations. However, you can handle it well by planning the recruitment steps and identifying the profile of a perfect candidate. If internal resources won’t provide you with the right person, you shouldn’t worry, as nowadays digital opportunities and professional services can help to fulfill the vacancy fast and effectively.