Narrow Your Focus When Hiring

A candidate-driven hiring environment can create a dizzying effect for employers. On one hand, in some industries there are more jobs than there are candidates to fill them. On the other, there are passive job seekers everywhere, content to keep an eye on things while happily plugging away at their current jobs.  Then there are those hires who are recruited to new positions, whether they’re actively seeking a new opportunity, passively glancing, or simply respond to an email they receive out of the blue.

Plenty of employers enjoy filling their recruiting funnel with all types of candidates. However, when everyoneis a candidate, how can you narrow your focus, and pinpoint a strong match?

Narrow Your Hiring Focus

Some hiring managers turn to third-party recruiters to help them narrow their focus. In turn, recruiters work with set criteria to create a match between the company and a pool of candidates. However, every extra step involved in recruiting creates additional costs. And, if your recruiting and hiring engines are constantly turned on, these costs can start to cut into your bottom line. 

Below, we’ll explore ways you can narrow your recruiting focus, and streamline your hiring process.  


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Time and Expenses When Recruiting

Hiring is meant to be simple and inexpensive, right? Actually, according to most HR professionals and hiring managers, the opposite is true.

  • Hiring continues to be a major concern for business owners and leaders, especially in the current candidate-driven environment. That’s especially true when their own employees might be passively looking elsewhere.
  • The costs of hiring and onboarding can be in excess of $4,000 per new employee. This can create a serious impact if you’re constantly churning through workers, or losing new hires early in their tenure.
Narrowing your recruiting focus can help you identify, attract, and retain talented employees

Today’s employers are looking to streamline the way they hire across all levels—from filling entry-level vacancies, to bringing in experienced, mid-career talent, to up-leveling employees via promotions and succession opportunities. Still, no matter what position you’re hiring for, narrowing your focus can be the key to driving success.

Here are three tips to help you narrow your hiring focus.

1. Be sure to post jobs internally

Years ago, the majority of job openings were filled via internal promotion. These days, the number is less than 30%. However, one way to narrow your focus is to start with the people who already work for your company.

  • One tip when it comes to workforce planning is to build an ideal candidate profile. In the process, consider current employees, including those who work in other departments. How close are they to matching your profile?
  • Recruiting from within also helps with the cultural piece of hiring. If you’re concerned about hiring someone who will be a strong match for your organizational culture, promoting someone who’s already in the culture can help alleviate this concern.

However, there can be a drawback to relying too heavily on promotions, or hiring from within. When you do, you run the risk of inadvertently creating a homogenized workforce. Remember, change is good. New ideas can help teams and workgroups get to the next level.

2. Don’t overlook the costs of hiring, onboarding and training

It can take some new hires up to a year before they are able to manage their job requirements, and also fit into the workplace culture. Even if you have this much time to spare, your new hires might not. In fact, as many as a quarter of new hires will leave within the first six months. In a candidate-driven market, why should they swim upstream when they can find easier waters just down the way? To help you build a focused and narrow approach, put a cost figure to everything you do during the recruiting and hiring process.

  • How many hours can you and your team afford to spend reviewing resumes, following up with candidates, and hosting interviews?
  • As you narrow your focus down to the top two or three candidates, continue to keep costs in mind. Based on things like experience  and skills, which candidate will make the most immediate impact? Will this help you maximize costs associated with onboarding and training down the line?

Even when times are good, you don’t want throw money away, especially when you’re talking about finding and retaining talent. When you consider the bounce rate of new hires, keeping hiring and onboarding costs in mind can be a very useful exercise.

3. Add the right skills within your ATS’s filters, and stay current with openings

It can be a challenge to figure out the right requirements of a job, along with the necessary skills and experiences. Once you do, it can be even more challenging to find candidates who realistically meet them. What’s more, overloading your ATS’s filters with job requirements might work against you in a few ways. 

  • Qualified candidates might be scared off, even if they match up with 90% of what your seeking. Conversely, some candidates are masters of keywords, and will focus on getting past the filters, regardless of whether or not they can actually do the job.

To build a talent pool, some employers post jobs to career pages that might not currently be open. Others will leave old openings on their site, in an effort to pull in new resumes.

  • Either way, pulling in resumes for these types of phantom jobs can get in the way when you’re in active recruiting mode. You might create a situation where an ideal candidate feels scorned because they spent time applying for something that wasn’t even opened, and never heard from you.

You want the recruiting process to be easy for candidates, and effective for you. One way to get more out of it is to keep things as focused as possible. That will help ensure that new hires become long-term contributors. It might even help you turn the recruiting engines off for a while. 


With myStaffingPro’s applicant tracking software, you can stay focused and organized throughout the hiring process, from requisition through retention. Contact a representative today.

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