Understanding Your Recruiting Competition (and How It Impacts Your Hiring)

Understanding Your Recruiting Competition (and How It Impacts Your Hiring)

by Angie Rupp

Knowing your recruiting competition just as well (or better than) you understand you’re recruiting strategy is a vital piece of hiring top talent. Missing this important step when attempting to overhaul how you hire will be extremely detrimental to both the quantity and quality of your applicant pool. Not knowing your recruiting competition can also severely impact employee retention.

Even though most HR professionals understand on some innate level that recruiting competition exists, it’s either overlooked or sorted into the innocuous concern box used by most corporate recruiters. It’s admirable that this space accepts recruiting competition, but employing a ho-hum attitude with regards to corporate recruiting is a lot more dangerous than you think. Don’t believe me? Check out this article written by Dr. John Sullivan from ERE. He addresses a lot of common misconceptions floating around about recruiting competition, but the most poignant is that if you don’t pay attention to your competitors, you’re going to lose a lot of potential quality employees to them. In today’s post, I’d like to take this a step further by exploring some considerations you may not have been aware of about the effect recruiting competition can have on your success as an HR professional.

First things first, get to know your recruiting competition.

Remember the golden rule in Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Successful People? It’s “Seek first to understand, and then to be understood” and it is the first step to understanding your recruiting competition because it provides you with some framework when trying to hire more efficiently than your competition. Changing how you hire without understanding how your recruiting competition hires is a waste of time relative to building an effective recruiting strategy.

“Seek first to understand, and then to be understood”

What you need to do is jump into the hiring trenches by conducting “opponent research.” Begin by searching your recruiting competition’s job ads and perform some objective comparisons to your own. What are their strengths…their weaknesses? Do they offer a stronger benefit that may be more appealing to your applicants than what you offer? Asking yourself these questions and sizing up your recruiting competition will help you employ more strategic methods for hiring, and will also help you compose job ads that appeal to job seekers in a way that your competitors can’t.

Your recruiting competition isn’t necessarily the same as your business competitors.

A lot of our clients are surprised to learn that they don’t even know who comprises a threat to them from the perspective of recruiting competition. When you think of competition, it’s likely that your mind immediately jumps to companies who work within the same space and offer a similar product or service to you. While this notion may hold true for some of your recruiting competition, it’s more likely that you lose more qualified job seekers to companies who hire for similarly qualified individuals as you do. For instance, you may be looking to fill teller positions in the credit union industry, but what you don’t realize is that those individuals possess a lot of the same skills as retail employees, so your recruiting competition umbrella would include retail chains as well.

Your recruiting competition uses online hiring tools, and so should you.

Truth be told, hiring help is everywhere on the web and if you have any hope of beating your recruiting competition, you’re going to need it. It doesn’t matter the size of your company. Every HR professional committed to finding and hiring the most qualified applicants needs to have the web at his/her disposal because that’s where the job candidates are. If you use a quality hiring software for example, you have access to all the key job boards and job ad optimization experts that will ensure you’re pushing out the highest quality content to the largest audience. Trying to do this on your own isn’t impossible, but it takes time to learn the ropes which costs you both time and money in the long run because you lose potentially valuable employees in the process. This won’t be a problem for your recruiting competition if they use an online platform that optimizes all these processes for them.

Want to experience just how quickly you can climb beyond the ranks of your recruiting competition by test-driving an online platform for free for a whole month? Call one of our hiring experts today to get started. What do you have to lose?

Call one of our hiring experts today to get started. What do you have to lose?


Enjoy this article? Don't forget to share.


  • More articles you might find interesting:

    Employee Turnover Surprises that Could Cost You Millions
    Do You Have a Social Media Strategy for Applicants?

    Check out ApplicantPro

    Take a look around at our simple yet powerful hiring software. It will help you increase your applicant pool, reduce your time-to-fill, and make you look like a rock star!

    Start your free trial

    Follow Us


    You might also like:


    Recent Articles