What is Recruiting?

Many founders start as lone fighters or in small teams. Sooner or later, however, almost every startup needs additional staff . For entrepreneurs who know a lot about their core business but little about recruitment , this situation can quickly become a challenge. In this article we give you valuable tips on how to optimally staffed du vacancies bind good staff long term to your business and legal pitfalls in recruitment are avoiding.

What is Recruiting?

The recruitment is a branch of Human Resources , which in English sprachigem area often referred to as Human Resources Management is referred to in short HR. The job of recruiting is to meet the staffing needs of a company or other organization in the most economical and efficient way possible.

Why is recruiting important?

It is not for nothing that employees are referred to with the less social but economically very appropriate term “ human capital ”. No company is yet in a position to generate economic added value and make profits without the use of human labor. Even if the personnel intensity fluctuates greatly from industry to industry, recruitment is ultimately a critical factor for any company that wants to grow and is one of the decisive factors for economic success .

Is recruitment and recruiting the same thing?

Recruitment , recruitment and recruiting are often used as synonyms in everyday language. From an economic point of view, however, the terms are not completely congruent. Here, recruitment is understood as a sub-discipline of human resource management or as an organizational unit in a company . The Recruitment and recruiting other hand, refers to the processes , that is, for example, writing out of bodies or the carrying of candidate interviews that are part of the recruitment are.

What are the tasks of recruiting

Recruitment includes workforce planning , recruitment, and retention . This function is therefore responsible for analyzing and forecasting a company’s personnel requirements in order to derive and implement the best recruitment channels and the most economical recruitment measures in the next step. The recruitment is guided by the so-called short-MAZO formula and ensure the proper that M aides in the correct A umber at the right Z ince the right O are rt.

Which recruitment channels are there?

As soon as you have analyzed your personnel requirements, which is usually not a problem for young and manageable companies, it is important to derive and implement the best strategies for finding and acquiring new employees. The best recruiting options for you depends on a number of factors. In this section we therefore present the two basic methods, internal and external recruitment , with their respective strengths and weaknesses.

External recruitment

For young companies that have no or only a few employees, only the external variant of the two recruiting instruments mentioned is possible. This means that you are looking for new employees outside of your company, on the job market.

Benefits of external recruiting

In particular, external recruitment has the following advantages :

  • large pool of applicants
  • high probability that the applicants will suit the position
  • Diversity can be realized more easily

If you go looking for candidates externally, you have, at least in theory, an almost infinite pool of workers at your disposal. The effective offer depends on various factors. In particular, what qualifications the person you are looking for must have, how well-known your company is, in which region the position is located and, of course, last but not least, what salary you can pay. The more of these factors are positive, the more likely you will find a new employee on the external market who meets both the professional and personal requirements that you consider necessary.

The social climate in the company also depends to a large extent on the composition of the workforce. If this is too monotonous, then diversity can only come from outside. So the only thing that helps here is recruiting employees through the market.

Disadvantages of external recruiting

However, external recruitment also has some major disadvantages; companies are particularly burdened by the following aspects:

  • great competition for candidates with scarce qualifications
  • high expenditure of time
  • high search costs

If you are looking for a new cleaner and you are not based in a boom region or an extremely rural area, you will succeed very quickly. The scarcer the skills that a candidate should bring with them, the tougher distribution battles you have to be prepared for. Small and little-known companies in particular are often not even noticed by suitable applicants. As a result, it often takes a long time before a position can be filled. In addition, the company incurs considerable search costs for job advertisements in well-known Internet portals and national newspapers. Small companies looking for experienced specialists and executives often only have a chance if they hire a personnel consultant, which is expensive, but sometimes unavoidable.

Internal recruitment

With this method, applicants for a vacancy are first sought within the company. In the public service this procedure is usually prescribed, but for private companies this method only makes sense if the workforce has already reached a certain size and no longer every individual is desperately needed where they are.

Benefits of in-house recruiting

The advantages of internal recruitment are obvious:

  • low search costs
  • Applicant fits the corporate culture
  • short training period

Internal job offers are usually only published on the intranet and posted on the bulletin board. So there are no noteworthy costs for recruiting. If an applicant can be found, then this has already proven itself in the company and fits the corporate culture . Familiarity with the internal processes also makes it much easier for this person to quickly get used to the new tasks.

Disadvantages of internal recruiting

Even if the search for suitable candidates in your own ranks impresses with its simplicity and cost-effectiveness, the disadvantages should not be ignored.

  • Search costs may only be shifted
  • poorer matching between applicant and job profile
  • in the medium term there is a risk of operational blindness

Internal job postings can contribute to a more efficient use of human capital within the company. To do this, however, there must be overstaffing or wrongly hiring in at least one position. If this is not the case, internal recruiting will only shift the search costs, but it will not help to reduce them. This method is also problematic when looking for applicants for positions that require very specific qualifications. The probability that the best possible candidate will be found in this way is extremely low, especially in small companies with a small number of employees. In addition, fresh wind from the outside protects against the dreaded operational blindness, which is also responsible for the inefficiency and inertia of many public institutions that primarily acquire internally.

The recruitment process – step by step to new employees

From the job advertisement to the selection of candidates to employee loyalty – in the next chapters you will learn everything important about the central steps of recruiting. You can also think of this as a kind of recruiting checklist .

Step 1: Write a job advertisement – this is how it works!

The job advertisement forms the basis of the active search for personnel. A good job advertisement consists of four to five parts. In the first section you should briefly introduce your company and answer the questions “Who are we”, “What do we do” and “Where can you find us”. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Your company certainly already has a homepage with the category “About us”. You can copy it here, it’s efficient and increases the recognition value.

The position itself is named and described in the next section. To do this, you first get the facts from the responsible department. This should create a requirement profile that covers at least the following points:

  • Apprenticeship or study
  • Desired work experience (possibly including internships)
  • professional qualifications
  • Stays abroad and language skills
  • Leadership skills (if a manager is wanted)
  • Soft skills (e.g. teamwork and critical skills, empathy, flexibility, etc.)

Next, it is best to look at comparable job postings from the competition. If you like something, you can use it as a guide. As long as you do not copy an entire advertisement word for word, you do not need to worry about a copyright infringement , since job advertisements, especially individual passages from them, are discussed with the necessary creative heights in order to be considered a work. Adopting what sounds good and fits is simply pragmatic and legal.

However, the place and description should really correspond. If you are looking for an internationally experienced, eloquent and team-minded night watchman for a remote warehouse without public traffic, you will quickly make yourself ridiculous.

This also applies to the next passage, in which the skills that the applicant should bring are listed. There are also some legal pitfalls lurking here. If you are specifically looking for young applicants or if you can only imagine a woman as a team assistant, you must not express that bluntly, otherwise you will face the first discrimination lawsuit. However, it is allowed to send signals. For example, you can describe your company as a “young, dynamic team” or look for a “team assistant”.

In the penultimate section it is then up to you to sell yourself and your company well and to convince potential interested parties that an application is worthwhile. This section is all the more important, the fewer suitable candidates are. In the case of positions for specialists and managers, the importance and development potential of the position should be emphasized. However, many young employees also value social factors. Therefore, you should definitely mention (real) “social benefits” such as working from home , part-time offers or the company’s own day-care center.

Finally, the application channels are listed (e.g. e-mail, applicant portal, postal address) and an application deadline may be set.

Step 2: The search – which medium is the right one?

After you’ve written the job advertisement, the first thing you do is post it on your company’s website. But that is usually only enough for the top dogs on the job market. BMW or Porsche achieve their goal, small and little-known companies have to show significantly more initiative. The following media are available to draw attention to your job offer.

  • regional newspapers and regional internet portals
  • national newspapers and corresponding internet portals
  • Social Media (Xing, LinkedIn, Facebook)
  • special portals for job advertisements (job exchanges)
  • subject-specific job boards (e.g. for lawyers, controllers, IT experts, etc.)
  • HR consultant (headhunter)

Classic recruitment

From the point of view of qualitative recruitment , the following principle applies: the lower the qualification required, the more regional the search grid. Hardly anyone moves from Hamburg to Munich for a position as a porter, caretaker or office assistant. So if you are looking for new employees with rather low or medium qualifications, you should concentrate on regional offers. Most local newspapers now have an online branch on which job advertisements can be placed, often for little money. In addition, almost every city has Facebook groups in which employers and applicants can come together. Here you can briefly introduce yourself and your company and then link the job offer on the company’s website. If you are looking for temporary workers, interns or student assistants, it is best to contact the employment service at the nearest university directly.

Companies that are looking for academics or well-trained skilled workers have to work harder. This clientele is also much more mobile, here the path to success usually only leads through the large job exchanges. The market leaders include Monster and Stepstone. You can also find foreign specialists here. The traditional recruiting by means of advertisements in national daily newspapers such as the Süddeutsche Zeitung or the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung is only worthwhile these days if you are looking for members of very traditional professions or if you have a very well paid position for specialists and executives to fill. For start-ups, however, this is often a bad investment. If your company is not yet established, you’d better invest the money in a good recruiter who specializes in the procurement of managers and subject matter experts for SMEs.

And here are two more practical tips for start-ups: escapethecity.org is a great website for positions that are not necessarily a classic 9-to-5 office job . If you only need help from time to time for work that can also be done online (writing, creating presentations, preparing offers, programming, bookkeeping, etc.) then take a look at WorkGenius . Here you will find freelancers who are happy to take on these jobs and do them at short notice.

Recruiting via LinkedIn and Xing

One of the more recent trends in recruiting is the use of social networks, which are specifically designed to maintain business contacts. Recruiting via LinkedIn and Xing you can force it in two different ways. On both platforms you have the opportunity to view the profiles, and in some cases also the résumés, of the members. You can also search for specific professions or specific qualifications. Not every member is currently looking for a job or interested in your offer, but asking doesn’t cost anything. You can definitely land a lucky hit here. In addition, it is always helpful as an entrepreneur to create a profile yourself and indicate which positions you currently have to fill. Many employees who are willing to change now research primarily in these business networks.

If all of this now kills you and you are looking for your first employee, then take a deep breath and then look at this post: Your first employee in no time at all.

Step 3: The (pre) selection

After the first applications have been received, the next step comes. The selection of candidates you want to invite for an interview . To do this, you compare the qualifications of the applicants with the requirement profile and arrange the candidates according to the degree of correspondence.

How many people you invite to the conversation ultimately depends on how much time and money you want to invest. For positions that are not overly important, you can only invite the candidate who looks best on paper. If the person “takes a bite” there is nothing against hiring him and ending the application process. If, on the other hand, you want to fill a key position, then this process is important enough to free the people involved for several appointments.

In the conversation itself, you should not only look at pure facts, but also make sure that there is mutual sympathy. In small companies in particular, it is particularly important that the chemistry between the individual team members is right.

A tip : Don’t be afraid to include people in the conversation who have to work directly with the “newcomer”. In this way, insurmountable antipathies are discovered in good time.

The long-term commitment

Finding employees is only the first step. Then the main thing is to bind them to your company in the long term. A fair salary, sufficient vacation and reasonable working hours are just the basic conditions that should be taken for granted.

Nowadays, for most people, work is no longer just what they earn their bread with. In countries like Germany in particular, it is increasingly about being able to develop and develop and not being satisfied at work, but happy. This gives you the opportunity to position yourself as an attractive employer and to offer employees an advantage over other companies.

Here are a few tips on how you don’t lose your new colleagues right away:

Formulate clear tasks and goals

Nothing demotivates more than not knowing what is expected of you. This also and especially applies to the job. That is why the tasks and requirements should always be clearly formulated and assigned. Regularly get feedback from your employees in employee appraisals on how they are coping with the tasks and whether they feel comfortable in the company. Make them feel like you’re listening.

Promote your employees

It is particularly important for specialists and executives to continuously develop themselves. In-house training courses, seminars, specialist conferences or courses should therefore be part of the “benefits” as a matter of course.

Don’t make lonely decisions

Involve your employees in important decisions and inform everyone in the company about changes in a timely and transparent manner. The more the team has the feeling that it is not only perceived as a worker, but has the chance to help shape things, the more each individual will automatically want to contribute.

Strengthen the sense of togetherness

The cohesion among colleagues can be a great motivating factor. That is why team-building measures should always be on the plan. If money is tight, a barbecue on “Casual Friday” or the table football tournament on Monday morning is enough.

Show your appreciation with little extras

Fresh fruit every day, free drinks, discounted memberships in fitness studios: it is often the small things that make an employer particularly attractive and personable. And in most cases, such measures don’t even cost that much. What can provide additional motivation for your employees is employee participation .

What is HR marketing and how does it work?

The term personnel marketing summarizes the measures that serve to make a company attractive to employees and to strengthen its competitiveness on the labor market.

A distinction is made between external and internal personnel marketing. The former focuses on new employees to be recruited. Typical instruments include image campaigns , trade fair appearances , original personnel advertisements or special support programs , such as scholarships, for the next generation of professionals.

The internal personnel marketing on the other hand aims to retain employees with high-demand skills over the long term. Typical elements include fair and transparent remuneration systems, advanced training opportunities, career programs for specialists and executives as well as part-time offers and sabbaticals for more socially oriented employees.

The effectiveness of personnel marketing is often checked with the help of certain key figures. This includes, for example, the number of applicants for each advertised position or staff turnover and the average length of service in the company.

Practical tips for your recruitment

If you are a founder or young entrepreneur looking for staff, you should keep these tips in mind:

  • Talk about it : Whenever you have a reasonably good opportunity, sometimes to the hairdresser or baker, tell them that you are looking for and whom you would like to hire.
  • Do university marketing : Take part in the recruiting days of the nearest universities, advertise in the student magazine and buy the student councils you are interested in a case of beer for the semester party.
  • Keep in touch: If you leave today, you might like to come back in a few years. So keep in touch with your ex-employees, everyone looks forward to a nice birthday email.
  • Go to the employment office: The employment office has by far the largest pool of workers and that is not just a “spare ramp”. Young university graduates, skilled workers who followed the partner from Berlin to Stuttgart or experienced experts whose last employer was liquidated are waiting here.


Finding well-trained staff can be a challenge for small and young businesses. With a lot of commitment, patience and the right strategy, however, almost any position can be filled. And sometimes it just pays to invest in professional help. There are now personnel service providers who specialize in start-ups and SMEs.

What is Recruiting