By Jessica Miller-Merrell

HR and recruiting haven’t always been considered assets in businesses. In fact, there was a time when HR was viewed just as a department for paper pushing, filing and compliance. Those of us in HR and recruiting know that although that was never the case, it is true that our roles have grown and changed over the years. Now, CEOs and executives are catching up and realizing how vital of a part we play. With leaders catching up to the curve and understanding the value HR and recruiting bring, 2015 truly is our year to shine.
It’s a great time for HR and Recruiting to strut its stuff because unemployment is at record lows and the demand for qualified workers with specialty knowledge is higher than it has ever been. This puts human resources and recruiting front and center because without the right people companies will suffer.
Embrace your role and step into the spotlight by using these three tactics.
Focus on onboarding and engagement
I think our natural tendency in HR and especially recruiting is to disengage when the employee becomes part of team. However, the need for onboarding and engagement goes far beyond the candidate experience and even first-day orientation. This year, look critically at how you engage candidates in their first 12 months of employment, as these are the most productive and vital times for ensuring that we retain our new and recent hires. This will not only increase your retention rate but will positively impact company culture and ultimately benefit your bottom line.
Proactive recruiting
If you’ve been sitting on the sidelines simply posting and hoping that candidates will see your job opening and apply, it’s time to step up to the plate and get what you want for your organization. One of the best ways to do this is to begin looking at the recruiting and hiring cycle as an actual relationship. This not only helps you reach the most qualified candidates but also helps you make the best matches and builds your candidate pipeline. In this extremely positive job market, we have to court them, interact with them and be responsive to exactly what they want and need.
Strategy. Strategy. Strategy
All that we do to reach candidates and retain employees, including the two tactics that I mentioned above, should be part an overall strategy that is developed thoughtfully and with our goals in mind. Those with a clear long-term plan of how talent plays a role in growing the organization are the ones who will be making an impact in 2015. Think beyond Excel formulas and spreadsheets and evaluate what your company and people need, and how you’ll get them there. Focus on how your talent strategies align with the organization’s goals to gain the respect that your department deserves while reaping also the benefits.
2015 holds a lot of great things for our industry, so get ready to dive in, take advantage of the headway we’ve made and gain some time in the spotlight. 

 Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s is the Chief Blogger & Founder of Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @jmillermerrell

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