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Using SWOT Analysis for Recruitment

Businesses have been using SWOT analysis for decades, and for good reason. The acronym stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats, and considers both internal and external factors. The structure of the approach makes it ideal for many kinds of performance analysis and can contribute to a greater understanding of customers, competitors, and best business practice.

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One of the most useful areas of application for SWOT analysis is recruitment. At a time when staff retention and workplace wellbeing are even more important post-pandemic, applying the method to securing and keeping quality candidates can serve to strengthen teams for the long-term.

Using SWOT Analysis for Recruitment

The first stage is to determine what needs to be analysed and by whom. A collaborative approach can often prove more successful, enabling multiple perspectives to be included. The next stage is to list strengths and determine their specifics, choosing two or three to focus on. This is continued with weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. The results are then analysed, and a forward plan created.

As well as evaluating the process itself, human resource professionals and managers can conduct self-analysis to determine which skills they need to improve on and to establish personal goals.

Identifying Key Factors

While the key factors affecting your company will likely be unique, when it comes to recruitment, there are several areas that impact the process and the individuals involved regardless of sector. Here are some examples of common responses that might arise from a recruitment SWOT analysis, which can have an effect on companies, managers, employees, and potential job candidates.

  • Strengths: high retention rates, employee productivity, key performance indicators, pay grades, benefits, holiday allowance, work-life balance, business growth, and specialisation.
  • Weaknesses: low retention rates, employee morale and wellbeing, pay grades, business presence, credibility, company culture, and lack of effective management or training.
  • Opportunities: continual professional development (including internal movement and promotion, additional benefits, and travel prospects), collaborations, and investments.
  • Threats: economic climate, industry decline, geographical restraints, competitors targeting prospective or existing employees, and new legislation (such as living wage increases).

Establishing Better Business Practices

The most critical part of a SWOT analysis is deciding how to remedy the weaknesses and reduce the impact of potential threats. This is an excellent opportunity to get your wider team on board and develop ongoing strategies that benefit both your recruitment process and your company culture.

Once you have decided where and how to make changes, keep returning to the SWOT analysis to monitor and evaluate the impact they have had. You don’t always need to go into huge amounts of detail – identify the main areas and create action points that will have the most benefit to the most people. After all, the whole point is to find the best candidates and to keep them happy in their jobs.

Looking to improve the efficiency of your recruitment process? Our team of highly experienced consultants are here to help – call us on 0113 332 0678 or email

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