Recruitment Process: A Step-by-Step Guide

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 8 December 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

If you want to pursue a career in human resources (HR), it is important to familiarise yourself with the recruitment process. A streamlined process can help you find the right candidates who can not only perform their job duties but also fit into your organisational culture and work well with your existing employees. It also helps you build a great team of employees who can take the organisation to the next level.

In this article, we will define a recruitment process, explain its importance and explore the steps companies take for recruiting qualified candidates.

What Is A Recruitment Process?

A recruitment process is a series of steps an organisation takes for finding, attracting, and hiring new employees. The steps typically include identifying vacant positions, analysing job requirements, creating job descriptions, receiving and reviewing applications, shortlisting candidates, conducting interviews and hiring the selected candidates. An effective recruitment process can help an organisation reduce their staff turnover rate and ensure only qualified candidates join the organisation.

Importance Of A Recruitment Process

A good recruitment process follows a step-by-step system for identifying and hiring qualified candidates who can help the business grow. Here are some reasons a recruiting process is important:

  • Helps in hiring talented candidates: the entire recruiting process involves the HR manager to search and shortlist candidates with the right education, skills and experience. To find the right candidates, they commonly use an applicant tracking system (ATS), conduct interviews and use other evaluation tactics.

  • Saves time and money on hiring: an effective recruiting process can help save a business both time and money. A streamlined process can fill vacant positions faster than a cumbersome one can. Also, without a proper process, organisations miss out on qualified candidates who may lose interest because of the delay in recruitment.

  • Connects with candidates for future job openings: even if the HR manager selects a different candidate, they can always stay in contact with other qualified candidates who did not receive the job offer.

  • Saves time on training: a structured recruiting process will ensure that the HR manager hires the right candidate with the right skills. Qualified candidates may not require formal training to start their work.

  • Helps an organisation grow: through a dedicated recruitment process, the HR manager can hire qualified and skilful candidates who can contribute to the growth of the business. For instance, they can hire a pool of business development executives to drive sales and connect with new clients.

  • Helps hire culturally fit candidates: an effective recruitment process can help HR managers determine if the candidate shares the same values and principles as the organisation does. A culturally fit employee is likely to be more engaged and satisfied at the workplace. This reduces employee turnover and increases the retention rate.

8 Steps In The Recruitment Process

A recruitment process typically follows these eight steps:

1. Recruitment planning phase

In the recruitment planning phase, you identify the hiring need within the organisation and create a job description for each vacant position. The job description lists the qualifications and experience required for the job and outlines the primary job responsibilities an employee needs to accomplish at the workplace.

Regardless of whether you hire for a full-time or part-time position, make sure you create a job description based on the team's inputs and your analysis. In the job description, you should also mention the job location, compensation and other benefits. A good job description should make qualified candidates apply for the job with your organisation, and it should clearly mention the kind of candidate you are looking to recruit.

2. Strategy development phase

The next step involves devising a strategy for recruiting the most qualified candidate for the vacant position. In this phase, the recruitment team identifies if the candidates require professional training for accomplishing their work. The team also determines the source of recruitment. It could be campus hiring, job fairs, online posting and recruitment agencies. Each type of source requires different resources. For example, you may have to visit a college for a campus hire.

In this phase, the recruiter also determines and selects the different places to advertise the job. Some organisations prefer giving advertisements in the newspaper, while others may upload the job advertisement on online hiring or job search portals. In your job advertisement, avoid using complex language or jargon words that a candidate may not understand. The strategy you develop may also depend upon the job role and requirement. For example, technical roles like programmers and IT developers often require students from an IT or computer science background.

Related: How to Use Indeed to Job Search During COVID-19

3. Searching phase

The searching phase involves actively seeking new candidates to fill vacant positions. Often, organisations use both internal and external sources to recruit the best-fit candidate. Internal recruitments may happen through promotions from within the organisation and by contacting retired or former employees. Many organisations use an employee referral system for internal hiring. Some may even get in touch with previous candidates. External recruitment sources may include campus recruiting, advertisement on recruitment agencies and direct recruiting.

4. Screening phase

The screening phase involves shortlisting candidates from a pool of applications or CVs. For screening candidates, you may have to review the CVs and profile summaries to separate the qualified candidates from the unqualified ones. When reviewing a CV, go through their educational qualification, experience, skills and career progression to make a choice.

Often, many recruiters use an ATS to filter out candidates who do not meet the bare minimum requirement. Some recruiters may ask candidates to complete a psychometric test to evaluate their personality, identify their leadership potential, interpret their ability to maintain workplace relationships and test their general intelligence. After shortlisting the potential candidates, you can contact them via phone or email. Many organisations conduct a brief interview to verify if the candidate still wants to pursue the job role and set up a time for the first interview round.

Related: Guide: 16 Personality Types

5. Interviewing and selection phase

In this phase, the recruiter has to plan interviews with the shortlisted candidates. While face-to-face interviews are preferable, you may conduct Skype or video interviews if the candidate is not local to your office location. The interview process typically lasts for 15-20 minutes, and the number of interviews a candidate has to face depends on many factors. These factors could be the number of candidates interviewing for the job, the competitiveness of the job role and your organisation's size.

Based on the role, interview questions may vary. Look for a response that showcases the skills, experience and stress-handling ability of the candidate. Also, use these responses and information from the interview to select the best-fit candidate. After making a final decision, utilise this phase to conduct a background check and verify the employment details of the candidate. Background verification can ensure that there was no miscommunication or misleading information shared about the candidate's experience and qualification.

Related: Tips for a Successful Skype Interview

6. Job offer phase

The next step is officially making a job offer to the selected candidate. The offer letter should provide details like the start date, performance expectations, compensation, perks and benefits, working hours and work-related policies. If you are hiring through a recruitment agency, they should make the job offer to the candidate.

Related: How to Write an Offer Letter Acceptance Mail (With Example)

7. Onboarding phase

When the candidate accepts the job offer, you can start the onboarding process and welcome the new member to your organisation. The onboarding process can help the new employee learn about the organisation's culture, understand their work policies, meet with their team members and understand workplace expectations.

8. Evaluation phase

The last step in the recruitment process is analysing the effectiveness of your recruiting method. In this stage, you should determine if you are satisfied with the candidates you have hired. Also, consider the cost-effectiveness of your current recruiting process and if there are any ways to improve your current recruitment process.

For an in-depth evaluation of your recruiting methods, you can conduct a statistical analysis. It will help you evaluate the cost and time you spent on recruiting a candidate. You can even use qualitative measures like surveys to ask managers about their experience with the process. Based on the survey results, you can change the process and improve it for future recruitments.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are associated with Indeed.


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