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13-Step Recruitment Process for Effective Hiring

October 27, 2022

Finding, evaluating, and hiring talent is not a straightforward journey today. Qualified candidates are hard to source, and retaining your employees is only becoming trickier. The rapid growth of organizations worldwide has created a huge demand for talent powered by a comparably miniature supply. 

Amidst the intense competition, recruiters also need to take care of metrics like – time to hire, cost of hiring, quality of hire (this comes first), and even the retention rate. It can easily get overwhelming for hiring managers to meet the talent requirements successfully, especially in rapid-growth companies. The key to cracking it all lies in setting up an effective recruitment process for your company.

Talent acquisition has deeply evolved in the past decade. While being supported by technology, it has also become much more expensive. The replacement of an employee costs a company around 6-9 months of his/her salary. Not to forget – the dynamics contributing to the success of a recruitment strategy have significantly increased. Even if you 10x your recruitment efforts in terms of the talent hunting team or boosting your budget, the intensity of beating the competition still remains the same.

So what can recruiters do today to outperform the competition and make impactful hires? How can talent teams ensure providing reliable and constant support to their organization’s growth? The solution to these along with talent retention lies in optimizing the recruitment process. Although not a one-step journey, working on your recruitment process extensively helps you to source, recruit, onboard and retain better talent much more effectively.

In this blog, we will discuss the breakdown of the modern recruitment process into 13 steps and find out how you can refine each of the phases continuously. As your productivity along with the team is the primary aspect driving hiring success – we will also give you valuable tips for improving your recruitment process towards the end. Stick around for a comprehensive analysis and a step-by-step pathway to establish a profound talent funnel.

What is Recruitment Process?

The recruitment process covers all the steps involved in sourcing and hiring a new employee to your organization. Usually done by a recruitment team and collaboration of various stakeholders depending on the role being hired – the recruitment process has dedicated goals attached.

Finding candidates with the best skills, optimum experience, and personalities fitting well to their respective job roles is the ultimate objective of any recruitment team. Apart from that – meeting the organization’s talent acquisition goals regularly, while ensuring the right recruiting metrics is what these teams constantly chase.

What forms an Effective Recruitment Process?

An approach that enables you to find quality candidates quickly, efficiently, and within your target budget is a strong recruitment process. It should be optimized in such a way that:

  • Each member of your recruitment team has access to the required tools and resources needed in the process.
  • Each phase of your recruitment funnel produces the desirable results with core metrics meeting the targets.

For all the stakeholders involved in the recruitment process, their tasks must become easier and collaborative efficiency should automatically emerge with every iteration. Additionally, the candidate experience you build up can make or break your recruitment funnel today. With 58% of job seekers declining their job offers due to poor experience, you must ensure the recruitment process is not only catering to your convenience but also addressing candidates’ common concerns. Some strategies that talent teams can adopt (and they should) to elevate their recruitment are:

  • Scale up their automation efforts
  • Make data-driven hiring decisions
  • Establish a great employer brand
  • Create candidate-centric plans for the recruitment process

13 Steps in a Recruitment Process: A Comprehensive Analysis

If you’re still following your old approach of distributing recruitment in independent parts, it’s high time you drill down to new procedures and strategies to streamline your recruitment process. We have done the hard work for you and broken down the entire recruitment process into a step-by-step guide. 

Here’s how you can set up an effective recruitment process along with your recruiting team for your organization.

  1. Identify Your Hiring Requirements

There’s no way you can find something you’re searching for without knowing what exactly it is. Similarly in the recruitment process, as you look for qualified candidates to hire – you must thoroughly know what is the criteria for qualifying candidates for the respective roles. The very first step sets up the tone of your entire recruitment process and hence it’s vital that you hone it. 

Figure out the answers to these questions while you analyze your hiring requirements:

  • What gaps does the hired employee need to fill in the department or organization?
  • What are the must-have skills and abilities for someone to fulfill this role’s requirements perfectly?
  • How to know if someone is the right culture fit for your company?

You might want to revisit the organization chart or talk to a couple of concerned stakeholders who might be the departmental leads or executives. It should be noted that if you’re hiring for a position that was last filled quite long ago – don’t just follow the same approach you used back then. The skills, roles, and responsibilities evolve faster than you think as your organization grows.

  1. Prepare Job Description

Now that you have analyzed the role requirements deeply, it’s time to create a detailed and captivating job description that will draw the ideal candidates toward your recruitment funnel. The qualifying parameters that you extracted in the previous step – skills, experience, qualifications, and others, will now be handy in preparing a strong job description.

Having a target candidate persona ready before you begin talent sourcing immensely helps in framing the right job description for the candidates. The core elements needed in a job description regardless of the job role you’re hiring for are

  • Company name and description
  • Job title and department 
  • Location 
  • Mode of Work - Remote/In-office/Hybrid
  • Total number of openings
  • Required skills, experience and qualifications
  • Detailed roles and responsibilities
  • Estimated Payroll
  • Brief company culture highlights
  • Soft skills and certifications required (if any)
  • Perks and Benefits

Ideally, a job description should be framed in such a way that the candidates find it easy to match their skills and qualifications for the position. It should be detailed enough and not too lengthy at the same time. Pro tip: Write your job descriptions in a conversational way to engage candidates effectively. 

  1. Develop Your Recruitment Strategy

So far you’ve been preparing for recruitment. It’s now time to dive into the field and plan how to attract and retain candidates to your recruitment funnel. First things first, try putting yourself into your target candidate’s shoes and analyze what will make you apply for this role. This will help you figure out if the opportunity stands out among a flood of jobs, and what can you do to highlight it.

At this stage, you need to lay down the framework that you’ll be following throughout the recruiting process:

  • Primary methods of recruitment - Job sites, career page, social media, external and internal referrals, etc.
  • Targeted geography of hiring - depending upon whether you’re hiring remote or in-office employees
  • Priority channels for posting jobs - LinkedIn, Indeed, Angellist

Before you source even your first candidate, frame your recruitment strategy and share it with your team for seeking their inputs. Ensure your entire recruiting team, hiring managers, external recruiters (if any), and other stakeholders stay on the same page throughout the recruiting process. Having an organized strategy in hand is immensely helpful while scaling up your recruiting. Later on, you can also know what works and what doesn’t and highlight that centrally.

  1. Source Candidates 

When it comes to sourcing candidates, you can follow a couple of approaches - inbound and outbound sourcing.

  • Inbound sourcing: The conventional way of sourcing candidates. This strategy involves actively promoting your job - either organically or through paid advertisements. It’s one of the most reliable and effective ways to get applications for your open roles. The channels you can utilize for inbound talent sourcing are numerous - job listing sites, social media platforms (LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter), job ads, and via website career pages. Another incredibly effective approach for bringing in qualified talent is through referral programs. A majority of organizations practice internal referrals and also reward successful conversions.
  • Outbound sourcing: Over 73% of the entire workforce consists of passive candidates. It basically means that almost three-fourths of employees are not actively looking for jobs and they wouldn’t apply to any of them. Here’s where outbound sourcing comes into play. You can reach out to passive candidates via platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and even through emails. 

This is primarily effective as most qualified and experienced candidates do not actively look for switching their jobs and hence almost never apply to open jobs that you post online. So these candidates need to be reached out to and engaged effectively for triggering their interests. You can also build a talent pool for current or future purposes to source candidates promptly when required. Make sure you engage and nurture them effectively.

  1. Screen Resumes & Shortlist

In a few days, your application database gets flooded with hundreds of people applying through various channels. Add up those passive candidates you source via the outbound approach. Now your recruitment journey is at a crucial stage as you need to screen resumes and shortlist. It can be overwhelming looking at the huge number of applications for your open role, but fret not – here’s how you can streamline it:

  • Match the candidate’s resume/CV to the documented role requirements and job description you prepared.
  • Firstly, compare the qualifications and years of experience
  • Dive a bit deeper, analyze the candidate’s previous roles – also find out if the candidate’s job switches are too often (numerous companies in a short period of time)
  • Shortlist based upon skills and industry relevance of the experience

This stage is also known as pre-screening and it’s a vital step to save your time from interviewing hundreds of candidates. You must narrow down the applicant list based on company-specific requirements and deep analysis of skills and experience.

  1. Screening Call

After one round of filtering, you have a healthy database of qualified candidates ready with you. It is assumed that they have the relevant experience and qualifications required for this job role. But are they interested enough? Are they even available for hire now? (it’s been days or weeks since the application) 

Additionally, a screening call also helps you analyze the candidate’s personality and more importantly – their confidence with the expertise listed in their resume. As it is your first attempt to interact with candidates, ensure you prepare well. Keep their resume in hand and try to cover all the dimensions – from technical skills, experience, and portfolio to personality traits, communication skills, and behavior. Remember that an assessment interview is a big investment, proceed only when you’re convinced that the candidate is more than interested and can make it through. 

You can also ask for their availability and schedule an interview while on the call. 

  1. Conduct Assessment

Not all assessments are performed via screening. By far, you filtered the candidates who didn’t fit the role requirements. For finding the ideal candidates who would fit the best, you need full-fledged assessments. 

A majority of organizations begin their assessment with an aptitude test which checks the candidates’ basic problem-solving abilities. The aptitude is then followed by role-specific assessments. In the case of technical hiring – like software development – this round is mostly a live coding test. While for others like marketing - it can either be a live test or an assignment based on department heads’ preferences.  

The assessments also largely depend on the seniority of the role. For entry-level positions, live tests are conducted. On the other hand, if it’s a mid-level or senior role, recruitment teams carry out either analytical assignments or direct interviews.

  1. Interview the Candidates

What’s recruitment without an interview - probably not possible. Needless to mention, it’s the most crucial stage of your entire recruitment funnel. This is the final step of recruitment apart from the verification and formalities. Almost all organizations have their own unique way of conducting interviews. From the number of rounds to the assessment style – you have to templatize your interview process based on the roles and organization-specific expectations of the candidates.

The core objective of interviews is to verify if the candidate has the required knowledge and aligns with the compensation, payroll, and reflects the right kind of personality suitable to the role requirements. Unlike what a lot of people think, an ideal interview is a two-way interaction. Especially with modern candidates, who assess companies continuously based on the candidate experience served – an effective interview process can single-handedly improve conversions.

In order to prepare questions for an interview, focus on getting detailed information about the candidate’s professional experience, background, skills, experience, and pressure-handling capabilities. 

Recruiting teams should ensure that the interview framework is set well before hiring and the same process is followed for everyone. Having an interview framework will help you avoid any kind of bias for or against anyone.   

  1. References and Background Check

While a number of recruiters, especially from early-stage small companies overlook this vital recruitment step - you shouldn’t. The world is filled with all different types of people and you never actually know if the people you are interacting with during recruitment are completely genuine or not.

So for each of the candidates, you shortlisted after interviews, conduct a thorough background check with the shared references. And if not, ask them to share those professional contacts as references. Always do this before you finalize a candidate and roll out the offer letter to avoid any potential discrepancies later on.

Especially if you’re hiring for a senior-level position, this becomes even more important as the stakes are higher. 

The easiest and most effective way for doing background verification of candidates is by contacting their previous employers either through a short call or email. Once they agree to interact, you can share questions about the candidate’s previous roles and the reason for leaving them.

  1. Make the Hiring Decision and Roll Out the Offer

Once you’re done with the background check and are convinced with the results – make a final call by discussing with your team and the interview panel. Be extensively careful with payroll communication and negotiation with the candidates. If you’re wondering why – a majority of quality candidate drop-offs happen at this stage.

You never want to miss out on hiring top talent. Rolling out the offer letter and effectively communicating with the candidate as soon as possible is vital for boosting your offer letter acceptance rate. Ensure that your entire team is on the same page when it comes to knowledge about the best payroll offered and the extra perks that come with the offer letter.

At the end of the day, not every candidate will accept the offer even after working rigorously hard throughout the interview and assessments. As a recruiter, you must be prepared for that and have backup plans instead of relying on only one candidate.

  1. Contracts and Paperwork

Often recruiters do this mistake – they work on the contracts and paperwork before the target candidate actually accepts the job offer. Now that you know what to work on and when – do it only after the negotiations are over and the candidate has reverted back with the signed offer letter. 

Begin the process of filling out the required forms and signing the contracts related to employment. The forms and paperwork vary as per the country you’re getting hired in as every state has its own rules. 

  1. Final Onboarding

You can now finally be relieved as the candidate has successfully crossed the recruitment funnel and the position has been officially filled. Although the recruitment process isn’t over yet. It’s now time to onboard your newly hired employee and you must do it in a welcoming way that introduces them to the company culture. Remember that their very first employee experience will be a relationship-defining one. 

You ideally want your employees to be at their maximum productivity levels all the time. However, for the newly hired one - how fast the productivity bar goes up directly depends on how well they settle in with the team in a short period of time. Share a welcome letter signed either by the hiring manager or the CEO of the organization with them. 

Next up, introduce them to the entire team and set up a meeting with the relevant department and its lead. Ensure the IT onboarding is done smoothly and the candidate has got access to all the necessary software. If you have a dedicated orientation process, introduce them to the entire process and clearly convey what to expect. Lastly, assign an internal mentor or ‘buddy’ for the newly hired so that they have a point of contact for everything they’re doubtful about.  

  1. Recruitment Process Analysis

In order to continuously improve your recruitment process, you need to measure it and analyze the effectiveness of your current strategies and efforts. There exist a number of recruitment efficiency metrics like time to hire, cost of hiring, offer acceptance ratio, average retention rate, and more to keep a track of your recruitment process. 

While analyzing the efficiency of your recruitment, ensure that you do it separately for each phase of the recruitment process. Apart from the most impactful recruiting metrics, you can follow these approaches for analyzing the overall process efficiency:

  • Perform an anonymous survey for candidate experience: No doubt quality candidate experience is a must-have today. Conduct anonymous surveys of candidates regardless of their recruitment results to find out any potential issues in the candidate journey and rectify them.
  • Ask managers for qualitative feedback: Hiring managers have the closest eye on the entire recruitment process and their feedback can be immensely valuable for analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of your recruitment. 

Once you get the survey results and feedback from hiring managers, incorporate the inputs in your very next recruitment campaign. Further, tweak your recruitment processes with the aim to optimize for convenience and superior candidate experience. Measure the performance again through obtained results (recruiting efficiency metrics) and feedback from surveys.

Supercharge Your Recruitment Process with Sourcing Automation

Do you often get overwhelmed by the scaled-up requirements when it comes to candidate sourcing? What stops you from engaging with your talent pool which has hundreds of passive candidates? Recruiters already have more than enough on their plates and handling it all manually directly harms their productivity. The road to redemption? 

Automate the repeated mundane tasks of recruiting and focus just on the human-centric ones. Nurturebox empowers your recruitment process with comprehensive candidate sourcing and engagement automation

That’s not all – the Chrome extension seamlessly integrates with your existing recruitment stack like ATS and enables you to source hundreds of candidates from LinkedIn within seconds. Strategic talent sourcing, engagement, and recruitment pipeline management just became a lot easier with Nurturebox. Try it now!

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