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Hiring the Right Candidate: Recruitment Process 101

October 27, 2022

Give a great idea to average performers and they won't make anything out of it, 

Give an average idea to a team of talented individuals and they will surely get you something worthy.

The talent that you acquire defines your future growth trajectory. No matter which industry you belong to, what you sell and the job roles you’re looking to fill – hiring the right candidates is the core objective, it has always been. However, the recruitment process and methodologies have transformed. Just like consumer expectations have drastically evolved – candidate expectations are growing at an astounding pace too. 

The primary reason for the foundational changes in the recruitment space is the immense shortage of talent supply as compared to the continuously augmenting demand. In 2022, 75% of organizations globally report a talent shortage – which is the highest ratio in the last two decades. Finding qualified candidates and hiring them is now trickier than ever, recruiters and organizations need to adapt to these changing times and innovate their talent acquisition strategies. 

Fast-growth organizations have high-scale talent requirements at any given point of time. The conventional methods of sourcing, qualifying, and hiring talent don’t quite work effectively. With the talent market becoming more open and dynamic than ever before – recruiters constantly need to experiment with their strategies and evaluate the results to optimize their recruitment funnel. Amidst the severe competition, where hiring has become nothing short of a race among talent hunters – streamlining your recruitment process is the key to boosting your talent acquisition outcomes.

So how do you ensure hiring top-quality talent – while dealing with the scale, time, and external challenges of your recruitment? What strategies do you need to follow for improving your candidate experience and reducing funnel drop-offs? The solution to these is driven by a well-established and smooth recruitment process. In this blog, we will discuss why is it crucial to work on your recruitment process and how you can ace it. Stick around for a comprehensive guide.

What is the Recruitment Process?

The cycle followed by organizations to source and hire candidates for their open positions is defined as the recruitment process. It covers the end-to-end strategy that goes behind finding, screening, shortlisting, interviewing, and onboarding talent. With different stakeholders involved from hiring managers to recruiting teams and department heads, companies accomplish the planning and execution of the talent funnel.

Although the recruitment goals of all organizations resemble – hiring high-quality talent within a short span of time and optimized cost attached, the approach taken by each of them is different. And it should be – every business is different, and so are its requirements. Especially in such a volatile talent market, what works well for you might not lead to the same results for others. 

Recruitment being a crucial part of your business’s sustainability and growth, needs to be streamlined for producing optimum results. So we break down the recruitment process into X different stages. Further, each phase is assessed, analyzed, and restructured with the aim to improve hiring results. 

It’s a candidate-centric market today. So while planning your recruitment process, the focal area should not just be your organizational goals related to time and cost. You should also cover candidate experience and focus on improving it for a positive shift in conversion rates. 

Why is Your Recruitment Process Vital?

A seamless recruitment process has numerous benefits for your hiring team and organization. Some of the top reasons why you must establish a clear recruitment process and consistently put efforts to optimize it are:

#1 Quality of hiring 

A well-defined recruitment process has multi-dimensional benefits that contribute to the quality of hire. As the recruitment cycle is accelerated while maintaining a positive candidate experience, you retain more candidates in your recruitment funnel and hire people faster than the average competition. Equal focus on sourcing and engaging candidates ensures a high-quality talent pool for your organization. Not only this, a prolific recruitment process also boosts your employer brand and helps you attract the best talent possible.

#2 Set Expectations Upfront

When you know your recruitment process inside out, you can help candidates, managers, and executives set clear expectations from the recruiting team upfront. In terms of time required to fill current roles or recruiting budget needed to satisfy the quality of the talent pool – everything can be analyzed keeping in mind your recruitment process. Additionally, it keeps your entire hiring team on the same page and enables quality collaboration. Decision-making – which is a crucial part of recruitment becomes much more efficient. 

#3 Reduce Cost of Hiring

Cost per hire is one of the most critical recruitment metrics for most organizations. No matter how big a business is, optimizing the expenses, especially for recruitment is a constant struggle for stakeholders. With a predefined and tested recruitment process, the cost of hiring is significantly reduced. A strategic recruitment approach begins with talent pool building, and once enough candidates are sourced for creating a talent pool, what remains is assessing them and interviewing the shortlisted candidates before releasing the offer letter. Hence the entire recruitment is streamlined with respect to productivity and cost of resources.

#4 Save more time

Time taken to hire is undoubtedly the primary factor defining your recruitment efficiency. Fast-growth startups and organizations want to expand, and they do that at an extremely high pace. Clear and end-to-end framing of recruitment plans helps you accelerate each phase of the hiring. Hence, from sourcing candidates to shortlisting them based on pre-decided criteria and templatizing the onboarding – an organized recruitment journey helps recruiters and candidates save a lot of time. On average, top candidates are available for just 10 days in the market before they end up somewhere. More than saving time, you need to boost your recruitment pace for grabbing the ‘creamy-layer’ of talent.

#5 Improve Candidate Experience

The recruitment process has a direct impact on candidate experience right from the top of the talent acquisition funnel to the bottom. When a candidate is sourced or applies for a role at your company:

  • Is the job description clear enough to attract closely relevant applications?
  • How easy is your application form/procedure?
  • Is the candidate informed about the expected timelines in advance?
  • Do you inform them after each round of recruitment?
  • Is the feedback flow consistent or does it even exist?
  • Does the candidate have the option to communicate with you quickly and get their queries resolved?

 All of these questions and more arise when it comes to focusing on your recruitment focus. Working on these not only elevates your candidate experience but also gives your recruitment a word-of-mouth promotion.

#6 Boost Employee Retention

If you’re wondering how a fine-tuned recruitment process would help you in retaining employees, here’s the crack. When you communicate clearly about your company culture, role requirements, and candidate expectations during recruitment – the employees that you end up hiring would probably be more likely to stay in your organization for longer. Secondly, as the recruitment process gets streamlined and almost templatized, your HR team gets more bandwidth to actually engage employees in activities, host events, etc.

A positive candidate experience produced by a smooth and talent-friendly recruitment process leaves them immensely satisfied. As a result, it maximizes your talent retention rate.

#7 Helps Recruiters Maximize Productivity 

Two of the biggest challenges for recruiters today are – finding quality talent to hire and reducing the candidate drop-off in the recruitment funnel. While hiring teams strive hard to ace every stage of recruitment for different roles at scale, they often have more than enough on the plate to handle. Introducing automation for repeated admin tasks and streamlining the recruitment process by preparing standardized workflows would grow your team’s productivity multifold.

Further, if the admin side of recruiting like managing applications and candidate databases is mostly automated – recruiters get more time to interact directly with candidates leading to much more efficient engagement and hiring.  

The Anatomy of a Strong Recruitment Process

Let’s now reverse engineer what goes into a strong and effective recruitment process. From multi-layered planning to leveraging technology at its finest, this breakdown covers everything. Without any further ado, let’s dive in straight.

  • Putting People First

Before all recruitment strategies comes the basic principle of keeping candidates first. This mindset and approach are extremely important, especially with recruitment in modern times. It’s often underrated how deeply recruitment impacts candidates’ lives. And hiring journey is not simple for a majority of people, even if they are well-versed technically. It’s natural for candidates to seek guidance anytime as they feel nervous and confused about the different recruitment processes for every company. 

Successful recruiters have this trait but it’s least talked about – they make candidates feel so comfortable and important that recruitment becomes a positive journey filled with learning.

To make your recruitment process more effective, you can’t just keep experimenting randomly and expect good results. Analyzing data to inform your hiring strategies and decisions is the need of the hour. Renowned global employers have been following this for a long, but that’s not the reason you should practice data-driven hiring. Companies lose USD 14,900 for each bad hire and leveraging data to drive your recruitment decisions will ensure you’re hiring better candidates and not losing out on your precious resources - especially time.

  • Company-Specific Recruitment Plans 

Recruitment strategies that work amazingly well for companies might not work for you at all. The road to redemption? Analyze your company culture, growth objectives, and past recruitment performances to figure out your recruitment process. From your organization’s mission, vision, and diversity-building plans to interview strategy – personalize each step of your requirement for producing desired results.

  • Leveraging Technology

94% of recruiters and hiring managers say that using recruitment software has positively impacted their hiring. As you look forward to scaling your hiring and hiring a number of candidates in a short span of time, using recruitment automation and other technological solutions is the way to reach your goals. In fact, using solutions like Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is necessary for recruiters for collaborating with their teams effectively and maintaining the candidate database easily.  

Platforms like Nurturebox enable recruiters to automate their outbound sourcing, engagement, and candidate pipeline management. With a comprehensive solution for scaling up your candidate sourcing via LinkedIn, Nurturebox also allows you to create nurture sequences for engagement and track your recruitment funnel – all from a single window.

  • Optimize Your Candidate Experience

We have talked about how candidate experience is driven by your recruitment process throughout the blog. But why does candidate experience matter? First look at this figure - 63% of job seekers will probably reject a job in case of bad candidate experience. The difference between the supply and demand of talent is huge and is constantly growing – this leaves the workforce with more opportunities than ever. Additionally, candidates now expect much more than nice payroll and perks from companies. Company culture, employer brand, and recruitment experience have become intrinsic drivers of decisions for them.

7 Stages of the Recruitment Process

So far we had a high-level view of the strategy required to build a reliable recruitment process. But how do you apply those plans and strategies to establish your recruitment cycle? Let’s find out with a brief analysis of 7 core phases in the recruitment process. 

  1. Analyzing Your Hiring Requirements

Once a position is opened at your organization, you cannot directly go online for posting the job ad or reach out to candidates for sourcing. 

  • To hire for a role, you need to understand the requirements and the role specifications inside out. 
  • Find out all the positions that are unfilled right now followed by in-depth requirements and the expected scope of work. 
  • Next up, identify the knowledge, skills, and experience required for the respective roles
  • Figure out the soft skills, qualities, qualifications, interests, and strengths you want in your target candidate and what your team needs too.
  • Also keep a track of the employees leaving your company or serving their notice periods.  
  • Have an idea for budget cap – many skilled candidates directly ask you this and you can’t really deny answering it.
  1. Framing the Job Description

After you know the role specifications and internal expectations in terms of skills, experience, and qualifications – it’s time for you to create a detailed and inviting job description. It’s a vital phase as the number of applications and the ratio of qualified ones would be determined by your job description. 

Candidates use the JD to figure out if they match the skill and experience requirements, and if the job is worth applying to (or switching for). The objective of this stage is to get applications from ideal candidates. Here are some tips to ace your job descriptions:

  • Address your candidates directly, like you’re having a 1:1 conversation
  • Frame a real & accurate job title
  • Mention a brief company description
  • Position yourself strongly in the ‘About Us’ section
  • Specify clear roles and responsibilities 
  • Skip the boring generic requirements - replace them with unique ones
  • Highlight the top perks of the role & your company
  • End with a conversational CTA
  1. Sourcing Talent

Talent sourcing refers to drawing candidates to the top of your recruitment funnel. Numerous channels exist for sourcing candidates including a website careers page, social media platforms, job listing sites, advertisements, referrals, and more. Additionally, recruiters also reach out to candidates or network with them at events, job fairs, and online. Here’s where the differentiation in outbound and inbound sourcing approaches happens:

  • Inbound sourcing: Candidates applying for your open roles through various channels like job sites, social media, careers landing page of your website, referrals and digital ads refers to inbound sourcing. The efficiency of inbound talent sourcing is largely driven by employer brand and reputation.
  • Outbound sourcing: When you reach out to potential candidates with the aim to hire them – it’s outbound sourcing. With passive candidates increasing rapidly, this approach has become the go-to strategy for recruiters.
  1. Screening and Shortlisting   

At this stage, you probably have a number of applications and sourced talent profiles and now you need to shortlist them for beginning your recruitment interview or assessment rounds. This is where you push candidates from the top of your recruitment funnel. 

Now this stage is vital as you perform an in-depth analysis of candidate profiles and make a decision about whether or not they are qualified enough for interviewing with you. On the other hand, a majority of recruitment teams find this stage the most challenging. Although making decisions about recruitment is not a piece of cake, breaking down the strategy into small steps can surely help. Here’s how you can screen candidates and shortlist effectively:

  • First things first, check each candidate’s qualifications and work experience - not in terms of years but previous job profiles
  • Next, shortlist candidates based on certifications, relevant experience, skills, technical expertise, and achievements 
  • For screening calls, analyze the candidate’s confidence with the skills they possess as well as communication skills. Try to find out their career goals and objectives 
  • Score the candidates based on their profile and screening call together – push the candidates passing the threshold score forward.
  1. Interview

The shortlisted profiles are sent for interviews. This stage can be divided into two or more interview rounds depending on an organization’s requirements, respective roles, and general practices. Some organizations also conduct a single round of interview in their recruitment process. 

For example – If you’re hiring developers, you can prepare separate interview rounds for technical assessment and non-technical (or culture-fit) evaluation. Ideally at this stage, the recruitment teams collaborate with department heads for assessing candidates.

Here are some tips you must not miss out on for optimizing your interview process:

  • Focus on building an interaction rather than a one-way or Q&A type of communication.
  • Prepare role-specific questions for efficient evaluation
  • Analyze if the candidate would fit well in your company – the pace of work, flexibility, and curiosity matter more than current skills
  1. Offer Letter and Onboarding

Now that you have finished the interview and evaluated the candidates deeply – it’s time to share the offer letter with the shortlisted candidates. Do it enthusiastically – convey that you have confidence in their abilities.

 Effective communication and candidate experience are the keys to successful conversion here. You can never be assured of a candidate accepting your job just because the offer is tempting or the candidate has surpassed all the evaluation rounds. 

  • Be transparent with the candidates about the expectations and required agreements
  • Seek feedback from them about the interview process
  • In case a candidate accepts your job offer, prepare the onboarding – connect them with their leads and the team for an introduction call
  • Begin your induction program (if any)

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