Refine Your Recruitment Processes to Attract the Best Talent

By Becky Simon | October 25, 2017

Recruiting the right people is essential to creating a stellar workplace: It’s what led companies like Google and Facebook to the top of the “Best Places To Work” lists. Attracting talented people with a sound recruitment process also paved the way for their respective dominance in an industry defined by the ability to deploy a competitive workforce. Therefore, getting recruitment ‘right’ can lead to completed projects, scalable growth, and satisfied customers. 

Conversely, getting it ‘wrong’ means massive costs, inferior workplace environments, and limited growth. In this guide to recruitment processes, we’ll take a look at the core activities involved in identifying, attracting, hiring, and retaining the right people. This article is ideal for organizations of all types and sizes who want to learn how top companies, and the professionals who study the topic at length, use the recruitment process to create amazing places to work. 

What Is the Recruitment Process?

The recruitment process refers to the activities an organization or individual use to find, engage, interview, hire, and retain employees. This process seeks to find qualified employees who fit specific job requirements and the organization’s culture, regardless of the candidate's current job status (employed or seeking employment). This process varies based on the size or the company, the qualifications required of the candidate, the industry, or the operating environment, along with other differentiators (for example, security clearance).

The individual components of each activity in the recruitment process are specific to the organization and the necessary job each candidate is expected to perform. These elements should match the desired intent of the employer. In other words, the recruiting process should seek the type of person that would excel in the company and fit the overall business strategy. If hiring for a short-term contract or freelance work, the process identifies candidates who reflect the specific needs of that project. 

Evaluate Recruiting Needs

The recruitment process starts with evaluating and understanding the needs of your organization. This process does not begin in response to a specific job opening; rather, it is a proactive framework that analyzes potential workforce requirements and looks to meet that demand ahead of time. From a human resources recruitment process perspective, this might include forecasting hiring budgets based on internal objectives and external economic factors. These factors may include the following:

  • Significant workforce fluctuations
  • Increased production requirements due to new product launch
  • Increase or decrease in sales revenue
  • Expansions and new location openings
  • Change in technology requirements
  • New laws and industry regulations
  • Economic shifts in unemployment
  • New market competition
  • Dramatic shifts in geographic populations

For hiring managers, small business owners, and recruiters operating without an HR team, these factors are still a part of evaluation process. However, if you have limited time for forecasting and planning, the most critical part of the evaluation stage in the recruitment process is job analysis. 

Analyzing the job you are recruiting for and implementing a plan that enables you to find the right person takes skill and practice. The closer you are to the actual needs of the position you are filling, the easier it is to analyze and identify the right person for the job. 

However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a process in place to research, analyze, and determine the job specifications for each need that arises. In fact, doing so ensures you attract the right people based on current data and trends impacting your business, both internally and externally. 

The Job Analysis

In the planning stage of the recruitment process, job analysis is a proactive approach to determining what the job involves and how to translate that information to candidates. Job analysis planning is made up of two steps:

  1. Identify the Data: Determine the demands, tasks, and overall competencies required. This process includes identifying the problem-solving and decision-making responsibilities of the person performing the job.
  2. Write the Job Description: Translate the data into a description that describes the job to attract the right people, and conversely, dissuade the wrong candidates.  

Identifying the data is a process of determining what the person is required and expected to do, as well as what they are capable of doing in the role. This process involves interviewing people that currently perform the tasks needed, using data gathering tools such as questionnaires or online surveys, and evaluating data on industry trends and new competencies in areas of technology and technical proficiency. 

Researching current economic and employment data keeps the job analysis process in line with the market conditions of your industry. The data used to analyze job requirements varies by sector and company based on different factors. Following are different types of data analysis used during this planning phase:

  • When does the role need to be filled (and what is the plan if you miss this deadline)? 
  • Is a succession plan in place or would an existing internal candidate be better suited to fill this role?
  • Is this a full-time, permanent hire or is this role suited for temporary contract work? 
  • What value does this job add to the project’s or organization's goals (long-term and short-term)? 
  • Where is this position best located (geographically and within the organization)?
  • What type of certifications, education level, and job experience is required?
  • What are the physical demands of this job and how are these requirements defined?
  • What is the appropriate salary and level of responsibility?
  • Does filling this role require partnering with an external recruiting agency or solution provider?
  • What does the overall market look like for this job?

Approach the Job Description as If Your Job Depends on It 

Use the data gathered during the job analysis to create the job description. This process is critical to finding the right people for the job, and dissuading people who are not qualified for the role. If you are partnering with an agency or solutions provider, ask for their feedback on the role at this part of the recruitment process. A capable recruiter provides valuable insight into what works and what doesn’t with regards to a job description (JD). 

Some recruiters prefer to write the job description outright, or at least edit it using their experience and connection with the marketplace to make it stand out and attract the right candidate. After all, modern recruiting products and platforms such as ZipRecruiter and Indeed depend heavily on the job description to stand on its own when the hiring manager isn’t involved in sourcing and screening candidates. 

With that in mind, here are some tips for writing a compelling job description beyond the standard information such as job title, responsibilities, and qualifications:

  • Description Fiction: Do not use the job description as an opportunity to create the ideal super-candidate. Analyzing data from the job analysis process should reveal the “must have” versus the “nice to have” requirements. A job description that attempts to check every box and is designed to embody the perfect candidate delays the discovery of qualified candidates. 
  • Know Your Audience: Avoid industry jargon, company-specific terms, and acronyms, unless specific to technology requirements or product name. While the job description is designed to attract the right candidate, writing it as if addressing an internal audience who already understands the work you do may limit the overall effectiveness and reach. Instead, be specific and detailed with descriptions and make sure to elaborate on how the candidate will use specific technology.
  • Leave Out the Nonsense: A job description is a form of business writing, not marketing copy, so write it with the same professionalism you would write to a prospective customer or vendor partner. It is not a medium to deliver a manifesto on cool workplace features or descriptions of a hip culture. It should simply and clearly communicate what success looks like in the role. Have someone outside of the role proofread every job description and consider getting feedback outside of the direct hiring team or department for an unbiased viewpoint.
  • Always Be Closing: The right people are evaluating your company and the position as much as you evaluate them as candidates. Sell the opportunity to work in this role, for your business, at this specific time. What differentiates you from other companies? Research the job descriptions in the market and analyze how your job description stacks up to the current competition. You don’t have to take up space with details on workplace culture or extra perks that can be covered in the interview process, but write a description that reads like an offer to be part of something special to you, your team, and your company. 

Collaborative Recruitment Methods 

It’s a mistake to view the recruitment process as solely an HR function The reality is that today’s top workplaces use a multi-tier approach to attracting the best talent. By involving every employee in the recruitment process and creating a culture of “A” players, companies like Google normalized the all-hands approach to the recruitment process. Author Bernard Girard writes about the “Recruitment Factory” at Google in his book, The Google Way. At one stage in the company’s unprecedented growth, Google increased its workforce by 9,000 employees over the course of three years, a five-fold increase. 

A multi-tier approach to the recruitment process creates a method for finding top talent for a job. It does so by empowering top performers who are confident enough in their abilities and performance to recruit other top performers. Companies can incentivize the activity with referral programs, using hiring data and the emphasis on team building as metrics for performance reviews and promotions. “Allow average employees to recruit co-workers, and they will likely choose those who won’t outshine them,” writes Girard. This phenomenon was common in Silicon Valley at the time, according to an early investor in Google, Ram Shriram. His advice was, “Hire only ‘A’ people, and they’ll hire other ‘A’ people.” 

Relying on internal HR staff and full-time recruiters works well when few job openings exist and growth is predictable and consistent. Google grew its “recruitment machine” to a high level, and Girard cites reports of a high ratio of recruiters to full-time employees (1 in 14 Google employees) compared to more “traditional companies” at the time. 

Outside of leveraging internal resources, there is a thriving industry of recruiting agencies, consultants, and solutions providers that partner with some of the top-rated workplaces to manage the recruitment process. Girard refers to a new paradigm in creating a recruitment staff made up of temporary recruiters who work on behalf of companies that experience many workforce fluctuations. Partnering with top performing recruiters who have a record of finding and placing talented people in similar industries is a valid multi-tier method of recruitment, if a company doesn’t have the internal resources or an established culture of referrals. 

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What Are the Steps Involved in the Recruiting Process?

A company is only as good as the people that make it up. Therefore, the recruitment process is part of a broader business strategy because it mirrors the successes and failures of a business’s overall practices. Business strategy requires planning and a systematic approach to be effective. As mentioned, successfully recruiting the right people at the right time can lead to further growth, but when the recruitment process is ineffective and poorly designed, it can lead to more extensive problems or become the symptom of existing problems. 

Step 1: Planning

The first step in an efficient recruitment process is planning. Planning for recruiting is a business strategy designed to attract the right people by understanding business needs through the job analysis process. This step involves the methods for identifying the hiring needs of an organization. In theory, the planning phase is proactive and ongoing, rather than reactive to employment fluctuations. 

This stage is often confused as a standalone activity and the sole responsibility of an HR team. However, effective recruitment process planning involves every employee, hiring manager, and leader in an organization. The data each employee provides via surveys, interviews, or specific questionnaires help successful companies understand the characteristics of the right person for each job. From this analysis, you can then write the job description. Completing the job description is a core activity in the planning phase as it signals that you are ready to move to the next step. 

During this phase, it is also essential to determine how job applications are collected and reviewed. Determine who is responsible for managing this data, and how to store the information. Use an applicant tracking system (ATS) or customer relationship management (CRM) software to collect data and track applicants. Make sure there are guidelines in place to respond to candidates quickly and that internal communication about candidates is consistent. Make sure you also have policies in place to protect candidate data and educate users on standard requirements for documenting candidate information. 

Step 2:  Identifying

This phase of the recruitment process is all about searching for candidates, or sourcing. Sourcing candidates is both passive and active, and the recruitment process needs to account for both styles of identifying candidates. This phase is typically the responsibility of a search committee in HR, a team of recruiters whose primary job is to search for strong candidates, or an outside agency you hire to assist with the search. If you partner with an agency or solutions provider, it is critical to provide timely and thorough feedback to recruiters at this stage, so they can identify the right candidates. Taking a hands-on approach early in the process and guiding your partners with feedback on the candidates they submit pays dividends in future phases of recruitment. 

Active identification is all about sourcing the best people for your job opportunities. Effective recruiters know that they need to reach out to candidates proactively, because the best candidates often already have jobs or other offers. Just because candidates are not actively searching for new job opportunities doesn’t mean they are not open to communication. Make sure you have a proactive sourcing system and reward the behavior. Implement candidate referral programs for employees and hiring managers outside of HR and recruiting departments. Encourage an online (social media and digital properties) and offline (meetups, conferences, networking events) strategy for actively identifying candidates. 

Passive search techniques include maintaining your website’s career section: All job postings should be current, attractive, and engaging. Use every opportunity to digitally engage with a candidate as an opportunity to impress them. Make sure your company LinkedIn page, and all other social identities and profiles, are up to date and optimized for mobile searches and engagement. If you use job board platforms such as Dice, AngelList, The Muse, or Monster, keep your company overview current and take full advantage of the social sharing options to connect your other communities to recruitment properties. Regardless if you use the data to take action in your recruitment strategy, you should understand how your company is perceived on sites like Glassdoor. These passive approaches are critical to managing the reputation of your business in the recruitment process.

Step 3: Engaging Candidates with Social Media Recruitment 

After implementing your active and passive search strategies, the next phase of the recruitment process is attracting the right candidates from the pool you identified. This process is referred to by recruiters as “building a pipeline” of talent. The search methods in identifying candidates cast a wide net, and now it is time to engage with each candidate to find out if they are indeed the right person for the job (or a future opportunity) and attract them to your company. Modern software technology and digital media altered this phase of the recruitment process by enabling a more consistent digital connection between candidates and organizations. 
One of the most popular methods for engaging with candidates today is through social media. The social media recruitment process is a combination of active and passive engagement with talented people. In its infancy, social media maintained a higher barrier to entry for recruiters and hiring managers looking to breach the personal/professional divide. Now, with the growth and popularity of social platforms designed for professional networking and open communication (i.e. LinkedIn) and the erosion of once highly private platforms (Facebook and Twitter) into more open spaces for professional interaction, social engagement for recruitment isn’t as taboo.

To take advantage of the “always on” nature of social media platforms on mobile devices, Andy Headworth, author of Social Media Recruitment: How to Successfully Integrate Social Media into Recruitment Strategy, recommends an eight-step framework for implementing a social media recruitment strategy: 

  1. Know Your Objectives: This step is about aligning your business process with the objectives or your social engagement. Headworth uses the example of tracking competitor activity on social media to highlight the alignment of business objectives. Set clear goals for how you will engage with candidates on each social media platform — this is critical to the overall recruitment framework. 
  2. Know Your Audience: Define the target audience in the planning phase of recruitment, regardless of the different types of jobs and candidates you engage with on social platforms. LinkedIn provides structured data to accomplish this. However, you also need to design your profiles for other networks with user-generated data to decide how to target candidates on those platforms. Headworth recommends creating a database (for example, via CRM software or a spreadsheet) to collect keywords associated with candidate job titles and their synonyms on social media to help you identify and engage with the right people.   
  3. Choose a Platform: Involve your HR team, recruiters, or employees and hiring managers in deciding which social communities you will target. Use a survey or questionnaire to ask which platform are the correct mediums for your engagement strategy. Headworth recommends starting small and not using every social platform just because it exists. Have a starting point, get better at leveraging that platform to engage candidates, and test what works and where before committing to a long-term strategy.    
  4. Build a Team: Contrary to popular trends, it is not a sound strategy to hire new graduates or millennials with the expectation that they are naturally good at social media engagement and can therefore determine your strategy. Headworth cautions that a sound social media recruitment strategy is not the responsibility of interns with little to no experience in social recruitment. While being active and competent with social media platforms is important, consider hiring for this specific skillset and ask candidates to discuss previous projects with measurable engagement examples. You can still keep all employees actively involved in passive social recruitment and design guidelines and a social media policy to show how this is best done. 
  5. Train and Educate: You have a team in place, make sure they are equipped to execute the strategy. Provide the software, equipment, and access to the relevant social platforms and applications involved in your social engagement strategy. Ideally, you will provide training on the technical use of a platform, as well as for recruiting, branding, and creating social media content. Headworth recommends using an independent trainer or consultant with experience in social media strategy to provide shortcuts and useful tips and tricks to use in the recruitment process. 
  6. Design Content: This step is about creating unique content to engage with candidates on social media, and learning to share relevant content that fits your strategy and aligns with the business objectives. For your engagement strategy, repurpose content designed by your in-house marketing efforts and find existing content to share. Headworth recommends researching different content methods (podcasts, case studies, infographics, etc.) and using a content calendar set to 30 day cycles to schedule and manage your social media content. The most important part of this step is maintaining a consistent brand message, tone, and design style that aligns to the overall engagement strategy of the recruitment process. 
  7. Measure Results: Your social objectives determine what you measure. This step brings context to your engagement strategy by tracking metrics like growth (followers and network reach), interaction with content, and conversions (via tracking codes or URLs) from job ads on social platforms. Headworth points out that measurement today is more straightforward as more software providers (i.e. CRM software) provide tracking for metrics that shows the source of a candidate, among other information.  
  8. Monitor Your Brand: This is the process of listening to the digital discussion about your company, product, service, or brand. Good or bad, Headworth believes it is crucial to use a monitoring tool to capture “social media intelligence” about your company. He recommends a tool like Mention to accomplish this. Engaging with candidates with a social media recruitment strategy is more effective if your messaging anticipates the social noise your candidates see and hear first. 

Step 4: Interviewing

The interview phase of the recruitment process is where the hard work from previous steps and the chance to communicate with candidates align. This process varies from company to company and person to person. Interviewing is a skill and responsibility: The process requires professionalism and knowledge of the law and internal policy, and therefore should be treated as a vital business activity. 

The interview process is becoming a two-way interaction, as more and more candidates (especially in tech) use this stage of recruitment as an opportunity to interview the hiring manager, team, and company as much as to be interviewed for the job. This phase puts a candidate’s background, skills, and personality to the test.

The interview phase can be made up of multiple parts, including:

  • Phone Interviews: Depending on your resources and hiring policy, recruiters, a hiring manager, or an HR professional will conduct the phone interview. Phone interviews are set up as an initial screening to assess how candidates fit the overall workplace culture and if they are a personality fit. Phone interviews can serve as an opportunity for the hiring manager to make a first impression and quickly determine qualifications with standard questions before committing time and resources to an onsite interview. In general, the phone interview should be one of many steps in the interview process, not the final method to determine qualifications or fit. Widely available video conferencing technology enhances the phone interview and makes the method more personal. 
  • Onsite Interviews: Onsite interviews are structured. They should be scheduled in advance, treated as a professional meeting, and designed with enough time to achieve specific objectives depending on the interviewees and the role. Strive for a conversational tone, not an interrogation. This phase in the recruitment process is a time to interact on a personal level with candidates and determine behavioral fit with your company culture. Avoid establishing an archetype of the candidate or deciding on how you want a candidate to answer interview questions, as doing so can create a bias that prevents open dialogue. Companies like Amazon design their interview and approval process to prevent unconscious hiring bias and habits that form when managers routinely interview for the same role. They accomplish this by establishing another layer of candidate review and scheduling interviews with hiring managers from outside of the candidate's future department. 

If you are attracting and engaging with millions of potential candidates, you must have an efficient and effective interview process. One example of a company that does this well is Facebook, who ranks high on most “best companies to work for” lists, right alongside Google, Apple, and Amazon. Facebook’s interview process leverages technology to connect with candidates remotely around the world. 

The company uses a multi-stage interview process that includes initial screening questions, multiple rounds of phone interviews (in some cases, technical screenings with peers holding similar positions at Facebook), and an onsite interview loop. This loop is a round of meetings with multiple stakeholders, where candidates perform coding and design challenges and behavioral interviews. Sometimes these meetings extend beyond the onsite interaction with take-home challenges and assignments. Facebook candidates might participate in more than one interview round and their performance and answers to interview questions are benchmarked against other interviewees before reaching the hiring phase. In fact, the hiring process sometimes extends for months

Facebook, like other top-ranked workplaces, understands the importance of feedback and response time in the interview phase and recruitment in general. Candidates that are not hired are more likely to stay engaged and remain in the pipeline for future opportunities with companies that respond quickly with feedback after an interview. Facebook uses a streamlined process for collecting feedback on candidate interview performance. Hiring managers receive an overview of their performance, interview impressions, code samples, and a “confidence score.” Management committees can veto hiring decisions in weekly candidate reviews.

Step 5: Hiring

This phase of the recruitment process is primarily about the offer and is solely an HR function. At this point, you’ve decided on a candidate, engaged with them, and attracted them to your company throughout the process, and it is time to close the deal with an offer of employment. Companies in competitive labor markets need to move quickly at this stage. Make a verbal offer first, and then confirm with a formal email. Be prepared for candidates to hesitate. Make sure hiring managers are informed at every step and prepared to jump on a phone call or lead a follow-up interview if a candidate requests more information. Receiving a formal job offer is a great experience for most candidates, so use a template and consistent messaging that represents your company's culture and values. Make sure this stage of the recruitment process and all documents follow employment laws or contract regulations specific to your environment. 

Onboarding is an essential element of the recruitment process. Done well, it provides a positive experience that extends well into the employee's tenure with your company. After a candidate accepts the job offer, the initial excitement and buzz around a new job can wear off quickly if there is a significant delay in next steps or a lack of communication around start times and the steps required for employment authorization. Follow a checklist and timeline to keep the candidate on track and informed. Make sure to send the necessary documentation over to the employee immediately and schedule a follow-up call to keep them on track with completing and submitting the necessary paperwork.    

Dealing with Candidate Rejection

Rejection goes both ways in the recruitment process. If the candidate makes it to the offer stage, then their decision is likely not personal and has nothing to do with the recruiter, the company, or the process. Keep in mind that people must choose employment based on many factors, some of which are highly personal. If you followed the recruitment steps, promptly engaged the candidate at all levels, sold the opportunity well enough to make it through interviews, and managed the relationship professionally all the way to offer and they still decline, it’s time to move on. Before you do however, make sure you ask why. Candidates decline offers for a variety of reasons that isn’t always salary related. This discovery phase provides valuable data that can be used for planning and job analysis.

Part of the identification and engagement phases of the recruitment process is building the talent pipeline. Good recruiters know it is better to have multiple candidates for a job opportunity and a backup plan ready at the offer stage. Regardless if that is the case or not, make sure you maintain a professional relationship with the candidate if they refuse an offer. Staying proactive and connected to candidates keeps the possibility of future employment open and provides recruiters with the opportunity to communicate and ask for referrals. Also, top candidates likely have peers in the industry that are top candidates themselves. You may consider asking for referrals as long as you do so with professionalism and humility. 

Prevention by Retention

Recruiting the best candidate is great, but keeping them happy and productive is better. It is much cheaper for companies to retain top performing talent than continuously managing turnover. Therefore, a sound recruitment strategy begins and ends with taking care of your existing employees. Proactively manage relationships, as you would when recruiting for a job. Make sure you recognize where your employees seek growth and have succession plans in place for your top performers long before they come to you and ask. 

There is no silver bullet to engage every top performer, so build a retention strategy that is comprehensive to all types of talent. People are diverse and motivated by a wide variety of factors. However, the authors of The Talent Equation: Big Data Lessons for Navigating the Skills Gap and Building a Competitive Workforce acknowledge a consistent theme at companies frequently listed on “best places to work” lists. Boosting employee engagement is a retention philosophy that pays consistent dividends, according to research from a corporate executive board study cited in the book. According to the results of this study, “engaged employees” are 87 percent less likely to resign a position and expend 57 percent more effort in their jobs. The authors also cite a CareerBuilder survey of senior leaders that found five top-performing initiatives to retain top talent:

  • Increased recognition of employees
  • Flexible work schedules
  • Employee feedback on changes put into action
  • Increased training and education opportunities 
  • Increased salary

An essential component to successful workforce retention that outperforms the competition is analyzing available data to find opportunities to improve engagement and performance. Using external labor and employment data and benchmarking your internal recruitment metrics, ensures you recruit a workforce that is the target of recruiters everywhere. Below are some aspects you can review and analyze:

  • Compensation: Analyzing salary and compensation data by market helps recruiters get a quick “yes” during the offer stage and empowers your recruitment process to compete in highly competitive fields like healthcare, engineering, and IT. 
  • Experience Analysis: Reviewing and documenting trends from resumes of your top performers and sought after talent helps tailor a screening process and can reduce the costly process of an extended interview stage. Using this data to design messaging for social media recruitment and job advertising provides a targeted message for specific job opportunities. Data on candidate experience is used to make software that screens resumes more effective and helps write job descriptions that perform better.  
  • Source: Where are you and your recruiters finding the top performers? Which social media platform performs the best with candidate engagement for your brand? What companies serve as a training pipeline for your top performers? How can you invest more effort in identifying and attracting candidates from the competition? 
  • Conversion: If you use job boards and third-party software platforms to serve ads for specific job openings, which messages work best? Which platforms deliver the best candidates through the interview stage? How can you improve and achieve favorable conversion rates?
  • Hire Ratio: How many candidates did you identify, engage, screen, and interview before hiring the best option? During the job analysis phase, determine the average amount of candidates to hire ratio of different teams and departments to identify efficiencies and best practices. 
  • Duration of Recruitment: From planning phase to onboarding a new hire, how long on average does your recruitment process take? Which types of jobs require lengthy interviews? Which recruiters are most efficient at sourcing candidates? Do some hiring managers need more attention and a more efficient process to complete the interview stage? 
  • Exit Interviews: Employees leave for a variety of reasons. Tracking data on these trends and understanding why top performers jump ship helps to implement better retention policies and shapes the recruitment strategy of specific jobs.

What If Your Recruiting Process Still Needs Help

Now you understand the importance of the recruitment process flow and the step-by-step phases of recruiting, but you’re still not attracting and retaining top talent. What is your recruitment process missing? What can you do to ensure your recruitment processes are a competitive advantage for your company?

  • Be Proactive about Job Analysis: Take ownership of data gathering and workforce planning year round. Be proactive in anticipating the needs of your business and team. Participate in the assessment of different jobs outside of your team and ownership and ask top performers for feedback on your analysis. 
  • Reduce Overreliance on Technology: If you trust a vendor solution or job board technology to source qualified candidates without input from your internal recruitment team, don’t be surprised if the candidates aren’t the right fit. Technology changed the recruitment process for the better in a number of ways, but relying on its reach and effectiveness to find the right people without your involvement is a mistake. 
  • Don’t Be a Slow Responder: Candidates, especially top performers with more than one offer to consider, expect feedback on their participation and status within your recruitment process. (This is especially important at the interview stage, when candidate engagement pays off the most.) Treat candidates like valued customers of your business and make time to respond within 48 hours to candidate feedback (identifying stage) and interviews.  
  • Complete Onboarding for All: Don’t skip the onboarding process for contract or freelance employees. The hiring process and onboarding stages look different for full-time employees and varies by role and requirements. However, even if it’s an abbreviated or project-specific process, take the time to introduce every employee to your business and have a specific agenda for each day of the onboarding process with scheduled times for calls or video meetings for remote workers. Schedule a follow-up meeting in the future to make sure employees are adjusting to the work at an interval that makes sense for the job requirements.
  • Refresh Interview Processes: If you conduct every interview with the same questions and treat the process as a scripted meeting with each candidate, you not only run the risk of turning away the right people, but you may also bore yourself into hating the process. This doesn’t mean you can’t stage the interview to cover specific technical requirements or non-negotiable skill evaluations in a routine manner. Simply adjust the time you spend jumping into this content, or try extending your standard interview by 15 minutes to make room for conversation. In addition, you can schedule the interviews out of your office or common areas to see how they flow in a more casual setting. 
  • Stop Recruiting in a Vacuum: Your recruitment process works, you find great people, fill openings quickly, and your retention is at the industry average. What if you could train someone else to take ownership of a stage in the process, such as social media engagement or passive candidate sourcing from competitors? Using a collaborative, multi-tier approach and partnering with an agency or solutions provider might be the extra edge that takes your process from good to great. 
  • Start Saying No: If you are using a collaborative approach, partnering with external recruiters or your HR team to source candidates, don’t be afraid to say no quickly. Nobody involved in the recruitment process — not recruiters, candidates, or business stakeholders —benefits from delayed judgement or indecisiveness. Actively screen resumes that are submitted to you and design a data-driven process to enable a quick rejection rooted in solid analysis of candidate qualifications or industry experience. If after the interview you know that the candidate is a no, don’t hesitate to provide this information immediately to the recruiter. The more you say no, the more a good recruiter will adjust to your requirements. If a good recruiter pushes back and asks you to reconsider based on x, y, z take the feedback into consideration but respond quickly. 
  • Update an Ancient Application: Ensure that the application document(s) you use are up to date, and don’t assume that old templates and documents will still be relevant. Take a careful look at your materials, or have an HR professional review the document(s). You might be surprised to learn that the application you use gives a terrible first impression to qualified candidates. Questions about salary demands and sections asking for a list of references, on a document that gets printed, passed around, and abandoned, without any data or identity protection, are a red flag for some candidates who will end up leaving these sections blank more often than not. 

Recruitment Process Flowchart

This recruitment flowchart, or workflow, maps out the recruitment process steps discussed in this article. It serves as a basic guide to the standard steps in the overall process of planning, finding, engaging, hiring, and retaining the right people for your job. You can use it to guide the design of your own recruitment workflow and prevent the chaos of an unorganized, unstructured recruitment process.


Recruitment Process Flow


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