7 Step Recruitment Process for the Hybrid Age

Updated on: 23 November 2022 | 15 min read
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Increasing candidate flow and conversion rate has become a common challenge in many organizations. To attract the right talent at the right time, you need to have an efficient recruitment process in place.

One of our major goals for this year has become expanding our team. In the beginning, there was naturally a need to revisit our recruitment process to see what we could do to increase our candidate conversion rate.

We started by re-defining our recruitment process according to our hiring needs. As a result, we were successfully able to improve candidate experience which led to better candidate conversion.

In this post, we will share our optimized recruitment process and the steps we took to optimize it.

Importance of a Well-Defined Recruitment Process

  • A well-defined recruitment process is crucial for organizations to efficiently and effectively identify, attract, and select the most suitable candidates for their job openings. It provides a structured framework for hiring managers and HR professionals to follow, ensuring consistency and fairness throughout the recruitment process.

  • A well-structured recruitment process helps attract high-quality candidates by presenting the organization as professional and organized. It allows companies to effectively communicate their employer brand, values, and job requirements to potential applicants, increasing the likelihood of attracting qualified candidates.

  • Having a well-defined recruitment process saves time and reduces costs associated with hiring. Clear guidelines and standardized procedures streamline the entire recruitment cycle, from creating job descriptions and advertising vacancies to conducting interviews and making offers. This efficiency results in faster hiring decisions and reduces the chances of making costly mistakes.

  • A standardized recruitment process promotes fairness and equal opportunity for all candidates. It ensures that each applicant is evaluated based on the same criteria and procedures, eliminating biases and favoritism. Consistency in the selection process helps protect the organization from potential legal issues related to discrimination and promotes a diverse and inclusive workforce.

  • An effective recruitment process creates a positive impression of the organization in the minds of candidates, regardless of whether they are ultimately hired or not. By providing clear communication, timely updates, and a smooth candidate journey, organizations can build their reputation as an employer of choice. A positive candidate experience can lead to better employer branding, word-of-mouth referrals, and a larger talent pool for future openings.

  • A structured recruitment process enables better decision-making by providing a systematic approach to evaluate and compare candidates. It allows hiring managers to assess candidates based on predetermined criteria, such as skills, qualifications, experience, and cultural fit. This reduces the subjectivity in the decision-making process and increases the chances of selecting the most suitable candidate for the role.

  • A good recruitment process sets the stage for a smooth onboarding experience. When the hiring process is well-structured and candidates have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities, they are more likely to transition seamlessly into their new positions. Effective onboarding increases employee engagement, satisfaction, and retention rates, reducing the costs and efforts associated with turnover.

Developing a Foolproof Recruitment Process

The recruitment process may vary from company to company based on the organizational structure, selection process, nature of operations, etc. But any well-planned recruitment process should help the hiring team recruit the right candidate.  

Here at Creately, we follow a 7-step recruitment process that helps us find, attract and retain the right kind of candidates. The steps are;

  1. Identify the hiring needs
  2. Prepare job descriptions
  3. Devise recruitment strategy
  4. Screen and shortlist candidates
  5. Conduct interviews
  6. Evaluate and make the offer
  7. Onboard the new employee

Step 1: Identify the hiring needs

What are your existing hiring needs? May be an employee just left or a new job position just opened. Once you identify the vacancies that exist, you can then define the job specifications such as skills, knowledge, experience, etc.  

This step involves determining the organization’s staffing requirements. For example, a growing tech startup may identify the need to hire a project manager, a software engineer, and a marketing specialist to support their expanding operations. You can determine your hiring needs by checking,

  • Any gaps in performance, skills or proficiencies that you need to fill
  • A sudden increase in workload that your team cannot seem to handle
  • Any employees who will be leaving the company soon

At Creately, we utilize an org chart that lists the current employees and their skills. This helps us see at a glance what skills exist within our company and what skills we need going forward. The org chart will be updated with each new hire.

Step 2: Prepare job descriptions

Once you know the skills, knowledge and experience gaps you need to fill, define the job role, responsibilities and duties.

A complete job description helps you know what to look for in potential candidates. It also serves as a checklist for candidates to tick before they decide they are suitable for the role and apply - which means, more relevant candidates. For instance, a job description for a project manager may include tasks such as overseeing project timelines, managing resources, and ensuring effective communication among team members.

The elements that should be included in a job description are

  • Title
  • Responsibilities
  • Necessary qualifications and skills
  • Compensation, benefits, and perks
  • Location

Here’s a neat little trick we follow at Creately – prior to writing the job description – we go the extra mile to create a candidate persona.

Similar to the buyer persona, the job candidate persona is a semi-fictional portrayal of an ideal candidate for the position you are hiring for.

Creating a candidate persona helps you identify what your candidate is looking for, how and where to find them. And it gives you the opportunity to

  • Write more relevant job descriptions, job application forms, emails, training material, etc.)
  • Identify the best-recruiting channels
  • Create high-quality and personalized content to attract relevant candidates
  • Understand the candidate requirements of your stakeholders
  • Update and reuse in the future

Step 3: Devise your recruitment strategy

This is where you decide how to attract and retain the ideal candidates. Here you should consider whether you can find a possible candidate from within the company itself or whether you need to hire from outside.

In your strategy, you need to consider

  • The geographical area you’ll be targeting
  • The method of recruitment (employee referrals, social media, video interviews, etc.)
  • Creating relevant job ads
  • Channels for posting job ads (social media networks, job boards, company websites, etc.)

And we know that it would come in handy to have outlined the entire recruitment process in the shape of a flowchart.

This helped us keep the process well-organized, keep the entire hiring team on the same page, make sure that we stick to the plan and skip no important step.

Step 4: Screen and shortlist candidates

Your recruitment strategy was a huge success and have accumulated a sky-high pile of application. What’s next?

Here are the steps we follow when we face this exact challenge

  • First, we sort through the applications to find the ones with minimum qualifications
  • Then we separate resumes with the preferred credentials. Here we consider the applicant’s experiences, certifications, domain and technical competencies, and skills. For example, if we receive 100 applications for a software engineer position, we shortlist 10 candidates based on their educational background and relevant experience.
  • Those candidates who have the minimum qualifications and the required credentials will be shortlisted.
  • If there are any concerns regarding their application, we’d make a note so we can get it clarified during the interview.

Step 5: Interview Process

After the application form or the job advert, this is where your potential candidate will come in direct contact with you. So it’s time to make a good impression on them as a potential employer.

Interviews can take various forms, such as phone screenings, video interviews, or in-person meetings. During the interviews, the organization evaluates the candidates' abilities, interpersonal skills, and cultural fit. Behavioral and situational questions may be asked to assess how candidates handle specific situations.

And this is where you need to be concerned about candidate experience the most.

Here’s what we did to improve the candidate experience

  • Visualized interview program

To make it easy for both our team and the candidate, we have visualized the interview process. It’s clear and helps remove any confusion.

We would attach it with the first email we send to our selected candidate. This helps them understand what the process is, how much time it will take and prepare themselves accordingly.

We’d share the visual, highlighting the completed steps and the next step they need to prepare for in the next few emails.

  • Let them book preferable time slots themselves

Being flexible and showing a willingness to work around the schedule of your candidate is a great plus for you. From our phone screening sessions to discussion sessions, we would let the candidate book a preferable time slot (based on the availability of time slots) themselves with Calendly.

We’d simply share the link in the relevant email making it seamless for both of us.

Step 6: Make the offer

This is the time to check with the candidate’s references and evaluate each candidate’s performance and selects the most suitable candidate for the position. This step involves assessing factors like qualifications, experience, interview performance, and alignment with the company culture. Once the decision is made, the organization extends a job offer to the selected candidate(s), including details such as salary, benefits, and start date.

However, there’s a chance that the first promising candidate you have selected might not accept it. In which case, you need to be prepared to extend the offer to the second best or third best candidate.

Step 7: Employee Onboarding

Then comes employee onboarding. This is where you make the new employee settle in. This does not only include showing the new person around the office and introducing them to others.

This step involves providing necessary paperwork, introducing the new employee to the team, familiarizing them with company policies and procedures, and setting up any required training or orientation programs. For example, the new employee may be assigned a mentor or provided with an employee handbook to facilitate their integration into the organization. We’ve covered this topic in these two resources in more detail.

Employee Onboarding Best Practices The Visual Guide to Training New Employees

Employee Recruitment Best Practices to Keep in Mind

1. Define clear job requirements

Clearly outline the job requirements, including skills, qualifications, and experience needed for the position. This helps attract candidates who closely match the desired criteria.

2. Develop a compelling employer brand

Build a strong employer brand by showcasing the organization’s values, culture, and benefits. Highlight the unique aspects that make your organization an attractive place to work, which can help attract top talent.

3. Utilize multiple sourcing channels

Don’t limit yourself to just one sourcing channel. Spread the word about job openings through online platforms, social media, and even ask your current employees for referrals. The more avenues you explore, the more talent you’ll find.

4. Streamline the application process

Keep the application process simple and stress-free. Minimize the number of steps and required documents, and provide clear instructions. A simple and straightforward application process enhances the candidate experience and encourages more applicants to complete the process.

5. Conduct thorough screening and assessment

Take the time to really get to know the candidates. Review their resumes, conduct skill assessments, and hold interviews. By looking beyond the surface, you’ll find those diamonds in the rough.

6. Implement structured interviews

Use structured interviews with the same set of questions for all candidates. This levels the playing field and ensures everyone gets a fair shot. Plus, it helps you make more accurate comparisons between candidates.

7. Involve multiple stakeholders

Involve others in the recruitment process. Your colleagues and team members can provide valuable insights and help evaluate candidates. Together, you’ll make better decisions and find the perfect fit.

8. Provide a positive candidate experience

Treat candidates like VIPs. Keep them informed, provide updates, and offer constructive feedback even if they don’t make the cut. A positive candidate experience will leave a lasting impression and encourage them to recommend your company to others.

9. Conduct thorough background checks

Before making an offer, make sure to conduct thorough background checks. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Verify qualifications, employment history, and certifications to ensure you’re getting the real deal.

10. Continuously evaluate and improve the recruitment process

Regularly review and evaluate the effectiveness of your recruitment process. Collect feedback from hiring managers, candidates, and other stakeholders to identify areas for improvement. Then, make tweaks and changes to make the process even better next time.

Recruitment Process Effectiveness Metrics

Recruiting metrics are specific measurements used to assess and analyze the effectiveness, efficiency, and success of the recruitment process. These metrics provide valuable insights and data that help recruiters and hiring teams make informed decisions and improve their recruitment strategies. To assess the effectiveness of the recruitment process, you can track the following metrics:

  • Time-to-fill: Measures the speed of filling vacancies. A shorter time-to-fill indicates efficient recruitment processes and reduces the time a position remains vacant.

  • Cost-per-hire: Calculates the expenses of hiring new employees. Tracking cost-per-hire helps optimize recruitment budget allocation.

  • Quality-of-hire: Assesses the performance and contribution of new hires. A high-quality hire positively impacts the organization’s productivity and success.

  • Applicant-to-interview ratio: Indicates the conversion rate from applicants to interviews. A low ratio may suggest ineffective screening methods or a lack of qualified candidates.

  • Offer acceptance rate: Measures the percentage of accepted job offers. A high acceptance rate indicates effective candidate attraction, positive employer branding, and competitive compensation packages.

  • Source of hire: Tracks the channels that yield successful hires. Understanding the most effective sourcing channels helps optimize recruitment advertising and focus on channels that yield the best results.

  • Candidate experience: Evaluates candidate satisfaction throughout the process. A positive candidate experience helps attract top talent and enhances the organization’s employer brand.

  • Diversity and inclusion metrics: Measures representation of underrepresented groups. Tracking diversity metrics helps assess progress towards diversity and inclusion goals and promotes a more inclusive workforce.

  • Offer-to-acceptance ratio: Tracks the percentage of accepted job offers. A low ratio may indicate issues with the offer package, misalignment between candidate expectations and company offerings, or weaknesses in the negotiation process.

  • Retention rate: Measures the percentage of new hires retained. A high retention rate suggests successful recruitment and onboarding processes.

What’s Your Recruitment Process?

These steps have helped us simplify and streamline our recruitment process. But we haven’t ended it there. We frequently monitor it to see how it’s performing, which helps us keep it optimized.

However, these steps may not fit all companies as a recruitment process is organization-specific. But it doesn’t mean you cannot customize these steps to fit your own requirements. Do share with us what additional steps you follow in your process in the comment section below.

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FAQs on the Recruitment Process

How to leverage technology to streamline the recruitment process?
  • Automated job distribution systems can help reach a larger audience quickly and efficiently. Additionally, applicant tracking systems (ATS) can assist in managing and organizing candidate data, making it easier to identify suitable candidates from a large pool of applicants.
  • Pre-employment assessment tools can be utilized to assess candidates' skills and abilities, providing objective data to evaluate their suitability for the position.
  • Video interviewing platforms offer features like recording interviews, sharing them with the hiring team, and conducting virtual panel interviews. This saves time and resources, especially for geographically dispersed candidates.
  • Candidate Relationship Management systems store candidate information, track interactions, and provide insights into the candidate pipeline. Automated communication tools can send personalized emails, updates, and notifications to candidates, enhancing their experience and keeping them engaged throughout the process.
  • AI-powered tools can assist in evaluating candidate qualifications, skills, and cultural fit. AI algorithms analyze large data sets to identify patterns and predict candidate success based on historical hiring data.
  • Collaboration tools, such as project management platforms and shared document repositories, enable efficient communication and collaboration among hiring teams.
  • Online portals and learning management systems (LMS) can deliver training materials, orientation programs, and company resources, ensuring a smooth transition for new employees.
What are the benefits and functionality of applicant tracking systems?

An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is a software tool designed to streamline and automate the recruitment process. ATS platforms are commonly used by HR departments, recruiters, and hiring managers to handle the entire hiring process, from job posting to onboarding. Popular ATS options include tools like Workable, Greenhouse, Lever, iCIMS, and BambooHR.

  • ATS platforms serve as a centralized database for all candidate-related information, including resumes, applications, and interview feedback.
  • They automatically parse and screen resumes based on predefined criteria and keywords helping filter out unqualified candidates.
  • They facilitate collaboration among hiring teams by allowing multiple users to access and review candidate profiles, share feedback, and communicate within the system.
  • ATS systems enable recruiters to track the progress of candidates throughout the hiring process.
  • They provide valuable insights and metrics related to recruitment processes, such as time-to-fill, source of applicants, and applicant demographics.
What are the common problems in recruitment?

Recruitment processes can encounter various challenges and problems that can hinder the effectiveness and efficiency of hiring. Some common problems in recruitment include:

  • Talent shortage: Difficulty in finding qualified candidates with the necessary skills and experience for specific roles.
  • Lengthy time-to-fill: Delays in filling job vacancies, which can result from a complex or lengthy recruitment process, leading to increased costs and productivity loss.
  • High competition: Facing intense competition from other employers for top talent, particularly in industries where there is high demand for specialized skills.
  • Limited resources: Limited budget, manpower, or technology resources for recruitment, which can impact the ability to attract and hire top-quality candidates.
  • Changing job market: Adapting to evolving job market trends, including shifts in candidate preferences, skill requirements, and emerging job roles.
  • Cultural fit: Ensuring candidates align with the organization’s values, work culture, and team dynamics, as a poor cultural fit can lead to dissatisfaction and potential turnover.
  • Evolving recruitment technology: Keeping up with advancements in recruitment technology, artificial intelligence, and automation tools, to streamline processes and stay competitive.


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Amanda Athuraliya Communications Specialist

Amanda Athuraliya is the communication specialist/content writer at Creately, online diagramming and collaboration tool. She is an avid reader, a budding writer and a passionate researcher who loves to write about all kinds of topics.

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