7-Step Recruitment Process to Improve Your Candidate Conversion Rate and Candidate Experience

Updated on: 23 November 2022 | 7 min read

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 steps we took to optimize it.

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.  

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.

Org Chart Template with Responsibilities
Org Chart Template with Responsibilities (Click on the template to edit it online)

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.

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
Candidate Persona Recruitment Process Steps
Candidate Persona (Click on the template to edit it online)

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.

Recruitment Process Flowchart Recruitment Process Steps
Recruitment Process Flowchart (Click on the template to edit it online)

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.
  • 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.

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.

Interview Program Template
Interview Program Template (Click on the template to edit it online)

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

Interview Program for Candidate
Interview Program for Candidate (Click on the template to edit it online)

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 if everything checks out, you can make the offer.

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 also includes helping them understand their responsibilities and providing the necessary resources and training to help them learn. We’ve covered this topic in these two resources in more detail.

Employee Onboarding Best Practices The Visual Guide to Training New Employees

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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Amanda Athuraliya

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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