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Stepping Stones Of The Recruitment Process

People tend to underestimate a proper recruitment process. Many of us have experienced working with a company or hiring manager who did not fully understand the efforts it takes and the steps needed to get a quality hire. 

This article will first discuss the steps of the process and why it is important. 

What is the recruitment process?

It is a step by step approach to bringing in the right talent to help the company grow. That is what I will share with you today in case you need some refreshing. 

There are 7 key steps in a recruitment process BUT it may vary from depending on organizational structure, size, nature of the operations, selection process. Let’s go!

The recruitment process steps

1) Identify the hiring needs

You can’t start with any vacancy or hiring process if you do not know what you need. Therefore, your recruitment process should start with understanding your hiring needs and what gap needs to be filled. As a hiring manager, it is important to understand the profile you are looking for. If you are not specific and concrete with what you need, how will a recruiter be able to find that person for you? 

How can you do this? The process should start with identifying the existing vacancy, in addition to analysing the missing skills, knowledge and experience in the current team. Ask the team members what they think is lacking and what they may need in order to perform better in their team. 

The triangle theory of good, cheap and fast

It is a recruiter’s role here to undergo a proper intake meeting, in order to get as much information on the position and team as possible. In the webinar by WeAreKeen, Enrico Heidelberg shared the triangle theory of good, cheap and fast. It is an important point to remember and share. Many non-recruiters believe that the expectations they have in their mind are obtainable, but in reality, it is not always the case. The triangle explains that you can only have 2 of the 3 wishes. For instance, if you want a good quality candidate and quickly, it will be more costly. 

This step is often just touched upon or jumped over. Not many managers take a deep dive into their teams to find out what is missing, but just take a shot in the dark. This step enables hiring managers to find out the gaps in the current team and assess the new needs in order for the team and company to scale further. With this information at hand, it will be easier for the recruiter to know what they are looking for, bring in quality candidates from the start, and reduce the hire time. 

2) Preparing Job Description

When you have figured out what skills, knowledge and experience is needed, you can start working on what duties this person will have. In a job description, it is important to make sure candidates can distinguish if they meet the demands. Therefore, it is important to distinguish between nice-to-haves and must-haves.

Knowing what is essential and what can be missed, is crucial to find the right candidates. 

In the job descriptions, you must include: Title, Duties, Skills and Qualifications, Location, and the Compensation and benefits. In an article by Jobsoid, you can find some do’s and don’ts when it comes to writing a good vacancy. 

Part of this step, as a recruiter, it is good to keep possible assumptions in mind, and always double-check with the hiring managers. To learn more about the assumptions recruiters make in startups in the recruitment process take a look at my colleague, Adam’s great article on that topic. 

3) Talent Search 

Here the search for the perfect talent begins. By this time, the managers or HR representatives should know what it is they are looking for and have the right skills, qualifications and duties on paper. What next? Posting it on job platforms? That should do the trick.

Unfortunately, it is not that easy and that is where other assumptions come into play. I think this is a stage that is greatly underestimated for the effort it takes, as well as the way of reaching out to the target audience. 91% of talent professionals believe that people will apply and actively keep an eye on the job market. That is not the case. 

An article by Glassdoor explains that passive candidates make up to 80% of the global workforce. 

Proactive recruitment is key

What makes this step successful, and recruitment as a whole is proactive recruitment. That means focusing on sourcing, engaging and attracting the right candidates. Here is where recruiters bring a lot of value. Firstly, what recruiters (should) do, that not many managers or HR are aware of, is create a talent map in order to check whether their needs and expectations are obtainable. This is a step that will help manage expectations and if needed re-discuss the qualifications.

Talent mapping helps a recruiter share their expertise in the field and advise on possible alternatives. This sharing of knowledge helps to establish trust and manage expectations. Furthermore, a recruiter’s role is to proactively source, engage and attract possible hires. Once we have attracted the candidates, it is important to establish a relationship with them.

4) Screening and shortlisting 

Screening follows after having sourced an amount of candidates. In this step, you filter out which candidates are qualified for the job and can move forward. Screening is made up of several steps:

  • Reviewing;
  • Conducting phone screens;
  • Evaluation

Screening starts with recruiters creating a batch of candidates they find qualified, and send them to the hiring manager to review. The step that follows, depends on whether the candidate is outsourced or applied. If the candidates apply and fit the minimum requirements, the recruiters move them to the phone screen. If the candidates were outsourced, then the touchpoint needs to be created.

What LevelUp does, for instance, is create email reach-outs (number of reach outs depends) or LinkedIn invites with a message. This step is tough, as recruiters need to spark that interest. This step of sourcing to screening with the manager, to reach outs, can repeat several times until contact is established. Then we may move forward to the phone screen. 

Phone screen 

The phone screen is there to get to know the candidate. Assess if there is a possible fit in the position, find out what motivates them, what attracts them to the job and their attitude. Could you see this person fitting in the team and culture? The call should not be longer than 20 minutes.

In the call, you are also able to verify if the candidate is interested and available. Create a short-list of candidates you felt positive about and give an update to the hiring manager. Again, a reminder on whether the candidate was sourced or applied, makes a difference. If they applied, you can first have the phone screen before showing your short-listings. If the candidate was sourced, then it is important to first check with the hiring manager.

A tip here is to share the notes of your phone screen with the hiring manager/HR and flag any concerns you may have so they can be clarified in the interview. This is all teamwork and partnership. 

5) Interviewing 

The length of this step and rounds of interviews varies from company to company, the size of the hiring team, and the role at hand. 

This step is where the hiring managers or recruiters get to meet the candidates in person- for the first time. The interviewing stage is another step where things tend to go wrong. Doing interviews is not something you can just wing. It takes practice and training to know which questions to ask, to show professionalism, and be unbiased. 

You can find some tips regarding the interview process in my last article on how negative interview experiences influence the choices of candidates, and what is done wrong.

Remember: interviews are a two-way street. The candidate evaluates you as much as you evaluate them. 

It is important to know what you want to get out of the interview. What is each interview for? Being able to conduct good interviews and engage the candidates is more essential than you may think. 

6) Evaluation and offer management  

You have had several interviews and need to first evaluate who should get the job. After the decision is made, the offer goes out. This is the final stage of the recruitment process, however NEVER take this step for granted.

Do not underestimate the offer call to the candidate and that they will just accept.

A crucial step comes in here, which not many hiring managers and recruiters may be doing: Pre-close conversation. In this call, you will offer the candidate the job BUT first, you want to check in and see how they feel after the last interview and if all that was discussed is still up-to-date. After this conversation, you will know if this candidate is inclined to accept the offer or if there are any doubts that need to be discussed. Before the call, preparation is key.

In the call with the prosperous candidate, keep these 4 steps in mind:

  1. Get their feedback on the interview;
  2. Give them feedback
  3. Discuss/ Bring up any potential red flags
  4. Re-discuss the expectations in terms of the financial reward.

With this knowledge, you can be sure of the response you will get from the candidate when you call later with the offer. 

7) Introduction of new employee

This is not a step in the recruitment process but is still an important one to mention. Recruiters are out and hiring managers are in. Once you hire your new employee, be sure to keep that established relationship and keep contact before the starting date. Make it personal and offer help where needed. Remember that this person has changed their job for you and want to reassure them they made the right decision. Career decisions are amongst the most stressful life decisions.

Having a quality recruitment process: WHY? 

Having up-to-date and effective recruitment processes is vital in attracting, engaging, recruiting and retaining quality candidates. This encourages the maximum possible amount of candidates in a tight market and reduces the amount of time involved in finding candidates. Other benefits include enabling a positive candidate experience, reduced costs and enhanced job satisfaction. All of these benefits together boost the business’s success and will reflect the company’s professionalism. Each step is linked to one another and it’s essential to communicate with both the hiring manager and candidates. 

What can you do to simplify this process? Using an ATS will help you to narrow down your talent pool and stay on top of the whole process. Depending on the size of your organization, there are different ATS systems you could use. 

The recruitment process at LevelUp

It is a lot to take in, right? It is a step-by-step process and will take time. That is where LevelUp comes in to help as well. As an in-house recruitment company, we involve the whole company from the start and want to be part of the ride. 

At LevelUp we incorporate all these steps in the companies we work with and show you the ropes. We have an initial meeting with the hiring manager and founder to discuss what the hiring needs are and learn more about the company. This gives us a chance to establish expectations and explain how the process will look like.