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The ultimate guide to an efficient recruitment process

Recruitment | 6 Min Read

The ultimate guide to an efficient recruitment process


The recruitment process is a vital HR function that determines the quality of workforce in an organization. It refers to the process of identifying talent needs in a company, advertising open positions, application reviews, candidate screening and the final hiring of qualified professionals.

The recruitment process can have a direct impact on the productivity of an organization. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure quality and efficacy at every stage. This blog elaborates the importance of the recruitment process, key steps to take, technology integration and more.


Importance of a strong recruitment process

I am convinced that nothing we do is more important than hiring and developing people. At the end of the day you bet on people, not on strategies.

Lawrence Bossidy, GE

There are several vital reasons to streamline the recruitment and selection process. When implemented the right way, it helps:

  • Attract the right talent to the organization.
  • Ensure that the required talent and skills are brought into the organization.
  • Hire candidates who are culturally fit for the organization and in tune with the organization’s values.
  • Increase the chances of hiring a workforce that will increase productivity.
  • Determine future talent requirements.
  • Improve Hiring Success Rate.
  • Expand diversity within an organization.
  • Reduce the cost per hire.
  • Create a database of potential candidates for future job openings.


Four phases of the HR recruitment process

Recruitment process_infographic 1

1. Attracting talent

This phase involves understanding the target candidate. This means having the right kind of employer brand, letting talent know about the brand, and getting them to want to join the organization.

2. Engaging candidates

It is imperative for HR professionals and the organization as a whole to build relationships with candidates. It goes beyond creating interesting job postings. It is more about helping candidates stay interested in working with the company. The way you engage with applicants speaks volumes about your organization’s culture.

Practices that ensure high candidate engagement during the hiring process include:

  • Quick responses to queries and emails
  • Feedback about applications/interviews
  • Sharing valuable content

While referrals may be among the best talent sources, companies should engage with candidates on a personal level to boost the quality of hire.

3. Retaining applicants

It is likely that out of the available applicant pool, several could be eligible for the role. While you could hire the one and forget about the rest, retaining the others works to an organization’s advantage.

Having easy access to the other applicants who are eligible makes it easier for organizations to fill vacancies when they are expanding or when their initial hire does not meet their expectations.

4. Shortlisting qualified candidates

Shortlisting candidates involves ensuring that they are the right fit for the role and have the skills to execute that role effectively. Methods like rigorous testing, assessments and task-based evaluations come into play at this step.

If there is an execution problem with the rest of the phases, shortlisting qualified candidates can become difficult. Therefore, all four phases need to come together to ensure:

a) The right candidates make it to the final phase.

b) The hired candidates are genuinely interested and invested in the role as well as the organization.


Stages of recruitment: Most essential seven steps in the recruitment process

Recruitment process_infographic 2


1. Identifying staffing requirements


The first among the key hiring process steps is to understand what the current staffing requirements are in an organization. It could be that a sudden vacancy needs filling or that you are starting an entirely new process and need multiple positions filled. Your organization could be experiencing steady growth and you could be likely to have various positions opening up over time.

Once you have a clear idea of what your requirements are, you can begin to define specifications for each role, such as skills, education, knowledge, experience and so on.

There are a few ways to understand what your current hiring requirements are:

  • Analyze your organization’s performance: Is it where you would like it to be? Do you have all the skills within your existing talent pool? What other skills would benefit your organization?
  • Account for the desired output: You may have to increase your employee head count to meet the output requirements, especially if you are a growing business. It could also be that the surge in requirement is temporary, in which case you should be looking to hire contract workers.
  • Analyze your attrition rate: Your attrition rate will help you understand what roles are going to open up soon and how effective is your recruitment and selection process.


2. Preparing concise job descriptions


Once you have an idea of how many employees you need, you can move on to the next step in the HR recruitment process. You should start asking questions about what roles need to be filled, what skills, knowledge and experience are required, etc. When this information is compiled, you can begin to define job descriptions.

  • Be very precise, transparent and clear when defining job descriptions. Candidates should not have any questions about what they are expected to do.
  • A clear and interesting job description ensures that the right kind of candidate applies for the opening. The latter reduces the time spent on filtering unsuitable resumes.


Here is an idea of what your job description should include:

  • Role title
  • Role responsibilities
  • Minimum qualifications and skills
  • Most desirable qualifications and skills
  • Compensation offered, additional benefits and perks
  • Employee Value Proposition
  • Location
  • Remote or onsite work

The best way to ensure that you have a clear idea of the type of candidate you want is to create a candidate persona. A candidate persona is a fictional description of the ideal candidate to fill the role for which you are hiring. This is very similar to creating a buyer persona.


Carrying out this activity is integral to the recruitment and selection process in HRM. It helps HR professionals pinpoint the exact kind of candidate that is desired, where they can be found, and how to find them.

It also helps create more precise job descriptions, more relevant job application forms, and training material. It also helps recruiters identify the ideal recruiting channels or the ones that are most likely to be successful.

A candidate persona also enables HR professionals to create top-notch content that can be personalized to attract the right kind of applicants.


3. Outlining the recruitment strategy


This is where HR departments decide how they will attract the best talent and find ways to retain them throughout the recruitment process.

Three main recruitment strategies can be used:


An organization hires an employee from within their workforce and gives them a different designation.


The organization informs the public about a job opening and waits for candidates to apply.


This is where companies actively search for the right kind of talent to take up the role.

Once you know which of these methods you are going to use, you can begin to put together the recruitment process strategy:

  • Zero-in on where you are going to look for your talent. It could be in a specific geographic domain or may spread out across the globe.
  • Be clear on what method or combination of methods you are going to use. You could promote employee referrals by increasing the bonus an employee gets for a successful reference.
  • You may want to consider using social media to promote the job posts and your employer branding. It may be advisable to use a combination of job boards and social media to get the widest reach.
  • Be clear on whether the role you are hiring for requires in-person interviews or whether video interviews will suffice.
  • Take the time to create effective and engaging job advertisements.

It is vital that your recruitment process steps are easy to understand and are equally easy to communicate to those involved. It is also vital that you regularly monitor the success of your recruitment strategy. It is essential to modify and upgrade it according to your success and requirements constantly.


4. Screening and shortlisting the applicants


Before you begin the selection process in HRM, you have the Herculean task of combing through all the resumes you have received and shortlisting what seems to be the best fit. Once you have removed all the unsuitable resumes, you can shortlist the applicants that have the closest attributes advertised in the job description. This step can be further broken down into the following:

  • Select resumes that meet the minimum eligibility criteria. It is strongly recommended that you inform the applicants even if they do not make it to the shortlist.
  • Filter the resumes that have the desired skills and meet the preferred standards. This is where an applicant’s experience, qualifications, specialized certifications, technical knowledge and skills come into play.
  • Analyze the resumes to look for any red flags, such as inconsistencies in work experience, plagiarized content in their resumes, numerous job changes, etc.

Areas of concern can be flagged to ensure that anyone looking at the resume is also made aware. You can discuss and clarify the flagged points in the next step of the recruitment process.


5. Conducting interviews for candidate selection


In the past, interviews have been tests of an applicant’s ability to bear pressure. Nowadays, interviews are designed to get the most out of the candidate, to allow them to show their best selves. The interview process should be easy to understand, relatively quick, clear and transparent and most of all allow the candidate to relax and show off their skills and talents.

This is also where an HR professional’s impression is most felt, from a candidate’s perspective. While each of the previous steps also impacts candidate experience, this step is the most crucial in ensuring a good candidate experience.

The most effective way to get the best out of the candidate is to let them know exactly what to expect during the interview process- how long it will take and what the various steps are. It is also vital to inform them regularly about the status of their progress.

HR professionals have to work on constantly improving the interview process. One crucial element in streamlining the process is to get feedback from candidates at each step. This feedback can be incorporated immediately into the process, thereby improving it.


6. Extending job offers


Now that the candidate has had the opportunity to sell their skills and talents to you, it is time for you to place the ball in their court i.e. to roll out the offers and hope that your desired candidates accept.

There are a few points to keep in mind:

  • Before you make an offer, run background checks and verify the references provided.
  • You may not be able to check all the boxes for all the candidates. Therefore, it is important to make offers to multiple candidates for the same role and then select the one that is the closest fit to your candidate persona.


7. Onboarding new hires


This is the final step in the recruitment process. Double-check employee documentation before onboarding them. Make the process easy so that employees settle in quickly and start contributing toward your organization’s goals.


Integrating technology into the hiring process

In the digital era, it is vital that companies harness the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms in recruitment to ensure they remain competitive.

There is no doubt of the impact that technology has made in the world of HR. For candidates, applying to jobs has become easier. Most job applications require nothing more than a few clicks of the mouse. HR technology has made processes more efficient and the recruitment process has evolved beyond any boundary of imagination.

Harnessing the power of modern technology ensures that:

  • Geographical barriers do not hinder HR practices.
  • Document-processing time is reduced.
  • Accurate and holistic analytics empower HR managers to take unbiased decisions.
  • Organizations are able to create more powerful talent management strategies.

In conclusion, the typical recruitment process is rather an intricate one. Using the right HR tech and tools can go a long way in making it quicker, more efficient, and ultimately, more successful.

Originally published February 15 2022, Updated March 1 2022

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About This Topic

The primary objectives of recruitment and selection are to ensure high-quality candidates who are culturally fit and work toward shared organizational goals and vision.

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