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Recruitment | 15 Min Read

The Recruitment Life Cycle: A Guide to Hiring Your Best Candidate

Know When You Need to Hire

Hiring employees too early can be a monetary strain; however, hiring too late means your business neglects to achieve its potential.

There may be a notion that companies hire to rack up its number of employees or to have more people around. In fact, the goal of the companies should be just the opposite, to have lesser number of employees needed to successfully run a business.

Ideally, an employer hires a person on the grounds that they are one of a kind, have a unique value proposition, i.e., their ability to think, settling up a business issue they confront and there are no other less expensive or more compelling options.


Well, hiring should not be done for the sake of hiring, but to completely fulfill the business requirements. The hiring managers should keep in mind several factors like:

  • Increased Workload-

The hiring alarm clicks on when it’s a struggle to keep pace with the increased workload or when postponing work becomes a norm. Recruiting this time means expansion to capacity for work and more liberty to new projects.

  • Need of Expertise-

Hiring a professional at the time when you need advice on expanding the business, be it web designing, sales or any other is also the right time.

  • Vision-

If your business is a part-time venture, then its cool. But if you aim to run your business fruitfully in the long term, it is the time to onboard new candidates. Even potential buyers prefer hired staff organization (if you plan to sell your venture).

A smart manager comes to know when is the right time to hire by having a look on the business requirements, whether they touch their deadlines with the options available, or if there comes the need to fill a skill gap.

First things first, understand the business requirements, henceforth know when is the right time to hire. This should be followed by sourcing candidates to create a talent pool.

Build Your Talent Pipeline

Wouldn’t it be great to find a prompt candidate each time an organization asks to locate the best individual for each opening?

Yes. Of course.

Well, this isn’t as easy as it seems to be. Sourcing candidates without any proper strategies are like scrubbing the floor without any equipment. It is more about adopting an effective alternate strategy for your recruitment methodology.

Per a survey, about 46% of talent acquisition professionals struggle with sourcing, good candidates.

Candidate sourcing includes proactively hunting down and drawing in qualified talent to fill your organization’s present or future positions, and it more imperative today than any other time in recent memory.

Recruiters, nowadays get enticed by the internet and trust that discovering the greater part of their applicants online would be no sweat. It might be one of the ways, but alone it wouldn’t do much.

Here are some of the great ways of building your talent pipeline.


  • Explicitly define the job

“The best job descriptions combine a little bit of marketing, the reality of the role, the necessary skills and competencies, and the organization’s culture. All those things put together are key to how to present an open role to the market.”

-Justin Cerilli, Managing Director financial services and technology,

Russell Reynolds and Associates


Hiring great talent commences with attracting the high potential ones. A creative, effective and engaging job description is the first thing that comes to a layman’s mind when proceeding in this direction.

In addition to the standard job role description, skills and experience required, a job description must emphasise on culture and values of the organization to avoid making a bad hire. Always start with a short and crispy overview of the job.

Catering the factors that actually excite and motivate candidates to join the company would be the right approach to the source. Apart from telling salary and incentives, an exceptional job description also contains the explanation of how the job will contribute to business objectives and the opportunities for growth. It must also place emphasis on how the candidate’s work will contribute to the success of the organization.

Well, a more wide-ranging job description is in fact easily managed as it doesn’t require modification with every minor change.

  • Leverage Online Sourcing Channels

59% of the candidates use social media to research companies they are interested in.

Gone are the times of putting an ad in the daily newspaper to pull in talent. Recruiting with social networking is quickly turning into a lifestyle. It would be a mistake to disregard social media as a tool to recruit, regardless of whether you’re an expert responsible for the hiring of say 30 companies or an HR professional looking to fill in a sales associate.

According to research, 56% of HR professionals use social networking websites to source potential candidates.
Be specific and authentic while using social media to represent company culture. You may reach the wrong audience as easy as you might hit the right ones; all of it depends on the content you publish. You can also use the platforms for advertising jobs and could reach great candidates. The precise your ads are, better the audience you hit.

It might come as a bit difficult process for people looking for jobs, but for recruiters, LinkedIn is a gold mine. 77% of all job openings are posted on LinkedIn. It has become so much easier now for a graphic designer sitting in Europe to apply to a company located in India.

The capacity to find top talents in remarkably increasing, thanks to the growth of online channels. Online channels are customary for a reason- they’re great!- yet meeting people offline at events is a great method to source new applicants.

Well, the most well-known channels are common for they are most visited and crowded ones. To be honest, candidates may be more responsive towards notifications on less ordinary sites. Recruiters must also try to consider less frequently visited sites as profiles on such destinations can yield extraordinary data that gives great grain to customized outreach.

  • Build Your Brand

Everything a candidate has ever heard, read or witnessed about your company will enter into the decision of whether to work with your company. It is very much necessary to build a strong employer brand to stand out from your competitors when it comes to hiring.

Not having a strong employer brand makes top talent unaware of the unique perks that make your company great. Make your employees love where they work and what they do. Even creating a hashtag and encouraging employees for using it on social media helps to attract candidate pool.

Market everything your company offers, for this is the only way the organization gets recognition. The company culture here plays a very crucial role. Selection of new employees shouldn’t be hard skills centric, but more related to soft skills so that they get fit with the company’s values. Aware people of the impact they make on the entire organization, not only on themselves or their department.

  • Take into account your employees’ networks

The brand of an organization is best advocated by its employees, whose part in sourcing great talent ought not to be disregarded. Organizations can expand many folds by recruiting through their employees’ networks.

Organizations need not search far to recruit and source candidates. Employees are better when it comes to reaching untapped talent; even they enhance response rates from candidates they know.

Hiring Insights found that 88 percent of employers, rate employee referrals over every single other hotspot for quality hires, satisfying occupation necessities snappier, remaining longer, and referring different candidates. Building an employee referral program can seriously avoid backfilling roles, hence enhancing the quality of hire.

Never forget- Sourcing ought to be a group activity!

  • Re-Engage Your Old Candidates

If we take an example of campus recruitment, hundreds of candidates apply for an organization. Thereafter, they are filtered through several elimination rounds, be it assessments and interviews. At last, less than one-tenth actually make it to the company. What if these declined candidates get a chance in the next recruitment drive.

The point is, recruiters should use their past team endeavors by starting each inquiry with the candidates they have already invested time in. To do this, recruiters have to provide an extraordinary candidate experience to re-engage the applicants and chronicle candidates properly so that they could find them easily again.

You can proceed in these three ways:


Filter Out the Least Suitables

Technically, it doesn’t require much push to apply for a job. Candidates might really need to compose a cover letter (introductory letter) and send in your resumes some of the time. On the other hand, they simply click “Apply” on LinkedIn and other social media platforms and the profile is sent to the hiring body.

The Internet has made the applying process so much easy-to-go. Anyone sitting out there can go on the web and splash their resume everywhere.

Incidentally, this straightforwardness in applying is the motivation behind why the procedure is so disappointing for the two sides of the process. The ones with potential rarely hear back, and the recruiters find it very difficult how to filter through the huge number of resumes they routinely get.

Here are some of the effective ways which could be incorporated by organizations to screen a large compilation of resumes, moving further with the suitable ones.


  • Screen by Reviewing Resumes

First things first, the resume is the primary thing that recruiters review and screen from. Just consider the next statement. As per research, an average CV spends 23% of its life cycle in HR screening, whereas the potential candidates hardly stay in the job market for more than 10-12 days.

Now, this is something which needs to be pondered upon.% of Talent Acquisition leaders say the hardest part of recruitment is screening candidates from a large candidate pool.


The concept of pre-screening through assessments or phone interviews might be helpful in reducing the total screening time which companies like Mettl provide. The greater part of screening out depends on their numbness to obligatory prerequisites of the job- might be shift timing, travel time or anything.

There are capabilities which are frequently considered knockouts in light of the fact that either the candidate has it and can push ahead or they don’t and get screened out of the further procedure. For instance, a person who is unable to work in the country legally is a knockout. A person applying for a developer post, who do not know programming languages is a knockout.

This way, a whole lot of candidate pool can be shortened in a go.

Well, using technology could prove a blow to this system in many ways.

  • Shake Hands with Automation

A practical, innovation-empowered and technology-enabled relationship between recruiters and hiring managers is a vital component to wiping out bottlenecks in the talent acquisition process.

No, not just stalking your candidates on social media (we’ve been on this earlier).

The implementation of technology in HR space is helping organizations select fast and better along with personalization of the recruitment process. Leading global consultancy firm Deloitte predicted that 38% of the companies believe that robotics and automation will be fully implemented in the business within five years.

Tech innovations in screening eliminate the time-consuming and administrative activities done manually. There are companies that make use of artificial intelligence in this process and make screening time reduce by 60%. Truth be told, AI requires a large volume of information keeping in mind the end goal to make precise decisions.

Being smart, the software can be fed by algorithms primarily focused on mandatory skills, an absence of which directly rejects the application. Additionally, this enables to learn the job qualifications based on the description and hence learn what good candidate looks like.

As per research, companies that have adopted AI software in their hiring procedure have seen their performance increase by 20% and their turnover declining by 35%.

Assess Your Candidates

As for now, you’ve your fine set of candidates after screening the least suitable ones.

What’s next?

Assessing the candidates comes next. This is where you take a gander at the candidates you’ve shortlisted. You recognize their ability to fit in the job role and their efficiency to complete the role within your business.

Recruiters also face problems deciding what appropriate skills to be assessed for a particular job role. Also, they aren’t sure what exact questions to be asked to the candidates to move on further.

Stick to the following ways in order to receive a fruitful hire.


  • Develop a Reliable Competency Framework

A competency framework is a measure by which an organization recognizes, maps and surveys candidates to accomplish the business objectives. The competency framework sets a benchmark for recruitment, even for appraisal, development, and promotion, too.

To develop and implement a competency framework is a time taking process. It needs efforts, so you need to be very clear about it. Keep in mind the following key rules while developing a competency framework.

  • Involve

The frameworks ought not to be created exclusively by HR individuals, for they don’t generally know what each job actually involves. Nor should it be left to the managers, who don’t precisely see what each employee in the team does every day. It would be far from better if you take in the loop the actual person doing the job. Additionally, getting diverse inputs regarding what makes someone successful in the job.

  • Be relevant

You cannot just test verbal skills and decide a candidate who has applied for a software developer role. Neither does a hiring manager need to assess some kind of technical skills for a candidate applied to work in a job that deals with numbers. Ensure that the competencies included in the framework actually justifies the job role.

  • Validate-

You need to have a judgment regarding whether the skills mentioned actually lead to candidate performing effectively. As it were, are individuals who don’t show this conduct ineffectively? Also, you need to validate if these skills are relevant and necessary for effective work performance.

An apt competency framework can derive a candidate’s true potential for the respective job role. For instance, recruiters looking for a suitable salesperson, be it an in-store shoe salesperson or someone focused to sell complex IT solutions to CXOs, a sales profiler kind of thing would do the best.

Well, for a safer side, there are certain companies out there which aid in determining a reliable competency framework suitable for the job role. It also includes assessments related to that very framework.

  • Avail Assessments

We live in a space where every decision needs a justification. Each verdict in the corporate world needs to be backed up by data. Leveraging assessments during the hiring process is the best way to have a full-fledged justification for each hire.

Interestingly, according to the Talent Assessment Study conducted by Mettl, the overall usage of assessments in organizations has seen a whopping growth of 114% from 2016 to 2017 and is expected to grow furthermore.

The assessments are more intuitive, engaging and interesting. They even weigh more when it comes to accuracy. Additionally, online assessments are cost-efficient and take less time to incorporate. The traditional talent acquisition process, being too lengthy and not so interesting assures that the new innovative form of assessments are meaningful and improves the candidate experience.

Well, the assessments also vary for different job roles. The most suitable form of assessments needed to have a perfect hire is discussed below.

The word psychometric alludes to the measurement of the brain. Not at all like features, for example, education, skills, experience, appearance and punctuality, the behavioral attributes and personality of the candidate can be considerably more important to assess. Are you good at socializing with other people? Are you a good team player or a leader? Do you empathize with customers’ transforming needs? Are you good at multitasking? Whoa!! These are the factors that actually drive recruitment towards making a perfect hire.

Cognitive Assessment alludes to a person’s capacity to process data, learn quickly, and apply new data to take care of issues. In fact, cognitive aptitude is really a pack of various intellectual abilities twisted together. Recruiters always need to know whether the candidate is to agile learning, has a good kind of analytical reasoning. Well, a cognitive assessment are the accurate indicators of an applicant’s future on-job performance, his/her learning agility in a job role.

There may be some areas where psychometric tests alone couldn’t do well. In most cases, hiring someone for technical job roles needs an assessment related to his/her domain. A perfect content marketer will only be judged by his writing skills, and not alone his behavior and aptitude. Similarly, a perfect coder has to be assessed on his/her programming skills along with interpersonal skills.

Well, for all the recruiters and HR people out there, Mettl is a platform which is built to assess candidates based on the required competency framework aligned to business objectives. You can find almost all kind of tests needed to have a perfect hire, be it psychometric, aptitude tests or even domain related tests.

Pre-hiring assessments can likewise offer more data than a cleaned CV about a person’s information base, competence, and practical skills. They can improve the hiring process by aiding hiring managers to overcome the unconscious bias while deciding with whom to progress for further process. But assessing candidates does not end here. Interviews are the next and important factor, too.

  • Structure Your Interview Process

A great many people would not acknowledge a marriage proposal to be engaged with somebody they had never met, regardless of whether that individual looked awesome on paper. A job offer is likewise a conceivably life-changing event that necessities cautious pondering. Job interviews give a chance to you and your potential manager to choose how well your abilities line up with the organization’s needs.

The interviews are the most subjective part of recruitment. It acts as a bridge between what the sender wants to convey and what receiver intakes.

Listed below are some of the pointers that will extract the best out of interviews.

  • Understand the job requirements

Distinguish the significant responsibilities and duties of the job role, along with the information, aptitudes, and abilities that are expected to play out the job’s fundamental roles.

  • Develop questions-

There must be questions related to educational background, work experience, current, and future interests or may include ideas for future growth.

  • Define the competencies-

A valid competency framework can lead to candidate’s true potential in a job role. Develop questions keeping in mind the weightage of each competency.

  • Provide a comfortable environment-

A private area, which is neat and quiet, with minimum distractions would be the best to conduct interviews. Do not reply to phone calls or emails while the interview is in process.

  • Mind your questions-

Avoid questions which directly hurt someone’s sentiments or are unlawful and discriminatory. It could be regarding race, religion, age, ethnic groups, nationality or others.

  • Leverage technology

Improve the candidate experience by getting all the benefits of the face-to-face interview via phone screens. It could also implement several innovative features, primarily recording the interviews for future references.

  • Allow candidates to ask-

Apart from just asking questions, give opportunities to the candidate to ask. Answering them correctly has a good impression on candidates.

Interviews are just as powerful as how and when they are directed. When they come at the perfect place in the process and are led reliably, they can furnish you with the certainty to push ahead in your determination choice.
After successful interviews, you are at the position to extend the offer to the best-qualified candidates. Post that includes dealing with how should an employee be welcomed and served.


87.6% of the organizations will hire more than the previous year where 69.4% of them will increase hiring by more than 25%.

State of Talent Acquisition, Mettl

If you have reached so far, you must have gained so much information regarding hiring employees. You are in a great position to manage your hiring practices the way discussed.

Hope this helps.

Have a Happy Hire!

Originally published June 27 2018, Updated June 16 2020

Ankur Tandon

Written by

Helping businesses beat content mediocrity by generate engaging content, both short and long form including blogs, social media, case studies, newsletters and more.

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