10 essential steps to kick off your HR recruitment process

Last updated:
June 30, 2021
December 22, 2021
min read
Adrie Smith
Table of contents

Every new hire goes through some kind of HR recruitment process, but many companies still leave it up to hiring managers, assigning only the admin to HR. We could say that if it works for you, all well and good, but is it actually working for your business?

How many bad hires and fall outs have you had over the past few years? If you can think of quite a few, but can’t say precisely how many then you’re definitely still stuck back in the day. As recent as a few years ago, reactive recruitment was the norm, and it worked. But it doesn’t work anymore! Constantly evolving technology and employee expectations have permanently altered the hiring landscape.

No company, large or small, can afford to be without an HR recruitment process. Why? Because your competitors have probably embraced HR tech already, and you can’t afford to keep bleeding money by making poor hiring decisions.

There are many different types of recruitment

Industries, businesses, and people are not all the same, and there are various types of recruitment methods that will all yield success.

However, no successful hiring process can be a slap-dash affair that differs from one hiring manager to the next. How do you possibly measure the success of your recruitment process if everything is disjointed?

Anything that’s not measured can’t be improved on. More often than not, perception in the workplace is the complete opposite of the reality of the situation.

Measuring the success of your recruitment doesn’t have to be time consuming or complicated. No matter how you run your business and prefer finding new hires, centralizing all functions via an ATS immediately gives you more control. An ATS can not only be optimized to meet your unique requirements; it also provides you with HR metrics to make better hiring decisions.

HR technology is the backbone of success

No one can survive without a spine. Think about it! The spinal column houses the spinal cord that controls every aspect of our physical existence. The spinal cord communicates our every action and need to-and-from the brain.

In HR tech, an ATS is like the spinal column. It houses all hiring data and automatically sends out critical info to all role players in the HR recruitment process.

Even in startups and small businesses that don’t have an HR department, an ATS fills that crucial role so that you can implement an HR recruitment process.

Before we consider the steps in the recruitment and selection process in HRM, it’s important to identify the role players. These are all the people and third party service providers who work together to fill a role.

In smaller organizations, one person might represent more than one function.

  • Hiring manager: the person whose department needs the new hire.
  • Line manager: sub managers within the same department.
  • Recruiter: usually affiliated with HR and responsible for the HR recruitment process.
  • Service providers like job boards and programmatic advertising and pre-employment assessment tools.
  • Applicants: people who respond to job postings.
  • Candidates: suitable applicants that are converted to the candidate shortlist.

Relevant: The importance of cybersecurity for HR teams

Set up an HR recruitment process from scratch in 10 steps

If you’re still working disjointed manual hiring processes, it’s time to implement new systems and procedures so that you can remain competitive in the race for talent.

Here’s our list of essential steps to include in your HR recruitment process.

It’s like a recruitment process flowchart we’ve designed for you that you can integrate with your ATS.

1. Know your job requirements

Many people don’t think about the job requirements enough when they need to fill a vacancy. Often it’s because they’re pushed for time, or because they use an outdated job description template.

This vital first step in your HR recruitment process will make or break the success of your hiring.

You must reevaluate every job description when you need to hire. Consider how the job has changed and is likely to evolve in the future. Also, have the management and group dynamics changed?

Technology has probably impacted the skills requirements as well. If your job description is incorrect, you’ll attract the wrong type of applicants.

2. Selecting the hiring team

The benefits of collaborative hiring are indisputable. It not only eliminates bias but offers different viewpoints on candidates’ suitability, strengths, and weaknesses.

Ideally, the hiring team should comprise of the hiring manager, line managers or team members, a recruiter and often a specialist in the field. This makes a great mix to see if the candidate is an excellent cultural fit, has the right skills and will boost the team dynamics.

In smaller companies, you might not be able to select a hiring team within the same department. In that case, include employees who understand the requirements of the job and who know the company and buy into the vision.

3. Put yourself into the new hire’s shoes

Now that you know what the job responsibilities are and the type of person you’re looking for, you have to figure out how you’re going to find them. The best way to do that is to step into your ideal candidate’s head and think of how they might approach job hunting.

Ask yourself:

  • Are there plenty of people in the market with these skills and attributes? Entry-level, unskilled or semi-skilled and basic support and admin jobs.
  • Is this a specialist role with scarce skills? Both hard and soft skills shortages are on the increase globally.
  • Does this role require a particular kind of personality? Ability to work under extreme pressure, make unpopular decisions…
  • Where would this type of person be looking for new opportunities? Social media, online searches via job boards, likely a passive candidate
  • What will draw (and hold) this person’s attention? Probably unemployed, looking for more money, challenge, authority…

4. Get the word out that you’re hiring

This is much easier done now that you’ve worked out where your best candidates can be found.

If you’re opting for job boards, choose those that suit your industry and requirements. Tap into your talent pool and get active on social media. If you have a careers site, make sure it reflects your employer brand and integrates with your ATS.

If your potential candidate is not actively looking for a new job and also falls into the short skills category, you’ll have to become very innovative to find them. Advertising widely on job boards will be a waste of money. You’ll have to search via social media and also trawl industries and companies where they work and approaching them directly. Headhunting isn’t for the faint-hearted and has to be very well planned and approached with proficiency and professionalism.

5. Refine your application process

Be readily available and approachable. Ensure that your application process is easy and interactive. Automation saves the day here. Set up automated responses that acknowledge every application, and integrate a chatbot to answer FAQ. This works wonders for your employer brand and makes applicants feel appreciated.

Find out how Recruitee can help you with automated email communication in your recruitment process

Always remember that you initiated the process; you invited applications! You don’t want people responding to your invitation and then being ignored or spending excessive time trying to get their info through. If you neglect the application process, you’ll lose out on top-quality talent.

6. Candidate shortlist

If you’ve followed the above steps, you should be able to come up with a candidate shortlist quite quickly.

Shortlisting candidates must be done while they’re still interested in the job. If you ignore applicants and candidates for weeks and then suddenly contact them, they’ll probably have lost interest.

Compile your shortlist, conduct a quick screening interview (by phone or online) and then set up interview dates. Communicate all dates, times and details with the candidates and everyone on the hiring team. Advise candidates what they can expect during the interview and how much time to set aside. Remind the hiring team to compile their individual interview questions and share them so that everyone’s on the same page.

7. Interviews

Whether an interview is conducted by video conferencing, conference call or face to face, always make the candidate feel welcome and introduce them to the hiring team.

Interview questions should’ve been compiled beforehand, and someone on the hiring team must be responsible for the interview procedure to make sure that it doesn’t run overtime or deviate from the purpose.

After each interview, the hiring team should confer as soon as possible to decide if the candidate moves on to the next round of interviews, gets declined or is made an offer. Always advise candidates who are unsuitable that their application was unsuccessful. Do that with empathy and ask if you can add them to your talent pool.

8. Employment references, assessments, and verifications

When you’re impressed by a candidate during an interview, it’s tempting to overlook this step, but don’t! Unfortunately, people are not always what they appear.

Securing the job of your dreams can be a motivator to misrepresent yourself and con your way to a job offer. The more senior the position and the more responsibility the job has, the higher the risk for your organization.

Contact past employers and ask them if they’ll give a reference. The best way to do it is to make a brief introductory call and ask them if you can send them an email with your questions. Most people gladly comply and give honest references.

Skills assessments are essential for technical roles, and psychometric assessments are excellent when you need to understand personality specifics.

9. The job offer

You can lose an excellent candidate if you approach this stage wrongly.

The most critical thing is to ensure that everyone on the hiring team is in unison about the best candidate and the salary and benefits on offer. If there’s hesitation, it must be ironed out beforehand. If a candidate wants more money than you budgeted for, come up with some creative job offers to keep them interested.

Think carefully about who will make the offer because they must be able to negotiate with the candidate if they raise concerns. Not every candidate who looks keen in the interview process will accept an offer. Don’t be overconfident and always try to have another candidate to fall back on.

10. Onboarding

This is the one almost everyone forgets in the HR recruitment process.

It’s not necessarily a case of “yay, they’ve signed and accepted so we’ll see them next month”. You need to keep in contact with the new hire regularly and ensure that they have all the prerequisite documentation before they start. Staying in touch regularly tells the person that you’re looking forward to welcoming them as a new employee. It can also serve as a warning to you if they lose interest and decide not to start after all.

The best way to go about it is to create an employee onboarding checklist. That way, nothing falls through the cracks. On the starting date, make sure that you are there to welcome the new employee and introduce them to the rest of the team.

The world of recruitment in HRM has changed radically and has to be structured to attract the best talent. With a well-defined HR recruitment process in place, you’ll make better hires and stop your competitors from bagging the best talent.

Additional reading: 5 tips for auditing your recruitment process

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