20 recruitment terms that all recruiters should know about

Last updated:
July 19, 2021
December 19, 2021
min read
Adrie Smith
Table of contents

If you want to be successful in recruitment, you need to understand and speak the language of recruiters. Like any other line of work, recruitment has its own industry-specific terms which can be quite confusing and overwhelming when you’re new in the field.

But bid goodbye to overwhelm. We’ve created a comprehensive recruitment glossary with 22 recruitment terms that you need to know to go into the recruitment world and smash it.

1 - Candidate Assessment

Kicking off our list of recruitment terms is the crucial candidate assessment.

So, what is a candidate assessment?

A candidate assessment is a recruitment process where the employer evaluates individuals when considering them for an open position.

The ultimate goal of candidate assessment is to determine and refine the candidates, resulting in picking the best hire.

Now, this process can and will differ from company to company, but the term “assessment” alludes to something that is tangible which can be measured. Therefore, there are certain, measurable methods that are recommended.

How to Assess Candidates

Measurable assessments are generally used in recruitment. This way, data analysis can be performed in order to objectively pick the right hire.

The right hire will be subjective to your company, but there are ways to get at the data you need to make an informed decision.

Here are some recommendations to get you thinking about your assessment needs:

  • Define your ideal candidate and job description
  • Design questions to filter out unfit candidates early on
  • Use work trials to test candidates on work they would be doing on a day-to-day basis
  • Shortlist candidates, reducing them to only the most qualified
  • Assess cultural fit with questions designed to reflect employer values and company culture
  • Conduct interviews – The interview phase should revolve around strongly planned out questions. Make sure you place your efforts into crafting the most telling questions for the role.

Candidate Assessment Tools

There are tools out there that can not only streamline your candidate assessment but provide a way to reduce biases.

We all have unconscious biases that we can’t help, but with the assistance of the following candidate assessment tools, your hiring process can be as objective and successful as possible:

  • Candidate rating and ranking tools
  • Survey creating tools
  • Personality assessment tools
  • Technical skill assessment tools
  • Data tracking and analytic tools
  • ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) – sometimes come with the above capabilities included!

2 - Hiring Pipeline

Second in our recruitment terms glossary is the hiring pipeline.

This is also referred to as a recruitment pipeline or candidate pipeline.

A hiring pipeline is a chronological process of attracting candidates and obtaining employees.

It’s a general outline of how the recruitment process should transpire.

It is by no means an exhaustive list of the events that must take place, but it is used to serve as a roadmap to the standard hiring process.

It’s comforting to see things in chronological order, but they don’t always work that way. If they did, hiring would be easy – but dull.

The hiring pipeline is the recommended order of operations, but sometimes steps come before and after others, or the whole process starts again from the top, making it more of a hiring cycle.

There are different arguments to be made as to where the hiring pipeline begins, but for the sake of explanation, we will focus on the earliest point in the recruitment process.

Steps in a Hiring Pipeline

Where does a hiring pipeline start and where does it end? Well, it’ll differ from company to company. A hiring pipeline can start as early as candidate sourcing or as late as the job offer.

For the purposes of being all-inclusive, we’ll start with candidate sourcing and work our way down.

  1. Talent Sourcingthe first phase of the hiring pipeline includes finding contacts and contacting potential candidates through various means, which leads to applications submitted.
  2. Initial Screening – the initial screening includes delineation of qualified and disqualified candidates via application sorting and/or a survey designed to filter out candidates that don’t fit the basic requirements or the must-haves of the position.
  3. Task-Based Testthe third stage in the hiring pipeline revolves around a skill-focused test for candidates to look at real results that would be used on a day-to-day basis in the company if hired. This is not always used but recommended for most positions that involve tangible outcomes.
  4. Interviewsthe interview phase of the hiring pipeline includes phone, video, and in-person interviews of candidates (from entry interviews to final round interviews), contributing to the overall candidate experience. The number of interviews and team members involved vary depending on hiring needs and company culture.
  5. Background CheckThe fifth stage of the hiring pipeline involves the candidates that are in the final running for the position. Background checks are performed on each of the candidates to solidify the final decision.
  6. OffersThe offer phase comprises candidate selection and an actual offer of the position to them via email, letter, in-person, or phone call. Sometimes this stage includes negotiation of salary and benefits.
  7. HireThe hiring stage includes the actual filling of the position and closes active hiring for the said position.
  8. ReportsThe final phase of the hiring pipeline revolves around recapping of the hiring process, assessing the quality of hire, and analyzing other metrics to inform the hiring team of how well they did and how to progress in the future.

As mentioned above, not all hiring pipelines include all of the above steps in the exact order. Each organization is different. As such, their culture, recruitment style, and company goals vary. These factors play a massive role in the creation of their unique hiring pipeline.

However, this is a guideline that is intended to show the general progression of the hiring process. From the beginning, where the focus is on employer branding to the end – the moment the position is filled – when the HR team can evaluate and optimize the process.

Most hiring pipelines don’t include onboarding or training, as this comes after the hiring/recruitment stages.

3 - Job Requisition

You’ll hear the term ‘job requisition’ thrown around a fair amount in the recruitment world.

So, what is a job requisition?

A job requisition is a document created by employers.

It’s often required to be executed by a department manager that wishes to fill a position or positions, in which the former employee has resigned from, been terminated from, or is currently working in.

In the case that the job requisition is required when the employee is still currently employed, the department may require additional staffing.

It’s vital to notify decision makers within the organization of a request for hires. It’s then transferred to Human Resources for approval for the recruitment process to begin.

The purpose of a job requisition process is to aid the position creation management within an organization.

A job requisition document should include:

  • Job Title
  • Job Type/Field
  • Job Description
  • Benefits
  • Salary Range
  • Requirements (Education and Experience)
  • Additional Questions/Concerns
  • Reason for Requisition

Why Go Through the Job Requisition Process?

  • Enhances collaboration and creates less confusion
  • Places more eyes on the job posting
  • Produces less error
  • Cuts down on time
  • Creates a record of the recruitment process from the beginning
  • The job requirements and description are more clear and thought out

Hiring great teams is accomplished by hiring together.

A job requisition allows cross-departmental collaboration on the job posting. This means that the role is approved and ready to be posted, making the process a lot easier and free of most complications. The recruiter or HR department can keep the job requisition on file to refer to when posting the job.

4 - Recruitment Team

If you’re in a position to hire somebody, you’ll need to know what a recruitment team is.

A recruitment team is a group of people working together to hire for a new position or positions within an organization.

This may consist of 2 HR professionals, the entire office, or any number of individuals in between. Likewise, the location and practices of the recruitment team may vary.

Some employers hire using in-house recruitment, and some outsource to recruitment agencies or firms. In any case, all recruitment teams have one goal: to hire the right employee.

They may reach this goal differently, but most times, recruitment teams go through a process of promoting a job opening, sourcing talent, evaluating candidates, interviewing, shortlisting, and hiring.

What Constitutes a Successful Recruitment Team?

Now that you have a solid understanding of what a recruitment team may look like, here are some suggestions on how to be a successful recruitment team.

  • Define the company culture. Who is your company? What do you stand for? What type of people do you want to represent you as a company?
  • Rally employees together. It's important that employees are on the same page. Make an honest effort to cultivate and grow company culture.
  • Evaluate past efforts. Acknowledge weaknesses as well as strengths. Where there is room for improvement? What methods were used that were particularly effective?
  • Define hiring needs specific to the open position. Outline the key qualifications and characteristics of the right hire.
  • Utilize employee networks. Your employees know the company best. Let them work as ambassadors, reaching out to their networks to find not only a knowledgeable fit, but a cultural one, as well.
  • Offer incentives to the team. Whether it’s a team night out or recognition of hard work, the recruitment team needs the drive to make this thing work.

Tools that help create a great recruitment team

A great tip for a successful recruitment team is to utilize collaborative tools. Here are a few we suggest:

  • Tools for communication between team members
  • Tools for workflow communication
  • Sourcing extensions for multi-person, one-click sourcing across the internet
  • Tools for interactive social media promotion
  • A cloud-based applicant tracking system (ATS)

5 - Sourcer

Making our way through our big list of recruitment terms is a ‘sourcer’.

A sourcer is an individual that focuses on identifying qualified external candidates for an employer looking to hire.

What’s the difference between a sourcer and a recruiter?

That’s a fair question seeing as the two are often thought as interchangeable.

A sourcer and a recruiter are often mixed up, as they do similar tasks. However, a sourcer has traditionally been an entry-level position in the recruitment world.

This is not the case for everyone that holds the title, because there are many monikers in the recruitment field to delineate the same position. However, in general, sourcers are more focused on the actual obtainment of talent for a client.

Recruiters delve more into the recruitment process, sifting through applications and conducting interviews.

What does a sourcer do?

A sourcer is responsible for:

  • The candidate experience during the first engagements with potential candidates
  • Knowledge of the company’s values and goals
  • The ability to identify qualified candidates for the position at hand
  • Sourcing constantly, not just when a position is open, per se
  • Providing quick, efficient talent leads
  • Perform outreach that results in engagement from candidates if necessary

What makes a good sourcer?

  • Knows the employer brand
  • Effective communication techniques
  • Doesn’t rely solely on LinkedIn InMail
  • Actively sources, regardless of whether a position is open
  • Uses the right mix of recruitment tools to streamline the process
  • Likes technology and stay updated with technology development
  • Has maintained various talent pools
  • Knows how to qualify candidates’ availability and potential culture fit before sending them to recruiters

Efficiency and productivity are so important in the recruitment field. Getting a qualified candidate is just about as important as doing so quickly.

Types of Recruitment

When a position opens up in an organization, there usually is a plan for finding the right applicants. This recruitment process involves sourcing candidates and subsequently selecting the best one.

There are different ways to start sourcing candidates, and each way of recruiting has their own advantages and disadvantages. Recruitment can be done internally or externally, and the method of selecting the right candidate can also vary.

Internal recruitment

Internal recruitment means the employer tries to fill the open position with current employees.

The vacancy will be advertised internally – within the company – instead of publicly. Internal recruitment is often deployed when the current position of an employee has become redundant, or to promote a current employee.

There are a good number of benefits to internal recruiting. It saves the organization money that would otherwise be spent on advertising the vacancy and training the new employee.

Additionally, the capabilities and personality of the employee are already known. You’ll be able to shortlist applicants with ease, seeing as you’ve worked with the applicants before and already know their working behavior, attitude, and experience.

Recruiting internally, however, can bring some disadvantages. For instance, a current employee may not bring any new ideas, and another job opening might be created when recruiting internally.

External recruitment

In contrast to internal recruitment, external recruitment means sourcing candidates from outside of the company.

If an organization chooses to recruit externally, they will often post their open positions on several job boards and social media to source their applicants.

The organization can also ask current employees to refer outside candidates.

Recruiting externally may cost more money and resources because the job opening has to be advertised and the human resource department has considerably more work to do.

It does mean, however, that the new employee will be a fresh force and the talent pool may be a lot broader and more diverse.

What type of recruitment should you use?

Your type of recruitment should be adjusted to the specific needs and situation of your organization.

If your organization has some redundant positions, or the open position has a really difficult onboarding process, it might be smart to recruit internally.

If your company is in desperate need of workforce expansion, or the open position requires very specific skills, external recruiting may pay off.

6 - Applicant Tracking System

An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is software (either online, downloadable, mobile, or otherwise) that allows businesses and recruitment agencies to streamline their recruitment process and enhance company growth.

Most modern systems provide everything needed for hiring in one platform, helping you pick the best candidates for your company in a timely manner.

The following features are the most important ones that any ATS should have:

  • Job Opening ManagementOrganize job openings and post them on online job boards with one click.
  • Candidate Management Monitor candidate information without having to open 50 tabs in your browser.
  • Careers Site EditorsSave time, effort, and money on outsourcing your careers site design. Make an aesthetically pleasing careers site that displays who you are as an employer. A careers site editor allows you to easily pick and choose what the site looks like. It even supports SEO (search engine optimization).
  • Talent Pool Management Talent Pools are reserves of talented potential candidates that you have sourced and that can be contacted when hiring for another position.
  • Team ManagementHiring as a team helps you build a great team from the get-go. Keep your team connected and working together, even cross-departmentally, with notes and features in an ATS that allows collaboration.
  • Recruitment Analysis It’s important to consistently optimize your hiring process. This can be done by looking at the data collected by your ATS on your recruitment processes.
  • Sourcing ToolsA sourcing extension allows you to auto-input data from potential candidates on the internet, with the click of a button in your browser.
  • Live Support - Technology can be tricky sometimes. Opting for an ATS with live support means you’ll never be asking questions that can’t be answered quickly.

How to Choose an Applicant Tracking System

There are many factors to keep in mind when choosing an ATS, but these are the main ones to use as a starting point:

  • Your budget
  • Your company size
  • Your company’s growth goals
  • Your yearly hiring needs
  • Your HR Department size
  • The hiring tools you currently use (if any), as well as strengths as weaknesses of those
  • Integration capabilities of the ATS (social media, job boards, etc.)
  • Reviews and ratings of the ATS

7 - Boolean Search

This term is often looked at with confusion by those who have just stepped foot in the recruitment world. So, it was only fitting to add it to our glossary of recruitment terms.

So, what is a Boolean search?

A Boolean search is a structured search process that allows you to insert words such as ‘AND’ to target the exact search results you want.

The name comes from George Boole, a 19th-century mathematician, who developed the symbolic logic method.

Symbolic logic, very simply put, takes symbols that represent entire words or phrases for the sake of deconstruction and analysis of the words and phrases surrounding them.

In a Boolean search, the ultimate goal is to utilize a search engine to its fullest potential by allowing the narrowing, broadening, or inclusion of specific search results.

How to Perform a Boolean Search

Boolean searches can be conducted on any search engine across the internet, including those designed for resume or job searching.

There are certain symbols that you can use to limit, widen, or define the results that you want to see pop up, and there is no restriction on how many you use in one search string.

Here are the most common (and simplest) ways to perform a Boolean search:

  • AND
  • The simplest function, placing AND between search keywords, will allow your results to include both (or all) of the keywords. The search terms that follow the AND must appear in the search results.
  • Example: Ruby on Rails AND developer
  • OR
  • OR is used when you want to search for something that has the possibility of including either set of search terms. All combination possibilities will come up.
  • Example: remote job OR work from home OR virtual job
  • NOT
  • If you do not want a specific search term to appear in your results, use NOT after the preferred search term. This will prevent the terms from coming up.
  • Example: Software Developer NOT Ninja
  • Quotation marks “”
  • If you want to search for an exact phrase, use quotation marks around that phrase. For instance, a search for a remote job will include searches for “remote” and “job”, while “remote job” searches will include only those with that particular pairing of words.
  • Example: “freelance writer”
  • Parentheses ()
  • Parentheses are less common and used when performing a Boolean search string composed of many terms and conjunctions. Parentheses allow for separation of the terms and preference to be given to certain ones (just like in mathematics equations!).
  • Example: (“freelance” OR “contract”) AND (“writer” OR “editor”)

Why Would a Recruiter or HR Pro Use a Boolean Search?

When searching through resumes, hiring teams usually have a specific set of qualifications in mind to parse them correctly and efficiently.

A Boolean search would allow the narrowing down of these qualifications in resumes and easier parsing.

8 - Intake Meeting

An intake meeting is the initial strategy meeting in which the employer/hiring manager and the recruiter discuss the goals that should be met during the recruitment process.

The intake meeting gives the hiring manager a chance to set the stage for a successful recruitment strategy, while the recruiter gets the chance to ask questions that will be beneficial to the strategy’s success.

Benefits of an Intake Meeting

You may think that simply giving the recruiting team the job description is enough, but there’s a lot that goes into an efficient hiring process.

Here are some of the ways having an intake meeting can help you as an employer in the long run:

  • The job description and requirements are clearly defined
  • In addition to that, the needs of the company and its employees can be addressed
  • It prevents the wrong hire being made from an unclear role description
  • Cultural fit is easier to describe if the recruiting team has met with you and discussed company culture in detail
  • It establishes a closer relationship between recruiter and employer
  • This can lead to future recruitment relationships and perpetually optimized recruitment strategy due to prior experience
  • Issues and confusion can be hashed out early on to prevent wasting time later

What to talk about during an intake

Regardless of whether you are part of the recruiting team or the employer that is gaining the new hire, there are some preparations you can and should undergo before going into an intake meeting.

To ensure a successful strategy build, it’s important to go in with prepared questions and clear goals for the conversation.

Here are some topics we suggest to get the most out of an intake meeting:

  • Job title and description
  • Location of the role
  • Employees that the new hire will be directly working with/reporting to
  • Number of open positions/hires
  • Job requirements and qualifications
  • Preferences in candidate characteristics
  • Company culture and the level of importance it bears on making a hire
  • Reason for the opening (new position, additional help needed, a fired employee fired, etc.)
  • Timeline and deadlines (goal date for the position to be filled and how long it has been vacant prior to that)
  • Advancement opportunities for the new hire
  • Salary range, commission, benefits, company perks, etc. (basically, ways to entice the potential candidates)
  • Daily tasks
  • The previous interview process and new ways to work on any weaknesses within that
  • Careers site construction
  • Hiring tools that act as an information hub, such as an ATS (Applicant Tracking System)

9 - Job Opening

Though it may seem obvious, a job opening can be a muddled concept. Beginning with a definition of a job opening: this is a position within a company that becomes available for various reasons. These reasons can be related to the previous employee, such as retirement, termination, or resignation of the employee.

There are also instances in which an employer decides that there is a need for additional employees in a certain department, or there may be a need for an entirely new position to fulfill a certain role that has not been filled prior.

Criteria for a Job Opening

In order for a position to be considered a job opening, the employer must take a few things into consideration.

The following are suggested criteria that need to be met in order to create a job opening within a company or organization.

  • Availability
  • Start date – minimum of one month in the future
  • Active recruitment
  • Job description definition
  • Qualifications and requirements necessary
  • Salary range
  • Onboarding process
  • Benefits and perks
  • Careers site
  • Job board posts
  • Social media platforms
  • Blog posts (guest and own)
  • Collaboration tools
  • Hiring process optimization

This just touches on the surface of the preparation that a company may take to create, promote, and recruit for a job opening.

Once you get into the details, you’re delving more into a recruitment strategy.

When deciding simply what position needs to be filled, it’s important to mainly focus on three things: when, what, and why.

When: Decide on the desired start date.

What: Use job description templates to pin down what exactly the duties and responsibilities for the position will be, especially if it is a newly created position within the company.

And finally, why: Answer the reason the position is open in the first place.

Evaluate what you want in a best-case scenario hire, and you are well on your way to diving into the recruitment process.

10 - Company Culture

In order to assess cultural fit, we must first define company culture.

Company culture is a result of the environmental factors of an employer’s workplace.

This can be anything that affects the company’s “personality”.

Company culture is developed through a combination of the intangible and tangible aspects of the work environment. These include, but are not limited to, the following:

Intangible Culture Markers

  • Values
  • Beliefs
  • Goals
  • Motivations
  • Employee personalities
  • Diversity (in life experiences, religions, ideas, viewpoints, etc.)
  • Unwritten rules and expectations
  • Attitudes
  • Behaviors
  • Hierarchy and communication direction (top-down, horizontal, etc.)
  • Energy
  • Ethics

Tangible Culture Markers

  • Language
  • Decisions
  • Logos and symbols
  • Employee storytelling
  • Work routines
  • Desks
  • Chairs
  • Art
  • Color scheme

The list can go on and on. The reality is: everything within an organization can contribute to the company’s culture.

Workflow, employee satisfaction, collaboration, and company success are all impacted by aspects of company culture. So how do you establish a culture that potential candidates want to be a part of? How do you know that a candidate is a cultural fit?

11 - Culture Fit

Cultural fit is becoming more and more crucial within the recruitment world as time goes by. But what is cultural fit? And how is it different from company culture? Finally, how do you assess cultural fit?

A culture fit has a certain degree to which their current work beliefs, values, and practices match up with those of the company at which they work or are applying to work.

A common misconception about cultural fit is that it has to do solely with one specific race, religion, or even personality. This is not the case.

Many times, candidates can be a culture fit when their work values and ethics mesh well within the company. The candidate would add diversity to the company that would contribute to the overall culture in a positive way. There are some key guidelines for deciding if a candidate is a culture fit for your company.

How to Define a Culture Fit

There are some key guidelines for deciding if a candidate is a culture fit for your company.

  • Use a careers site to showcase company culture. This way, potential candidates can hopefully decide for themselves if they are a cultural match before they even apply for the position.
  • During an interview, get the whole team involved. Introduce the candidate to at least the direct team members that they will be working with.
  • Observe how they respond. Employers want everyone to get along in order to enhance productivity. Gauge whether or not you think this will happen with the candidate.
  • Use surprise tests rather than questions that the candidate can rehearse before the interview. You won’t be able to tell the true personality of the candidate if they have Googled interview questions and can recite them with their eyes closed before you even ask. It’s hard to fake personality, but it’s also hard to tell if a candidate is being genuine. An interview is not exactly a natural setting. Try to create this by doing something unexpected. We’re not saying to start cursing profusely at the candidate (unless you would do this on a daily basis, which we don’t recommend either). Rather, drop a pen on the floor and see if the interviewee offers to pick it up. Reflexes like that can give you more insight than you think.
  • Take the candidate out to lunch. A person’s table manners can also be indicative of their personality. If your company is highly formal, for example, someone that eats with their mouth open and elbows on the table might not be the best cultural fit.
  • Scope out their social profiles. If you haven’t already, check out the candidate’s latest posts on Facebook. With all the information readily available on the internet, it would be a waste not to check to see if there are any red flags.

12 -Talent Pool

Contrary to how it sounds, a talent pool isn’t a swimming pool filled with talented people. Well, it sort of is in a virtual way.

A talent pool is a compilation of potential candidates sourced for utilization at a later date.

Recruitment agencies and companies make use of talent pools to streamline the hiring process. Regardless of whether or not you are actively hiring, talent pools serve as a reserve for interesting talent found at any time. This can be dipped into, so to speak, when you are ready to hire for an open position.

Why should I use a talent pool?

There are various ways in which you can utilize talent pools, but here are the most beneficial:

  • To keep track of talent that may be better suited for a position at a later date
  • To save time when hiring needs arise
  • To ensure the right hire
  • To have a reserve of qualified candidates when a position needs to be filled quickly
  • To continuously assess talent needs
  • To revisit candidates from previous applications

Where to Source for Talent Pools

Talent pools can be used by recruiters and hiring teams alike. They’re an easy way to compile all the talent found when using a sourcing extension.

It keeps track of them in an organized fashion so that when the opportunity arises to sign the contract and fill a position, it is easy to do so.

But where do you find the talent to fill them up, and what tools allow you to create them? Here are some ideas:

  • Create talent pools with an ATS (applicant tracking system)
  • Use sourcing extensions to import candidate info with one click in your browser
  • Source from:
  • Social media (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, wherever!)
  • Internal employees
  • Employee networks
  • Forums
  • Blogs
  • Resume search engines

13 - Employee Referral

An employee referral is an internal form of recruitment that utilizes current employee networks.

Employees are a company’s best ambassadors; so rally them together to enhance the hiring process.

Potential candidates can be identified and recruited by any employee, but especially those that are well-briefed on the role that needs to be filled and the qualifications for the said position.

Why Should my Company Use Employee Referrals?

If you already have a recruitment strategy in place, you may be wondering why you would need the help of your current employees.

Here are some of the reasons that enlisting your employees to be part of the hiring process is a good idea:

  • Employees know the company best and can promote it to the right talent
  • Expands your visibility as an employer
  • Increases your chances of finding a cultural fit
  • Referral incentives can be used to maximize potential (but be careful! You don’t want an overload of unqualified candidates. Make sure that the incentive focuses on a reward for the employee that refers to the hired candidate.)
  • Referred candidates are quicker to hire
  • Employees that were hired based on a referral are generally happier with their job requirements and fit within the company
  • Happy employees = productivity + success

Tools to Implement an Employee Referral Program

Now that you understand that employee referrals can only benefit your business as an employer, it’s important to delineate the tools that can be used to implement these referrals.

Communication is key with employee referrals because you want the best possible talent for the position. Here are some tools to think about in order to make this happen:

  • Sourcing extensions
  • Careers sites for easy job listing and linking
  • Job description templates for clear guidelines to give employees
  • Applicant tracking systems (ATS) for organization and hiring workflow

14 - Recruitment Strategy

A recruitment strategy is the plan of action that an employer or agency has for the recruitment process.

It’s often put in place when an employer or agency is planning on hiring to fill a role or roles within a company. It should outline the employer’s hiring needs, timeline, goals, and recruitment tools to use in order to achieve those goals.

A recruitment strategy may seem time-consuming, but it is preferred to be used. It will save time and money in the long run, as it ensures a proper hire.

Taking the time to carefully plan a recruitment strategy (and tweak it along the way as the business grows and molds itself and its needs) is crucial to optimal company growth. A well thought out recruitment strategy is a solid foundation that every business needs before hiring.

What should I include in a recruitment strategy?

Every employer will have a different recruitment strategy because hiring needs vary from company to company.

A startup organization’s recruitment strategy will look different to one of a big corporation. However, that doesn’t mean that the startup shouldn’t have one in place! In fact, it may be even more important. Although the strategies will differ, there is a general guideline of what needs to be included:

  • Hiring needs (open positions, benefits offered, budget, timeline, etc.)
  • Goals
  • Roles of the hiring team’s members
  • Recruitment tools
  • Hiring Process Steps
  • Key Performance Indicator(s)

A recruitment strategy can and should be tweaked as the recruitment process moves along.

Optimize your hiring process as your needs change, data becomes clearer, and talent pools start filling up.

Pay attention to what works and what doesn’t, and craft a strategy that works for your company.

15 - Application Form

Chances are, at some point, you have filled in an application form. This may not be related to a job. Even filling in an application form for a loan or for college still counts.

So, in the recruitment world, what is an application form?

An application form is a blank questionnaire that employers require potential candidates to fill out when applying to a job opening.

These application forms are usually completed and submitted online. Employers can make them using tools included in an ATS (Applicant Tracking System).

Every application form will be different depending on the position, and the company’s hiring needs. The goal is to evaluate a prospective candidate’s qualifications.

What should I include on an application form?

Although these forms will vary, there are certain items that should be included in all application forms:

  • Personal information (name, contact info, etc.)
  • Reasons for applying
  • Competency questions

However, competency questions may be a separate part of the interview process, allowing the candidate to showcase skills through a trial day.

Also, to shorten the interview process, employers can introduce screening questions during the application form that serve as knockout questions.

Knockout questions allow quick disqualification of candidates that just don’t fit the bill.

Think about what is necessary for the candidate to have in order to fill the basic needs of the position, such as availability, relocation, salary expectations, citizenship, and communication skills.

How do I create an application form?

Creating an application form can feel overwhelming, and you’ll feel the pressure of making it perfect to ensure the right hire. Follow these 4 steps to create an application form:

  1. Establish the purpose of the job and what you are looking for in a candidate
  2. Organize each section mentioned above, adding where necessary
  3. Have clear requirements to use for pre-screening candidates
  4. Have an Applicant Tracking System that lets you craft an application form, as well as organize your hiring workflow.

An ATS can also help you schedule and organize the interview process, allowing the filtering out of candidates step-by-step.

If you carefully plan your hiring workflow, you can get to the root of not only a candidate’s skill set, but their culture fit, as well. It’s important to constantly optimize your hiring process, using data and analytics from an ATS. This will ensure the right hire and keep track of where you are along the way.

16 - Recruitment process

Often confused with a hiring pipeline, a recruitment process or a hiring process are the steps which employers take to attract, select, hire, and onboard talent.

The goal of a recruitment process is to select the right candidates to hire, often compiling talent pools (lists of talent to keep for future use) and, when the opportunity arises, filling a position or multiple positions with the best possible candidate. This can be a combination of qualifications and overall fit.

The recruitment process can vary greatly from employer to employer, as each business has different hiring needs and company culture. However, there is a guideline that outlines the basic steps involved in the process:

  1. Define hiring needs (job description, type of employee, benefits offered, etc.)
  2. Search for talent (using a sourcing tool, employee referral, etc.)
  3. Keep talent pools (whether you are ready to hire or not!)
  4. Create a careers site (promote your employer brand)
  5. Post job openings (on job boards, forums, blogs, etc.)
  6. Advertise the position
  7. Screen candidates
  8. Conduct interviews
  9. Salary negotiation
  10. Hire

This list may be edited according to an employer’s own timeline and needs, and thus, the order may shift around as necessary.

Who should be involved in the recruitment process?

The following should be involved in the recruitment process:

  • Hiring Manager
  • Recruiter
  • CEO/Founder/Co-Founder(s)
  • Manager/Supervisor of the new hire
  • Coworkers/Peers that will be directly involved with the new hire

Hiring together is the best way to ensure the right hire.

The whole team that will be working directly with the new hire should be involved, allowing for ideas to bounce off of each other and employees to use their professional experience and networks to attract new talent.

Utilizing current employees in various hiring roles can offer different perspectives and different candidate impressions to be collected. Collaboration is key, and allowing each member of the hiring team to feel heard and valued will go a long way in your recruitment reputation.

17 - Job advertising

Job advertisement is the process by which employers and recruiters promote open positions through a variety of channels.

It’s a key part of the recruitment process and enhances visibility for available job openings, with the ultimate goal of attracting and converting talent.

It’s similar to employer branding, but it is focused on the available open positions rather than the employer as a whole. However, the employer’s image is also an important factor in the job advertising process.

Why should I advertise a job?

It is essential to do some sort of advertising, whether it be paid or completely free.

If you don’t advertise your vacancies, your open positions won’t gain many potential candidates.

The following are some reasons to consider putting some time and effort into creating a job advertising strategy:

  • Increases visibility
  • Enhances the chance of hiring the right talent
  • Promotes employer brand
  • Attracts and converts more talent
  • Saves time and money you would waste making the wrong hire
  • Makes for a quick hiring decision
  • Can be easy with the right recruiting tools

Ways to advertise a job

Promotion of an open job may seem daunting, but there are simple ways to do so that you can choose from. Here are some recommendations of ways to go about job advertisement:

  • Create a careers site
  • Post on job boards
  • Make flyers
  • Utilize employee networks
  • Create a Facebook ad
  • Make social media posts

18 - Job requirement

When an employer is looking to fill a position, the job description will include what are called job requirements.

These criteria are used to outline the qualifications necessary for an applicant to be considered for the position. Hiring staff often use job description templates, tweaking them to meet their specific expectations by outlining the components necessary for a candidate to have in order to excel if hired.

Examples & what to include on a job requirement

To illustrate further, we will take a look at the requirements section ONLY of this Software Developer job description from Recruitee’s helpful template selection:

Job requirements:

  • [X] year(s) experience in developing software.
  • A strong portfolio of published products and projects.
  • Advanced level of understanding with C++, PHP, JavaScript, and Python.
  • In-depth knowledge of SQL, ORM technologies, and common web frameworks.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication in [X] language.
  • [X] degree in Computer Science or relevant fields.

As you may have noticed, the requirements are generally the experience and skills/knowledge that the candidate must possess to excel in the position.

For this Software Developer position, you may decide where the ‘[X]’ is located to put in a certain number of years or level of education that you would require, depending on how advanced you expect the candidate to be.

This will, of course, change from position to position and company to company, but the general idea remains the same: to let candidates know what is required of them before they apply.

This way, you’re avoiding a large number of non-negotiable applications. That said, it’s likely you’ll still receive a handful – on the off-chance that you’d be willing to consider a slightly less experienced or qualified candidate. (Especially if they make up for it with enthusiasm and a willingness to learn.)

Why should I outline job requirements?

Now that you know what goes into the outlining of job requirements, you may be wondering why you need to lay them out so clearly. Here are some reasons to do so:

  • Allows candidates to estimate how qualified they are
  • Otherwise, candidates may not apply…
  • …or too many, unqualified candidates will apply
  • Saves time and money in the long run
  • Gives an expectation to the candidates, future employees, and the employees that will be directly working with them
  • Can improve SEO (Job seekers may search for positions based on their level of expertise rather than the title itself! So be clear and not gimmicky).

If the applicant is in the right location, understands the duties, and accepts the salary range, the job requirements will, hopefully, let them know whether or not it will be worthwhile to apply (for them and the employer). This will benefit you tremendously when parsing resumes and organizing candidate information in your ATS (applicant tracking system).

19 - Recruitment Agency

We’re nearing the end of our recruitment glossary. Next on our list of recruitment terms is recruitment agency.

A recruitment agency is a firm separate from an employer that is looking to fill a position or positions. The agency is enlisted to source talent that would be suited for the role(s).

Some recruiters work as independent contractors and do similar jobs, but a recruitment agency is typically a team of recruiters that are allocated to certain recruitment tasks.

The recruiters will reach out to potential candidates to inform them about the position and attempt to source them for that position.

There are different methods of doing so, but generally, recruiters will use a careers site with a job listing, job boards, social media (LinkedIn InMail is infamous), cold calls, etc. This may also differ depending on how much the employer, themselves, have already taken care of (i.e., job description, careers site).

Why should I use a recruitment agency?

The recruitment process takes time and resources, and if an organization is lacking in those areas, they may want to outsource to a recruitment agency.

Many employers fear that if they don’t have the time and effort to properly design a hiring process, they won’t be successful. It’s too easy to get the wrong hire because all candidates will put their best foot forward when applying and interviewing. Recruitment agencies are the way to go if you don’t think you have the resources to really work on your hiring process.

On the other hand, no one knows your company and its hiring needs quite like you and your employees. For this reason, a hiring process designed with the whole team in mind is a better option.

Employees have their own networks, and if they are engrossed in the company culture, they can very well be better at sourcing talent than a recruiter. In any case, as long as your recruitment team is briefed well on the hiring expectations and work environment, it should make for a great foundation to a successful hire.

20 - Recruitment Tool

Finally, our last recruitment term in our recruitment glossary: recruitment tool.

A recruitment tool is an umbrella term for the different types of tools that can be used to streamline the hiring process for an organization or agency.

The types of recruitment tools are expanding as technology is advancing, meaning progressively easier and more efficient ways to hire. Gone are the days of filing away applications in a drawer to be lost. Recruiting tools help to organize and optimize recruitment.

Here are a few examples of the available (and useful!) recruitment tools out there:

  • ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems/Software)
  • Collaborative Tools – tools that allow employees to interact easily
  • Sourcing Tools
  • Careers Site Editors
  • Email automation
  • Job description templates

Why should I use a Recruitment Tool?

  • Save time and money
  • Run data and keep the analysis for hiring optimization
  • Organize candidates and candidate information
  • Streamline hiring workflow
  • Increase job openings’ visibility
  • Enhance employer brand
  • Allow for team hiring and collaboration
  • Ensure the right hires

Companies don’t have time and money to waste on the wrong hire.

It’s crucial to use the right tools to unearth true skill sets and cultural fits of candidates. Recruitment tools also reduce human error, often keeping a backup of applications and candidate information.

Recruitment terms: demystified

And so ends our recruitment glossary!

With a grand 20 recruitment terms broken down into detail, you’re now able to walk confidently into the recruitment world, mastering the language and understanding the intricacies of each.

So, walk forward and show the recruitment industry what you’re made of.

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