The recruitment process is viewed by many as a process used by organizations to find new employees. Just as simple as it sounds. However, is it really that simple?
We know it isn’t! If it was, it would mean everyone would do it themselves and be very good it at. Yet the truth is that not everyone knows how to do it and that’s one of many reasons organizations partner with external recruitment providers to help them connect with the talent they are looking for. Or actually better said, they should partner with Specialists in the Recruitment field.
Before we list the 10 steps, let’s take a look at the following questions:
What is the recruitment process?
The straight forward answer is that the recruitment process is an organization-specific model of candidate sourcing for the purpose of locating and attracting new employees. For many years, the HR function held ownership of the recruitment process. Nowadays, many organizations understand that talent acquisition / attraction is more related to the marketing / sales function of an organization and therefore an integral part of a companies continued success to grow. As such, more organizations do understand the importance of treating Recruitment as an (independent) very well connected entity / department.
Is the recruitment process the same for every organization?
As we all know, every company is different. Think about the products they sell or services they provide, the values they hold and the company culture. Keeping that in mind, we know that what works well for one organization might not work for another at all. The same goes for the recruitment process. You need to do what works for your organization! Not what sounds like it might work.
One thing to always keep in mind when discussing / reviewing your recruitment process is PRO-ACTIVENESS. Unfortunately, many companies still think that writing a compelling job description and posting it online will bring in many qualified applications. Don’t get us wrong, we know that in today’s economy you will get applicants however you might need to consider whether those applicants are the ones you are looking for.
Fact is that top-shelf, A-level candidates are not necessarily looking for work. They NEED to be recruited! And that is not easy to do.
In a nutshell, the recruitment process requires a focus on identifying, locating, recruiting, attracting, interviewing, hiring, and retaining the best candidates within the marketplace. (Whether they are actively seeking new employment not).
As mentioned, below are 10 steps to develop a good Recruitment Process.
1—Identifying the hiring need
If you don’t know what you need, you certainly won’t find it! A title nowadays doesn’t really mean all that much. More and more you notice that different organizations use different job titles for positions that require the same skill set or use the same title for a different skill set. In Canada alone, many construction organizations use the Quantity Surveying job title for their Estimator roles where in the UK this title resembles a total different skill set. So identifying the need goes beyond just knowing the title. It is critical to understand the responsibilities within the role as needed.
Once you know what you are looking for, you will need to organize a plan in order to find the what you are looking for. It probably isn’t the first time you hear about this but planning is critical in order to be successful. Not just for yourself, also for other influencers who are involved in the recruitment / hiring process. Having a clear defined plan makes that people will accept responsibility & accountability which in return will help create a smooth process.
The Sourcing step is a very critical step. Where we mentioned before that you need to have a pro-active mindset, this is where you will need to use it! The last thing you want to do is become a “horder” and gather as many resumes as you can. You will need to develop a strategy to “approach” the best of the best and eventually “hunt” them till you catch them. Ok, this might be a little too graphic for some of you so let’s try this again. Developing a sourcing strategy includes research, understanding where the best candidates work and how you can reach out to them without knowing whether they are interested in a change in their career. Believe me, it sounds easier than it is but that’s why companies (should) partner with external recruitment providers. It’s all about the hunting. This is also where you will notice the difference between internal and external recruiters. True pro-active external recruiters (hunters) perform these tasks on a daily basis and therefore have a network that often is much larger than internal recruiters who are being tasked with many “horder” activities.
Once you have developed your sourcing strategy and have found candidates that might be a fit for the role you are recruiting for, it is now time to actually identify them. Just finding candidates is not enough. Everyone can find candidates. Try posting a job on Indeed and you’ll notice that you will find many candidates. The trick is, how do you find the A-level candidates. Those that all of your competitors are looking for as well? You most likely won’t find them on Indeed! Knowing what exactly you are looking for, as discussed in the 1st step, is critical in order to properly identify the candidates you are looking for.
Once you have identified possible candidates, they will now need to be recruited. This is where many Recruiters make the mistake of pitching the job. We believe that pitching a job is the same as walking in to a dealership where the sales representative tries to sell us a vehicle WITHOUT asking what we are are looking for???!!!! Have you ever experienced that? It just doesn’t do it for us. Don’t worry, we’re not trying to compare recruitment with selling cars however the sales principle is the same for any industry. Know what you can offer but more so, know what the other person is looking for. In order to not waste anyone’s time and create frustration, don’t try to push for things that aren’t there. In relation to recruiting those A-level candidates, be realistic that not every identified viable candidate is the right candidate to align with a position within a specific organization.
Recruiting is a major component of the Recruitment Process. As you can see, it requires a lot of knowledge of what is needed, where you can “find” it and how to approach it. But again, recruiting alone does not make up for a whole recruitment process.
Where during step 5 you will be mainly focused on the motivation of the candidate for possible stronger opportunities in their career, in this step you will focus more specifically on the actual fit of the candidate for the role you are recruiting for. Meaning: During the recruiting process, you probably have spoken to many possible candidates. Some have told you they are not interested in stronger opportunities in their career, others are just curious what you have to offer and some actually are sincerely interested. Keep in mind that although those who are interested they might not be the ideal candidate you are looking for. This is where the right screening questions will help you identify those potential candidates you want to meet.
When we speak about pro-active recruiting, we always like to stress the fact that a fast and speedy process is critical in order to keep all parties involved motivated / interested. A long drawn out process tends to create a disinterest from candidates and the risk for an organization to lose them. As described in Step 2, having a concrete plan in place regarding the recruitment process will help to communicate to candidates what the rest of the process looks like which in return, assuming the planned process length is reasonable, will keep them engaged.
The interview in person is critical for both the Interviewer and Interviewee. We always like to compare the initial interview with an initial date. For sure if might feel a little awkward initially however the general feeling at the end of the meeting, of course combined with a positive outcome of technical skills analysis etc., should be a strong indicator whether the candidate will be invited for another in-person meeting or, sometimes, whether a decision can be made of presenting an offer of employment.
8—Offer & Hiring
One of the most delicate stages of the recruitment process is the offer stage. You should never take for granted that employment offers always will be accepted. Sadly enough, many offers are rejected by candidates because organizations / hiring managers are not 100% sure what candidates are looking for in an offer of employment or they are not in the position to grant the wishes of the candidates they would like to employ. This alone causes for a lot of frustration which could be mitigated by making sure all boxes have been checked prior to extending an offer. When you do work with an external recruitment partner, you should ALWAYS let them extend the initial offer. It is proven that candidates feel more at ease to verbalize how they truly feel about the offer which gives you the opportunity to retain the candidate instead of losing them. Should a candidate reject the offer, you might offer the position to the runner up if he / she is a suitable candidate. Not until an offer has been accepted, the official hire can be made.
Although listed under step 9 in this list, reviewing the process and all individual steps should be a continuous step during the whole recruitment process. This way it is easier to adapt to changes when required, learn from previous missteps but most of all to perfect what works best for your organization!
Retaining candidates is very crucial for any organization that wants to grow. Think about this: Why would you want to put all the effort into hiring the best candidates if you can’t retain them?
Onboarding candidates goes beyond filling out some paperwork, showing them their workplace, doing the first day introductions and handing them their business cards. It is about ensuring they feel wanted before they start and helping them understand you are there if they need help!