A Complete Guide to the Recruitment Process in 2023-2024

Employees are undeniably valuable assets of an organization and the key to its success, no matter what level. They are highly skilled people who strive hard to deliver their best work and contribute to the profits and worth of the organization.

To hire the right people for your business, you need to develop and implement an effective recruitment process. This is one of the most complex aspects of operating a business as there are different types of recruitment, and each consists of particular hiring process steps.

This article will help your company prepare for future challenges and reduce the costs of ineffective recruiting processes.

What Is the Recruitment Process?

Recruitment is the process of actively seeking out, reviewing, shortlisting, hiring, and eventually onboarding qualified candidates for a specific position.

The recruitment process is the most important function of the HR department. They use different tactics to find potential candidates based on the expertise, abilities, and skills required for the job. After that, they will apply specific recruitment methods to determine whether these are the right fits, by scheduling interviews or giving out assignments. 

A thought-out recruitment and selection process has many benefits for companies, including: 

  • Minimizing the time and hiring cost involved in finding candidates and filling roles - both for the present and for the future. It is because your company has effectively built a talent pool that can help save a lot of time and money spent on identifying, attracting, screening, interviewing, recruiting, and retaining employees. 
  • Increasing employee productivity since you've achieved better quality of new hires. Following the right steps in the recruiting process can help make sure they are truly interested in the role and possess the essential skills to give their best performance. 
  • Reflecting the company's professionalism - which can be associated with employer branding. Especially in modern times, social media recruitment has become a global trend followed by organizations of all sizes and types. 

How to Set Up a Recruitment Process

Steps in the recruiting process

Now that you know the definition and importance of employee recruitment, how do you create one for your business? No matter what types of recruitment your team follows, here are 10 basic, essential steps to hire effectively.

1. Identify the recruitment needs.

The very first step in the recruiting process is to ask the team all the following questions:

  • What role are you looking to fulfill? 
  • How many people are needed for that role?
  • What should you expect from the candidates?

That way, you will be thorough, analytical, precise, and realistic regarding your hiring demands and expectations. 

2. Develop your recruitment plan.

After that, it's important to work out a recruitment procedure/plan that outlines your strategy for finding, screening, and selecting suitable job applicants. Rather than trying a variety of recruitment methods to see what works best, having a detailed plan helps save a lot of time and money while ensuring you will find the right candidate.

The 6 elements of a recruitment plan include:

  • Goals & objectives
  • Vacant roles
  • Staff-in-charge
  • Recruiting strategies & methods
  • Budget
  • Time-to-hire / Recruitment timeline

3. Set up a recruiting team

For small and mid-size businesses, the founder or CEO is usually the person handling the recruitment and selection process. However, if you're working in a large corporation, there is a need for an internal recruiting team. 

As a key functional area of HRM, employee recruitment requires a solid knowledge of talent acquisition and the latest hiring trends, as well as strong interpersonal skills. These can only be found in your own internal recruitment team or professional headhunting firms. 

4. Write a job description

Here comes a very critical step in the recruiting process. The job description is designed to outline the duties and responsibilities of the role, as well as the necessary skills, educational background, and expertise needed by a potential employee. This will, in turn, ensure the company can attract the right applicants and avoid wasting time reviewing irrelevant applications. 

5. Advertise the job

Once you’ve written a complete job description, it’s time to post your job openings. There are tons of websites that allow you to do this for free, however, they all vary slightly. Make sure you choose the right one so you can reach a large audience effectively and stick to the recruitment timeline.

Below are the top 10 best job search sites trusted by both employers and job seekers:

  • CakeResume
  • LinkedIn
  • Indeed
  • Glassdoor
  • Google Jobs
  • Monster
  • ZipRecruiter
  • Freshersworld
  • CareerBuilder
  • GetWork

📚 Further reading:  Tips for Using Job Search Sites 

6. Search for talents.

There are 2 key types of recruitment - internal and external - which come from different sources. 

  • External recruitment: when your company recruits candidates who are not a part of the organization. Sources of external recruitment include:

    • Online job boards and websites
    • Employment agencies
    • Employment exchanges
    • Educational institutions
    • Job fairs / Hiring events
    • Previous applicants
    • Employee referrals
    • Social media recruitment
  • Internal recruitment: when employees like you are motivated to apply for vacant job postings within the organization. These would be informed to your colleagues via internal job boards, word of mouth, or any other communication platforms your company uses. Another common recruitment method of internal hiring is employee promotion which offers an exceptional employee a new position of superior rank, duties, remuneration, or professional growth.

7. Review candidates.

There are different techniques for shortlisting potential candidates, including: 

  • Start with their resume/CV, cover letter, and portfolio (if any).
  • Make use of software and tools to help evaluate the candidates faster (e.g., Applicant Tracking System/Resume Checkers).
  • Reach out to the references mentioned in their CV (if possible).
  • Make sure they meet the minimum qualifications for the role. 
  • Give them a pre-employment test, for example, personality tests, job knowledge tests, situational judgment assessments, and skills tests.)

8. Schedule interviews

The interview is an integral part of the recruiting process, which enables the employer to determine if an applicant would likely perform the job and fit in with the corporate culture.

Here are some tips if you want to conduct an effective interview:

  • Review the candidates' applications in advance. 
  • Put the candidates at ease.
  • Give a background of the company and details about the position.
  • Ask open-ended questions.
  • Provide the complete answers to the questions asked by the candidates.
  • Avoid putting too much emphasis on “cultural fit”.
  • Don’t forget to take notes.
  • Describe the next step in the recruitment process.

9. Check references.

As mentioned before, doing a reference check on a candidate is a great way to assess their potential for success in the vacancy. It helps verify the information mentioned in the CV or the interview. Moreover, references can offer additional insights into a candidate’s knowledge, expertise, and skills from their work history. 

10. Make a decision.

While the HR staff and recruiter manage the recruitment process, it's the hiring manager who actually closes the deal. As the decision-makers, they will have the final say as to who gets hired and who gets rejected.

Recruitment process flow chart

Recruitment Process Flow Chard

Recruitment Strategies & Tips for Successful Hiring

Now that you know about the recruitment process and how to set up an effective one, here are some strategies and tips to achieve the optimal hiring process.

💡 Utilize ATS.

The Applicant Tracking System mentioned above benefits recruitment and selection in various ways. It helps gather all the information about candidates, including their resumes, submission date, their current stage in the recruiting process, feedback from interviews, and so on. It can also be linked with other job advertising and social media platforms, which is a vast source of external recruitment.

Especially if your company has received many job applications, utilizing ATS or resume checker can help manage and track the candidates easily and efficiently. Note that these resume checkers can only check for a ATS-friendly resume, hence you may want to involve in this process for the best result.

💡 Develop an employee referral program.

This is a recruiting strategy in which employers encourage existing employees to refer someone qualified for the job opening in their organization. 

Employee referral programs are on the rise because they can be used for both types of recruitment. In general, they are more cost-effective than other recruitment methods and are usually the fastest way to find external talent.

💡 Build a strong employer brand.

Recruitment and selection can be affected strongly by employer branding. A positive image with a good reputation will make your company an ideal employer and thus attract a lot of talent. 

Below are 5 ways to improve employer branding and candidate experience:

  • Set up an online presence with clear, detailed information about your company’s vision via social media and website.
  • Be as specific as possible when crafting the job description. 
  • Keep the candidates updated at every stage of the recruiting process. 
  • Make the company emails professional.
  • Treat candidates like customers.

You can also reach out to HR companies that offer employer branding services and ask for their advice.

💡 Use social media in your recruitment.

Speaking of employer branding, more and more companies have been using social media to recruit. It is because nothing can represent the corporate image better than its social media platforms. Besides that, employers also find themselves being more likely to reach passive job seekers.  

📚 Further reading:  Statistics on social media recruitment (August 2022)

💡 Collect feedback from candidates.

This way, your team can improve the overall recruitment process. You know what has been done correctly and what should be adjusted. Based on candidate feedback, you can also build a better employer brand. 

Tip: Make sure you give them the option to leave a review anonymously so they can express their thoughts freely. 

Key takeaways

With our recruiting how-to guide, we hope you’ve learned all the critical steps in the recruitment process. While following these steps, make sure you will: 

  • Treat job applicants like your customers.  
  • Stay professional during the entire hiring process.
  • Avoid using the same recruitment method and strategy for all jobs opening.
  • Evaluate candidates based on all categories, including career goals, education, work experience, skills, cultural fit, etc. 
  • Ensure seamless recruitment procedures for all job applicants. 

Did you find this blog helpful? Follow our blog to have more insights about recruitment and HR industry. CakeResume is the ultimate solution for job seekers and employers by providing a free online resume builder and talent search and branding services. Want to learn more about us? Talk with our experts for more details!

— Originally written by May Luong —

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