HR Glossary

What does the Recruitment Process Entail?

Uncover the key elements of the recruitment process and transform it into a streamlined journey toward finding the right talent for your organization.
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Today’s tight job market means the best candidates are hard to find, hard to attract, and hard to keep. So, to win in the war for talent, organizations need to develop a robust talent acquisition strategy with a candidate-centric mindset.  

In other words, hiring quality talent today means organizations must have a carefully mapped-out recruitment process. In this article, we’ll share recruitment tips and steps to follow for a successful recruitment process.

What is the Recruitment Process?

The recruitment process often called the hiring process, involves all the steps in finding and selecting the best candidate to fill an open position in an organization. It includes everything from identifying an available role to attracting, screening, interviewing, selecting, hiring, and onboarding employees.   

While the exact process looks different in every organization, the goal is the same – hiring and retaining top talent.  

The recruiting process is a core function of the Human Resource department and can be carried out by managers, recruiters, talent acquisition specialists, Human Resource Management (HRM), or a combination of all.  

Many organizations use recruiting software to make the hiring process more streamlined and efficient. In addition, some companies outsource this function to recruiting firms, while others choose to carry out this process in-house.

What Makes a Good Recruitment Process?

When it comes to recruiting, an ideal process allows companies to find highly-qualified candidates quickly and efficiently. This means the process requires constant reengineering, evaluation, and deliberate planning.  

Unsurprisingly, leading organizations use talent management as a business strategyThe recruiting process of high-performing companies is shaped by the shifts in the workforce landscape and their internal needs.  

For example, persisting labor shortages indicate that traditional talent pools are less viable for sourcing candidates, so organizations must use different methods to tap into unconventional talent pools.   

Aside from reforming outdated recruiting practices, this process should be streamlined and automated. Each member must be equipped with the tools and resources required to do their job efficiently. Additionally, a step-by-step approach that follows different phases to select a suitable candidate will give structure and maximize efficiency.

Recruitment Process Flowchart

The average time to fill an open position is 36 days 

For that reason, the recruitment process is one of the most time-consuming, and when it’s not done right, it can lead to wasted time, money, and energy. However, companies can systemize the recruitment process by designing a proper flowchart. 

recruitment process flowchart is a visual layout of the hiring plan and maps out the whole process, thus simplifying things for the recruiter and the candidate. A well-designed flowchart keeps the hiring process transparent, consistent, and fairer.  

Visualizing the process better and knowing which steps to anticipate makes it easy for recruiters to filter out the best candidates. Overall, it ensures smooth handling of the recruitment process for all parties.   

This tool can go from being a simple, hand-drawn diagram to a complex, computer-designed chart with various processes. To build an ideal flowchart, an organization must break down this process into actionable and simple recruitment process steps.

Recruitment Process Steps

A step-by-step recruitment process manual helps guide companies through this process. Depending on the role, company structure, and industry, the steps may vary; however, typically, the hiring process consists of:

1. Identifying a hiring need

As the first step of the hiring process, HR and other decision-makers must clearly identify a need to hire. Whether replacing an employee who left the organization or creating a new position, the hiring process begins once a long-term or short-term hiring need is established.

2. Creating a job description

Once a need to bring in a new hire is established, the next step is determining the job specification and criteria. A job description includes: 

  • Job title and department 
  • Duties & Responsibilities  
  • Preferred Qualifications & Skills 
  • Location and hours 
  • Company description  
  • Salary, perks, and benefits 
  • Applying instructions  

By preparing a comprehensive job description with clearly defined responsibilities, potential applicants will know what they need to have to meet the role’s demands.

3. Sourcing candidates

company can choose to conduct recruitment from: 

  • Internal talent pools – Promotions, Transfers, Former employees, Employee referrals 
  • External talent pools – Advertisements, Job boards, Word of Mouth, Social media, Direct recruitment, Employment agencies

4. Screening and shortlisting applicants

To move on to the following stages, reviewing, evaluating, and screening applicants and their cover letters, CVs, and other documents are crucial to finding top-tier employees. The use of technology and software such as Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) can streamline this process and make it faster.

5. Interview stage

Job interviews require careful planning and preparation. The first step in this stage is creating a list of standardized interview questions. Next is deciding what the interview process will be like, how many interviews the candidate will need to go through, and how and by whom they will be conducted. Companies can do phone interviews, video interviews, or traditional in-person interviews.

6. Selection of new hire

After meeting a number of interviewees and potential candidates, it is time to choose a candidate that is the best fit for the role and company culture. Before moving on to the next step, ensure that the candidate’s credentials and references are checked.

7. Extending an offer

Once a candidate is selected, the hiring team makes an offer letter. This stage may involve salary and benefits negotiations and back-and-forth discussions, but it ends when the candidate signs the extended offer.

8. Onboarding the new hire

Onboarding is a crucial step in employee retention as it aims to integrate the newcomer with the coworkers, company culture, policies, and more. A carefully designed positive employee experience increases the loyalty of new hires and decreases absenteeism and ramp-up time.

Recruitment Process Steps

Employees are an organization’s most valuable resource.  

Hiring someone that doesn’t fit the bill can be damaging in many ways. As mentioned in “The Cost of a Bad Hire article, the consequences of a single bad hire can cause a ripple effect with lasting harmful effects.  

In fact, the average cost of a single bad hire is almost $15,000.  

Undoubtedly, a poor recruitment strategy costs money and time.  

On the other hand, effective recruitment can help a company achieve faster and greater levels of growth. Well-organized recruitment processes deliver top quality, more engaged hires, providing a competitive advantage that directly impacts business performance.   

Thus, the recruitment and selection process is one of the most critical HR functions and vital to long-term organizational growth. Investing time in designing and implementing an effective recruitment process produces many benefits.


  • Increased profitability and lower hiring costs – Shorter recruitment cycles increase the performance of your business and reduce the overall cost-per-hire.  
  • Higher productivity – A recruitment process that is easy to navigate and moves quickly translates into faster time to competence. The quicker new hires are confirmed and onboarded, the sooner they will deliver results.   
  • Better quality of new hires – Fast-tracking top talent means retaining their interest and being more likely to recruit them. A slow and vague process is frustrating and may leave them disappointed and looking for opportunities elsewhere.  
  • Improved HR function – A practical and automated recruiting process frees up valuable time for HR teams to invest in other strategic areas to support the organization’s overarching goals. 
  • Avoid legal issues – An established, outlined, and documented recruiting and selection process ensures the process is transparent and fair. Merit-based hiring eradicates the risk of any discrimination against workers.

On a Final Note 

The recruitment process is anything but simple. However, HR professionals can follow specific steps and create a structured flowchart guaranteeing success and gaining a significant competitive advantage.

Written by shortlister editorial team

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