Organizational Wellness

Six Phases of the Recruitment Process

Jun 21, 2023
Last Updated Jun 21, 2023

Hiring feels like it should be a simple process: Post a job opening, then hire the best candidate who applies. Done! Right?

Not quite. Putting together a team full of top performers requires an active recruitment process. From the work you put in before the opportunity is posted to how you welcome a new hire after they accept an offer, each step impacts the employees your business is able to attract. Refining your recruitment process is time well spent. Here are six steps you can use to get started. 

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  1. Needs Assessment and Marketing Strategy

A successful talent acquisition strategy starts with identifying and attracting quality candidates to the position. It requires a thorough understanding of the job itself and a strategic plan to get your opportunity in front of the right audience. 

Incorporating DEBI Best Practices

DEBI (Diversity, Equity, Belonging, and Inclusion) best practices for hiring help recruiters foster a varied and welcoming workforce. It’s important to have these principles top of mind throughout the recruitment process, from writing inclusive job descriptions to proactively seeking candidates from diverse backgrounds, leveraging diverse sourcing channels, and partnering with organizations focused on diversity recruitment. Deploying such tactics creates a workforce that’s more innovative and creative. Furthermore, diverse teams are better equipped to understand and cater to diverse customer needs, resulting in improved customer satisfaction and business performance. Embracing DEI as a business strategy enables recruiters to attract top talent, enhance employer branding, and foster a positive and inclusive work culture.

Writing the Job Description

To start, hiring managers determine what their ideal candidate looks like for the job opening. They identify desired skills, qualifications, experience, and other relevant factors. Once they have a clear idea of their perfect candidate profile, they can create a job description with relevant keywords and bullet points that set explicit job expectations.

Choosing Distribution Channels

Next, it's time to devise a plan to reach the right talent pool. This could involve researching industry trends to understand where potential job seekers are looking for opportunities. Recruiters might choose a combination of channels to reach as many candidates as possible, such as:

  • Job boards like Indeed, ZipRecruiter, or Monster.
  • Social media like Linkedin or Facebook.
  • Industry networks on platforms like Slack or Reddit.
  • An internal employee referral program.
  • Their website's careers page.

Developing a Robust Application Process

It's important to design the application so it provides sufficient information for the phase two of the recruitment process, applicant screening. Consider including questions or an assessment that generates more detailed context around the applicant's qualifications. For example, you can ask how they handled specific job-related challenges in the past, have them take a personality test, or request a writing sample.

  1. Applicant Screening and Shortlisting

It’s now time for recruiters to begin sorting through applications to decide who will be passed onto the hiring manager for an interview. 

Leveraging Applicant Tracking Systems

If you have a large volume of applications, using HR automation tools like an applicant tracking system (ATS) can accelerate the process. A typical ATS will utilize keyword-matching algorithms to quickly scan resumes and applications for potentially qualified candidates. It will then create a shortlist of applicants who meet the criteria set out in the job description. The recruiter can then review these potential candidates further and decide their suitability for the position.

A Phone Screening

A phone call with the recruiter can be useful at this point as the last stage before beginning the full interview process. This initial screening tool evaluates a candidate's communication skills, professionalism, and fit for the role. It provides an opportunity to gather key information about the applicant’s background, experience, and qualifications, enabling recruiters to pass a truly tailored list of candidates onto the hiring manager.

  1. The Interview Process

Interviews can be conducted in-person, over the phone, or via video. For positions that will be in-person or hybrid, it’s common to start with a phone call before moving on to an in-office interview. For hiring remote workers, a video interview provides the face-to-face interaction normally provided during a traditional in-person review. 

In addition to asking pertinent interview questions about their background and qualifications, recruiters can also take this opportunity to verify information applicants give on their resumes or applications.

Interviewing Tips

Conducting a successful interview starts before you get on the phone. It’s important to review the candidate's resume, job description, and any relevant notes beforehand. This enables the interviewer to ask relevant and targeted questions. 

Creating a welcoming and comfortable environment for the candidate during the conversation can foster open communication. Actively listening to their responses, maintaining good eye contact, and showing genuine interest will make them feel valued and encourage them to provide more detailed answers. 

Be prepared to take notes during the conversation. Consider using templates with predetermined guidelines to ensure fairness and objectivity when comparing interviewees. This might involve presenting each applicant with the same questions and rating them on a standardized scale based on how well they meet established criteria relevant to the role. 

It is also important to give the candidate an opportunity to ask questions, as it demonstrates their interest and allows for further insight into their motivations and expectations. Lastly, taking thorough notes during the interview and evaluating candidates based on predetermined criteria will facilitate the decision-making process.

  1. The Selection Process

This is when recruiters narrow the candidate list to those with the highest potential for success. This is typically done by comparing applicants' qualifications, cover letters, assessment results, and interview responses.

Analyzing Candidate Qualities

Looking for qualities beyond technical ability or past work experience is important. Candidates will ideally have excellent communication skills, teamwork capabilities, and the ability to learn quickly. Consider how the potential hire responded to questions demonstrating their capacity to apply knowledge to real-world situations. This can help you decide whether the applicant can pull off the tasks for this role.

  1. The Job Offer

Once recruiters have identified the best candidate for the position, it's time to compose and send out a job offer. An ideal job offer is tailored specifically to the candidate and contains all relevant details of the position, including job title, compensation, benefits, and expectations. It also typically includes a timeline with clear deadlines and instructions on how they can formally accept the offer.

Job Offer Etiquette

When sending out a job offer, it's vital to communicate all the details in writing. You can send an email with the terms of the agreement and then follow up with a phone call to congratulate them and answer questions. Having the offer in writing ensures everybody is on the same page when it comes to expectations and compensation packages, while the call helps build rapport and shows your true interest in hiring them.

It's important to keep in mind that accepting or rejecting a job offer can be a tough decision. Giving candidates ample time to think about the offer and respond shows that you respect their agency. The amount of time you give them may differ based on your hiring needs. Consider a timeline that works for both parties, and remember that they may also need to provide their current company two weeks' notice before their official start date.

Running Background Checks

Additionally, during this stage, recruiters may arrange background checks to verify information given by applicants on their resumes or applications. This helps employers ascertain whether potential hires are honest about their past experiences and qualifications. Depending on organizational policies, they may run additional screenings, such as drug tests or psychological assessments.

Post-Offer Evaluation 

After you receive a response to the job offer, it's time to evaluate this round of recruiting. You can assess your recruitment efforts by tracking key performance indicators (KPIs), such as response rates from job postings or application conversion rate. These insights can be used to streamline your process the next time around. 

  1. Onboarding the New Hire

Once both parties agree on all terms within the offer letter, it's time to onboard your new teammate! This often includes setting up employee records in payroll software or HRIS systems, providing comprehensive onboarding documentation, and setting them up with a training program or mentor.

Familiarizing New Hires with the Culture

Onboarding also involves orienting new employees to the company culture and values. To do this, consider formally introducing them to their coworkers and scheduling social time into their workday. Spending more time with the team can help them acclimate faster to the culture, supporting a better working relationship in the long run. 

Reviewing Company Policies

Even though policies and benefits are typically included in job agreement paperwork, consider reviewing them during onboarding. Explaining specific rules and regulations in real-time can help it sink in better for new hires. This could include outlining company vacation expectations or regulations around sharing confidential information externally.

Strengthening Recruitment with Workforce Wellness

In today's competitive job market, a well-structured and effective recruitment process is essential for an organization to attract and retain top talent. You can also strengthen your talent acquisition efforts with a competitive benefits package that makes your job offer stand out from the crowd. 

Today’s workers aren’t content to work for the weekend: Seven out of ten of workers would consider leaving a company that doesn’t focus on employee wellbeing. Publicizing your employee wellbeing program in your job postings makes your dedication to workforce wellness clear from the start of the recruitment process. 

If you want to strengthen your organization’s recruitment efforts with a comprehensive wellness program, reach out to a Wellhub wellbeing specialist today! Our flexible subscription to thousands of wellness partners can support a distributed workforce wherever they are on their wellbeing journey. 



Wellhub Editorial Team

The Wellhub Editorial Team empowers HR leaders to support worker wellbeing. Our original research, trend analyses, and helpful how-tos provide the tools they need to improve workforce wellness in today's fast-shifting professional landscape.


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