Sample Recruitment Process
In light of the fact that it is very difficult to find a sample recruitment process anywhere on the web that goes beyond 4 or 5 single sentence boxes, here is a relatively detailed list of the essential elements of a good recruitment process. It is based on more than 25 years of work involved in recruitment applications and helping clients re-design their selection processes.
Review the Current Recruitment Process:
- Why Are We Hiring? Do we really need to hire a new person for this role? What does our current business plan call for?
- Why is the Position Vacant? Why did the last person leave? (Were they underpaid? Did they leave because of their manager?)
- Exit Interviews. Do we know why other people have left? Is there any pattern?
- Cost Per Hire. What is the cost of hiring an employee for this position? (Advertising Fees, Agency Fees, Employee Referrals, Travel Expenses, Relocation Expenses, Internal Recruiter Costs.)
- Investigate Concerns. Are certain processes too slow, labour intensive, costly? (E.g. psychometric tests, recruitment agencies, advertising methods.)
- Investigate Improvements. Is there new market technology and methodologies? What can we incorporate that other companies are doing?
- Expectations. Consider the company's current image and market reputation. How do we look to prospective employees? Will candidates have pre-conceptions about working for us?
- Employee Value Proposition (EVP). What are we offering to candidates that is unique, relevant and compelling?
- EOC. Are we an "Employer of Choice?" If not, why not?
Review Remuneration and Rewards:
- Review remuneration and benefits package. Ensure that remuneration is linked to core business objectives (e.g. With a sales professional, check if commission structure is linked to profit or revenue).
- Review rewards (e.g. intrinsic motivators and personal interests, such as spending time with family).
Job Analysis / Position Description:
It is not impossible to recruit without a job description, however, a carefully constructed job description is the most crucial part of the entire recruitment process since it is the template for writing the job advertisement; gives the interviewer the criteria they will assess the candidates on; and gives the candidate the duties, responsibilities, targets and expectations that they will need to carry out on-the-job (thus making it a recruitment, management, retention, professional development and performance management tool).
Many times we have worked with companies that reveal long and convoluted job descriptions that mean nothing at the end of the day. The process of creating a job description is more about gaining clarity around the role and the key elements that are truly important for peak performance.
There are several essential aspects that should be targeted as part of every job description:
- The key stakeholders who need to be involved in the process of writing the job description.
- The knowledge, technical skills and personal attributes of the ideal candidate. Distinguish between essential and desirable criteria. (Is attitude more important than technical skills?)
- Describe the full list of responsibilities and duties. Ensure they are clear and well written.
- Define the Key Result Areas (KRAs). This involves grouping responsibilities/duties that are similar and giving them a name (e.g. Customer Service, Marketing, Administration).
- Define the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that will be measured. (E.g. "Achieving sales target of 50 widgets per month.)
- Ensure criteria is fair and does not discriminate.
The complete job description should include things like:
- The Position Title
- The Direct Manager
- Key Relationships
- Division / Business Unit
- Performance Review Date
- General Position Statement
- 3-7 Key Result Areas (KRAs)
- Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for each KRA
Sourcing / Advertising:
There are several key questions that every company must explore at this stage:
- Where will we recruit new talent from?
- What will be the best medium to promote our vacancy?
- Where will the applications be sent?
- How will we communicate (e.g. how will we write the job advertisement?)
- How will we track effective methods of advertising?
The 3 core candidate sources are:
- The active job market (people looking for work).
- The passive job market (headhunting existing workers, e.g. competitors).
- The internal market (people already working in the company, if applicable).
The most common sourcing methods are:
- Job Boards
- Company Website
- Social Media
- Talent Pool
- Word of Mouth
- Print (Magazines, Newspapers)
- Referral Scheme
- Recruitment Agencies
- Database Services
4. Screen / Shortlist
A thorough selection process involves more than just looking for your favourite applicants and ticking 'yes' or 'no'. A selection process is called a process because it should be a standardised system that compares each and every applicant on the same scale to the same criteria every time.
When beginning the screening process, consider the following points:
- Notification. Automatically notify applicants via email that their resume has been received out of courtesy.
- eRecruitment System. For jobs with high volume applications, an automated resume sifting software can screen out resumes which do not meet minimum requirements. Note: these systems can create issues because they usually match candidates on skills and experience, but they lack the human element — the ability to make choices based on intuition.
- Review Resumes. Give resume a suitability score based on key job criteria (e.g. 0-5). This is unique for every job and is developed during the position description phase in the recruitment process.
- Telephone Screen. Some resumes may require more information or need certain aspects of their experience, skills and background to be clarified, so we recommend calling the candidate rather than bringing them in for an interview immediately. The telephone can be used as an initial screening process for all candidates. For jobs with high volume applications, we recommend using a form or template for this process, so that it can be performed by an administrator on your behalf.
- Assessments. Conduct psychometrics test(s) if required at this stage.
- Create a list of the strongest candidates who are most suitable for the role based on the initial screening process. These are the people who you would like to bring in for a face-to-face interview.
It is particularly important to update candidates on where they stand throughout the process. Good quality candidates are usually interviewing for multiple jobs at the same time, so keeping in regular contact is extremely important (otherwise they might accept another job without telling you).
- Update Successful Candidates. Confirm interview date/time/location with candidates that have made it through the screening stage.
- Update Unsuccessful Candidates. Candidates that do not make it through the screening stage should be notified in a respectful way so they can get on with their job search.
- Update Talent Pool. Save the unsuccessful candidates' information so they can be updated when future opportunities come up.
It is important to ensure that you are clear on the full job requirements, including the remuneration details, and are prepared to answer any questions that the candidate may ask.
- Have a standardised application form ready for the candidate to fill out and sign on arrival.
- Have a standardised question form. This a short list of questions to ask each candidate, which has been developed around the key job criteria from the position description (especially the KRAs and KPIs).
- Have full position description and remuneration details ready.
- Have their resume and cover letter ready with any notes about questions to ask.
1st Stage Interview:
The 1st interview is a chance to get to know them as an individual. The idea of additional interviews is to get into specifics of what they can bring to the business.
Some key things to keep in mind during the 1st interview:
- Ensure that the setting is comfortable and private.
- Very briefly introduce yourself, then explain the purpose of the interview, the length of time it will run, and the way in which you will conduct the interview. (E.g. "This is a preliminary interview to help me get to know you, and get a feel for who you are; and so you can get a feel for us too and ask any questions about the company and the role. Just so you know, I will be referring to this form which has a series of questions. The questions are quite short, and if possible we'd like you to keep the answers fairly succinct as well, since we only have 20 minutes. If you need any clarification about any particular question, don't hesitate to ask. I'll be taking notes as we go; this is a standard part of the process, so please don't worry when I start writing as you talk. Ok, so I have your resume and cover letter here, but in your own words could you explain what brings you here to apply for this role?")
- Refer to the question form to help guide the conversation.
- If any answer is incomplete or ambiguous, ask for additional clarification.
- Take detailed notes.
- Let them do the majority of the talking.
- Do not, at any point, offer judgements or criticism about them or their career.
- Allow time for the applicant to ask questions.
- Conduct psychometric assessment(s) if required. (Assessments might be conducted before, during or after the interview.)
- At the wrap up, let them know what the next step will be. (E.g. "You will be emailed before Friday if you are required for additional interviews. If you are unsuccessful for whatever reason, we will still contact you before Friday to let you know so that you can continue your job search.")
1st Reference Check:
It is natural for candidates to present themselves only in a positive light. A reference check is a way of validating what has been communicated during the selection process. The first reference check should be done before progressing to a second or third interview with other decision makers as a way to avoid wasting time on the wrong people.
- Inform the candidate beforehand if you intend to check any references.
- Use a standardised reference check form to assess candidate on key job criteria.
2nd and 3rd Stage Interviews:
The second, third (and further) interviews are a chance to drill down into a candidate's true fit. You can explore specific technical, business and other critical knowledge the person has and how they intend to add value to your business.
- Include additional stakeholders.
- Use information from psychometric tests and the 1st reference check to assist in formulating new questions for the candidate.
- Use the full position description as a guide for these interviews and ask specific questions around the key result areas (KRAs) and the key performance indicators (KPIs).
- Focus on behavioural-based interviewing questions (e.g. "Can you give me an example of a specific situation when you had to . . . ?")
- Include a simulation (either verbal or experiential) where the candidate is given a situation similar to that encountered on the job.
2nd and 3rd Reference Checks:
Again, these reference checks should be about validating what you have heard and collect further information on areas of concern about the candidate. Depending on the position you are recruiting for, some businesses choose to do additional background or skill checking. This might include:
- Qualification checks
- Police checks
- Skill assessments
- Social media background check
- Review results from their resume, interviews, assessments and references.
- Review and rank the shortlist in order from highest to lowest preference.
- Agree on the final preference with key stakeholders.
Offer of Employment:
Once you are satisfied with a particular applicant and wish to offer them a position, it is important that they have something in writing fairly quickly. This is especially important for people you know are considering more than one opportunity. This should include things like start dates, position title, salary package, working conditions, special requirements etc.
- Send Letter of Offer outlining terms of engagement, remuneration and benefits.
- Phone the candidate and discuss the offer to ensure the terms are clear.
- Once accepted, inform other applicants and update the talent pool.
An induction process helps make sure your hiring is as successful as possible. Many companies struggle to build effective induction processes, which means that all the hard work involved in selecting the right person is undone as the new recruit flounders around trying to get a “lay of the land”. This opens the gate for them to learn bad habits and to degrade a team or company’s image. It is of the utmost importance that they are guided in the initial stages of their employment.
Some key things to consider when developing an induction process include:
- Who will handle the induction? Who else’s involvement will they need?
- How long will the induction require? How many hours each day or week and how long will the whole process take?
- Is there a plan or process to follow? Who needs to sign off on it?
- What resources will be required? What samples, training material, external training will be needed?
We suggest the following components of a good training/induction manual:
- Company Information: This section should deal with more than the history of the business. It should go to a deeper level and describe the philosophy, mission, vision, standards and all the other inner workings (or systems) of the business or department.
- Product/Service Information: This section must cover the different solutions provided by the business and its departments. This should also include where to go to find answers or more information about the different solutions.
- Marketplace Information: This section needs to include the factors that affect the business and the market they operate in (e.g. trends, industry publications, major competitors, where the business fits in the industry etc).
We also believe that it is important to have a friend to help the new recruit to get off to a flying start:
- Buddy / Mentor System: We suggest pairing the new employee with someone who is friendly and able to convey important ground rules about the way that the company, as well as different team members, like to operate.