Fundamentals of Recruitment
What is Recruitment?
Recruitment is a core function of the Human Resource department. It is a process that involves everything from identifying, attracting, screening, shortlisting, interviewing, selecting, hiring, and onboarding employees.
The recruitment teams can be large or small depending on the size of an organization. However, in smaller organizations, recruitment is typically the responsibility of a recruiting manager.
Many organizations outsource their recruiting needs, while some companies rely exclusively on advertisements, job boards, and social media channels to recruit talent for new positions. Many companies of today, use recruitment software to make their recruitment process more effective and efficient.
What goes into a perfect Recruitment Process?
An efficient recruitment process is an organization-specific sourcing model that aims to find the right fit for the right job at the right time. It is a step-by-step approach to bringing in talented people who can help the company grow. An all-inclusive recruitment process has 5 key phases but it may vary from company to company depending on the business vertical, organizational structure, size of the company, nature of operations, existing recruitment workflow and selection process.
Importance of a Strong Recruitment Process
Any foolproof recruitment process is typically targeted towards attracting qualified candidates and encouraging maximum possible job seekers to apply. This makes it possible to build a big pool of talented players in a tight job market and minimizes the time involved in finding candidates and filling roles for the present and future requirements of the company. A well-planned and thoughtfully crafted recruitment process helps the hiring team filter the right candidates faster while staying focused on engaging the eligible candidates for maximum conversions. The recruitment process not only reflects the company’s professionalism but also helps attract the right kind of candidates while saving the time and money spent on identifying, attracting, engaging, recruiting and retaining talent.
7 Stages in a Recruitment Process
The recruitment lifecycle consists of seven interrelated steps which are as follows:
1. Identifying The Hiring Needs
Whether a job opening is newly formed or just vacated, you cannot find what you need if you don’t know what you need in the first place. So, your recruitment process should start with identifying the vacancies that exist followed by analyzing the job specifications including the knowledge, skills and experience needed for the role. Here’s how you can determine your hiring needs:
- Figure out where the gaps are in your current team. Check if you have new needs in terms of ability, performance or personality. Ask yourself if you need someone to take care of something that is not being addressed currently. This will tell you that there is a hiring need.
- Keep a track of input versus output when it comes to your team. See if there is an increase in workload that needs to be addressed by hiring.
- Regularly analyse performance and make a list of missing qualities, qualifications, skills and proficiencies that you need to add to your team. This can also signal towards hiring needs.
- Be mindful of existing employees leaving. This is definitely when you will have a hiring need.
Every time you recognize that there is indeed a hiring need, act before it becomes a pressing matter.
The recruitment process starts off with recruitment planning that involves analyzing and describing job specifications, qualifications, experience, and skills required to fill the open positions.
If the recruitment plan is not well-structured, it may fail to attract potential employees from a pool of candidates.
Factors that influence Recruitment
- Size of the organization
- Salary structure
- Work culture and working condition within the organization
- The growth rate of the organization
- The current state of employment in the economy
Setting up the best Recruitment Team
A strong recruitment team ensures a strong recruitment process. The team’s role in the recruitment process is crucial because one wrong decision can affect the productivity of the entire workforce.
The best recruitment team should be able to:
- Clearly identify the job vacancy and define the qualities of an ideal candidate.
- Write a clear job description to enable candidates to understand the job and to assess whether they are the right fit.
- Create an outline detailing the qualities needed in an ideal candidate, which will also help later during the candidate selection process.
2. Preparing The Job Description
Once you know exactly what you need in terms of knowledge, skills and experience, it is time to determine the duties and responsibilities of the job. Preparing a comprehensive job description (JD) will help you know what your potential employees must have in order to meet the demands of the role. More importantly, it provides your prospects with a checklist or a list that they can compare themselves to before applying. It is a tool to ensure that you get applications from the right candidates (hopefully).
A job description must include all of the following and can be as comprehensive as you want:
- Duties & Responsibilites
- Qualification & Skills
- Compensation, Perks & Benefits
Checklist to Crafting the Perfect Job Description
- Company Name & Description
- Core Values
- Benefits Offered
- Job Title
- Industry Pay
- Description of Duties
- Demand (specific skill set, knowledge, experience or training required for the job)
- Qualities that are nice to have and would be an added advantage
- A conversational CTA
3. Talent Search
Identifying the right talent, attracting them and motivating them to apply are the most important aspects of the recruitment process. The job listing should be advertised internally to generate referrals as well as externally on popular social networking sites and preferred job boards. Recruiters can also conduct job fairs and promote openings in leading industry publications to cast a wider net. Broadly, there are two sources of recruitment that can be tapped for a talent search:
Internal Sources of Recruitment
When recruiters use internal sources for recruitment, it works to motivate the existing employees to be more productive and maximizes their job satisfaction and sense of security. Recruiting through internal sources also reduces the attrition rate along with cost and effort.
The recruiter can fill a vacancy in a different location without any changes in the job role, status, or salary of the employee by transferring a suitable candidate from within the organization.
A vacancy can also be filled by offering a high performing employee to take over a senior position within the organization for handling additional responsibilities along with a raise. Promotions motivate employees to perform better and also reduce the attrition rate.
Depending on the performance of the employees, sometimes the management has to take the decision of lowering the position of underperformers. These employees then become a source for filling the lower positions.
The employees of your organization can spread the word and create a buzz on their social media accounts to help you fill your vacancies. Have an employee referral program where employees are incentivized for bringing in suitable candidates can also help accelerate the recruitment process.
- Retired Employees
In case of an emergency or a mission-critical project, retired employees can also be called in to fill a position for a short period till an appropriate candidate is found.
- Previous Applicants
Keeping applicants on file who have previously applied and didn’t make the cut the first time around makes for a resourceful database. They can be reached out to when matching positions open up.
External Sources of Recruitment
Recruiting through external sources offers a much wider scope for selection from a big number of qualified candidates. The process moves much faster even for bulk requirements while eliminating the chances of partiality or biases.
Advertisements help recruiters build a solid brand identity that attracts efficient manpower. You can go with the traditional approach by using print media or use digital media for better results at a reduced cost.
- Job Portals
With the growing use of the internet, job portals have come to play a crucial role in connecting companies with candidates. These portals are a preferred platform for jobseekers looking for better career prospects so they make an excellent source for recruiters to tap the top industry talent.
- Company’s Careers Site
A mobile-friendly, branded careers site that conveys your work culture and integrates with the company’s social profiles not only makes it easier for your potential employees to apply but also attracts top industry talent with a professional theme, attractive headers, compelling content and engaging employee videos. An ATS-integrated careers site also eliminates the hassles of manual job postings while improving the candidate experience dramatically with a customizable application process.
- Social Networking Platforms
Social networking sites are the place to find the most qualified, potential recruits and as a recruiter you would not want to miss out on this massive pool of talent. With a combined user base of 535 million, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter offer you a perfect opportunity to end up with highly skilled and efficient candidates for your company.
- Placement Agencies
Placement agencies are a perfect solution for those hard-to-fill vacancies that often demand a lot of time, effort and resources. These agencies employ various tools and techniques to find top talent for your company faster, at a reduced cost.
- Job Fairs
Job fairs are a one-stop public event offering easy access to a large pool of talent for bulk requirements. They bring you an opportunity to create brand awareness without having to advertise and you also get to network with other similar corporations while saving a lot of time and money.
- Campus Placements
Campus placements are a quick and inexpensive way to find suitable candidates, who are competent, energetic, enthusiastic and most importantly interested in working for you.
- Professional Bodies
Professional management bodies like Institute of Company Secretary, All India Management Association, Indian Medical Association, Institute of Chartered Accountants, Institution of Engineers, etc. maintain an up-to-date database of trained and qualified professionals in their respective fields and make a great resource for tapping top industry talent.
4. Screening and Shortlisting
In order to move forward with the recruitment process, you need to screen and shortlist applicants efficiently and accurately. This is where the recruitment process gets difficult and challenging. You can resolve this recruitment bottleneck by following these four steps:
Steps to Effectively Screen or Shortlist Candidates
- Screen applications on the basis of minimum qualifications.
- Next, sort resumes that have the preferred credentials by looking at their certifications, relevant experience, domain expertise, technical competencies and other specific skills that are required for the role.
- Then, shortlist candidates who have both the preferred credentials and the minimum qualifications.
- Finally, flag any concerns or queries in the resume so they can be clarified during the interview.
No wonder, the most arduous task of the recruitment process is reviewing resumes. Fortunately, you can make this complicated, time-consuming task a total breeze with an applicant tracking system that is designed to screen resumes in a jiffy. Using an ATS will ensure that you have an unbiased, objective filter that will smartly wade through the sea of resumes to narrow down your talent pool in no time!
The shortlisted applications will now move through the interview process prior to receiving an offer letter or a rejection note. Depending on the size of the hiring team and their unique recruitment needs, several interviews may be scheduled for every candidate.
Telephonic Screening/Video Interviewing
This is a quick, easy and convenient way to screen candidates and their capabilities. The telephonic or video interview is also your first opportunity to leave a lasting first impression on your potential employees. So, while you need to keep your very first interview short, make sure you also take the time to screen them against the knowledge, skills and experience mentioned in your job description, so you can eliminate the irrelevant profiles first.
- Psychometric Testing
This is a very crucial step of the selection process because the information revealed from this assessment will help you know if your potential employees will perform and stay productive in the long haul. This screening is absolutely unbiased yet an important eliminator that efficiently identifies the right fit for any job. Psychometric tests can be your reference model for any given position because these tests specify the complete personality profile, behavior, flexibility, aptitude, creativity, communication and problem-solving skills that are required to perform in a given position.
- Face-to-Face Interviewing
Personal interviews can last longer because this is the last step before the recruiter does a final evaluation and makes the job offer. Final interviews may be conducted by the top management and are typically extended to a very small pool of standout candidates. The final choice should be agreed upon at this stage along with a backup candidate selection.
6. Evaluation and Offer of Employment
This is the final stage of the recruitment process. You should never take it for granted that the candidate will accept your offer. However, if your candidate has patiently completed all the paperwork and waited through the selection process, the odds of accepting the offer are high.
- Things you Should do Once you Zero in on a Candidate
The recruitment process is not easy, so if you have a structured format to follow, you wind up with more time to stay focused on finding the right fit for your business.
- Checking the References
Once the final selection for a position is done, it is time to check the candidate’s professional references and verify all the employment details. If you find that everything is in order, it is time to draft your employment contract and make the offer.
- Making the Job Offer
The offer letter should include everything from the start date and the conditions of employment to the work hours and the compensation while ensuring that every detail is clear and unambiguous.
Every new hire feels awkward at first, but you can win some really good loyalty points here by putting in some extra effort and helping your new hire settle in. Instead of just showing them around the office and making sure all the essential supplies are handy, make them feel welcome by making special arrangements for lunch and getting colleagues to talk about non-work stuff.
- Evaluation and Optimization of the Recruitment Process
Given the considerable amount of time, effort, cost and resources involved in the recruitment process, evaluation becomes imperative. While it may not be humanely possible for you to stay on top of everything at every stage of the recruitment process, having an ATS with real-time dashboards and analytics reporting will keep you organized with all your mission-critical data. Recruiting metrics reveal valuable insights into how well your recruitment process is working and also help you identify areas of improvement.
7. Introduction and Induction of the New Employee
When applicants accept the job offer, they officially become the employees of the company. The joining date and time is communicated to the employee. Once that’s done, pre-employment screening that includes reference and background checks are conducted. Once the verification is done, the employees are then introduced to the organization. The induction process of the employees then begins. During the induction process, a welcome kit is usually given to the new employees, and then the employment contract is signed.
Modern Methods of Recruitment
- Networking Events
HR events, job fairs, open houses, seminars, and conferences offer a perfect recruitment platform. HR professionals with relevant and sustained relationships can easily acquire candidates and interns from different disciplines at these events. These events can also be leveraged to offer candidates a VR experience. Virtual reality will give your potential employees a realistic picture of your company and culture through an engaging video!
- Body Shopping
Body shopping has become one of the most popular methods of recruitment for professional organizations and training institutes that are creating a talent pool for future employment. Potential employers can approach these organizations to recruit trained and skilled talent. These training institutes and professional organizations do the body shopping which is commercially known as employee leasing.
Companies are now also attracting potential candidates by offering company ownership in stocks to employees through an employee stock ownership program.
- Social Media
The possibilities of social media recruiting are endless if you are willing to think beyond the big four — LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Recruiters are now going innovative with their recruitment and selection methods and trying apps like Bumble, Tinder, Snapchat, and Spotify to hunt talent. Why don’t you?
- Employer Review Sites
Glassdoor must be a part of every company’s recruitment strategy. In a digital era where everything is rated and reviewed online, including employers; recruiters cannot afford to miss out on this approach. Most modern-day job seekers research the company’s culture, perks, pay, pros and cons. So make the most of employer review sites and if you find any flaws, now is the time to optimize your methods of recruitment.
- Mobile Recruitment and Video Interviewing
A mobile recruitment strategy is no longer an option. In fact, it is the only way to connect with Millennials and Gen Z candidates. A mobile-responsive recruitment process will ensure that you are easily accessible for busy job-seekers and don’t miss out on talented candidates who are always on-the-go.
Video interviewing is a relatively new recruitment method that makes it much easier for recruiters to screen candidates while ensuring a convenient and positive candidate experience. With video interviews, recruiters can ask unlimited questions and view the responses at a convenient time. This lessens the number of on-site interviews and accelerates the initial screening process.
If we would have gone in the order of importance, analytics would have topped this list of innovative recruitment methods. Applicant tracking system leverages artificial intelligence to identify if its methods of recruitment are getting them the results they want. ATS also tracks the performance of every source so recruiters know which channel is getting them the most hires successfully.
Applicant tracking systems generate accurate reports that measure everything from sourcing candidates to onboarding new hires. Analytics give recruiters actionable insights into different processes and procedures which enables recruiters to modify their methods of recruitment and maximize the conversion rate.
- Inclusive Job Adverts
The wording of your job ads matters a lot; if you are not careful about it, you can hurt the sentiments of various groups of candidate population, including women, older people, ethnic minorities, etc. Consider using an AI-driven writing tool to avoid such a situation and keep your candidate pool as large as possible. This tool can scan tons of documents and, based on data analysis, can predict what kind of a job advert can succeed.
- Programmatic Advertising
Programmatic advertising is the automated posting of job ads on niche sites that target the candidate profiles you are looking for. However, you need to know your candidates so that you can use programmatic advertising to your advantage.
- Talent Pool Database
Your talent pool has candidates that were not hired but good enough to be saved for future job openings. So, when a new vacancy opens up, searching your talent pool for suitable candidates helps save time.
- Rehiring Past Employees
Known as boomerang employees, these employees have worked with the company earlier but left on good terms. Rehiring past employees is a good recruitment strategy as you know their abilities. Boomerang employees eliminate the risk of a bad hire, reduces time to hire, and reduces the cost per hire.
- Employment Exchanges
Employment exchanges are not available in all countries. It is a government-run initiative that maintains a record of job-seeking unemployed candidates. You can submit your open roles to the exchange. In return, you’ll get the details of suitable candidates. Although this method is cost-effective, it is mostly suited for blue-collared jobs.
- Structured Employment Interviews
Unstructured interviews result in bad hiring decisions based on gut instinct and not on a fair assessment. Structured interviews involve a list of questions that every candidate must answer, thus improving the chances of a fair assessment.
How To Get Job Referrals From People On LinkedIn?
You’re looking for a job and are about to ask someone on LinkedIn to refer you. Follow this guide to increase your chances of getting a referral by messaging someone on LinkedIn.
This article assumes that you are suitable for the role for which you’re seeking a referral. Make sure that you’ve gone through the job opening and that you’re eligible for it. Read the job description and requirements thoroughly and apply only if you satisfy the criteria.
Keep in mind that people are busy. Respect their time. Most of these people get a lot of messages on LinkedIn. You do not want your message to be ignored among the other messages.
There are few steps to getting a successful referral through LinkedIn:
- Expand your idea of your network
Candidates don’t have to rely only on friends and family. Previous co-workers and school alumni can also make valuable referrals. All the people you know have other people they know. If you approach it right, your network can quickly reach exponentially more people.
- Tailor your approach based on the connection
Your request for a referral can be made in several ways. With close associates, you can simply ask in person. For acquaintances, however, you should take a more structured approach. Use a letter, email, or LinkedIn message to make your request.
- Don’t simply ask for a job
Never directly ask for a job. That could put the person on the spot and make the situation uncomfortable. Instead, ask whether they might be able to refer you, or whether they know enough about your work history to feel comfortable referring you for a job. If the person isn’t receptive, you need to adjust your ask to instead request someone’s contact information, a possible introduction, or an informational interview to learn more about their business.
- Offer proof that you’re a good fit for the job in question
For referrers who are not as familiar with your work, offer to provide them with your resume and any other needed information. For creative professionals, this information might include a portfolio of past projects.
- Make it super easy for someone to refer you
Always offer to provide the referrer with the referral text. That will make their job easier if they agree to provide the referral! It’s much quicker to edit a message you provide than type something up on the fly. Remember: the easier you make it to do you a favor, the more likely your favor will be granted!
Recruitment Strategy Using Social Media
We broke down the complicated process of building a social media recruitment strategy into 7 easy to follow steps:
- Choose the right platforms
Social media platforms fall into several different categories. Some are used by casual internet users as a means to communicate with their friends and loved ones. Others prefer using social media as a means for B2B networking, company blogging and other activities.
Choosing the right platform for your specific industry and job description is highly important. For example, you can look for a content manager through Facebook, but you are far more likely to find a talented individual via LinkedIn.
The same rule applies to the type of content you are about to publish. Blog posts work far better on LinkedIn than on Twitter or Instagram. Define your expectations and make sure to choose one (or several) platforms that cater to your specific industry trends.
- Target specific candidates
Searching for a job candidate isn’t as simple as it seems. You can have the best possible job advertisement but if you fail to target the right market — no one will apply for it. Make sure that you are clear about the type of people you want to attract to your company.
Do you want to attract fresh graduates, established professionals or something in between? Do you have special job requirements such as a certain work ethics, background, family status and other characteristics? These are important questions that can help you better determine which candidates your brand really needs.
You can avoid a lot of downtime by simply creating a candidate persona and centering your entire recruitment campaign on it. It will make unfit candidates pass on the application while encouraging others to send their resumes and motivation letters.
- Create a content calendar
Attracting high-quality candidates is all about being consistent and persistent. Make sure that you are ready to create recruitment content for several weeks in advance.
You can automate said content through social media by scheduling it. It will automatically post based on your custom requirements and ensure that you can focus on data evaluation and further content creation. A content calendar will make it easier for people to see your job opening advertisement and react to it.
The more often you post, the better your chances are at being spotted. Make sure not to overdo it, however — social media platforms work much in the same way SEO does. Too much content (even good content) can put you on the blacklist of spam businesses.
- Encourage interaction
Calls to action (CTA) play a huge role in social media recruitment. While it is true that candidates look for work and naturally respond to interesting posts, you need to ensure that it actually happens. Include motivational, moving messages in your job advertisement.
Things like “sign up today — change your tomorrow” and similar should be included in your social media posts. They are easy to digest and make it interesting for social media users to consider and eventually apply for work.
If you are looking for digital nomads or freelancers, you might consider localizing your content for extra measure. Check out the largest translation companies on the web and see if you can find help from a professional translator to do it. After all, chances are that you don’t have Spanish, Chinese or Russian native speakers (to name a few) already on the payroll.
- Set rules and requirements
As far as job descriptions go, you should be aware of any and all details concerning it. This means that you should define the entire application process to the letter before posting anything.
A social media recruitment strategy is not unlike traditional HR recruitment when it comes to rules and requirements. Set strict formatting, documentation and resume rules for your candidates.
Don’t rely on improvisation and don’t expect every application that comes your way. Those that don’t follow your rules are likely to continue doing the same if you accept them. Make sure that you are seen as professional and that you expect nothing less from potential colleagues.
- Communicate via social media
The nature of social media channels dictates direct communication. Your social media pages can easily serve as backdoor customer support for any potential candidates.
People are likely to ask for additional information about the placement, the company itself or the recruitment process. Instruct your social media managers to answer any and all questions in regards to the job opening.
Don’t ignore these messages since they will reflect badly on your social media ranking and overall visibility. Sites such as Facebook and Twitter prefer to display pages that frequently answer private messages as opposed to the ones that don’t. Be a part of the former and show some good will by answering even the marginally-related questions.
- Don’t keep them waiting
Social media platforms encourage fast response times and quick turnaround of information. Follow this logic if you plan on using social media recruitment.
Once the applications start coming in, make sure that you get back to the candidates as soon as possible. If nothing else, create an automated response message which will ensure great candidate experience.
Your company can get a lot of bad reputation by ignoring direct messages, especially if it’s something as important as job placement. Whoever sent you their resumes is in dire need of employment. Show them the respect they deserve by responding with additional questions or an interview appointment as soon as you can in order to avoid bad candidate experience.
Note: I have taken few references for this article from jobsoid.com, talentlyft.com and workat.tech