15 Strategies for an Effective Recruitment Process

The recruitment process is in dire need of an overhaul. In a recent BambooHR survey, 83% of respondents say they've had bad experiences during the hiring or onboarding process, including being ghosted, facing discrimination, and dealing with rude hiring managers.

With 75% of employees admitting they've thought about leaving their job in the past year, the job market is still very much in flux, meaning your organization has an opportunity to attract great talent and give all those unsatisfied workers a reason to put in their notice. To seal the deal, you need a strong recruiting strategy and process.

In this article, we’ll dig into how you can build an effective recruitment process in 15 steps, so you can move quickly and keep top talent engaged.

Free Download: Interview Scorecard

Keep your interview process running smoothly with BambooHR's customizable scorecard. You'll be able to prepare interview questions, document candidates' responses, and keep multiple interviewers on the same page.

Download the Interview Scorecard

What Is Recruiting?

Recruiting is the process of finding, attracting, and selecting a new employee to fill a job opening in an organization. Human resource managers typically lead this process, usually in collaboration with a recruiter, the hiring manager for the open position, and other team members, like executive leadership and financial team members.

A good recruitment process allows you to find qualified candidates quickly and efficiently, but it requires intentional planning and constant evaluation. The recruitment process trends to involve the following stages:

To help you put in place an effective recruitment process or reevaluate your current process, here are more details on what to prioritize during recruitment.

15 Steps to Help You Build a Winning Recruitment Process

1. Showcase Your Mission and Values

Recruitment is a two-way street. Just as candidates invest time in impressing potential employers by sharing their experience and skills, your business should do the same in attracting talent by illustrating why people should work for you.

Since your candidates will likely research your company online, it’s crucial to establish a strong digital brand. Make sure you clearly display and communicate your company’s mission and values across your website and social media pages.

2. Identify Company Needs

Create a list of organizational needs before you draft a job posting. It may seem easy to identify the hiring need when you’re replacing an employee who just left, but the task gets more difficult if you’re creating a new position or changing the responsibilities of a role.

» Learn More: 3 Reasons Your Organization Needs a Talent Philosophy

3. Invest in Recruitment Software

Use an applicant tracking system (ATS) to maximize your automation needs. You’ll be able to automate where you’re posting job listings, track the number of applicants, and filter resumes to find the most qualified applicants. Saving time on these administrative tasks means you’ll be able to spend more time getting to know potential hires.

4. Write the Job Description

Creating a good job description is a vital piece in crafting an effective recruitment strategy. Once you understand your business and teams’ needs, determine the duties and responsibilities of the role and write them out. As you write the description, be sure to collaborate with the prospective employee’s manager.

5. Create a Recruitment Plan and Job Ad

Strategize the best ways to get the word out about the job. Determine who will review resumes, schedule interviews, and decide on the most essential attributes and skills needed for the job, which you’ll put in the job ad.

The job ad helps communicate the organization’s needs and expectations to a potential candidate. Being as specific as possible in the job ad will help attract and find candidates who can meet the role’s demands.

6. Build an Employee Referral Program

Create an employee referral program to involve your employees in the recruitment process. They’ll be more motivated to spread the word about the opening and will likely lead you to more qualified candidates. In a study by Columbia researchers, an employee referral program resulted in 70% more good hires than other channels.

But it’s important to incentivize or reward high quality referrals. In the same study, “strong connections”—referrals employees had known over a year—were almost three times more likely to “result in a good hire” compared to weaker referrals, who were just online acquaintances.

7. Find Candidates

Searching for candidates can be the most time-consuming part of recruiting. Use keyword recruitment tools to cut down on your search time and weed out unqualified applicants.

You can also add to your recruiting pipeline by being more open and inclusive in your hiring practices. Tap into neglected talent pools, like people with criminal records.

» Learn More: 10 Diversity Recruiting Strategies That Support Inclusive Hiring

8. Move Fast to Recruit Top-Tier Candidates

The best candidates likely have many options, and you’ll need to maintain timely communication, or they’ll move on to other opportunities—your speed matters.

One way to speed things up is to use a mobile hiring app so you can review top candidates right on your smartphone, whether you’re in the office or on the go.

9. Conduct a Phone Screening

Once you have your eye on certain applicants, conduct a phone screening to narrow down the selection process.

10. Interview Promptly

Whether you hold the interview in person or over video call, you should ideally get your top picks in for an interview within a week of the phone screen. If the process stretches too long, candidates may lose interest.

After interview, keep candidates in the loop about where your team is in the recruitment process and how long it will take to get back to them with your decision. And then be sure to follow up, even if you decide they’re not a good fit.

11. Offer the Job

Just because you offer someone a job doesn’t mean they’ll accept. Of course, you need to include the standard information—job title, pay rate, and work schedule—but consider highlighting the unique benefits the candidate will access at your organization.

For example:

Expect the process to take time, and be ready to negotiate salary.

» Learn More: Which Benefits Do Employees Really Want?

12. Conduct a Background & Reference Check

After the offer is accepted, it’s time to verify the new hire’s background information and qualifications. This process is crucial for maintaining compliance, trust, and safety, but it’s also a common roadblock in the recruitment process

You’ll want to build enough time in your hiring timeline to get a hold of references, for example, or receive background check results, if you use a third-party provider.

If you’re looking for faster, more accurate, and fairer results, BambooHR integrates with Checkr, which uses AI and machine learning to seamlessly add background checks into a candidate’s portfolio.

Discover Powerful ATS Integrations

BambooHR partners with Greenhouse, Workable, and other leading applicant tracking systems to make integrations a breeze.

Explore the Marketplace

13. Gather New Hire Paperwork

Before a new hire can start work, you need to gather all the necessary paperwork, but that shouldn’t mean handing new employees a mountain of paperwork.

Here’s a quick breakdown of how HR software and electronic signatures can speed up the process and save you money to boot:

Signed, sealed, delivered documents—no hassle, no paper!

Did you know electronic signatures can help you save up to $300 and 30 hours for every new hire? BambooHR helps you go digital for fast, organized document signing that’s painless for everyone.

Learn How to Go Digital Today

14. Onboard Your New Employee

Now that you’ve chosen the candidate who’ll be joining your team, the fun begins! Get the new hire started on the right food with an engaging onboarding process, focusing on helping them transition successfully into the company.

For example, assigning a mentor or a buddy and setting up one-on-one time with managers can help your new hire feel welcome from the get-go and learn the ropes more quickly.

15. Review Recruitment Data

Your work isn’t over yet! Review your recruitment data to continually improve and refine the process. Invest in a comprehensive data analytics system to understand how your recruitment process is performing, including:

What Is Full Life Cycle Recruiting?

Full life cycle recruiting refers to the entire end-to-end process of finding, screening, hiring, and onboarding new employees.

It frames recruiting as a complete process that should continue even after a great candidate has been interviewed or offered a position.

Full life cycle recruiting is typically broken into six steps, each of which moves the company closer to finding the best candidate for the job:

  1. Preparing: Promoting your employer brand, building recruitment strategy and plan, writing the job description and ad
  2. Sourcing: Posting the job ad, relying on employee referrals, searching for qualified candidates
  3. Screening: Reviewing resumes, conducting phone screens
  4. Selecting: Conducting interviews, evaluating candidates
  5. Hiring: Sending offer letter, negotiating job details
  6. Onboarding: Welcoming, training, and integrating new hires

As you review and refine your recruitment process, consider how you can apply this holistic perspective in your recruitment process, providing a satisfying, consistent candidate experience from end to end. Building in this kind of consistency in your recruitment process is what turns high-quality candidates into long-term employees.

Onboard to Engage: 4 Critical Questions for New Hires

Did you know you can increase engagement and retention through more meaningful conversations during onboarding? Tina Schust Robinson, founder of WorkJoy, will show you how.

Watch On Demand