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A solid recruitment process can help you to attract and retain talent — a team you can count on to get the job done. But it's no secret that finding loyal, dedicated talent isn't an easy feat. Recruiting takes time, and that only means that your recruitment process to find people with the skills and experience that you need is incredibly important in mitigating the stress and moving things along more smoothly.

Here's why a functional recruitment process is important, and what the five stages of any recruitment process that works generally look like.

Why it’s important to have a solid recruitment process

Again, a recruitment process can help you to find the talent you need to fit your company culture, work hard, collaborate well with others and help the company to succeed. Because finding talent with the right skills and experience can be like looking for a needle in a haystack at times, having a strong recruitment process is important. 

The best kind of recruitment program is one that attracts a large number of qualified applicants who will all make it through the screening process and, ultimately, say yes to offers when they're offered a position. But this kind of recruitment program takes work to, well, work. Some recruitment processes may fail to attract an adequate talent pool as they may undersell the company or the job; likewise, they might not screen applicants very well before the selection process, which can lead to candidates saying no or turning out to not be the best fits for the company culture.

So it's important to have a solid recruitment process so that companies can spend as little time and money as possible finding and training talent.

What are the 5 stages of the recruitment process?

There are generally five stages of the recruitment process, regardless of company size or needs.

1. Planning

The first stage in the recruitment process is the planning stage, which involves translating probable job vacancies and information surrounding those vacancies into a set of objectives and/or targets that specify just how many and what types of job applicants will be needed to fill those roles.

Organizations will likely try to plan to attract more applicants than they will actually hire so that they have some choice. After all, it's likely that at least some of those candidates who are contacted will be uninterested, unqualified, overqualified or all of the above. Therefore, the first step to the recruitment process is determining the number of applicants that are necessary to fill all of the vacancies with legitimately qualified individuals.

Here's an example from Management Study HQ:

"Companies calculate yield ratios (yRs) which express the relationship of applicant inputs to outputs at various decision points," according to Management Study HQ. "For example, assume that an organization attempting to recruit salespeople ran a series of newspaper advertisements. The advertisement generated resumes from 2,000 applicants, of which 200 were judged to be potentially qualified (yR = 10:1). Of these 200, 40 attended the interview for final selection (yR = 5:1). Of these 40, 30 were actually qualified and offered jobs (yR=4:3); and of the 30, 20 accepted (yR = 3:2). In this case, the overall yR is 100: I. Thus, a requirement of 30 hires, during a specified period, would mean a recruitment target of 3,000. The yRs must be used with circumspection. No yRs will be available for recruiting employees for the first time, or for recruiting sources or methods that have not yet been tried. Recruiters in such cases have to depend upon their counterparts in other organizations or make their own guesses."

2. Strategy Development

Then, once the company knows just how many and what kinds of candidates it needs, it'll have to decide on its strategy and develop that strategy. This entails deciding on whether to make or buy employees, whether or not to use technological sophistication and selection devices, consider the geographic distribution of labor markets comprising job seekers, how it'll source recruitment and more.

What does it mean to make or buy candidates? Companies need to decide whether to hire less-skilled employees and then invest on training them via hands-on mentoring and education programs or to hire skilled professionals who already know the ropes, but who will likely ask for and warrant higher pay.

3. Searching

Searching involves two steps: 

  1. Source Activation
  2. Selling

Source Activation refers to the fact that "sources and search methods are activated by the issuance of an employee requisition," according to Management Study HQ. "This means that no actual recruiting takes place until line managers have verified that a vacancy does exist or will exist." 

Meanwhile, selling refers to where the company will advertise without overselling their virtues.

"In selling the company, both the message and the media deserve attention," according to Management Study HQ. "Message refers to the employment advertisement. With regard to media, it may be stated that the effectiveness of any recruiting message depends on the media. Media are several-some have low credibility, (employment exchanges, for example) while others enjoy high credibility (advertisements in business magazines, for example). Selection of medium or media needs to be done with a lot of care."

4. Screening

Screening is arguably one of the most important steps of the recruitment process. This refers to the part when candidates are more closely reviewed and shortlisted. Some will be interviewed during this process for additional screening beyond reviewal of their resumes, cover letters, references and other materials.

This screening part might include several sub-parts. For example, you might screen applicants via phone interviews before bringing in those who've passed phone screenings in for in-person, face-to-face interviews. Skype interviews might also come into play in between phone interviews, and sometimes, candidates will be asked to come back to the office to meet again or with more, new people.

The screening part of the process is meant to weed out bad eggs — all the applicants who don't fit the bill because they don't have the skills or experience necessary for the job. This way, only those applicants who do seem to have what it takes will make it to the interview process, which of course takes time out of people's days.

5. Evaluation

This part of the recruitment process is crucial, though many companies tend to skip it. Evaluating the recruitment process and its success is hugely important for companies so that they know what they can do better the next time around in order to find more qualified talent and save more time and money. 

The evaluation part of the process might include taking the following into consideration:

  • The number of applications received
  • The number of qualified applicants who've applied (and from where)
  • Any comments or remarks on the job board where the job advertisement was posted
  • The number of suitable candidates that have passed screenings for selection
  • The retention of the candidates who were selected
  • The performance of the candidates who were selected
  • The overall cost of the recruitment process

The benefits of an effective recruitment process

There are tons of benefits of an effective recruitment process. Here are three ways that having a solid recruitment process can help a company.

1. An effective recruitment process will save the company money.

An effective recruitment process will save the company money because, the less the company has to spend on advertising a job opening (or paying a recruitment firm to find candidates for it), the better. After all, companies have to consider:

  • Salaries for recruiters
  • Salaries for those spending time on preparing job descriptions, specifications, advertisements and more
  • The cost of advertisements and other recruitment methods like agency fees
  • The cost of producing supporting literature surround job openings
  • The costs of overtime and outsourcing work while the job vacancies remain unfilled

2. An effective recruitment process will save the company time.

An effective recruitment process will save the company time because, the less the company has to spend on searching, the better. This time can be better spent on onboarding and training new-hires who can help the company reach its goals. Time wasted on finding more and more talent who either are not adequate or do not accept the job offers given to them, can cost the company a pretty penny and hurt its success.

3. An effective recruitment process will save the company valuable resources.

Recruiting takes not only money and time, but also valuable resources. For example, the human resources department will have to expend their energy on onboarding new-hires, and mentors and higher-ups will have to spend their time training new-hires. If the recruitment process doesn't work, and the company attracts talent that doesn't fit or talent that isn't loyal and drops out, this wastes a lot of resources. However, a solid recruitment process that finds loyal talent with the skills and experience necessary to get the job done will make the jobs of those in human resources and mentors alike much easier.

The hiring process isn't necessarily easy. But, if you take the right steps to find the right talent, you can create a power team that'll help your company find success.

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