5 Steps to a Successful Recruitment Process

recruitment process drawing

Recruiting employees can be quite tricky since finding the right candidate for a position is not an exact science. The recruitment process is usually a long drawn out affair. But, planning ahead can save you some time, and help you make the right decision in the long run.

1. Identifying your recruitment goals

As the recruitment process can be quite time-consuming, it’s important to break it down into smaller components as this will make it more manageable. Deciding on which recruitment strategy to follow is crucial, but you should also start by thinking about your goals and expectations. What are you hoping to achieve? You are probably just looking for the right candidate, but you should also consider how much time it will take and the costs involved.

It’s important to note that depending on whether you are hiring for a new vacancy or if you are hiring to replace someone your expectations might differ. Hiring for a new vacancy, for example, might make you more willing to spend a little longer and a bit more, especially if you are looking for a specialised professional, while you might be in more of a hurry if you are trying to replace someone who was fired or resigned.

Quality of candidates

Your first and foremost goal is to hire exceptional employees. A company is only as good as the team behind it, and if you want great things for your organisation, then you need to hire people that have the skills to push it forwards.

Time to hire

It’s important to give yourself ample time to decide between candidates, but that doesn’t mean that you should allow the selection process to drag on for months. Try to set deadlines for yourself as this will allow you to work in a more structured manner.

Recruitment costs

You’d be surprised at quite how costly the recruitment process is. It’s important to figure out the costs right from the beginning and then set a budget as this will allow you to navigate the selection process based on your resources.

2. Creating the ideal candidate’s profile

Whether you work in the HR department or are hiring employees for your own business, you are bound to have some expectations when looking for the right candidate. These expectations usually pertain to abilities and skills, but to ensure success you need to look past professional qualities.

Work performance

It’s important for any employee to be able to carry out their work duties successfully. The ideal candidate should have skills, past work experience and qualifications that will allow them to tackle their responsibilities.

Cultural fit

Apart from their professional strengths, an ideal candidate should also be able to assimilate into the organisation’s culture as well. An employee who adjusts and fits in with the rest of the group is more likely to be productive and driven when they feel at home in the workplace.


What separates a great hire from a good hire is their enthusiasm for work. A great employee will be passionate and driven to achieve more, and these are qualities you should actively look for.

3. Writing the job description

A job good description is essential not only because it’s necessary if you are planning to recruit online, but also because it will make your life a lot of easier. An accurate job description allows you to list characteristics and qualities that mean you will know what to look for when reviewing applications.

To ensure that your listing is as effective as possible you should treat it as a marketing campaign. Think of it as your chance to woo customers - or in your case candidates - and as such you need to make it attractive. List perks and benefits as this will help convince reluctant candidates as well.


4. Reviewing CVs

Reviewing CVs can be an extremely long process, especially if you are not entirely sure what you should be looking for. But, to make the process swifter, you need to start by putting a few checks into place.


A CV should be relevant to your job description, and this is where keywords come in. It’s important to ensure that you have listed all of the industry-relevant keywords in the job description so that you can quickly scan through CVs.


A good CV will not be longer than two pages. But, it’s also important for it to be detailed. It should be easy to read, and it shouldn’t leave you with any questions as to what the candidate can do.


To get a clear understanding of a candidate’s potential you’ll need to understand what they’ve achieved in life so far. A great candidate will list their achievements to make them more measurable and by extent make themselves more marketable.

Red flags

  • Spelling and grammar mistakes: Lack of attention to detail can point to a sloppy employee that you will definitely want to avoid.
  • Short tenures at each position: Although you shouldn’t avoid job hoppers as they might simply be people who haven’t quite found a place they’d like to settle, it’s important to address this issue with the prospective candidate.
  • Lack of professionalism: Hiring someone professional means that you can rest assured that they will be responsible about their work duties, so keep an eye for any lapses in professionalism in your email correspondence and their CV and cover letter.
  • Discrepancies between profiles: Using social media when recruiting is becoming more and more popular, especially because it can help you pinpoint discrepancies between the CV you’ve received and what the candidate lists on their social media.
  • Both a candidate’s CV and their social profiles (e.g., Linkedin) should be similar. If things are missing from either one or if there are different dates, tenure duration, etc. it should worry you.
  • Overqualified applicants: An overqualified applicant is unlikely to stay committed to their role for long. This means that you might need to repeat the recruitment process sooner that you would have expected.

CV databases

Many websites now offer a CV database that can make going through CVs a lot easier. These databases generally allow you to search based on your criteria and only deliver results that are relevant.

Of course, you will need to pay for this type of service, but depending on how often you need to repeat recruitment processes and the amount of applications you receive, you might want to invest in this option.

Applicant tracking systems

An applicant tracking system is a computer program that handles the application process. It sorts candidate’s CVs based on keywords they’ve used, their work experience and job titles. It’s useful to invest in a highly reviewed applicant tracking system as it’s a virtual assistant that helps the selection process move along.

5. Conducting an interview

After you’ve selected the candidates you’d like to learn more about, it’s time to conduct interviews. For candidates that you are not 100 per cent certain that you’d like to meet, you can always conduct phone screening interviews as this will allow you to learn more about them. But, nothing beats personal contact which is why you need to invest in interviews.

The interviewers

It’s always a good idea to have two people conducting the interview. Generally, one should be the HR manager and the other should be the manager of the department the vacancy is in. This will allow the questions to be more specific and make it easier to decide which candidates to eliminate.

The location

Finding a quiet place to conduct the interview is important. Don’t put a prospective candidate in the middle of a busy office as this will make it harder for them to concentrate and bring their A Game.

The questions

There’s truly an endless list of questions you can ask. But, it’s important to make them as specific as possible to the person in front of you. This is why many HR managers choose to start with ‘Tell me about yourself’.

It’s also important to use expressions like ‘Can you give me an example of an instance’ or ‘Have you ever’ as this will force the candidates to give you a more detailed description of their skills and abilities.

Reference checks

Speaking with a prospective employee’s references is imperative if you are interested in hiring a reliable and skilled employee. Don’t shy away from giving their references a call, while you should also remember to double check the dates that the candidate worked for them as this will allow you to validate their trustworthiness.

Example questions

  • ‘Tell me about their work performance’
  • ‘What are their strengths’
  • ‘What are their weaknesses’
  • ‘Would you rehire the candidate’

The selection process of a new employee is by no means simple. However, if you plan ahead it will be made easier, so start by thinking about what it is you want to achieve and figure out a strategy that will allow you to get there.

If you have any more questions about the recruitment process feel free to ask in the comments section below.