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Recruitment Process : A Step By Step Guide

By: | May 24, 2021 18 min read

recruitment process

Before jumping into what recruitment really is, let me ask you a question. What does ‘recruitment’ sound like for you? No, it’s not a job where you call people all day and offer them positions in the company.  

In fact, the recruitment process is like a trip. 

Recruitment requires planning, just like the preparation for the trip days ahead. Not all the trips go as planned, and you must make spontaneous decisions and route choices to turn the journey into an easy one. The same applies to recruitment, where you run into unpredictable challenges for which you prevail over with counterstrategies.     

Now, let us explore the whole recruitment path. So, board the bus and tighten your seat belts as we start our journey.  

What is Recruitment? 

It is the process of planning, sourcing, screening, interviewing, hiring, and onboarding new hires. The HR team takes a strategic series of steps from analyzing role requirements to onboarding employees. These duties are undertaken by a recruiter or a recruitment team, depending on the company’s size. While some companies handle recruitment internally via their own HR team, many companies prefer to rely on third parties to fill vacant positions with qualified talent. 

What Goes into a Perfect Recruitment Process? 

A perfect recruitment process is strategic – it attracts the right talent at the right time. It meets a company’s hiring needs and helps the company grow. A recruitment process varies according to company, meaning that a recruitment process that is perfect for one company may not be the same for another. It depends on the size, nature of business, structure, workflows, goals, and needs. A perfect recruitment process: 

  • Identifies the hiring needs 
  • Is driven by data and analytics  
  • Leverages employee referrals  
  • Uses an ATS to find highly qualified candidates 
  • Reviews recruitment data to further refine the process 

Importance of a Perfect Recruitment Process 

An efficient recruitment process primarily aims to fill vacant positions with the right talent at the right time. It helps target the right pool of talent, reduce the time to hire, and lead to better candidate conversion. A well-structured recruitment process is important to: 

  • Attract and select the right candidates for the job 

A perfect recruitment process starts with evaluating the current and future staff requirements, which helps determine the right number of candidates. The company can then use this information to conduct operations to attract and select the qualified ones. 

  • Ensure consistency and fairness 

When the recruitment goals are aligned with the company’s vision and values, it becomes easier to ensure fairness and consistency in the recruitment process. For example, if you wanted to recruit for customer satisfaction and performance, you would have established principles such as merit-based selection and equal opportunity. 

  • Better communicate employer brand 

According to a study done by Allegis Group, 69% of job seekers would not work for a company that had a bad reputation – even if they were unemployed. Customize the recruitment process for a more positive candidate experience, be sure to follow up, and maintain consistency in showcasing the company’s work culture and unique advantages. 

  • Save time and reduce recruitment costs 

While leaving a role empty for too long can drain the company’s finances, hiring an unsuitable candidate can also cost the company. If your recruitment process is tech-driven, you can learn how to optimize the recruitment methods and fulfill the hiring needs. This not only helps meet the growth targets but also makes the process more scalable and cost effective. 

7 Steps in a Recruitment Process 

recruitment process steps

The recruitment process starts with identifying vacancies and ends with the induction of the new employee to the team. There are 7 steps in a recruitment process: 

1. Identify the Hiring Needs 

Every recruitment process starts with identifying the company’s hiring needs. Such needs arise due to internal shortages, lack of required skills, and other issues. This requires conducting job analysis – which is collecting information about a job’s requirements. This step is paramount to everything that comes next to it. Otherwise, what’s the whole point if you don’t know where to head?  

That’s why it is crucial to spend time with respective managers to learn how the department functions and utilizes talent. It’ll make you a better person in determining what to look for in a talent.   

Get your team on to the meeting and discuss the job and talent needs. Unique perspectives give you missing puzzles in the picture that helps you develop a plan.  These are the few questions to help you and your team: 

  • Where are the vacancies in the company?   
  • Are there any gaps in the team, in terms of talent? 
  • What kind of opening is it?  
  • What are the qualifications and experience requirements?  
  • What skills does the job require?   

Set up the best recruitment team

While you may have a small group of people who handle recruitment activities, it’s crucial to set up an organized, strong recruitment team. The stronger the team, the more efficient the recruitment process. Such a team clearly identifies the hiring needs and creates a comprehensive outline of the candidate’s requirements.  

2. Prepare the Job Description 

You now have the full knowledge of vacant positions, so what’s next?   

Prepare a document with the relevant job details so that the applicant knows if it is for them when you post it. A standard job description entails title, department, roles and responsibilities, qualifications, skill requirements, salary and benefits. When writing a job description, make sure to represent the company’s values, purpose, and mission. This document also helps later when deciding if you should select a candidate or not.  

What to include in the perfect job description?

A solid job description includes: 

  • Brief introduction of the company  
  • Job title  
  • Location 
  • Department  
  • Roles and responsibilities  
  • Qualifications  
  • Other qualities that are preferred or would be an advantage 
  • Compensation and benefits  

3. Search for the Right Candidates 

Here’s where you have to be careful.   

Job advertising should be nothing less than perfection. After all those efforts in creating one, failing to advertise it in the right places is such a loss of gains and might overwhelm your team with irrelevant applications. When done right, you will be able to cut through the noise and be on top talent’s radar.  

Many recruiters resort to orthodox practices of sharing openings to noisy and unrelated groups, which is an imperfect way of promoting the job opening. Of course, you might get candidates, but it should not be at the cost of potential top talent.    

How do you go about this?   

  • Search and compile all suitable sites across platforms.    
  • Analyze content and engagement of the site. Look for channels where people interact with your content, which is a job opening.    
  • Avoid sites with irrelevant content and unnecessary conversations. For example, the promotion of a clothing brand in a job portal is such a bummer.   
  • A good channel is where people share information specific to job postings. Candidates start to engage with posts. It will further motivate them to share it with their friends or others.   

The best way you can do this is to seek help from your marketing team and set objectives to sieve the suitable sites for job advertisement. 

Sources of Recruitment

You can also search for candidates through various sources, such as: 

  • Internal referrals  
  • Word of mouth  
  • Job sites (For example: Indeed, Naukri, Monster, etc.) 
  • Job advertisement, such as through print, digital media, or other method 
  • Social platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook 

4. Screen and Shortlist the Candidates 

Shortlisting starts at this stage as you review multiple job applications and decide who to promote to the next level. It is imperative to stay organized with job applications as piling e-mails can later produce a daunting task of segregation. As you’re filtering out unqualified candidates in the process of organization, there’s another task that’s ready to eat your time – screening.  

Going through hundreds of resumes is an experience next to hell. How to do the same qualitative work within less time?   

Easy solution? ATS.   

Businesses prefer Applicant Tracking System to sort applications and resumes as it helps them avoid time wastage caused in searching applications for a particular opening. ATS software enables you to stay away from scrutinizing resumes and yields accurate screening results with its resume parser. While cutting down workload on recruitment teams, a good ATS fosters collaboration between team members for an effective recruitment process.  

Read our guide to know how ATS transforms your recruitment.    

Steps to be followed for screening and shortlisting the right candidates

You need to screen and shortlist candidates accurately, which is challenging. To efficiently perform this task: 

  • Develop a clear criteria to shortlist (should be mentioned in the job description and related to the job) 
  • Use an efficient ATS to screen CVs 
  • Remove data that may lead to bias, such as demographic data 
  • Look for candidates with transferable skills 
  • Introduce assessments to narrow the candidate pool 
  • Consider scheduling video interviews with many applicants, if necessary 
  • Assign scores to differentiate candidates  
  • Check candidate references  
  • Follow-up  

5. Interview The Candidates 

Interviews require preparedness both on the candidate’s and recruiter’s front. Based on the role, there will be multiple interview sessions and interviewers involved. Candidates would want to be notified with this kind of information, not just the date and time. It will allow them to prepare mentally to face the panel and questions confidently.   

 On the other hand, recruiters also need to prepare themselves with questions and tests to throw at candidates. To keep the interview engaging and productive, you may involve another interviewer who would be the future manager of the candidate or your other peers. 

What are the ways an interview can be conducted?

You can conduct interviews through: 

  • Telephone  
  • Group interviews  
  • One-on-one 
  • Panel interviews  
  • Project or assessment-based interviews 

6. Evaluation and Offer of Employment to Candidates 

This is the stage where you make it official.   

Congratulations, you and your qualified candidates have made it this far. It’s time to work your mind and craft some beautiful offer letters.    

An offer letter includes information starting from the joining date and employment conditions to compensation and benefits details.  

A typical offer letter consists of: 

  • Job title   
  • Joining date   
  • Employment type (Full or part-time)   
  • Roles and responsibilities   
  • Work hours  
  • Salary and benefits   

Creating an offer for different roles from scratch is time-consuming, and especially the salary breakup has to be done with precision. Any error made is a red flag for the candidate and can motivate them to turn your offer down.  

Comprising of editable offer letter templates for various roles, ATS can also provide a detailed breakup of salary and benefits in a second. Just select, edit, and send—experience smooth offer management process.   

Add a celebratory message at the start of your mail to keep candidate’s morale up and carry it till the end.   

7. Introduction and Induction of the New Employee 

Once the candidates accept the job offer, they officially become employees of the company. Make sure to engage them during this period by sending your organization’s news and setting up conversations with future teammates or manager. It is also the time to get the documentation formalities done so other vital things can fill in on their first day. In other words, a great onboarding experience. New hires are then introduced to their team members. During induction, they are given welcome kits and are supported to get acclimated to the company’s culture, role, and expectations. 

How Can an Organized Recruitment Process Benefit the Organization? 

An organized recruitment process means that at every step the recruitment strategy is up to date. This has a measurable impact on the company. It helps: 

  • Attracts high quality of talent 
  • Improves candidate conversion rate  
  • Enhances employer brand  
  • Increases retention rate and job satisfaction 
  • Reduces recruitment costs  

How Can Automation Help in the Recruitment Process? 

Recruitment processes typically come with huge paperwork, routine recruitment tasks, and time-consuming activities. Recruiters – who are mostly caught up in posting on multiple platforms, downloading hundreds of CVs, checking for applications, and building talent pipeline – have insufficient amount of time to focus on the things that really matter, such as finding the right talent, engaging candidates, building a brand reputation, work culture, and much more.  

With such manual processes, you are not only losing talent but also wasting time. 

With automation, you can streamline the end-to-end recruitment process. From sourcing the right talent to handling paperwork before their joining date, automation takes care of everything. You will start hiring not just for skills, but for potential as well.  

Speed Up Your Recruitment Process with Keka’s Applicant Tracking Software 

With Keka’s ATS, achieve your hiring goals and reap benefits from an effective end-to-end recruitment operation. Even if your recruitment process can change according to markets, Keka will always be there to make sure you acquire the best talent. Enhance your employer branding, judge better with score cards, automate offer release process and forge awesome candidate journey all along. Start your ATS journey with us today! 


1. What are the stages of the recruitment process? 

There are 7 stages in the recruitment process – job analysis, sourcing, advertising, shortlisting, interviewing, making a job offer, and onboarding the new hire. 

2. How long does the recruitment process usually take? 

The duration of the recruitment process depends on the number of applications received, availability of hiring managers, and the company’s requirements. The recruitment process can take from three weeks to a few months to complete. 

 3. How can technology aid in streamlining the recruitment process? 

Technology like ATS and automated systems reduce the time to hire, increase the quality of hires, and enhance the employer brand. They remove any need for manual paperwork and long processes by streamlining the recruitment process. 

4. How can I start my ATS journey with Keka? 

To start your ATS journey with Keka, schedule a demo or sign up for a free trial here. Our experts will guide you through the onboarding process and help you get started with Keka Hire. 

Table of Contents

    Meet the author

    Nikitha Joyce

    Content Writer

    Nikitha Joyce is a content writer at Keka Technologies. She loves exploring HR topics and turning them into thrilling tales. Nikitha is a dark fiction enthusiast who is a fan of anime, books, and horror tales.


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