5 Steps to Build an Effective
Recruitment Process

Recruiting today is not the same as it was even a few years ago. The market is candidate driven – the talent you’re seeking is receiving multiple offers at a time, being contacted by recruiters regularly, and willing to change employers easily when they no longer find their work fulfilling.

To find and retain top candidates with your recruitment applicant tracking system, it’s now more important than ever to make sure your recruiting and hiring processes are as effective as possible.

If you’re not careful, your organization could face the consequences of a poor recruiting process – you could lose top applicants, experience a high turnover rate and increased cost-per-hire, leave positions vacant, and suffer your prospects through a slow hiring processes. With people being the greatest investment that most companies make, competitive companies can’t fall behind.

It’s time to put a little more horsepower into your recruiting process so you can continue attracting top talent to your organization. Read on to learn more about the five steps you need to take to build an effective recruitment process in today’s hyper-competitive market and how to effectively use your applicant management software.

Build a Strategic Plan

The key to successful staffing lies in first creating a recruitment strategy plan. Your recruiting strategy should be based upon a clear assessment of long-range business goals, existing skill sets, trends in work volume, trends in the labor market, and an evaluation of your skills gap. Planning appropriately will ensure you are well positioned to hire the right person for the position and the team.

Here are four key aspects to consider in your strategy.

Assess the need

Whether a position is open because of a resignation or termination, or you’re considering adding a new position, there are several questions you should ask before rushing to fill it. Does the department still require this role? Is your current staff stretched too thin? Can the duties of the role be dispersed? Based on past and future market trends, is this the best time to fill the position? Is the role properly budgeted within the department? Is filling the position the best use of your resources?

Evaluate the position

Once you know the position needs to be filled, answer the following questions before proceeding. Are there any changes that need to be made to the job role? How can you leverage a new hire to fill any gaps in the core skills of the team? Are there any upcoming changes to the team or department that will affect how this position should be filled? What was the demonstrated value of the position and how can this be improved?

Create a relevant job description

One of the most critical elements of a job description are the core competencies. These are used to establish expectations and requirements of the position, create the job posting, create interview questions, and dictate the performance expectations of the position. Be sure to update the job description with all key requirements.

Establish Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Before beginning the recruiting process, establish KPIs to measure results and evaluate success. The recruiting process is commonly measured by the following metrics: Time to Fill (TTF), Cost Per Hire (CPH), Source and Quality of Hire (QOH). Be sure to continuously re-evaluate KPIs to make sure they are in line with any corporate and economic changes.

Source Your Candidates

Once you’ve created a recruitment strategy with your team, it’s time to nail down your tactics for sourcing the best possible applicants. There are two methods of sourcing – internal and external. Each method has different advantages and requires its own set of tactics.


Organizations all too often rush to create a job posting after an employee leaves the company. But what if you could save time and resources by simply sourcing from your internal team? Here are three reasons to consider screening your current talent pool for the open position:


Employees often leave the organization because they find their next promotion somewhere else. With the cost of turnover being so high, employee retention should be one of your top priorities. Keeping your current employees challenged by moving them up or out into new roles is one of the best ways to keep them from moving on. Lateral or upward movement also helps to rejuvenate employees.

Time to Productivity

A brand new employee has a much higher learning curve than a seasoned associate. The time-of-hire to time-to-productivity metrics are drastically reduced, especially at a higher level, in those associates who already know your organization.

Culture Fit

Where better to find someone who is a cultural fit – both from a values and behaviors perspective – than from those who already work for you? Employees who have already proven themselves to be a great fit within the company have valuable intellectual capital you don’t want to lose.

As you look to make internal sourcing a critical part of your recruiting strategy, it’s important to have a process in place. Internal interviews should be conducted similarly to external interviews – because you still need to assess the candidate to make sure they’re a fit for the new position, the interview process should include questions targeting the required core competencies. It’s important to give internal applicants the same opportunities as external applicants to “wow” you. Prospective hiring managers aren’t always aware of the talent within.

One of the advantages to internal interviews is that the new hiring manager can gather performance feedback from the previous manager and gain access to the employees’ performance reviews – all solid indicators as to how this person may perform in their new role.


Sometimes, in an effort to close skills gaps or infuse new ideas into your organization, you’ll have to look for external talent. Here’s how to attract the best of the best:

Target passive applicants

Sometimes the best candidate for the open position isn’t even actively looking. In order to recruit these passive applicants, try to entice their interest through channels where you know they can be reached. Also make sure you have an efficient way to keep track of a large pool of candidates at different steps in the recruitment process.

Get creative with applicant outreach and engagement

More and more applicants are looking for ways to engage with their future employers in creative ways. If you’re not ready to think outside of the box in your applicant outreach, you could easily miss out on the best candidates. Use creative tactics – like referral bonuses, different job posting styles, and social media – to promote open positions.

Use data to drive the recruiting process

Sourcing applicants with the help of data and technology will only increase your chances of finding the best-fitting candidate. Try keeping track of the following metrics to identify the critical patterns behind your recruiting process that will enable you to make better hiring decisions going forward:

  • Online location of job postings.
  • Cost of posting to each job site.
  • Number of new applicants, interviews, and hires.
  • Time between job posting and hire.
  • All information provided by applicants.

Hook great applicants with strong employer branding

When a company has a reputation for being an awesome place to work, applicants come flocking. As applicants continue to rely upon their own online research to vet their potential employers, make sure you build a strong brand presence to hook them. Strong branding entails creating a strong marketing campaign to attract quality applicants.

Assess & Interview Your Prospects

Now that you’ve accumulated an extensive pool of applicants, now comes the fun – assessing and interviewing them!

Many employers are starting to recognize the value in assessing whether the candidates would be a good culture fit. Before beginning the formal interview process, consider adding these assessment tools into your recruiting strategy:

Assessment Tools

Combine the data pulled from these tools with your interview data to arm yourself with more information to make a confident hiring decision. Assessing your prospects using these methods will help you find high-performing employees who stick around for the long haul.

Psychometric profiling

Psychometric profiling tests for attitude and culture fit. These tests assess details about core character traits that matter most to organizations, allowing you to predict whether or not someone will be a good long-term fit. Companies like Talentclick make it easy to determine the likelihood of a candidate excelling within the company culture.

Simulation assessments

One of the best ways to know how someone will perform on the job is to see them in action. Ask your candidates to participate in a mock-up scenario similar to those they would actually encounter on the job. This is an excellent way to test for skills and personality characteristics related to customer service, problem solving, negotiation, compassion, empathy, stress tolerance, and critical thinking.


Skillsurvey uses data-driven insights to help employers quickly obtain feedback from candidate references. This is an excellent way to streamline the processes of vetting candidates and building a pool of passive applicants.

The Interview

Although the interview process might seem simple from the candidate’s perspective, you know just how much work it actually takes. Thoroughly plan out your interview process using the steps below to ensure you keep your high-quality prospects interested in the position. To get the right applicant to the end, it’s important to spend time nurturing the relationship.


Make sure you and your team are fully aligned on your interview process. Assemble the decision-makers and decide upon the exact qualities you’re looking for in the ideal candidate and what the interview structure will look like.

Create a well-organized interview experience that will help the applicant envision what it will be like to be a part of your team

Review your process to confirm that both you and the applicant will know whether they are a good fit or not.

Conducting the interview

Prepare standard interview questions based off the core competencies listed on the job description. Note: In order to provide your applicants with an equal opportunity for employment, it’s critical that you stick to these questions and document all of the answers. Should you ever face a discrimination charge, being able to quickly produce proof of your compliance with OFCCP regulations is your first line of defense.

Once the interviews are concluded, schedule meetings with your key decision-makers to discuss the candidates. Watch out for common pitfalls of candidate selection during these discussions – disregard all personal preferences and assess the interviewees solely on their answers and assessment results.

In today’s competitive market, the interview gives you the opportunity to determine if the applicant is a good fit, but it’s also the time when you need to sell the applicant on the opportunity. Creating an emotional connection and giving them an authentic experience goes a long way to sealing the deal.

Make the Final Decision and Draft an Offer

Once you and your team have decided upon your first (and ideally a second) choice to fill the position, it’s time to make an offer. Instead of hastily emailing the prospect with a sloppy job offer, carefully draft an official offer document and respectfully present it to the candidate. Here are two things to keep in mind when drafting the offer.

Re-sell your company culture

Keep your candidate’s main career goals and desires front-of-mind and reiterate how your company can provide these opportunities. How will this individual benefit from joining your company

Clearly lay out the next steps in the process

Provide a transparent timeline for the first few weeks or months. What is the onboarding and orientation process like for the first couple weeks? What does the training process look like? What should the candidate expect in the first 30, 60, and 90 days?

Streamline Your Hiring Process with ATS Technology

As the race to hire the best candidates becomes increasingly competitive in today’s technological world, the need to keep your hiring process organized and efficient is more important than ever. Many organizations are discovering the benefits of implementing Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to streamline many time-consuming aspects of hiring.

Because ATS systems offer so many versatile functions, you can effectively use the technology in virtually every step of the entire recruitment process. From creating your first job postings, to collecting important screening information, to communicating with prospects and completing on-boarding paperwork, good recruitment management software offers a comprehensive solution to help you save time, resources, and energy in selecting the best candidates.

If you believe your organization might benefit from incorporating ATS technology, The Applicant Manager (TAM) team is here to guide you. Schedule a free demo with us today to learn exactly how TAM can help you and your team streamline your entire hiring process.