9 steps to a successful recruitment process

The pandemic has changed Australia’s job market with many businesses finding it difficult to attract staff as well as keep existing ones across all industries. Skill shortages from lack of migration to remote work is allowing for more opportunities being available for job seekers, increasing the challenges of hiring talent.

As reported in The Age and according to SEEK, ‘job ad volumes in October were 63 per cent higher than a year ago and 44 per cent above where they were in October 2019.’ These are astonishing figures. At the same time, applications for jobs are also down.

With such a competitive market, businesses need to make sure they have a solid recruitment process that showcases and communicates their employee value proposition and provides a positive candidate experience in the selection process.

Attracting and finding the right talent can be time-consuming and a costly process especially if you need to re-hire and retrain due to hiring the incorrect person. Adopting a more structured approach to the recruitment process will help minimise the risk of choosing the wrong candidate the first time, a slow screening/interview process and a negative candidate experience.

For a recruitment process to be effective and efficient there are key steps that need to be in place and followed by everyone who might be involved in recruiting team members.

Is it time to create a solid recruitment process for your business?

Here are the 9 simple steps you need for a successful recruitment process:

1.Background work

Background work is the first step in the recruitment process that can help you save time and money in the long run if it’s done correctly. However, this step is often not completed entirely by businesses.

It is taking the time to look at the role you are trying to fill and considering how it fits into the current, mid-term and long-term needs and business goals/objectives. It is also important to define the types of skills, experience and behaviours you are after for the role before working through the selection process, increasing the likelihood of finding and retaining the right candidate.

2. Write the position description and the advertisement

Before any advertising can occur for the role you should have a Position Description (PD) which is up to date. The information in the PD forms the basis of any advertising and is the critical step to understand what the requirements of the role are. It outlines the required duties, responsibilities, skills, qualifications, and type of employment. It also should detail a behaviour profile for what success looks like in that role and your organisation’s values.

The next step is to write the job advertisement and think about what channels/where is best to advertise the role. More than one channel should be chosen and some of these, for example, could be internal advertising, seek and/or LinkedIn, other social media, recruitment agencies and networking events.

3. Assess and shortlist candidates

Depending on the role, the assessing and shortlisting process may be a shared responsibility. If the role has been advertised and there are several applicants to go through, you may like to consider conducting telephone screening to develop a short list of candidates. Before starting this process make sure to have a template of questions you would like to ask each candidate to help with the screening process.

4. Interview preparation

The interview is the most common selection method to recruit team members. The success of the interview will have a lot to do with how you prepare and structure it.

In the current market with competition for good applicants so strong, it is important the interview is a positive experience which sells the benefits of your business and the role.

Prepare for the interview by:

-Scheduling interviews – confirm interview times and location and make sure to choose your location well. Make sure interviews are scheduled not too long after the phone screening.

-Develop and design interview questions/guide. The most common questions used are target questions or behavioural based structured questions around a candidate’s past behaviour in similar situations to what will happen in the role they have applied for. These types of questions generally go beyond determining whether a person can do the job.

-Read resumes and prepare specific questions from their resumes.

-Re-familiarise yourself with the Position Description – you should also know the role inside and out.

5. Conduct interviews

If you are conducting a number of different interviews you need to have a structure to them, so they are effective and a positive experience for both you and the candidate. Here are seven stages which helps structure the interview:

-Start with a welcome and introduction

-Review their resume with them to get them talking

-Start using your target questions

-Business overview – what do they know about your business?

-Position overview

-Time for the candidate to ask any further questions

-Close the interview and inform them of the next steps.

When conducting interviews, did you know that there are some questions you cannot ask an interviewee and are illegal? It’s important to understand what some of these unlawful questions are when preparing your interview questions. My checklist on ‘Interview Questions You Can’t Ask’ provides some examples of unlawful questions. You can find this here.

6. Check final candidates against hiring criteria and make final selection

In making your final candidate selection you need to gather all your notes from the interviews and review them and if there were others involved in the interview you need to collect their feedback. It is also useful to rate the candidates against a set of ‘clarifying questions’ to help you compare.

7. Reference check the selected candidate

Reference checking can be a really useful tool to aid in making a final decision, yet we don’t use it as much we should. You can find out if the candidate has truthfully represented themselves by reference checking. Use the information, thoughts and opinions you came up with during the interview to clarify anything e.g. ‘this is what I found, would you agree’? You can only conduct a reference check once you have gained authorisation from the candidate to talk to that person.

8. Make the successful candidate an offer

Once the decision has been made you have the privilege of making the successful candidate an offer to join the business. Keep in mind they may have other offers so make sure you have all the final details of the role i.e., salary, ideal start date etc ready and make the offer as attractive as you can.

9. Communicate with all the unsuccessful candidates

It’s an important part of the process to ensure you take the time to communicate with all the unsuccessful candidates. Be prepared to provide these candidates reasons why they were unsuccessful.

A good recruitment process helps you both attract and find that right team member for your business. As a business owner or Manager, finding a team member that has the right skills you need, someone you can rely on to do the work and is excited/motivated to work with you is critical for any business to be successful.

Is it time to put these steps into action and create your very own recruitment process? My Recruit Right program will take you through each of the nine steps and all the tips and tricks on what to do and what to avoid. Register for my program here.

Or, just wanting to get started? Then grab a copy of my free recruitment and selection checklist here.