How to Create an HR Recruitment Process in 8 Easy Steps

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published October 12, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Most companies rely on their employees to help build and operate a successful organization. This often starts with hiring the right people for the right role, a process the company's human resources (HR) department and its hiring managers or recruiters typically handle. Understanding the recruiting process can be useful, whether you're looking to work in recruitment or HR, or applying for other jobs. In this article, we explain what an HR recruitment process is, reveal various recruiting methods, and offer eight steps for setting up an effective recruitment process.

What is an HR recruitment process?

An HR recruitment process is a systematic approach to hiring new employees. A company's human resources department typically conducts this process and uses a variety of tools to select potential candidates for a job. Hiring managers and internal or external recruiters use this process to find, hire, and onboard talented employees. Depending on the company's size and expected new hires, this process can vary from a one- or two-week process that involves a single hiring manager, to a process that takes several months and involves multiple steps plus a recruiting team.

Most businesses understand the importance of attracting, hiring, and keeping talented and experienced employees, which is why businesses often refer to their workforce as human capital. As an organization's greatest asset, recruiting the right employees is a very important responsibility that requires trained hiring professionals. Employers may outsource recruiting to specialized agencies or rely on their HR department to use tools like job boards, advertisements, or social media posts to find new talent.

Related: How to Become a Human Resource Manager (With Salary Info)

Recruiting methods employers might use

How a company recruits new employees may differ based on various factors, including the urgency to hire and the type of position. Typically, recruiting occurs through either internal or external recruiting sources, which may require the use of various methods. Here are some recruiting methods often used in internal and external recruiting:

Internal recruiting

An organization might use an internal recruiting process to find experienced candidates within its existing workforce. This has many benefits for employers including, a readily available source of familiar and experienced candidates and access to employee data, such as background information, experience, skills, and performance reviews. Knowing the company only hires from within can be a motivating factor for employees to excel at their jobs to gain promotions within the company. Hiring managers and recruiters might use some of the following methods to hire internally:

Relocations or transfers

Large companies often have several national or international locations in which employees might perform the same or similar jobs. Recruiters often offer employees incentives, such as a living allowance or bonus, if they accept a transfer or move to another city. Transferring to other locations can be a condition of employment for some positions, as it allows a company to shift its workforce to meet its needs.

Related: How Does Job Relocation Work? (With Relocation Packages)

Internal job postings

Internal job postings typically come through the HR department, which might send a posting to all employees or a specific group, depending on the position. Interested candidates can apply directly to the company's hiring manager. This can cut recruiting costs and save both the employer and employee from a lengthy job-search process.

Re-hiring former employees

Some companies choose to recruit and re-hire former employees when positions become available. This often happens in companies that have seasonal employment or have undergone a restructuring that resulted in layoffs. Employers often re-hire employees because it's cost- and time-effective and both parties know what to expect in terms of company processes, culture, and work expectations.

Referrals and promotions

Sometimes a company hires for a position through an in-company referral, like a manager who recommends an employee for a different position based on their skills. Employees who advance in their position might also receive a referral for a promotion. Some companies encourage employees to refer potential candidates, like friends or colleagues, to HR, as this can be a cost-effective hiring method.

Related: A Guide on Employee Referrals (With Benefits and Tips)

External recruiting

Sometimes, internal recruiting can become stale, especially if an employer wants to implement new ideas or change its current operating strategies. If internal recruiting can't provide the right talent for a position or limits a company's options to fill specialized jobs, employers might look to outside sources for candidates. Here are some external recruiting methods employers might use:

External job boards and postings

Third-party job boards are a common tool employers use to find potential candidates. The employer lists a position on one or several job boards, which can direct candidates to apply on the hiring company's website or collect applications on its behalf. Some job boards might filter candidate applications using applicant tracking software (ATS) before sending the remaining candidates to the employer.

Related: What Are Job Boards? (With Tips on How to Use One)

Recruiting agencies

Companies often hire a recruiting agency to find candidates for specific jobs. Recruiting agencies typically keep an updated database of potential candidates and may use job search engines and portals to find and screen potential candidates for employers. Agencies often interview candidates as part of the pre-screening process and can act as a liaison between potential candidates and employers, scheduling interviews, follow-ups, or hiring for interim positions. Temporary employment, casting, and modelling agencies are good examples.

Job fairs

Large employers often participate in job fairs through an academic institution, government, or community-sponsored event. Employers from different industries typically attend an information or recruiting event where potential candidates can speak with company representatives and learn about a company or career option. Job fairs are common recruiting techniques on college or university campuses, especially for employers looking for finance, technology, business, and nursing graduates.

Related: How to Get the Most Out of Job Fairs (Plus Benefits)

8 easy steps for setting up an effective recruiting process

HR hiring managers and recruiters often use the following steps when launching a recruitment process:

1. Establish the company's workforce requirements

To ensure a recruitment strategy is effective, it's important for those involved in the process to understand the company's goal for each new hire. This allows recruiters to focus on the right candidates for each position. To achieve this, recruiters typically review the requirements, expectations, and objectives for the position with management and discuss the specific background, skills, training, and experience they expect from candidates.

2. Outline a recruitment strategy

It's helpful to outline each step of the recruiting process in a plan recruiters can refer to as needed. This plan describes methods for finding the right candidates and how to conduct the interview process. Recruiters typically create plans for each new position, as process requirements can differ between hiring events.

Related: Recruiting Methods To Help Get the Best Job Candidates

3. Create the job description

Job descriptions are important because they clearly outline the job requirements and an employer's expectations for potential candidates. They typically include information such as a brief statement about the company and job opening, any required candidate credentials, experience, and skill level, and the posting deadline. Job descriptions regularly include keywords recruiters look for in qualified candidate resumes, often using ATS to do an initial screening of applications for recruiters.

Related: How to Write a Job Description (With Template and Example)

4. Promote the job opening

Recruiters may use internal or external recruiting strategies or a combination, depending on the position and employer. Often, recruiters also advertise job openings through related associations, such as a specialized nursing association for a cardiovascular nurse position. Trained recruiters typically have access to various employment databases to target advertisements, so they reach a wide audience and attract the most suitable and qualified candidates.

5. Evaluate the candidates

Recruiters may review applications as they wait until the closing date to sort through potential candidates. Employers often rely on recruiters or ATS for initial screening and examine the remaining candidates to find the best fit to advance to the interview phase. Successful candidates typically receive an e-mail or phone call from the recruiter with an interview date.

6. Interview qualified candidates

HR often starts by conducting introductory interviews with qualified candidates to further screen those who can advance to the next phase. The department manager often takes over the hiring process once candidates pass the introductory interview. The interview stage can include up to three interviews, especially for senior positions, before the employer chooses a final candidate.

7. Present a job offer and close recruiting

Once management selects a candidate for the position, the recruiter typically checks their references, presents a job offer, and ends the recruiting process if the candidate accepts it. HR recruiters often then notify other candidates that the employer filled the position and remove the job posting from all platforms. It's helpful at this stage to review the process to identify areas where the recruiter can improve it for the next job opening.

8. Onboard the new employee

Once the employer officially hires the new employee, HR typically focuses on the onboarding process. This can include handling administrative paperwork, such as income tax and banking information for payroll and registering employee benefits. HR generally contacts new employees to answer questions and ensure they know what to expect on their first day.

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