Recruitment Process Steps: What Is Involved?

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 15 September 2022 | Published 22 July 2021

Updated 15 September 2022

Published 22 July 2021

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.

The process of recruitment involves advertising a vacant position, interviewing candidates and selecting professionals for employment. It's usually a process that the human resources department or recruiting manager of a company handles. Understanding the individual steps in the recruitment process can help you make more informed decisions as a candidate for jobs or assist with a company's hiring processes. In this article, we discuss recruitment process examples and seven recruitment process steps.

Recruitment process steps

Businesses know that it is more cost-efficient to maintain employees rather than hire new ones. Therefore, they take great care when selecting new members of their team. Below we share seven interrelated steps that form the recruitment process:

1. Hiring needs

The first step in hiring procedures of any kind is a company identifying a need. The business may need a new employee because a position is vacant, or a company creates a new role. Whatever the reason, the company's hiring department considers the following:

  • Why is a new staff member needed?

  • What will the role of the new employee be?

  • What skills and training will the successful candidate need?

  • How does this role fit in with the rest of the business?

  • What will the salary be?

  • What will the hours be?

The hiring process is easier when the above questions can be answered thoroughly. The person in charge of hiring writes the job description based on the answers.

2. Job description

The next step is writing a job description. The job description is based on the hiring needs identified in the first step, and it contains the key responsibilities of the role. It also states the skills and qualifications required; plus, any experience needed. A well-written job description attracts a pool of candidates suited for the role.

Job descriptions may vary slightly, however, you can usually expect one to contain the following points:

  • Job title

  • Company name and description

  • Company values

  • Company location

  • Pay and other benefits

  • List of duties

  • Key responsibilities

  • Skill set required

  • Qualifications required

  • Experience required

  • Any added advantages

  • Call to action (how to apply)

As a candidate, pay close attention to each point and make sure you cover them in your application materials. Many recruitment agents simply scan over resumes, especially if they have hundreds of candidates' applications to go through. They search for keywords; these keywords can be found in the job description. Identifying these keywords and putting them in your resume gives you a higher chance of getting an interview and landing the job.

Related: How To Write a Cover Letter

3. The search

As a job seeker, you may look on a job search website, a company's social media page or their website. These are three good places for companies to post job vacancies. The more places a job is advertised, the more candidates can apply for the role. So, if you see your dream job advertised, it's important to apply as soon as possible. The quicker the recruitment process, the better it is for the company. So, the faster you apply the less time they may need to advertise the position.

4. Application screening

Each business has a different method for screening applications. Usually, the recruitment officer begins by scanning resumes. They quickly cut the candidate pool in half by the process of elimination. Eliminated resumes may be those that are poorly written or without the necessary information. It is essential to read the job description thoroughly and proofread your resume multiple times. Below is a list of a few of things the recruitment officer is likely to be watching out for:

  • Misspelt words

  • Incorrect grammar

  • Bad formatting

  • Inconsistent formatting

  • Gaps in employment history

  • Short job stints

  • Not enough experience

  • Incorrect qualifications

  • Lack of professionalism

Any one or more of these points may disqualify you from the application pool. So, it is essential that you double-check your resume before submitting it. If you have any work experience, not including contract work, that is under six months, don't include it. Recruitment officers don't like the look of a resume that has a lot of short stints at different companies. It suggests you may be unreliable.

Related: How To Write a Resume Employers Will Notice

5. Interviewing

The fifth step is the interviewing process. The recruitment officer chooses a handful of candidates to interview. The interviews may be done in a group or one on one. They may be conducted in front of a panel or online via video call. Interviews can take many forms. The employer lets you know this before the interview so that you can prepare.

It's important to think about practice questions and research as much about the company as possible. The more preparation you do, the better. Being prepared also helps to calm your nerves. Remember to also prepare a few questions to ask your potential employer. They usually ask if you have any questions at the end of an interview. If you have a few good questions to ask about the responsibilities of a position or the culture of the company, for example, it can impress the interviewer.

Related: 9 Best Questions to Ask Your Interviewer

6. Job offer

A company often has a preferred candidate and a backup. This is because they can never be sure their preferred candidate will accept the job. Before they draw up a contract, they phone your references to double-check. Make sure you have warned your references of a possible call so that they can prepare too. Once everything is in order, you can be formally offered the job.

Related: How to Write an Acceptance Email for a Job Offer

7. Your new job

After you've made it through all the recruitment process steps and landed a new job, the company lets you know a starting date and the hours can work. They can also ask for details such as your Tax File Number, Super details and preferred bank account (for pay deposits).

You'll usually have a company induction, where you can take a tour and meet all the staff. Make sure to shake everyone's hand and greet people with a smile. You can also receive any necessary tools such as a laptop, stationery and a key card.

Related: How To Introduce Yourself To New Co-Workers

Frequently asked questions

We've rounded up some of the most commonly asked questions regarding recruitment and the recruitment process steps:

What is recruitment?

Recruitment is a core function of all businesses. It covers everything from writing job descriptions to interviewing potential candidates. Companies may have an HR recruitment process. This is usually done in collaboration with the department in which the job vacancy lies. Companies may also outsource recruitment to specialised agencies. This is something that larger companies usually do for a more efficient recruitment timeline. Generally speaking, companies often value recruitment highly, devoting time and resources to each of the recruitment process steps.

Related: Top 8 Best Recruiting Practices in Australia

What goes into the recruitment process?

A strong recruitment process involves a high level of organisation. Most companies have specific recruitment processes which include the steps we discussed above. A strong process is tried and tested for efficiency and employee retention. It's helpful for job seekers to understand the recruitment process to obtain a job. Some companies, especially government agencies, have their process available on their website. It's strongly recommended that you read it if this is the case. It can give you important information, such as the recruitment timeline and what interview questions to expect.

Why is it important to understand the recruitment process steps?

Hiring new staff costs money and time. So, businesses like the recruitment process to be as efficient and effective as possible. By understanding the process, it helps you to become more employable. Writing a well-worded, concise resume and cover letter is greatly appreciated by potential employers. Being prepared for an interview is also advantageous. Anything you can do to make the process easier for future employers can help you.

Time is money. So, businesses don't want to waste time answering unnecessary questions. An informed candidate can submit application materials according to the company's methods outlined in the job description and direct any questions to the appropriate person. If you advertise yourself as efficient and knowledgeable, you have a higher chance of getting the job.

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