10 Steps to More Effective Candidate Recruitment

More Effective Candidate Recruitment

10 Steps to More Effective Candidate Recruitment


Recruiting and hiring the right employees can make or break any business. Invest time into developing an effective recruiting and hiring strategy to strengthen recruitment practices. By implementing the right steps, you will be able to hire great candidates faster, with greater consistency, and less effort. 

Hiring the wrong employees can wreak havoc on an organization. It is expensive, detrimental on the work environment, and time consuming. Keep your work productivity and culture at its best while cultivating a strong team member through a targeted recruiting approach by following the steps outlined below.

Elevate the Candidate Experience

Many organizations often ignore the power and importance that having a great candidate experience can provide. When well executed, a positive candidate experience will properly convey that the organization cares about its people and that it is a great place to work. It also conveys a level of importance about individuals at any level of the organization. Keep this question in mind when it comes to your job candidates: would I treat my customers the way I treat my applicants?

Improve Your Job Description

Before you begin the recruitment process for a position, ensure that your job description is well reviewed and updated for the position you are hiring for. Having a written description prepared for the applicant process forms the foundation for job postings, recruitment, selection, and setting and conveying expectations. It contains many important things that protect and help your business and your employees. By having the right job descriptions in place, you not only have the basis for a clear understanding of the role for your applicants and employees, but you also are building the fundamentals of a solid HR program. 

Collaborate in Your Hiring

Hiring collaboratively is the process of engaging colleagues across departments and levels throughout the recruitment process. By drawing employees into the process, you help engage them into the organization and can facilitate referrals and greater buy-in into the overall on-boarding process. From a hiring perspective, effective employee collaboration will aid in hiring the right cultural fit for the organization, benefiting from multiple perspectives. Additionally, fellow team members can often better convey the day-to-day responsibilities and realities of the role than a hiring manager can provide the candidate with the clearest position of the role. Finally, effectively coordinating the collaboration process will reduce hiring turnaround times with hiring responsibilities shared amongst team members. 

Determine Cultural Compatibility

Hiring managers should identify candidates that fit well into the culture of the enterprise. Effective cultural fits perform better, have greater job satisfaction, and are more aligned with the corporate mission and vision. First, hiring managers should have a solid understanding of what the corporate culture is: What is the work environment like? What does it feel like to work for the organization? Incorporate potential for a cultural fit as a part of the hiring process. Ask questions that will help identify the cultural compatibility of the candidate. Don’t forget to elicit feedback from those collaborating on the hiring process on the candidate’s perceived cultural compatibility within the department. 

Be Realistic About What the Position Is

Those involved should have a clear understanding of the components of the position they are hiring for, both good and bad. Often, hiring managers tend to downplay the negatives of the position or make daily tasks of the role rosier than reality. Sometimes, the reverse is true, and managers will overly emphasize the less glamorous parts of the position to ensure that the candidates have an understanding of what they are getting into. The team should be sure to give a clear picture of all components of the role including the ups and downs that accompany it. Plus, be realistic about promotional and advancement opportunities. By offering the clearest insight about life on the job and opportunities for progression, you can ensure that the candidate’s expectations are in line with what accompanies the position and time at the company. Otherwise, the organization risks poor job satisfaction and increased turnover from missed expectations. Ideally, current employees in the same position can be a part of the recruitment process and can be made available for shadowing opportunities for prospective candidates. This is often the best way for candidates to get a clear picture of the daily tasks of the job. 

Convey the Total Package 

Companies should have a clear understanding of all of the benefits that are provided by the organization. This extends beyond just salaries offered. Organizations should convey the total value that their benefits packages can provide and clarify the financial value of their offerings. Companies, and even employees, tend to underestimate the total value of benefits that are provided to them in the form of healthcare, vacation, 401k, etc. Additionally, this extends beyond just benefits and salaries as well. Consider all of the other perks that come with working with your organization and be sure to convey those as well. Does your company have a solid work-life balance? Are there remote working opportunities available? Do you host different events and activities that employees would find appealing? Whatever they are, don’t discount how valuable these perks can be. For example, I worked in an organization that paid well below the industry norm, and recruitment was challenging as a result. However, the organization had many perks that stood out in the industry. By shifting our focus to highlight the many ways we stood out in the industry, we saw a stronger candidate pool and improved recruiting opportunities. 

Monitor Your Online Presence

Whether it be a prospective date from an online dating site or a promising candidate that has applied to an open position, people will inevitably go online to do a Google search of their prospects. Employers must recognize that candidates will be doing the same regarding their own enterprises. It is critical that organizations have a solid understanding of their online presence and maximize ways to improve it. Make sure that what you are finding online is in line with what you convey about the organization to applicants. Many times, the communication conveyed by an organization’s own website or social media do not align with the outreach efforts of the hiring department. Does your organization have negative publicity or reviews from customers or former employees? Be aware of this information and be prepared to address it directly with candidates. If applicable, be sure to address how the organization is working or has worked to tackle them.  

Ask the Right Questions

Take a look at the questions you are asking at each step of the interview process, including any during the application process. Ensure that the questions are relevant to the company, the position, and the industry. This may seem like a simple suggestion but it is one that is often overlooked as part of the interview process. Further, make sure that your questions are structured and consistent so that you are asking each candidate the same set of questions. Your questions should excel at helping you find those that stand out in doing the tasks at hand as well as those with the right fit. 

Outline the Interview Process and Timelines

In today’s competitive labor environment, being too slow or unclear about the interview process can be a death knell for the organization. Take pains to be as clear and open with candidates as possible about the interview process, including the steps and timelines involved in hiring. This will help ensure that the candidate has set expectations about how the process will go, making for a more positive overall experience. By being up front and efficient in your processes, it will lessen the likelihood that candidates accept other offers of employment in the meantime. Additionally, the interview process tends to send the candidate another message about the organization: how well the organization communicates, and insight into the bureaucracy and efficiency of the enterprise. If your organization hiring process is measured in months instead of days or weeks, this process should be adequately addressed and improved. Slow hiring timeframes risk having the strongest candidates picked up by other organizations in the meantime. By tightening up and properly conveying this process, it will project the strongest image of the organization while making a more efficient and clear process for all parties involved.

Use Screening Tools

I have hired hundreds of candidates over the years, and one of the lessons learned was how important it was to look beyond a candidate’s resume to ensure that they had the skills for the role. For example, I hired for positions that heavily emphasized people interaction but also a significant writing component. Several of these candidates who were excellent in interviews and on resumes ultimately were poor fits for the position because they lacked adequate computer and typing skills for the role. A simple, basic typing skills test would have uncovered deficiencies in this area, and saved me a significant amount of time and money in the meantime. Consider the position you are hiring for, and what skills or competencies are crucial to ensuring candidate success. Many job boards offer free assessments of all types that can aid in this process. 

Bottom Line

Effective recruiting takes time and effort. Steps in the recruitment process are often an afterthought or relegated solely to the HR department. Organizations should think outside of the box to find effective ways to ensure that not only can they recruit the best candidates, but also hire and retain them as well. This is not a comprehensive guide to hiring, but these steps will help elevate and streamline your recruiting process to ensure a greater chance of a successful and long-lasting hire.