The 12 Steps to the Recruitment Process – Step One

Open Position

This is a new series of posts for my blog and as the title suggests, there will be 12 of them. Up until now, I’ve written with the external recruiter in mind, so if you are new to the recruitment industry, then there is a series of 13 posts starting with “So you’ve become a recruitment consultant…” that may be even more relevant to you. This series is going to be focused towards the recruitment process as a whole and therefore will be also be very relevant to in-house recruiters.

The market is changing and companies have taken advantage of the dwindling economy over the past four years and have recruited ‘in-house’ some of those recruitment consultants that would normally have found themselves working in a consultancy. The major change that I’ve observed (I work with in-house as well as external recruiters) is the different mind-set of the “in-house” recruiter. KPIs, targets and even commission are now being paid by corporate recruiters to their in-house teams.

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With the advent of social media, it’s meant that gaining access to candidates who are actively looking for a new role, without resorting to ‘Headhunting’, has become relatively easy. From my discussions – as well as two events that I’ve helped to organise this year with in-house recruiters forming guest panels – the consensus was that they didn’t want to cut out the external recruiter altogether, but were more likely looking for a 75/25 split of who filled their vacancies (in-house being the larger number of course). Another key point to come out of these events was ‘The Candidate Journey’ and the interaction that you have with them before they join your company is 90% of that candidate journey. 

So with pretty much every company looking to recruit in the next twelve months, then it’s the quality of the Recruitment Process that they perform that will differentiate them to the candidates – who very soon will have control of the market again.

The 12 steps to the recruitment process

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Phase 1 is all about making sure that you are not going to be wasting your time. Therefore there is a lot of qualifying in these initial 4 steps to make sure that you are going to be successful once you start putting candidates forward as suitable.

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Phase two covers the different stages of the interview – and this may be extended if there is a third interview required.

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Phase three is all about control. So many things can go wrong during these steps, but hopefully if you’ve qualified well in phase 1, then it should all go smoothly.

  1. Taking a qualified position

The basic science here is that the more detail you have, the better match you will be able to make with a suitable candidate. Understanding not only the day to day duties, the interview and offer process but also the opportunities that will be available now and in the future and everything you can about the company and it’s future objectives – which puts internal recruiters at an major advantage here – as well as what are the characteristics of the ideal person. It will be so much easier to match your prospective candidates to your role if you know everything about it – good and bad.

Questions 2

Key questions to ask are: – 

a) Is there a job description and person specification for this role? If so, when was it last updated?

b) What is the ideal background for this person?

c) What are the long-term opportunities associated with this position?

d) Where are they likely to be working at the moment?

e) If a relevant candidate could be found today, when would be the first opportunity for interview? and if they were suitable, when would be the first start date available?

There are about another 70 questions, but the key is to find out very early on – is the line manager committed to finding the right person for this position? If they are unwilling to give you 30 minutes to establish all of the information you require, as well as giving you interview and actual start dates (not ASAP), then how much of a priority is filling this position to them?

Working on minimal briefs means that you will make bad matches and you will damage your reputation and the opportunity to be seen as the go to person to find the right people.


All posts in this series: –

Step one – Taking a qualified position

Step two – Making a recruitment plan

Step three – Sourcing potential candidates

Step four – Qualifying the candidates

Step five – Interviewing the candidate

Step six – Presenting the candidate to the line manager

Step seven – Candidate preparation and briefing

Step eight – Line manager interview

Step nine – The candidate debrief

Step ten – Managing the offer

Step eleven – Resignation briefing and management

Step twelve – The post placement and onboarding plan

Angela Cripps, Connemara UK

About the author:  Angela Cripps has worked within the recruitment industry for 25 years and has successfully recruited over 5,000 candidates through the recruitment process described in her blog, in her years as a recruitment consultant. She now helps both external and internal recruiters throughout Europe to improve their performance.


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