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What Are the Steps in the Hiring Process?

Published September 30, 2020 (last updated on April 18, 2024) | Adam Wyatt - Content Writer

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What is a hiring process?

A hiring process involves, as you might expect, the process of finding, selecting and employing new staff in your business.

A hiring process that is efficient and effective can help propel a business to greater heights. If you’re able to figure what you’re looking for, and the best candidates for that role, then you’re setting yourself up on your way to get ahead of your competitors.

10 Steps of the Hiring Process

1. Identify Your Need

Understand what type of individual you need for the role.

If this is a newly created role, ensure that you know exactly what you are looking for and what your goal is by hiring for this position. Think about what exactly this role involves and what are the job requirements and essential skills for this role.

If this is to replace someone, think about what this person moving on brought to the table that is required in this role again, but also consider what skill gaps there might have been, that you are looking to fill.

Ensure you have a thorough conversation with the hiring manager(s) to ensure everyone involved in the process is aligned and knows what you are looking for.

2. Who is the Ideal Candidate for this Vacancy?

Think about the essential experience, skills and qualifications required for this role. Apart from the must-haves, also identify the ideal ‘soft skills’ for this role – for example, communication skills or resilience. Another thing to consider are the qualities and skills you or your business are able to teach the candidate.

3.  Create a Job Posting

Acquiring the right talent usually requires you to post job ads on relevant job boards.

Think about your role and who you are trying to attract. There are specific job boards out there that you might have not thought of yet – an industry specific body may have a careers page.

If you’re finding your talent search challenging, think outside of the box. Consider using social media; for instance, if you are looking for someone in a hard to find area, many communities have local Facebook groups where you might be able to find qualified candidates.

4. Alternative Sourcing Methods

Depending on what kind of role you are looking to fill, a lot of qualified candidates are not actively in the market. You may need to tap into a more passive network. Here are some ideas:

  • Referrals -If possible, speak with other employees in your organisation with a similar skillset to see if they can recommend someone for the role

  • Database search– Ensure you leave no stone unturned and conduct a database search to see if a suitable candidate might have applied for a similar role in the past. They might have been too junior back then, but have just the right level of skills you need now

  • LinkedIn Recruiter– LinkedIn Recruiter is a great tool to find candidates with the skillset you need. You can use specific key words previously identified with the hiring managers to narrow down your talent pool – this can give you access to a wider pool of prospects. Bear in mind that not all of them are actively in the market. Even if they might not be interested in a career move at this stage, always ask for referrals., they might know someone in their network with a similar skillset that is actively searching for new opportunities

  • Networking– Attend specific networking events to connect with talent in a specific area that you are hiring for

5. CV reviews/Application Screening Process

A good CV will be structured well, concise and easy to read. Of course, ensure the CV is relevant to your job description. Keep an eye out for key words that you have previously identified.

Look out for “achievements” – responsibilities can be quite similar for certain roles, and these achievements may set an applicant apart from their others. You want to see what they can bring to the table and where they can add value to your team and organisation

Things to look out for:

  • Spelling and grammar mistakes-Shows a lack of attention to detail and is an indicator of their future performance in the role.

  • Jumpy CVs– Short tenure can be a sign of the candidate not having passed probation. An abundance of contracts might result in the candidate leaving your organisation quickly after spending time and energy on training them.

  • Variances in CV and profiles (for example, on LinkedIn)-Have a quick look at a candidate’s CV and profile to see if they match. Hopefully they should not have any significant discrepancies.

  • Highly overqualified candidates-These candidates are most likely not committed to the role and might not stay in your organisation for long.

  • Lack of professionalism– A sloppy CV is a good indicator of their work ethic and how they will present themselves in the organisation and perform in their role

6. Identify the Interview Panel

Interviewing candidates is a vital step when hiring new employees. You want to ensure that you have the right interviewers on the panel and that you can retrieve the information you need from the candidate.

It is recommended not to overcrowd the interview. That is, to have more than three interviewers vs one interviewee.

Make sure that you are creating a panel of both the hiring manager, as well as an HR representative – if you have an inhouse HR team – and that the panel knows the ins and outs of this role, to be able to answer any questions the interviewee might have.

Do not forget that an interview works two ways. The candidate is interviewing and vetting you and your business to see if you are the right fit for them, just as much as you are assessing them. Once you have a candidate you wish to interview, discuss what the interview process will be, how many stages of the interview process there will be and, if possible, who will be involved.

7. Interviewing Relevant Candidates

Depending on the role and your needs, the interview process can vary. It is also important to establish and follow the structure of the interview process as well as asking each candidate the same interview questions to ensure you can objectively compare your candidates to find the best fit for the role and your team.

Employsure recommends that you undertake an initial phone screening to go through “non-negotiables” such as salary expectations, qualifications required for the role (i.e. drivers’ licence, degrees, etc), visa restrictions, notice period, confirming working hours and office location. Also check if the candidate has any annual leave booked in the next 6 months (extended leave in the next 12 months) as this might impact your hiring decision.

You should also find out, if and how active they are in the market. You want to avoid any surprises at offer stage with the candidate rejecting your job offer to take another one. This might also impact how quickly you need to move in your process.

Suggested Interview Process

Ensure that you are in a quiet place in the office, especially if you are conducting a face-to-face interview. Remember that an interview can be quite stressful for the candidate, set them up for success by allowing them to fully concentrate on the interview without distractions

Ease them into the interview with a little small talk and start out with a question such as how they found the first interview, if they have any questions from the previous interview, or what they know about the organisation so far.

Ask open ended questions as specific to the person in front of you as possible. Consider asking a secondary line of questions, like behavioural-based questions. Dig deeper into their experience; pick information you find relevant in their previous answer and ask them another question around that topic.

Then, ask the hard questions. For example:

  • “Tell me about a time when you received negative feedback. How did you react?”

  • “Tell me about a time when you had to have a difficult conversation with a colleague. What was the result?”

Find out why the candidate wants to work for your organisation – What are their drivers and motivators?

Always end the interview and set expectations with candidates around the next steps and provide them with a time frame of when they can expect to hear back.

8. Reference Checks

Conducting reference checks is another key step in the recruitment process to ensure you are bringing reliable and capable employees into your organisation.

You can either contact their references via email or just by giving them a call. You should ask specific questions around their strengths and weaknesses, performance, what their reason for leaving was and if they would hire that candidate again. Also, ensure that you confirm that the dates of employment on the CV match with the reference.

Depending on the need of your organisation you might need to also conduct further background checks on the prospective employee.

9. Offer

Once you have identified the top candidate for your team, it is time to hire. You want to make sure there are no surprises.

Give the candidate a call and have a conversation with them about their thoughts and the process so far. Find out where they are at with other potential interviews, and gauge their interest in the role with your organisation.

Once you have answered all questions and feel comfortable, extend the verbal offer to the candidate. Provide them with a start date as well as confirming the salary – remember to ask for their verbal acceptance.

Explain the process moving forward and set the expectation as to when the written Letter of Offer will be in their hands. Follow up with an email, detailing everything you have verbally discussed.

10.    Post-Offer Care

Depending on the length of the notice period or the agreed start date it might be a month or even longer until the candidate starts with your organisation. Ensure that you keep them engaged and excited. They are your new colleague after all.

There are many little things you can do to ensure the candidate is kept engaged:

  • Send them a LinkedIn invitation with a little note welcoming them to the team, ask the hiring managers and any potential new team mates to do the same

  • Follow up with an email 1-2 weeks after the offer was extended to see if they have any questions and ensure everything is signed

  • Send them any social media links to follow your company

  • You can also arrange an informal catch up over coffee with their direct team or invite them for Friday after work drinks to meet everyone in a more informal setting

  • Have an onboarding policy for new employees

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Selection Methods?

The selection methods depend on your needs, but here are some suggestions:

  • Suitable resumes and CVs
  • Traditional job interviews
  • Personality testing
  • Aptitude testing
  • Group interviews
  • Requesting a presentation
Who Should Interview Candidates?

The prospective employee’s future manager should be interviewing the candidate, at the very least. Also consider including a representative from HR (if applicable), and a member of the team (a potential future colleague of the candidate) to also sit in on the interview.

How Many Candidates Should be Shortlisted for Interview?

This depends on your needs. When considering how long your shortlist is, here are some aspects you need to consider:

  • How many employees you wish to hire
  • How specialised the role is
  • The quality of the pool of candidates
  • How strict your requirements are of candidates
What are the Three Criteria for a Hiring Decision?

There are more than three criteria for a hiring decision. However, perhaps the three most important criteria are:

  • Capability
  • Cultural fit
  • Salary expectations
How do you Interview a Disabled Person?

The purpose of a recruitment process is to assess how well candidates can perform the inherent requirements of the role. A person with a disability may be able to meet those requirements just as well as anyone else, however may need certain adjustments to set them up for success.

Disabilities vary widely, so a one-size-fits-all approach cannot be applied to interviewing those with a disability.

If a candidate shares their disability with you in their application or during the recruitment process, it is important to understand whether any reasonable adjustments need to be made to the recruitment process to ensure it is accessible for them. This can be understood by having a conversation with the candidate to discuss what adjustments are required. For example, someone with a visual disability may need a screen reader for completing an online test as part of the interview process, or you may need to consider the location of your interview room if you are interviewing someone who requires a wheelchair.

It is best to have the conversation about any adjustments as soon as you are aware of the situation, so that the candidate can attend the interview with confidence in the process and a clear understanding of how the day will run

How do you Assess an Interview Candidate?
  1. See if they match the perception given by their CV
  2. See if they respond well to questioning; how confident they are in speaking, answering and thinking about questions
  3. See if they dress professionally or in a manner suitable for the role
  4. See if their personality will be a cultural fit for the business
What’s the Best Recruitment Process?

The best recruitment process is something that’s always being updated and revised. There are some commonly held best-practice rules that many businesses use, such as requesting a CV, interviewing candidates face-to-face, and asking them to create a presentation or take a skills-based test.

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