What Is Recruitment? (With 7 Stages of Recruiting)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 20 October 2022

Published 13 September 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.

Recruitment is a crucial process that all new employees go through. When a position at a company becomes available, it's important for companies to find the right professional for the role. Understanding the recruitment process can help you if you're applying for a new job, or if you're responsible for seeking new candidates in an HR role. In this article, we define what is recruitment, discuss its significance in human resource management (HRM), list the seven stages of the process and investigate some of the different types that exist.

Related: How To Work With a Headhunter To Find a Job (With Tips)

What is recruitment?

It's important to understand what recruitment is because it's necessary for the expansion and growth of companies. Recruitment is the active search, interviewing, selection and hiring of employees. It covers the entire hiring process, from identifying a staff shortage to fulfilling that need and integrating a new recruit into the company. The work environment of a recruiter can vary depending on the size of the company. Some work in large teams, while others work as the sole recruiter on staff. It's also possible for companies to outsource recruiting. It's usually carried out by recruiters, hiring managers or human resources.

Candidates are usually either hired internally or externally, meaning the employee is either recruited from within the company or from outside the company. A special type of recruit is the passive candidate. These are candidates who aren't actively searching for a job, usually because they're already employed elsewhere. Through the use of networking and social media sites, it's possible to reach out to these candidates. That way, the recruiter can avoid staying within the confines of the applicant pool.

Related: Tips From a Recruiter: Standing Out to Hiring Managers During COVID-19

What is recruitment in HRM?

Human resource management is the efficient and effective management of an organisation or company's employees. It aims to provide businesses with a competitive advantage by maximising the performance of their employees to reach the goals, strategies and objectives set by the employer. The main functions of a human resource manager include training employees, managing their performance, improving managerial and labour relations and selecting and hiring new staff.

The selection and hiring of new recruits is extremely important in HRM for several reasons, including:

Secures the correct candidate

Human resource managers and recruiters are responsible for finding a suitable candidate. Throughout the process, they can ensure that they find the most qualified professional to fill the position. Besides being highly skilled, it's also important that the candidate is a cultural fit for the company.

Throughout the hiring process, it's possible to test and find the candidate whose personality, working style and experience make them the most suitable. For example, a company that focuses on working collaboratively in teams may seek someone who thrives on teamwork rather than someone who prefers to work alone. It's important to find the right candidate because this may ensure that the organisation and the applicant benefit.

Related: What Does a Recruiter Do: Duties, Skills and Salary

Saves resources

The hiring process is also important in HRM because, when done correctly, it can save the company resources. Finding and recruiting the right candidate who's able to live up to the employer's expectations and can effectively meet the organisation's objectives saves the company time and money. This is because it may eliminate the step of finding a replacement for the new employee who may not be able to meet the job's requirements and expectations. Selecting, recruiting and onboarding new staff members can be a long and costly procedure, so it's important that human resource managers pick the right candidate.

Improves and maintains brand image

Human resource managers are vital in creating and maintaining a company's positive brand image. During the hiring process, particularly through the interviews, their enthusiasm and professionalism can make the business seem like an excellent place to work. Recruiting in a manner that's smooth and efficient can reflect positively on the company. This good reputation can encourage future candidates to apply when another position becomes available.

Related: Top 20 HR Interview Questions and How To Answer Them

Increases workplace satisfaction

Recruiting the right candidate is important in HRM because it can effectively increase the satisfaction of the other employees. When recruiters hire a skilled person, this new addition can help the teams and individuals already working for the company by providing a different perspective and new knowledge. Furthermore, if the hiring process is positive and inspiring, the new employee is likely to feel great motivation and excitement about their job. This further increases the satisfaction felt in the workplace.

Related: What Is Human Resources? Definition and Examples

What are the 7 stages of recruitment?

The general process of recruiting consists of seven stages. These are:

1. Identifying the ideal candidate profile

The first step is to determine what type of employee the company is looking for. First, identify what role you wish to fill. Then, you can decide what qualities make a potential employee perfect for this position. This can include their past professional experience, type of personality and level of education.

2. Writing the job description

The second step is to write the job description. This is usually the first thing candidates read, and it helps them decide if they want to apply to the job. These descriptions typically include the specific job title, location, a short list of what makes the position attractive and a summary of what the role entails, such as the duties and responsibilities. They usually also include a summary of the company's values and an overview of the desired qualifications and skills.

3. Advertising the position

After the job description is complete, it's time to advertise the position. You can do this by, for example, posting the job description on various online platforms, such as Indeed. The section below explores the various ways of attracting talent. The important thing is to create a process that's straightforward, communicative and sets realistic expectations.

4. Reviewing and evaluating

Next, it's time to assess the applications to create a shortlist of prospective candidates. To help you evaluate the applications, it's advisable to define what qualifications and skills you require candidates to have versus what qualifications are nice to have, but not necessary to perform the job. This helps keep your expectations realistic.

Related: Why Quality Over Quantity Matters in Your Job Applications

5. Interviewing candidates

This step may concern the interviewing of the shortlisted contenders. Efficient scheduling is important during this process, as you want to complete it as quickly as possible while also being thorough in your search. It's advisable to allow the candidates the opportunity to schedule their interview outside of normal working hours or during lunch hours in case they're already employed elsewhere.

Related: How To Succeed in a Virtual Interview

6. Selecting the desired candidate

After you have interviewed the shortlisted candidates and checked their references, it's time to choose who you want to hire. When offering the job, it's important to establish a start date and agree on the conditions. These include the salary, schedule and background check. It's wise to avoid dismissing the other candidates before the preferred contender accepts the job offer. This is in case the person accepts a counter-offer or changes their mind.

7. Hiring and onboarding

The last stage of the process is to hire and onboard your new recruit. After they accept the job offer, the new employee is ready to go through the onboarding process. This involves training, mentoring and providing them with the necessary resources to integrate successfully into the company or organisation. It's important that the onboarding programme that makes up this final stage is strong because you want new hires to feel comfortable and welcome at their new job. This avoids a high turnover rate and can improve or maintain the company's good reputation.

What are the types of recruitment?

There are many options available for employers who are looking to recruit. Here are some of the methods of recruiting that exist:

Inbound recruiting

This type of reactive recruiting involves publishing job openings and then reviewing and selecting one of the received applications. It's also possible to choose from an existing pool of candidates if people have sent unsolicited applications to the company. Various strategies of inbound recruiting include attending job fairs, recruiting through colleges and posting objective perspectives on review sites.

Outbound recruiting

This kind of recruiting is also sometimes referred to as sourcing. It involves actively searching for candidates whose specific background and skills make them eligible for the job, rather than simply posting an ad. Companies may use this type of recruiting when the job is either unique or when the position is at the senior level.

Internal recruiting

This type of recruiting involves hiring people already working for the company. This can be beneficial because the employee is already familiar with the company's work culture and their work record is easy to verify. An obstacle to hiring internally is that managers are sometimes reluctant to lose their best talent. One way to overcome this challenge is by offering managers incentives for nominating someone from their team for promotion.

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