Brennan Whitfield | Mar 29, 2024

When a role opens in your company, it takes an average of 44 days and thousands of dollars to fill it, which is why having a recruitment process improvement plan is so vital. 

How to Improve Your Recruitment Process

  • Use an applicant tracking system.
  • Only include the most necessary requirements in job descriptions.
  • Prioritize candidate communication.
  • Lean on your current employees.
  • Meet candidates where they are.
  • Streamline your interview process.
  • Showcase your culture.
  • Enhance your employer branding strategy.
  • Attend and host industry events.

Here are 10 of the most effective methods to enhance your recruiting efforts by leveraging existing resources and utilizing the right tools.


Tips for Improving the Recruitment Process

1. Use an Applicant Tracking System

The most important element of an efficient recruitment strategy is an applicant tracking system (ATS). An ATS enables recruiters to track applicants over the course of the entire recruitment process — from application to offer letters — and automate communications so elite candidates don’t fall through the cracks. 

Perhaps more importantly, an applicant tracking system can help you identify where the majority of your qualified applicants are coming from, be it your careers page, social media or job boards. This data helps recruiters determine which avenues are most successful and worthy of additional resources, and which they can pull back on.

If you aren’t currently using an ATS, this recruitment tool could change your recruitment process in positive ways.

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2. Only Include Must-Haves in Your Job descriptions 

Studies show that women are less likely to apply to jobs even if they are similarly qualified to men in the same position. Including unnecessary details — such as certifications you’re willing to train for or secondary responsibilities — will drastically narrow your talent pool.

As a result, you may have to prolong your candidate search, costing you additional time and resources. Not only that, but with a narrow talent pool, you will struggle to hire a diverse and inclusive team that reflects your community and the customers you serve. Tighten up your job descriptions to increase the breadth and quality of applicants.


3. Prioritize Candidate Communication

Leaving interested prospects hanging will turn them off your company and toward another. Keep in contact with applicants throughout the entire process, even if it’s just to check in and say, “Hey, no news yet!” Elite candidates are likely fielding multiple offers or are at least on the radar of other organizations. If they haven’t heard from you in a while or don’t have an idea of when they can expect to hear from you, they’re not going to wait around. Stay top of mind with candidates — and at the top of their inbox — to keep them as a viable option and refrain from having to restart your search.


4. Lean on Your Current Employees

When it comes to filling open roles, turn to your existing team members to boost your recruitment efforts without racking up costs. These three tactics can help engage your current workforce in your recruitment strategy.

Look for Inside Hires

Prior to asking for employee recommendations and posting a job description, first look for employees that you can promote from within and then open applications up to your current employees. An inside hire already knows your team, the business and positively contributes to your culture, which mitigates the onboarding process for an outside candidate. Additionally, offering employees the opportunity to apply before formally starting to recruit shows your team members that you value them and support their career advancement. This tactic will boost employee engagement.

Create a Referral Program 

Implement an employee referral program to encourage candidate recommendations and get creative with the incentives you offer your employees. Monetary rewards are common, but your team may be more enticed by experiences, like a weekend getaway with a plus one. Set guidelines for when and how rewards are distributed. Waiting several months after the hire date to reward an employee for their referral is standard and ensures employees are only compensated for solid recommendations and quality hires.

Leverage Your Employees as Recruiters

Good people know good people. Build an internal employer branding team and leverage the people in your organization as recruiters by tapping into their digital networks. Provide employees with social copy and an engaging image — it doesn’t have to be professionally polished — and ask them to post it on their social media profiles. Doing so will increase your chances of receiving applications from quality candidates and help build your talent pipeline.


5. Meet Candidates Where They Are

Determining where to source candidates is a major decision. If you’re looking for candidates early in their career, you’ll probably find success with a social media recruiting strategy. Conversely, experienced candidates are more likely to be accessible via traditional job boards. Either way, you’ll waste time and resources if you’re not utilizing the right sourcing tools.

Pursuing avenues you know to be home to professionals in your field will make it easier to connect with ideal candidates sooner. The key is to first figure out where these passive job seekers are prior to launching your recruitment strategy. Focusing on the right sourcing tools, instead of trying them all, will improve your quality of candidates and reduce the amount of work required to hire them. 


6. Streamline Your Interview Process

Your HR staff and recruiters are fully equipped to source, vet and interview candidates, but what about your hiring managers? Most likely, you’ll want the employees who will be working closely with a potential candidate to conduct an interview or two. Employees should be familiar with legal stipulations and ethical interview guidelines, in addition to understanding the best practices for assessing qualifications. 

Create a standardized candidate evaluation template and tailor it to each role you’re hiring for. Before you begin your search, talk with hiring managers to build out the candidate persona — what are the responsibilities assigned to the role and who do they want in the position? Then, craft questions that get at the qualities they describe. For example, if they want a salesperson who will be aggressive in the role, ask each candidate about a time they fought for what they wanted. This approach ensures you’re consistently asking interviewees the right questions.

This, combined with training interviewers, can reduce your time-to-hire, minimize lost employee productivity due to a lengthy interview process and make it easier to spot the right candidates for the job.

RelatedWhat Is Talent Assessment?


7. Build Out Your Talent Pipeline

Continually sourcing candidates for roles before they become vacant will greatly reduce your time-to-hire. Building your talent pipeline — especially for roles with historically high turnover — will enable you to engage prospective candidates early. 

Join an online professional community to connect with passive candidates. Passive job seekers are crucial to improving your recruitment process. The candidate journey is typically segmented into a six-stage process and submitting an application doesn’t occur until the fourth stage. 

What’s more, candidates are likely to make several stops along the way before deciding to apply to a job — at company websites, career pages, social media profiles and anonymous employee review sites. It’s a candidate’s market and they can afford to be picky and shop around. What does this mean for your HR and recruitment team? Be patient and start the search early by connecting with passive candidates now.


8. Showcase Your Company Culture 

Your company culture is the personality of your organization and a key aspect to highlight early on in the recruitment marketing process. 34 percent of people said they would leave a company within the first 90 days if the culture wasn’t as they expected, and 21 percent of respondents from the same survey cited poor company culture as a reason for leaving a job in the past 12 months. People care about where they work and what they do — emphasizing your company culture shows job seekers that you’re building a business and a community.

Incorporate employee spotlights on your website and feature your mission statement and core values prominently on your about page. Sharing details about your company culture helps prospective employees understand what it’s like to work at your company, which makes it easier for them to accept an offer. 

Additionally, share employee testimonials to simultaneously promote your culture and open roles. If you’re looking to fill an account executive position, ask one of the top AEs on your team for their thoughts on what they like about their job and how the company empowers them to be successful in their role.

RelatedHow to Create a Successful Remote Onboarding Plan


9. Enhance Your Employer Brand Strategy

Your employer brand is your organization’s reputation as an employer; it’s what job seekers and the general public think of your brand. While you can’t control people’s perceptions, you can help influence their opinions of your company. The first step is to craft your employee value proposition, which will help you effectively pitch your open roles and company to prospective candidates. 

Then, you’ll want to update existing public-facing content and create new promotional materials that help showcase your new and improved employer brand. This is among the first things job seekers come across when considering your company, so make sure you accurately represent your organization and make it stand out among others.


10. Attend and Host Industry Events

Take your talent search on the road to meet candidates in your markets. Not only are industry events a great way to connect with prospective employees, but they give you the opportunity to network with other like-minded organizations and form relationships that can lead to lasting partnerships.

Furthermore, meeting potential candidates in person is more effective than reviewing resumes. Industry events allow you to partially skip the first step of your candidate search by providing insights on the individual’s personality, values and long-term career goals through face-to-face conversations.

Having a solid recruitment process improvement plan is a big to-do, but not altogether impossible. The key is to leverage the resources at your disposal and rely on real data to inform your decisions.


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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the stages of the recruitment process?

The recruitment process often includes the following stages:

  1. Planning and determining company needs
  2. Strategy development 
  3. Searching and sourcing candidates
  4. Screening candidates 
  5. Interviewing and selecting candidates
  6. Job offer and onboarding employees
  7. Evaluating the recruitment process

How long does the recruitment process take?

The recruitment process takes three to six weeks to complete on average, though this timeframe can vary depending on each company and the role being filled.

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