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What Is Recruiting?

Recruiting is the stage of the employee life cycle in which prospective candidates are sourced, interviewed and assessed in order to identify the best fit for a job opening. This process of identifying who will be hired is typically based on required skills, relevant background and whether or not the person is culturally additive to the organization. In other words, is the person a great fit based on their qualifications and alignment with the company’s values?


How Does Recruiting Work?

Recruiting typically follows this process: sourcing, recruiter screen, hiring team assessment and finally, the offer stage.



Sourcing begins the process of recruiting, and can be classified as either passive or active. Generally, recruiters will utilize both ways of sourcing.

  • Passive sourcing is when a recruiter sources by posting open positions on the company’s career site and various job sites in order to collect applicants. 
  • Active sourcing is when a recruiter directly reaches out to prospective candidates who closely match job requirements for an open position. Recruiters do this outreach over various online networking platforms and social media, as well as during in-person events. 


Recruiter Screen 

Once a recruiter successfully sources a candidate, they’ll follow up with a recruiter screen with the candidate. This initial screening phase allows the recruiter to get a sense of the candidate’s background and skills in order to identify if they should move forward in the process. This also allows the candidate to get more information about the role and the company, as well as ask questions that are important to their decision making. 


Hiring Team Assessment

Candidates that pass their initial screens will make their way to the hiring team interview phase where there is a greater focus on assessing the candidate’s skills. Depending on the role’s required skills, these assessments can vary and include coding assessments, writing challenges, Q&As and more.


Job Offer 

Candidates who are identified to be the best fit for the role based on the hiring team’s needs are extended an offer. In this stage of the process, the recruiter’s goal is to close the candidate and get them to join the team. Recruiters will usually go over the total compensation for the role, including salary, performance bonus, benefits, perks and additional forms of compensation such as stock options.

What are 3 Methods of Recruiting?

  1. Internal Recruiting is the act of recruiting by promoting job openings to existing employees as a way to provide career development opportunities and help with employee retention. 
  2. Technical Recruiting focuses on recruiting candidates for technical positions, such as engineering and product roles. Some of these roles may include software engineers, network architects, product managers and QA specialists. 
  3. Executive Recruiting focuses on recruiting candidates to fill executive level positions, such as CFO, CTO, and CEO. Executive recruiters may also work on other senior management roles that may not be at C-level.


Why Is Recruiting Important?

As a key part of the HR team, the recruiting function enables the company to compete for and acquire talent that is essential to the success and growth of the organization. An effective recruiting team is able to attract and recruit a diverse pool of candidates for the hiring teams with whom they partner. Being one of the first experiences of the employee life cycle, recruiting is critical to providing an excellent experience for potential employees, while building talent brand awareness for a company. 

Related Reading From Built In ExpertsThe 4 Most Common Recruiting Mistakes at the Executive Level


What Are the Benefits and Risks of Recruiting? 

Effective recruiting can boost positive brand awareness as a recruiting team’s outreach extends to more people. As candidates consistently experience a great interview process, it is more likely for them to engage with the company’s brand and refer others. 

When ineffective, recruiting can negatively affect a company’s talent brand. In cases where candidates go through a bad interview experience, it is likely for those candidates to speak negatively about the company, whether by leaving a review online or through word-of-mouth.