Recruitment is more than just posting openings to online job boards. It’s a proactive approach to finding the right candidates for your company who will help advance your business and meet goals. Recruiting includes sourcing high quality candidates, refining the interview process and working with internal teams to retain good employees.

What Is Recruitment?

Recruitment is a process and strategy to build employer brand awareness and market your company as an attractive place to work, as well acquire new talent to fill open positions. The goal is to find high quality candidates who fit well with your company culture and have the skills and experience for the position. The recruitment process will differ depending on the organization, but it is typically managed through the human resources department or outsourced to a recruitment agency.

Recruiting is an element of human capital management (HCM), the strategy and process of finding, hiring, training and retaining your workforce. HCM is a continuous process that needs to be revised and adapted to changing business conditions. Recruitment plays an important role in HCM, and software can help make sourcing, recruitment, hiring and retaining more efficient.

Recruitment is a continuous process that companies employ to search for the best talent, even when there isn't a current vacant position available. It includes building employer brand awareness among professionals in your industry so that they view your organization as one that fits their skillset and career goals. That way, when your company is ready to hire for open positions, you have a pool of possible applicants who already view your company as an attractive place to work.

Recruiting vs hiring

Recruiting is a process that involves seeking and reviewing job applications for a vacant position. It could mean placing an ad on a job site, social media or directing candidates to your website. This is for when a company is looking to fill a specific role within the company.

Recruitment includes hiring, but also encompasses broader processes and strategy to attract and retain talent. Hiring involves tactics such as onboarding and developing employee skills, processing job applications and promoting a positive workplace culture.

Think of hiring as a more one-time event looking at the short-term — it only happens when an employee leaves the company or when a new position is created. Recruitment, on the other hand, is more continuous and considers current and anticipated needs.

What Is Recruiting in HR?

Recruiting in HR is where the human resources department is responsible for the entire process, instead of outsourcing to a third-party company. Although the responsibility primarily falls on the HR department, hiring managers and other staff are involved because they can be a valuable source for referrals, work with new hires and play an important role in the brand awareness of your company for potential recruits.

An effective recruiting process properly screens potential candidates, clearly conveys job expectations and explains compensation and benefits offered for the position.

Key Takeaways

  • Recruitment is the process of attracting and retaining the best talent. Hiring is an important step in the broader recruitment process.
  • Recruiting includes both internal strategies like seeking employee referrals and external strategies like sourcing high quality candidates. It can fall primarily on the shoulders of the HR department or be outsourced to a staffing agency.
  • Having a good recruitment process in place helps other aspects of your daily operations run smoothly.

Recruitment Explained

Recruiting is the continual and often time-consuming process for your organization to attract and pool talent. Recruitment helps keep your employer brand in top form. When developing your recruitment strategies, you’ll work on creating and managing a talent pool. This is a group of people who might be a good fit for your company and its culture and are high performers in their field. Creating a brand that reflects a positive and engaging workplace can help build that talent pool, which makes filling open positions with high quality candidates easier and faster.

What is the purpose of recruiting? Effective recruitment processes make it so other HR functions can thrive. When done well, you’re able to find future leaders for a company, get the most performance from employees and determine organizational requirements. Effective recruiting takes a deft hand, and high-quality recruiters are in demand because of the unique and diverse skillset the role requires, including making and building relationships, marketing and brand management, as well as working with internal stakeholders to create an attractive workplace culture.

7 Steps in the Recruitment Process

What are the seven stages of recruitment? They encompass planning, sourcing, recruiting and retaining candidates. These steps may vary depending on the industry and if part of the hiring process is done remotely.

  1. Assess staffing needs

    Recruitment is a proactive process, and thinking long-term is key. Understanding staffing needs means more than just knowing which positions need to be filled. It means going deeper to understand which positions might be harder to fill, which positions will likely have a larger or smaller pool of candidates and beginning to see where you can source those candidates.

    Looking at staffing needs also means having a succession plan in place for key positions, so work isn’t interrupted when pivotal roles leave or move to another department.

  2. Create your ideal candidate profile

    You want a healthy number of applicants for an open position, but it’s not about just attracting large numbers of candidates — it’s about attracting the right type of candidate for the role and your company. One of the best tools to narrow your focus is creating an ideal candidate profile.

    For each role, start by listing the knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) an ideal candidate would possess to achieve company goals. Also, think about other aspects such as personality types that would best fit in with your company’s work culture. Then use this information to craft a job description and create marketing and outreach messages to best attract candidates.

  3. Proactively source applicants

    After you know what knowledge, skills and abilities your ideal candidates will have, it’s time to start sourcing some possible applicants. Sourcing is the term used to refer to the actions of looking for and contacting potential candidates for open jobs. After they’ve been successfully sourced, next comes the recruiting — convincing candidates to join your company and building a brand as an employer that attracts and retains high quality employees.

    Creating a sound sourcing strategy also helps you to build a better candidate experience. If your budget allows, consider posting open positions to multiple job boards, and track the performance of each to see if one is returning more qualified candidates so you can focus your efforts. And if possible, hiring a dedicated recruiter can help you fill roles faster and find more qualified candidates.

    To evaluate your sourcing, monitor recruitment key performance indicators (KPIs), such as how many candidates move on in each stage.

  4. Select and screen applicants

    Set clear expectations and let candidates know what the full hiring process looks like, including the steps, who they'll speak with, how to prepare and how long it could take.

    When screening applicants, define skills and qualifications they must have and ones that are extra or nice to have. Conduct screening interviews before passing candidates on to the hiring manager. You can glean a lot of information even from a short phone or video call. Ask your hiring managers how pleased they are with the pool of candidates who move on past the screening interview, and use that as a success metric for your HR team.

  5. Create an efficient interview process

    Coordinating interviews can be time-consuming and drag out the hiring process. Creating an efficient interview process can reduce time-to-hire, keep candidates satisfied and help keep hiring managers pleased with the process. One of the tools to help you keep track of your candidate pool, as well as aid with things like scheduling, interview questions and reviews is a human resources management system (HRMS). What is an HRMS? It’s a suite of software applications you can use to help manage HR-related processes, including recruitment, hiring and onboarding.

  6. Extend an offer

    Other important factors in the interview process include checking references, conducting a background check and formalizing an offer. Your top pick may end up failing pre-employment testing, so don’t dismiss other candidates right away.

  7. Have a strong onboarding program

    A strong onboarding program is an important step, and it requires recruiting to work with the rest of HR, front-line staff and management to attract and retain top talent. An efficient program includes training, resources, mentorship and additional information so that new hires feel welcome and valued. It also decreases the chances of someone leaving the organization if they feel they’re not provided ample opportunities to further their skills and career prospects. A well-designed onboarding plan can also be a strategic advantage to a recruiter to land top candidates.

Types of Recruiting

To source and recruit candidates, companies promote from within, seek the help of recruiters and leverage social networking websites.

  • Internal recruiting: This includes promotions, transfers and re-employment of former employees.
  • Retained recruiting: A recruitment agency is hired on a retainer to perform recruitment duties regularly.
  • Contingency recruiting: This service is when an organization outsources recruitment efforts and pays the recruiter when a role is successfully filled.
  • Staffing recruiting: Recruiters work at staffing agencies to match qualified candidates to the right position. They're able to assess staffing needs to make decisions.
  • Outplacement recruiting: The goal of outplacement firms is to provide training to candidates to help secure new jobs after they've been terminated or laid off by their former employer.
  • Reverse recruiting: Candidates act as their own recruiter, where companies apply to candidates, reversing the traditional application process.
  • HR-managed recruiting: All recruiting activities are done internally by your HR team. This may include a dedicated recruiter, or even a team of recruiters, depending on the size of your business.

Benefits of Recruitment

An established robust recruitment process can help boost your employer brand, improve the quality of candidates and ultimately affect your company’s bottom line by reducing inefficiencies and bringing on board the highest performers possible. Here are a few reasons why a strong recruitment system is beneficial.

  • Provides transparency: A good recruiting process is transparent for candidates, the HR team, hiring manager and others about what steps are involved in the hiring and where you currently stand for each open position. This transparency leads to greater confidence in the HR team, as well as confidence that the candidates will be good fits for the positions.
  • Increases merit-based hires: Discrimination within the recruitment process is drastically minimized with an effective procedure in place. It also means companies can create more accurate job descriptions, highlighting the exact skills needed to be successful in a particular role.
  • Furthers the company’s reputation: When your organization displays and practices effective recruitment tactics, it shows potential candidates a high level of credibility and consistency and encourages them to seek other open positions and recommend your company to friends and colleagues.

Recruitment Challenges

While recruitment is a necessary part of remaining competitive in business, there are some challenges your organization needs to be aware of, including the following.

  • It may require internal resources: Managing the recruitment process in house takes time and effort. If you don’t hire new staff, this will mean putting extra workload on existing employees. Additionally, just because someone works in HR, does not mean they’ll have the skills, knowledge and abilities to be an effective recruiter.
  • Outsourcing can be costly: Hiring a recruitment agency or headhunter helps free up your existing staff, but the fees could eat into your expenses. Figuring out how to hire the right recruiters can also take time.
  • Your company reputation may be at risk: Outsourcing your recruitment may be risky if the agency does not fully understand your company, its workplace culture and what your organization considers the right fit.

8 Tips for Recruiting

How do you recruit in 2021? Building an attractive reputation, leveraging employee referrals and simplifying the application process are just a few of the recruiting trends. Being successful in recruiting will take time and effort. Here are some tips to boost your recruiting.

  1. Prioritize branding your company:

    An attractive reputation amongst candidates helps attract top tier talent and makes them more likely to accept offers when made. This goes beyond having ping pong tables in the break room. Your company can focus on the employee experience to create a culture of engagement, and then sharing that with potential employees will boost your candidate pool greatly.

  2. Leverage employee referrals:

    Consider increasing incentives for referrals so that all employees become recruiters for your company. Make it worth their time.

  3. Offer a competitive compensation package:

    The more competitive your compensation package, the more likely it is that candidates will accept your job offer.

  4. Be transparent:

    Keeping candidates informed throughout the hiring process gives them the confidence to trust the company to look out for their best interests.

  5. Consider hiring contractors or part-time employees:

    Sometimes, finding the right candidate for a full-time position may be difficult and costly. It may make sense to embrace part-time or contract roles. Be aware that this type of role often has more turnover than traditional, full-time employees and comes with its own unique set of challenges.

  6. Build strong talent networks:

    Develop relationships with top talent well before there are any job openings to help you tap into your network more quickly to make efficient hires.

  7. Simplify the job application process:

    A long or complex application process can make candidates feel deterred and can lead to them abandoning the form. Make it clear and concise and focus on the most important aspects so you don’t waste time on too many unqualified applicants.

  8. Hire more recruiters:

    Attracting and hiring high quality talent is an investment in your company's future. Hiring recruiters can improve your talent pool and boost your productivity and profits. You may be asking yourself, “How do you recruit recruiters?” Start by asking around for referrals or searching for and assessing for the right fit for your company.

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Improve Recruiting With HCM Software

Human capital management (HCM) is the strategy and process of finding, hiring, training and retaining your workforce. HCM is a continuous process that needs to be revised and adapted to changing business conditions. Recruitment plays an important role in HCM, and software can help make sourcing, recruitment, hiring and retaining more efficient. HCM software can eliminate many manual tasks, such as organizing and sorting resumes, help standardize the interview processes and even aid with scheduling. Additionally, it helps remove unconscious bias by doing automated pre-screening by searching resumes for specific keywords. HCM software can free up time for your HR and recruiting teams, keep candidates better informed of interview processes and make everything from sourcing to job offer to onboarding go more smoothly for the hiring department and managers.

HCM platforms also track and store the data you need to monitor KPIs for your recruiting and HR processes. For example, the time-to-fill ratio looks at how long it takes from the time a job is posted to when the position is filled. This important HR KPI allows you to set and achieve efficiency goals. This and many other metrics can be displayed in easy-to-understand dashboards that can be made available to your recruiting team, as well as key stakeholders and hiring managers. This is one of the best ways to understand the return on investment on HR and recruitment efforts.

Developing a recruitment process boils down to your company culture, future and current staffing needs and how difficult it will be to recruit suitable candidates. Recruiting is about assessing and refining what's working and what's not so that you can attract and retain the right people for your organization. Both the processes of recruiting and hiring , as well as the ability to track performance of your efforts is aided by HCM software. It can help make recruitment more efficient and organized, as well as serve up dashboards to monitor important metrics to measure your success and identify areas where your team could improve.

Recruitment FAQs

What does it mean to be in recruitment?

Being in recruitment means you are involved in the process of identifying, attracting, interviewing, selecting, hiring, and onboarding employees. It involves understanding the needs of a company or organization, seeking out candidates who match these needs, and facilitating the steps to bring these candidates into the organization. Recruitment professionals must balance the demands of the organization with the expectations and skills of potential employees, ensuring a good fit for both parties.

What is recruiting work?

Recruiting work involves several key activities:

  • Identifying Staffing Needs: Understanding the specific requirements and skills needed for open positions within an organization.
  • Sourcing Candidates: Finding potential candidates through various channels like job postings, social media, networking events, and headhunting.
  • Screening and Interviewing: Assessing candidates’ qualifications, experience, and fit for the role through resume reviews, interviews, and other assessment methods.
  • Candidate Selection and Offer: Choosing the most suitable candidate and presenting them with a job offer, often involving negotiations about salary and other terms of employment.
  • Onboarding: Assisting new employees in integrating into the company, including orientation and training.

What’s a better word for recruitment?

A synonym for recruitment could be “talent acquisition.” This term is often preferred as it emphasizes the strategic aspect of attracting and hiring skilled individuals. It also reflects the ongoing process of finding, acquiring, and developing talents to meet organizational needs. Other terms could include “staffing,” “hiring,” or “employee selection,” depending on the specific aspect of the recruitment process being referred to.