What Is Recruitment?

What is Recruitment?

Recruitment helps you:

  • Expedite and optimize the hiring process
  • Attract and search for candidates
  • Evaluate candidates
  • Manage candidates and employees

Expedite and optimize the hiring process

Recruitment is the process of searching for, evaluating and hiring people to join your organization. It’s typically carried out by recruiters and HR managers. They’re responsible for filling the open position in a timely, efficient manner. Recruiting entails a wide range of tasks with the end goal of hiring individuals with the desired work experience and characteristics.

For example, with recruiting software, users can examine several candidates’ resumes and gather their key points by using resume parsing tools. Automating resume extraction helps you focus on the task at hand, which is identifying candidates that you’d like to interview. Once you’ve selected your candidates, software can help you schedule interviews with built-in or integrated calendars. Your coworkers have visibility into the candidate pipeline on the platform, and you’re well on your way to filling your open position. These are just a couple of capabilities of a system, a tool for expediting and optimizing the hiring process.

Attract and search for candidates

The first step in the recruiting process is candidate sourcing. Candidate sourcing begins with writing a job description and distributing the posting wherever potential candidates may see it. Most recruiters like to “cast a wide net,” or promote open positions in many places, as to catch the eye of passive candidates who may have otherwise not been privy to the opportunity.

Recruiting systems can automatically share your job posting to several platforms at once with the click of a button. A more advanced program could track which of those platforms are generating the best candidates and employees. Another key feature is a career portal or a branded company website that candidates can log into, view and apply for your open positions. Other candidate sourcing tools include:

  • Career website integration
  • Social media platform integration
  • Open position search capabilities
  • Single-click applications

Evaluate candidates

After you’ve selected a pool of candidates, it’s time to start evaluating them. Evaluation processes vary from one company to the next, but a general workflow includes pre-screening, interviewing responsibilities, resume management and referral and background checks. Some systems facilitate a collaborative, transparent hiring process with messaging or note-taking capabilities. Another example is assistance with interview question creation, which saves you time, promotes consistency and mitigates biases.

At this point, you must be able to stay organized and effectively communicate with team members and applicants. Recruiting software can help you with all of these tasks so you can focus all of your energy on the applicants and making the best decision. Some tools that can help you accomplish candidate evaluation include:

  • Resume parsing tools
  • Bulk resume upload
  • Referral checks
  • Background checks
  • Calendar integration
  • Automated pre-screening

Manage candidates and employees

Throughout the entire recruiting process, candidate management is one of your most foremost tasks. Recruiters must keep track of candidates’ names, contact information, key resume points, interview times and more. At the end of the selection process, it’s time to onboard the new employees. Managing applicants and new employees can become especially daunting if your organization has several positions to be filled at once.

Many recruiting systems include a candidate pipeline, which is a tool for tracking applicants and their respective information throughout the hiring process. A candidate pipeline may have drag and drop capabilities for ease of use or a feature for tagging coworkers on items you need them to see. Some other candidate management tools to look for in a system are:

  • Alerts and notifications
  • Auto-response mechanisms
  • Duplicate management
  • Onboarding


How Do I Know I’m Ready for a Recruiting System?

There are a few pivotal signs that your business might be ready to implement a recruiting system. Here are some of the factors that might indicate it’s time to upgrade your operations:

  • Open positions are staying open for long periods
  • Candidate pipeline is disorganized or has bottlenecks
  • You’re looking to improve recruiting operations, whether that means increasing recruiter’s productivity or promoting diversity and inclusivity in hiring
  • You’re having trouble finding the right talent

What’s the Difference Between Recruiting System and an ATS?

An applicant tracking system (ATS) is designed to search for candidates and track applicants just like a recruiting system, but it doesn’t have as many capabilities. A recruiting system is a large suite and other programs, such as an ATS, fall under it. An ATS feature is an excellent asset for any recruiting solution, as it’s responsible for some unique, essential capabilities. Here are a few:

  • Automated resume parsing
  • Automated email responses
  • Candidate search
  • Advanced integrations to career websites
  • Mobile-optimized job applications

How Do I Select a Recruiting System?

Before you begin the selection process, you need to determine the staff’s bottlenecks and issues. Once you have that information, you can decide what software features will improve operations and search for vendors that offer them. Read our requirements checklist to get started. It’s a guide written to help those in the early stages of the software selection process that outlines the standard recruitment features.

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Recruitment articles are written and edited by:

Mariah Hansen

Content Editor and Senior Market Analyst

As the Content Editor and Senior Market Analyst at SelectHub, Mariah edits and manages content for more than 40 different software categories, as well as writing for a couple of them herself.

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Madeline Reinbolt

Content Editor and Senior Market Analyst

Madeline Reinbolt is a Content Editor and Senior Market Analyst at SelectHub. She writes content for Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Employee Performance Management, Distribution and Recruiting.

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Payal Tikait

Market Analyst and Technical Content Writer

Payal is a Market Analyst and Technical Content Writer at SelectHub. She is passionate about curating content for business intelligence, ERP and human resource domain.

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Mobile Recruiting: A Comprehensive Guide

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November 20, 2023
We all know the stereotype that millennials and smartphones go hand-in-hand, but that’s not the whole picture. Americans across every generation check their phones once every four minutes!

How people use phones has drastically changed over the years. Modern-day job seekers aren’t an exception and adapting to this reality is essential for companies looking to hire. So, it’s no surprise that an exciting technology in the HR landscape is mobile recruiting.

Saniya FarokhiMobile Recruiting: A Comprehensive Guide
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What Is Recruitment Marketing? A Comprehensive Guide

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November 17, 2023
Do your job opportunities often get lost in the sea of online job boards and social media noise? Finding top talent can feel like aimlessly navigating a labyrinth without effective recruitment tactics. Recruitment marketing is all about precision in targeting the right candidates. It’s crucial to reach the right talent at the right time especially when time is of the essence.

Saniya FarokhiWhat Is Recruitment Marketing? A Comprehensive Guide
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Mass Hiring: A Comprehensive Guide

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November 16, 2023
Setting up new branches, venturing into new markets and launching new products all have one thing in common: the need to build a new workforce — and fast. Mass hiring is the way to go when your company requires more workers to support rapid expansion. This article will show you how to quickly strengthen your recruitment plans to hire more people.

Saniya FarokhiMass Hiring: A Comprehensive Guide
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Best Cloud Recruitment Software

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November 14, 2023

At best, the process of finding and hiring new employees can feel a bit like looking through the pages of your favorite “Where’s Waldo?” book. Once the applications start to pour in, you have to sift through all of the resumes and cover letters to find the type of candidate you’re looking for. If you’re hiring for more than one position, then you’ll have quite a few pages of that book to search through. This kind of recruiting process is desperately in need of an update — cloud recruitment software is that update.

Mariah HansenBest Cloud Recruitment Software
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The Ultimate Guide to the Best Recruiting Tools

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Employees are a critical asset in any organization. Thus it’s imperative for a business to thoroughly plan and implement proper hiring strategies and procedures to hire the best employees. For this purpose, organizations should use the right recruiting tools and techniques to ensure a seamless recruitment process.

Payal TikaitThe Ultimate Guide to the Best Recruiting Tools
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Recruitment Software Features and Requirements Checklist

October 24, 2023
If you’re in the market for recruitment software, you likely know that it can be a game-changer for your hiring process. However, recruiting tech comes in all shapes and sizes. So, before you seal the deal and make a purchase, let’s talk about the requirements for recruitment software.

Knowing the essential features will help narrow down your top options. After all, the right software addresses your unique business needs instead of causing more headaches. Let’s get started!

Saniya FarokhiRecruitment Software Features and Requirements Checklist
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The Best Staffing Agency Software For 2023

October 20, 2023
With various complex, disjointed recruitment activities coinciding, it’s no wonder that operating your staffing agency can feel like running a 100-yard dash on a sheet of ice. If your team is running on fumes sorting hoards of resumes and screening candidates while scrambling to keep your clients in the loop, implementing the right staffing software is the solution.

Saniya FarokhiThe Best Staffing Agency Software For 2023
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Best Free Recruitment Software Tools

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October 9, 2023
Finding the right candidate can be daunting, especially for small businesses with limited resources. Your recruiting team is likely burning the candle at both ends, managing everything from talent sourcing to interviewing to onboarding with limited resources. Slash-ups and bad hires can be costlier than expected without recruitment software to smooth things out. Luckily, there’s a solution that won’t break the bank: free recruitment software.

Saniya FarokhiBest Free Recruitment Software Tools
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The 11 Most Important Recruiting KPIs

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October 2, 2023

Recruiting new employees can feel like navigating a labyrinth blindfolded without a robust measurement system to track and analyze your efforts. Without guided efforts, your recruitment strategy is a hit or miss. In today’s talent landscape, that just won’t do. The solution is leveraging essential recruiting KPIs to illuminate your path and ensure each hire hits the mark.

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Recruiting KPI Intro

This Article Covers:

What Are Recruiting KPIs?

Recruiting key performance indicators (KPIs) are measurable metrics used to evaluate and assess the effectiveness and efficiency of recruitment and hiring processes. These KPIs provide valuable insights into the recruitment life cycle, helping organizations monitor and improve their talent acquisition strategies. Organizations can optimize their hiring outcomes by making data-driven decisions and aligning objectives.

Top KPIs to Track

There are several recruitment KPIs to track depending on your business goals and objectives. Let’s consider each one by one:

10 Recruiting KPIs

1. Time To Hire

Time to hire is the duration it takes to shortlist, interview and hire prospects after they submit their applications. Understanding this timeline lets you plan effective recruitment campaigns and unearth bottlenecks hindering the process.

Time To Hire = Days Taken Since the Job Was Posted Till the Candidate Accepted the Job Offer

For example, suppose you notice that candidates begin their application forms, but only a few finish them. In that case, evaluating the length, accuracy and redundancy of the information you require becomes essential. Streamlining this aspect can significantly enhance the efficiency of your recruitment process.

The longer a position remains vacant, the more you potentially stand to lose in terms of productivity and incur higher recruitment costs. Talented applicants may drop out of the application process due to prolonged delays, making it vital to locate lengthy processes and shorten them to be as efficient as possible.

2. Qualified Candidates per Open Position

It’s not just about the number of applicants but the caliber of those who meet your requirements. Qualified candidates per open position reveal the likelihood of finding the perfect fit and setting your organization up for success.

Qualified Candidates per Open Position = Number of Candidates Approved by Hiring Managers / Total Number of Shortlisted Candidates

Having multiple prospective candidates applying for a specific position is always good. The more applications, the more choices you have for a better hire. However, you’re wasting time and effort if the candidates aren’t qualified.

If you struggle to source or engage with qualified candidates, it’s time to examine your approach. Perhaps your job postings lack the robustness required, precise descriptions and clear expectations.

Misaligned candidates can also imply you aren’t posting the job requirements in the right places to connect with your target audience or have unrealistic expectations for the role.

Tracking this KPI helps you gauge if you’re reaching the right audience. If the ratio of qualified candidates is low, you should redo the job ads and improve your efforts to reach the right prospects.

3. Application Completion Rate

It isn’t uncommon to find applicants starting an application and then stopping midway. People get busy or self-reject, thinking they don’t fit the job.

But a word of caution, you’re likely missing out on top talent if the number of applicants abandoning the application midway is high. There are two possible reasons for abandoning the application. The process is either too cumbersome or it’s confusing.

Application Completion Rate = (Number of Job Applications Received / Total Number of Job Applications Started) X 100

Measuring this KPI helps identify whether it’s time to reevaluate your job application process. Making it more user-friendly and mobile-responsive can help attract and retain top-tier candidates who might otherwise slip through the cracks.

Compare Top Recruiting Software Leaders

4. Source Quality

While you have different means and methods to find and attract candidates, not all will yield results. It’s up to you to identify and invest in those talent sources that help you build a reliable talent pool and ensure you’re investing in the best sources.

Source Quality = (Number of Hires From a Specific Source / Total Number of Hires) X 100

To determine source quality, take stock of the number of quality hires coming from a particular source or how far they move through the hiring stages.

While there may be a few outliers, all your best hires are unlikely to come from a single source. Therefore, it is vital to determine which sources perform the best and to what degree.

For instance, if the top candidates consistently come from LinkedIn, you should focus your recruiting efforts on posting accurate job ads on that platform and reduce investing in underperforming sources.

If social media sites generate more candidates than job boards, analyze the weaknesses in job postings.

Tracking sources gives you valuable insights into what candidates actively seek when they apply to your company, enabling you to position your brand creatively.

5. Cost per Hire

Recruitment can be costly if you don’t allocate a specific budget at the outset. SHRM’s recent benchmarking report found that the average cost per hire can reach up to $4,700. Additionally, recruiting costs continue to rise the longer a position remains open.

So, the real question is, how much does it cost to fill a position? The following formula will reveal your company’s average hiring cost:

Cost per Hire = Total Recruiting Cost / Total Number of Hires

This KPI measures every expense associated with recruitment, from posting job ad campaigns to the relevant boards to rewarding employee referral bonuses, organizing job fairs, and more. It’s also important to factor in the time spent interviewing applicants.

6. Interviews To Offer

Interviewing candidates is an important talent evaluation stage that requires significant planning and resources. Recruiters spend most of their time interviewing applicants to determine if their experiences, skill sets, aptitude levels and personalities are compatible with the job requirements.

But are these efforts paying off?

Interview To Offer Ratio = (Number of Job Offers / Number of Candidates Interviewed) X 100

The interviews-to-hire metric conveys how many people you need to interview to make a hiring decision. In other words, how many qualified applicants do you need to interview before you extend an offer?

7. Offer Acceptance Rate (OAR)

A recent study by CareerPlug identified the following top reasons why potential hires decline job offers:

  • Poor experiences during the interview stage.
  • The employer took too long to respond.
  • The candidate found better opportunities elsewhere.
  • The compensation or benefits offered didn’t match the candidate’s expectations.

While these scenarios are common, they’re preventable and emerge as opportunities to improve the hiring process.

Offer Acceptance Rate = Number of Offers Accepted / Number of Offers Extended) X 100

The offer acceptance rate (OAR) defines the percentage of accepted offers. A robust OAR indicates the team’s success in filling up a pipeline with candidates, creating an efficient recruitment process, delivering seamless hiring experiences and securing candidates with the right skill sets.

To boost the offer acceptance rate, ensure the offers you extend are competitively on par with industry standards. Be transparent about job responsibilities early in the process, conduct consistent and fair interviews and facilitate open communication throughout the recruitment funnel.

8. First-Year Turnover Rate

Imagine investing considerable time and money in the recruitment process, only to hire a misaligned candidate who leaves almost immediately after onboarding.

High turnover can be costly and counterproductive to expensive recruitment activities and point to larger organizational issues. Some possibilities include the employees being unhappy due to limited growth opportunities, unrealistic expectations or toxic work culture.

First-Year Turnover Rate = (Number of Employees Who Separated Within a Year of Hiring / Total Number of Employees Who Left During the Same Period) X 100

To calculate the first-year turnover rate, divide the number of new employees who left within a year by the total number of employees who separated simultaneously.

If this calculation is high, it’s definitely a matter of concern. You may want to revamp your recruitment and onboarding processes or improve your company culture to boost retention rates.

9. Candidate Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Candidate job satisfaction is a robust metric to gauge the alignment between the job responsibilities and expectations set during the hiring process verses reality. A low candidate job satisfaction implies misaligned expectations or partial job descriptions.

Candidate Net Promoter Score (NPS) = (Number of Promoters – Number of Detractors) / Total Number of Respondents X 100

It’s advisable to provide a realistic job preview to highlight the pros and cons of the job to prospects, thus mitigating the risk of lower candidate job satisfaction.

10. Hiring Manager Satisfaction

Measuring candidate satisfaction levels and how happy and satisfied hiring managers are with employee performance is essential.

Hiring Manager Satisfaction = New Hire Rankings or Ratings by Hiring Managers

When hiring managers aren’t happy with new hires, it can indicate some potholes in the recruitment process or the selection criteria are irrelevant. To get in-depth information, you can gauge hiring manager satisfaction with short surveys or interviews.

11. Adverse Impact

Embracing DEI promotes equal opportunities and also enhances innovation, productivity and overall organizational success. Today’s talent market is the most diverse and value-driven yet, with job seekers who are likely to prefer employers that take tangible actions to create an inclusive and equitable workplace.

Adverse impact lets you identify a bias against a protected class, measuring if that protected class is less than an 80% hire rate.

Adverse Impact = (Number of Hires From the Protected Group / Total Hires From a Non-Protected Group) X 100

To find the adverse impact, divide the applicant success rate of Group A (your protected class) by the applicant success rate of Group B (your non-protected class). This number can help you identify if you need to make your recruitment process more inclusive and diverse.

Get our Recruiting Software Requirements Template

Generating Robust KPIs

From reaching the perfect prospects with targeted job ads to interviewing top-notch candidates and sealing the deal, recruitment demands intelligent investment.

Investing in powerful recruitment and staffing software will help you generate robust recruiting KPIs:

Generate KPIs

AI Screening Solutions

Leverage an AI screening solution powered by machine learning algorithms to screen qualified candidates based on different parameters. Calculate qualified hires per open position within a few clicks.

Recruiting KPIs Zoho AI Matches

Zoho Recruit’s built-in AI assistant screens applicants to find top matches. Source

Assess your existing ATS and recruiting system and ask your vendor about AI capabilities that enhance initial candidate screening.

Our features and requirements checklist, curated by our analysts, is a good starting point to learn more about the technical and functional capabilities.

Predictive Hiring Assessments

Advancements in hiring science and predictive analytics capabilities empower data-driven hiring. Software solutions embedded with predictive models and algorithms can leverage existing datasets from HR software and performance management systems and generate hiring criteria based on company-specific requirements.

Suppose you’re considering upgrading your recruiting tech stack. In that case, the following systems are excellent options if you want to use scientifically-validated selection methods backed by AI-based hiring criteria:

  • Talent Assessment Tools: Best for predicting a candidate’s potential fit and performance in a particular role with psychometric assessments, cognitive tests and job simulations.
  • Behavioral Assessment Tools: Ideal for analyzing potential fit for a particular job role or team based on behavioral tendencies and personality traits via questionnaires and surveys.
  • Talent Intelligence Software: Best for making data-driven workforce decisions based on multiple data sources from data analytics and artificial intelligence models.

Predictive analytics create robust hiring assessments that may boost KPIs like turnover rate, hire quality and cost per hire by finding candidates with values, behaviors and habits needed to thrive in your company.

Recruiting Chatbots

Technological advancements enabled a far more creative and strategic use of machine learning and AI algorithms beyond simple resume screening.

Advanced web design and machine learning algorithms blend to create AI-powered chatbots on websites and recruiting portals. These digital assistants engage with candidates, answer common queries and provide a seamless experience.

These recruiting chatbots guide candidates through the application process and replace phone interviews with automated questionnaires to determine the right fit.

Online Company Reviews

Online career sites and platforms like Glassdoor are windows that potential hires peer through to get an insider view of the organization.

In today’s digital age, the internet blurs boundaries and redefines how candidates look for jobs. Job seekers are likely to check review sites before applying for the job. According to a recent study by CareerPlug, negative candidate experiences drove 28% of candidates to post negative reviews online, discouraging future candidates from applying.

However, the same study found that 57% of candidates left glowing reviews after having a positive experience.

These review platforms include information about the employer brand, workplace culture, compensation and benefits, work-life balance and more. Monitoring these platforms unveils a treasure trove of data, allowing you to gauge key performance indicators like candidate-job satisfaction level based on the conversations on these sites.

Video Interviews

Incorporating video interviews in the recruitment process can be a cost-effective and flexible approach. Using a virtual interview system approach also boosts investment returns as it’ll save you and your candidates precious time spent commuting.

Recruiting KPIs Breezy HR

Review video interview recordings and notes. Source

Video interviews directly impact critical KPIs like cost per hire, interview-to-offer ratio, hiring manager satisfaction and time to hire.

Compare Top Recruiting Software Leaders

Monitor KPIs With an Actionable Dashboard

How do you measure recruitment success? Well, it depends on your business goals and objectives. Are you looking to increase the size of your organization, or are you hiring for a few key positions?

Whatever your goals are, defining them and tracking recruitment efforts with dashboards is a crucial step.

Recruiting KPIs Zoho

Dashboard showing different recruitment KPIs. Source

Recruitment dashboards are reporting tools that help visualize recruitment KPIs and evaluate performance. They display real-time information to facilitate quick decisions and ensure that recruitment activities align with business objectives.

A recruitment dashboard is a collection of key metrics and reports designed to convey how the recruitment funnel performs, capturing data on applicants across different stages, recruitment budget, campaigns and other key insights to provide a bird’s eye view of the end-to-end recruitment cycle.

These numbers will help you make sound decisions to reduce costs, source candidates from the best channels and enhance talent acquisition strategies.

To sum up, here are the top reasons why having a recruitment dashboard is necessary:

  • Gain Valuable Insights: The visual nature of the dashboard empowers you to identify trends, patterns and potential issues in your recruitment process.
  • Analyze the Hiring Funnel: Use the dashboard to track and analyze how candidates progress at each hiring stage. By monitoring the conversion rate, you can identify if you’re attracting many unqualified candidates and take necessary actions to improve it.
  • Refine Recruitment Strategies: Optimize your recruitment spending by identifying areas for improvement, uncovering top talent sources and attracting candidates who are likely to stay longer within your organization.
  • Expand Sourcing Options: Gain an overview of all active talent-sourcing channels. Compare different channel performances and identify top-quality sources or test other avenues.
  • Identify Bottlenecks: Access to real-time candidate data helps you quickly spot issues that arise during the recruitment process and address them to maintain a smooth hiring process.


Before we wrap up this guide, we’ll delve into some common questions about hiring metrics to assist you in addressing any challenges you may encounter while reassessing your recruitment strategy.

1. What is a good KPI for a recruiter?

Below we’ll list the top hiring KPIs based on recruiting function. However, note that the groups are general and can vary depending on the organization and specific context.

Staffing Agencies: These organizations focus on finding top talent that meets client expectations in a predetermined timeline and assigned resources.

  • Time to hire
  • Qualified candidates per open position
  • Source quality
  • Cost per hire

Recruitment Consultants: These individuals identify key areas to improve and increase efficiency across recruitment funnels.

  • Application completion rate
  • Interview to offer
  • Offer acceptance rate (OAR)
  • Candidate net promoter score (NPS)
  • Adverse impact
  • Cost per hire

Recruitment Managers: These individuals are responsible for recruitment strategy effectiveness, assessing the impact on organizational performance and ensuring a positive return on investment (ROI).

  • Time to hire
  • Cost per hire
  • Application completion rate
  • First-year turnover rate
  • Hiring manager satisfaction

2. How are metrics different from KPIs for recruiting?

Metrics refer to specific measurements or data points used to track and assess various aspects of the recruiting process. Recruiting metrics provide quantitative information about specific recruiting activities or outcomes.

On the other hand, KPIs are a subset of these metrics specifically chosen to reflect the key focus areas and success of specific recruiting functions. In other words, KPIs are strategic metrics that align with organizational goals and provide insights into performance, effectiveness and efficiency.

3. How can KPIs measure DEI efforts?

KPIs can play a crucial role in measuring and monitoring the progress of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts in recruiting. One important KPI in this regard is calculating adverse impact, which helps monitor the potentially discriminatory impact of recruitment processes on protected groups.

As the term implies, this KPI enables identifying and rectifying any adverse impact on diverse candidates. Organizations can assess whether their selection methods are fair and unbiased by utilizing data to track DEI.

Compare Top Recruiting Software Leaders

Next Steps

Tracking recruiting KPIs can help you get valuable insights from the recruitment process to make smart, data-driven decisions. When you know how your decisions and actions impact your hiring results, you can find specific ways to strengthen your hiring processes and achieve your business objectives.

To streamline and optimize your KPI tracking, consider leveraging specialized recruitment software that automates data collection, analysis and reporting. Our comparison report is an excellent place to start if it’s time for a software upgrade. All you need to do is add your company-specific requirements to find your top options.

Which recruiting KPIs do you think are the most important for your business? How do you track them periodically?

Saniya FarokhiThe 11 Most Important Recruiting KPIs
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The Recruitment Process: A Comprehensive Guide

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September 18, 2023

It’s time to remove the notion that candidates will be grateful to only be in the running. Recruitment is a two-way street, and job seekers prefer employers who make an impact and value their time along the recruitment process. A reliable recruitment framework is a must if you want a competitive edge in finding, engaging and encouraging talent to apply.

Compare Top Recruiting Software Leaders

Recruitment Process Guide

In this article, we’ll detail everything you need to know about the key steps of recruiting and how to improve them.

What Is The Recruitment Process?

The recruitment process is an HR function involving finding qualified candidates for open roles. The process starts when there’s a need to hire new employees and concludes after selecting the best-fit candidate. It streamlines key activities to fill an open position, like broadcasting job opportunities, identifying potential candidates, collecting resumes, screening applicants and conducting interviews.


Recruitment is complex and involves a criss-cross of activities coinciding. To improve hiring success, your team needs to be experts in building quality candidate pools, encouraging job seekers to apply at your company and collaborating until they find the ideal candidate.

Starting the process without the right amount of planning is a recipe for disaster. Here’s how your team can benefit from a well-planned framework:

  • Expedite Hiring: With the proper steps, you can declutter all your recruitment activities. Streamlining all the phases of acquiring talent improves the hiring time compared to walking in blind without a plan.
  • Decrease Recruitment Costs: When you save time, you also save money. The longer a position remains open, the higher the recruitment costs can run. A streamlined method helps you optimally use your company’s finite resources.
  • Find Quality Candidates: A well-crafted process helps your team keep their eye on the prize with clear-cut procedures to engage eligible applicants and build robust candidate pools for present and future needs. Your company culture and professionalism shine through a well-crafted framework and encourage the right talent to apply.

Compare Top Recruiting Software Leaders

Recruitment Process Steps

The length of the process depends on the size of your company and the nature of the open role. Some companies have lengthy, drawn-out recruitment procedures, while others have a straightforward method to recruit new employees.

Despite the differences, every end-to-end recruitment process includes the following key stages:

  • Preparing and planning
  • Developing a strategy
  • Talent sourcing and screening
  • Hiring and onboarding
  • Controlling the process

With that in mind, here are the critical steps of the process.

Key Steps of The Recruitment Process

1. Analyze Hiring Needs

While taking necessary measures to hire someone for a vacant role in your company is one of the top reasons to start the talent search, it’s not the only reason your company might need new blood on the team.

In addition to processing recently vacant roles, conduct an internal analysis to find gaps in productivity and performance across teams and departments. Start by asking internally:

  • Are all key processes, tasks and responsibilities evenly distributed in your organization?
  • Does the input of time, effort and resources match the work output?
  • Does your team lack a certain level of expertise? Will external hiring address a specific need?

Consider gearing up to start the talent search if the answer to most or all the questions above is Yes.

Here are some things to keep in mind as you look to hire.

Process Job Requisitions

Department managers or supervisors also convey the need to hire new employees by submitting job requisitions — a formal request that details the critical elements of the job.

Provide team and department leaders the option to fill out an internal document that consists of the following aspects:

  • Job title
  • Name of the manager submitting the request
  • Reason for request
  • Name of the department
  • Employment or contract type
  • Estimated start date
  • Compensation
  • Estimated budget

Create Job Descriptions

The specifications mentioned on job requisitions will help you determine how critical the role is and the key responsibilities of the job. The job descriptions you develop will eventually guide what you need to convey to job seekers.

Job descriptions must include the following elements:

  • Job summary
  • Job level
  • Location
  • Reporting manager
  • Responsibilities and tasks
  • Job requirements
  • Work conditions
iCIMS Job Descriptions

iCIMS provides tools to create, review and approve job profile descriptions and streamlines the job creation process. Source

When To Consider Outsourcing

Staffing agencies and recruiting firms are on the rise and bring an array of perks to the table. Outsourcing the process can help you leverage ready-made talent pools, vast talent networks and advanced hiring methodologies to tackle intensive recruiting functions.

Consider outsourcing in the following situations:

  • Hiring for Senior Positions: You must avoid failure when recruiting for C-suite positions. Relying on recruiting professionals to do what they do best significantly reduces the chances of bad hires.
  • Conducting High-volume Recruiting: When there are too many open positions and deadlines, your recruiting team might need a hand to take on intensive recruitment phases.
  • Finding Talent for Specialized Roles: Assistance from an external team will help you find talent for in-demand positions which require technical or niche skills.

2. Develop a Recruitment Plan

Once you’re clear about the level of expertise to look for in an ideal candidate, the next step is to define the what, how and why of the process.

State Hiring Goals

Start by clearly stating your company’s hiring goals and then defining a path to help you achieve them in the long run. When your recruitment goals are broadly defined, breaking down your requirements into achievable targets is vital. Consider the following examples of attainable targets:

  • Reducing recruitment costs and time to hire
  • Building deeper talent pools
  • Reducing retention and attrition
  • Enabling diverse hiring to improve workplace diversity

Define the Timeline and Assign Personnel

Estimate the time needed to recruit new employees for every open role. Be sure to consider future hiring needs based on the existing skill, performance and productivity gaps.

Next, decide who will do the recruiting and hiring. Both those terms seem interchangeable but, in reality, are different. Your HR team, recruitment professionals or talent acquisition specialists manage recruitment activities like attracting and processing applications.

The hiring process involves coordinating with the hiring manager, who submits the hiring request, to vet and select the top candidate from the talent pool.

Identify Talent Sourcing Channels

Your recruitment strategy must define suitable talent sourcing methods to help you find top talent, improve your company’s visibility in the job market and acquire more applications. Be sure to pick sources that effectively allow you to find the best candidates with the right skills.

Need more information? We’ll cover the different methods of sourcing talent in the section Start the Talent Search.

Develop a Recruitment Process Flowchart

Outlining the candidate journey to clearly state the vital candidate touchpoints and the key people in charge is good practice. Decide on rounds of interviews and where along the processes you want to conduct them.

Zoho Recruit Pipelines

Zoho Recruit shows recruiting activities in chronological order with time spent and on each stage. Source

Specify different paths and their triggers. Visualizing the workflows lets your team know which course of action to take at different stages.

Evaluate Costs and Assign Budget

SHRM estimated the average cost of recruiting new employees is approximately $4,700. However, the longer the process, the higher the costs. With that in mind, determine the recruitment costs based on the estimated time, number of vacancies and the assigned personnel.

Compare Top Recruiting Software Leaders

3. Start the Talent Search

Next, it’s time to start circulating job postings and networking with potential hires through the decided talent sourcing channels. Start your recruitment marketing efforts to spread the word about employment opportunities.

An all-around talent sourcing strategy typically includes a combination of internal and external recruiting.

External Recruitment

You’re recruiting externally when you look for potential hires from outside your company. Extending your search outside your organization is necessary to bring in fresh blood:

  • Job Advertisements: Post job announcements on third-party employment and job boards frequently used by your target audience.
  • Career Pages: Job seekers interested in your company are likely to check your company website regularly. Developing a dedicated career page to display open jobs is an excellent way to pitch opportunities.
  • Social Media Recruiting: Target passive candidates who might not be actively searching for a job change by posting opportunities across social channels like LinkedIn.
  • Employee Referral Programs: Allow your existing employees to recommend people from their professional and social circles on an incentive basis.
Smart Recruiters Candidate Sources

Smart Recruiters finds candidates by deploying job ad campaigns across different talent sources. Source

Internal Recruitment

Sometimes, talent hides in plain sight. Identifying potential hires from your existing talent pools is key to filling open roles quickly and reducing recruitment costs while you’re at it.

Internal recruitment involves taking measures to fill vacancies by finding the top candidate from your existing workforce. To recruit internally, you can rely on the following approaches:

  • Internal Job Postings: Announce open jobs to your existing workforce and allow them to apply.
  • Nominations: Allow managers to suggest candidates from their team for an open role.
  • Succession Plans: Check succession and promotion pathways to identify, select and train an existing employee to level up.
  • Talent Databases: Tap into your existing human resource information systems (HRIS) to identify and nominate potential talent from your organization.
Oracle HCM Succession Plans

Oracle HCM Cloud offers a deep-dive into past and active succession plans. Source

Compare Top Recruiting Software Leaders

4. Begin the Selection Process

The hiring process begins when your company receives applications. The candidate selection process involves the following activities:

  • Screening Applications: Scan resumes to narrow the selection process to relevant applications. Respond to the candidates and let them know that they qualify for the role.
  • Evaluate Candidates: Put your potential hires to the test and assess them objectively based on their industry knowledge, problem-solving abilities and personality traits. This can include things like paid and unpaid tests or more elaborate projects. Consider industry standards when deciding how to evaluate candidates. For example, hiring a Marketing Specialist differs from hiring a Full Stack Engineer.
  • Interview Shortlisted Candidates: Schedule a date and time to interview potential hires. Ensure you ask relevant questions to determine if values and attitudes align. The number of interviews per applicant depends on how critical the role is.
Workable Scorecards

Workable allows managers to score candidates on templated scorecards during the interview process. Source

  • Verify Background and Check References: Check the integrity and authenticity of the references, qualifications and other essential information associated with potential hires. While most background verification searches occur at the end of the hiring cycle, you can file for searches at any point during the process.
  • Make an Offer: After finding the ideal candidate for the job, it’s time to share the good news with them. Send the selected candidate a formal offer letter by mail or email and detail the compensation, benefits and start date in the document.

5. Onboard New Hires

Once your selected candidate accepts the terms of employment, it’s time to integrate them into your company.

Ensure that your company has internal procedures to manage post-recruitment activities like processing onboarding forms and bringing the new hire up to speed.

Bulhorn Onboarding

Bullhorn uses auto-fill functionality to expedite E-Verify submissions. Source

Here’s a tip: rely on an onboarding checklist and develop an orientation program to introduce your new employee to the team and acquaint them with your company culture.

6. Evaluate the Process

You might be eager to bring the process to a close. However, don’t stop after hiring. Ensuring that your procedures are always up to date by frequently assessing the validity of the methods. Finding weak links and bridging gaps is the key to creating a top-notch framework.

Are there ways to tighten the process? Start by analyzing and looking for weaknesses in the following aspects:

  • Quality of candidates from talent sources
  • The number of applications from different talent sources
  • Existing recruitment workflows
  • Candidate engagement and communication methods

Have your recruiting efforts impacted the bottom line? Return on investment indicates whether the input matches the output. Next, assess recruiting costs and take action to control them:

  • Job advertising and job boards
  • Average cost-per-hire
  • Administrative expenses and overhead costs
  • Outstanding charges when positions remain open for too long
  • Background verification fees
  • Pricing plans of your recruitment tools
  • Cost of outsourcing services from recruiting or staffing agencies
Jobvite Analytics

Jobvite provides deep analytics on candidate pipelines, job ad campaign performance, expenditures and recruiting metrics in interactive dashboards. Source

Read our article on recruiting KPIs to learn how to measure the effectiveness of your process.

What if the selected candidate turns down your job offer? The following ways will help you prepare for when potential hires decline offers:

  • Evaluate your offer
  • Check your employer branding tactics
  • Revise your benefits
  • Look for vague clauses or terms
  • Eliminate anything that indicates bias

Get our Recruiting Software Requirements Template

Tips To Improve Recruitment Processes

No matter how experienced your recruiting team is, there’s always room for improvement. Consider the following ways to optimize the process.

Tips to Improve Recruitment Process

1. Upgrade Your Tech

Now’s the time to ask: Is your organization’s recruitment software up to the mark? Or worse, is it non-existent?

With the right tools in your tech stack, you can equip your team to handle the complexities of recruiting new talent while delivering excellent candidate experiences.

Start by assessing your current tools against your technology needs to identify areas you can improve. Need more information? Our recruitment software features and requirements checklist is a good starting point to learn about the features that will benefit your company.

A modern recruitment system provides all-in-one capabilities to streamline the talent acquisition process, expedite hiring and optimize expenses.

If you’re looking for tailored experiences, consider the following options to integrate with your existing tech and build a recruiting ecosystem:

  • Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS): Automatically screen thousands of applications, scan resumes and parse applicant details into similar profiles. Streamline the candidate journey with defined next steps.
  • Pre-employment Assessment Tools: Evaluate candidates and produce comparable scores objectively. Rely on standardized assessments to test your potential hires to determine their competencies.
  • Interview Scheduling Software: Interview shortlisted candidates and track different interviews on a centralized calendar.
  • Video Interview Software: Besides conducting interviews remotely with video tools, allow your candidates to submit video responses that your team can collectively review.
  • Background Check Software: Conducts compliant verification searches to determine the integrity of candidates, verify documents and uncover potential red flags to optimize hiring decisions.
  • Recruiting CRM: Manage all candidate communication campaigns and engagement efforts in one place. This system is ideal when nurturing candidates throughout the process is one of your recruiting goals.

2. Enable Data-centric Recruiting

Data is the new currency, which is why 44% of recruiters plan to increase spending on analytics tools, according to a study by Talview.

During the selection process, you’ll gather a ton of vital data on job outreach, candidate engagement and team performance. Instead of relying on intuition and assumptions, accessing measurable insights will help you optimize how you hire.

You can:

  • Uncover the perceptions held by your candidates throughout the process and identify how to engage them better.
  • Uncover patterns or trends to predict outcomes and take proactive measures to make improvements.
  • Optimize recruiting and track vital DEI metrics to prevent them from dropping below a certain level.
  • Use in-depth analytics to help eliminate bias and assess applicants on what matters most: skills and competencies.
  • Develop data-rich reports to aid decision-making.

3. Consider All Forms of Talent

Talent is everywhere if you look in the right places. 53% of employees who quit during the Great Resignation said they changed their career paths in the past year. Workers didn’t leave the workplace entirely but were searching for growth opportunities.

Employee Resignation Pew Research Stat

To put things in perspective, Willis Towers Watson reported that as much as 44% of workers could be active job seekers. Now is the right time to consider all forms of talent movement.

Consider the following areas you can find talent:

  • Internal Talent Mobility: Providing internal opportunities enhances talent pools and reduces recruitment costs since you already know the individual. Plus, they’re already familiar with your company’s values.
  • Boomerang Employees: Leave the door open for former employees to reapply at your company. LinkedIn reports that 4.5% of all new hires among companies that use the platform were rehires.
  • Past Applicants: Tap into candidate relationship management databases to locate applicants who left a mark and consider them for future roles.

Compare Top Recruiting Software Leaders


Perfecting the recruitment framework takes time, effort and learning from experiences; not all businesses start with that knowledge. While there’s a learning curve to the process, as long as you develop a framework that streamlines the key phases, your candidate selection efforts will have a better chance of paying off.

A step-by-step process will help your company make a lasting impression on your candidates, persuade more people to apply and provide your team with the means to spot top talent.

What are the strengths and weaknesses of your current recruitment process? Let us know in the comments!

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