Hiring process

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What is a hiring process?

The hiring process is the process of searching, selecting, and hiring new employees for an organization.

The average time to fill a position, according to the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), is 42 days while for other studies it just takes 27 days. Regardless, to hire the best candidates, your goal should be to make it as short as possible.

Each company is unique and has its own hiring process. However, there are 15 common steps that each hiring process goes through, segmented into three stages: planning, recruitment, and employee selection.

What are the 15 steps of the hiring process steps?


Step #1: Identify the hiring need

Identifying a need within your organization is the first step in the hiring process. The driving reason can be anything from filling a vacancy, better managing a team's workload, to expanding the scope of organizational tasks. These can be the result of a recently vacated position or the need for an entirely new one.

Step #2: Design a recruitment plan

Designing a proper hiring plan will not only make you more efficient, but it will also help you gain a better grasp of the company's current and future demands. To that end, it's a good idea to discuss start dates and other details with hiring managers and other relevant parties.

Step #3: Write job descriptions

The hiring team should create a job description. Since your job description is the first time a candidate meets your company, it must be convincingly designed for the target group in order for candidates to apply. Make sure to include the following aspects in your job description: company description, job criteria, duties and responsibilities, salary, benefits, and finally, a cover letter. Make sure your job description is as eye-catching as possible, in addition to including all of the key details.

You can read this article for a more in-depth guide on how to write an attractive job description.

Step #4: Post and promote the position(s)

Posting jobs online should not be overlooked in your sourcing strategy as it allows for greater visibility of your openings and reaching new candidate pools. There are a lot of options out there ranging from free to paid postings, general to industry targeted job boards, social media platforms, etc. Make sure to identify the platforms that appeal to your target audience in order to receive applications relevant to your needs.


Step #5: Sourcing candidates

Aside from job postings, hiring managers can actively contact suitable candidates directly via LinkedIn, social media, and job fairs. Active recruitment, if well done, will increase the quality of applicants and will expand your pool by reaching candidates who are not actively looking for new jobs but would be ideal for the opening on hand.

Step #6: Review applications

After the applicants have completed their applications, it is time to review their application forms and analyze their CVs, cover letters, or any other additional documents (portfolio, etc).

Step #7: Plan interviews

To begin, prepare a list of potential interview questions relevant to the role. A clear interview process must also be defined as one or more interviews may have to be scheduled depending on the job, the organization's size, and the hiring managers. A good interview is when both the interviewer and interviewee have gained accurate information and are able to make a well-informed decision.

Step #8: Conduct interviews

You can choose to conduct a structured or an unstructured style of interview. A structured interview is when each candidate is asked the same set of questions. The focus is usually on their past work experience, education, and the assets they can bring to the organization. The candidate’s answers are then recorded and scored. Unstructured interviews do not involve pre-written questions. Instead, the interviewer asks open-ended questions about topics related to the job and tries to make the conversation flow naturally.

Following up with unsuccessful candidates, particularly those who were interviewed is a professional courtesy that should not be ignored. Writing a kind rejection letter can help enhance the probability that they will pursue future job vacancies with your organization that may be a better fit for them. You can use this template to help you write a professional rejection letter.

Step #9: Applicant assessment

After the interview process, it is common for companies to give the candidates some standardized tests that measure a wide range of skills and traits, such as problem-solving, emotional intelligence, personality traits, reading comprehension, and more. These applicant assessments are used by companies to measure the abilities of job seekers and employees to ensure that they have the required skills to successfully perform on the job.

Step #10: Background check

Background checks, which include credit checks, criminal background, and work history. Some companies also look at potential workers' social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc) to see if they're likely to represent the company professionally. Depending on the position, drug testing may also be required.

Step #11: Reference check

Reference checks are a type of recruiting process in which hiring managers contact candidates past employers to learn more about them. Obtaining references allows recruiters to not only verify the accuracy of information but also to make decisions based on a conversation with someone who previously worked with the candidate.

Employee Selection

Step #12: Decision

The hiring team selects their top candidate after doing background and reference checks. In the event that the top candidate declines the job offer or fails to sign the offer letter, then the hiring team turns to the second top candidate.

Step #13: Job offer

When a top candidate has been chosen, the company should make an initial offer. A formal job offer letter/email is a document that an employer sends to a chosen candidate in order to offer them a job at their company for a certain role. The job offer needs to include detailed information about salary, benefits, paid leave, start date, potential severance compensation, and other terms.

Step #14: Hiring

The candidate is hired after accepting the job offer, filling out paperwork, and signing the contract.

Step #15: Onboarding

Providing a good onboarding experience for new employees will develop relationships that help them feel more embraced and integrated into the company culture. Onboarding involves introducing the company's culture and people, as well as providing them with all necessary information and training to enable them to excel at their jobs as quickly as possible.


When an organization sees the need to fill a position, the hiring process begins and is completed when the candidate accepts the job offer and has gone through the onboarding procedure. The hiring process will vary depending on the organization and the job position but it is often built around these three stages: planning, recruitment, and employee selection.

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