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7-Step Recruitment Process to Improve Your Candidate Conversion

7-Step Recruitment Process to Improve Your Candidate Conversion

March 2, 2022

If the only time you think about recruitment is when you need to fill a role, you may have an issue with your candidate flow and conversion rate. The best companies are always hiring, even when they aren’t. By creating a strong recruitment process, you’ll always be ready to bring in new candidates.

What is candidate conversion?

Candidate conversion is the rate at which you take a candidate from interview to onboarding. It rests on a strong recruitment process that will allow you to interview enough candidates to enable you to narrow down your search. 

Think about the stages of the recruitment process. First, you need to advertise the role to a wide audience. Then, you need applicants to apply for the role. You then need to interview the best of the bunch before offering the role to the right candidate. And finally, the candidate needs to accept.

Why does it matter?

At every stage in the process, the number of candidates will be reduced. So if you aren’t getting enough into the top of the funnel, you’ll struggle to meet your hiring needs. You could also waste time in the recruitment process by interviewing candidates who aren’t right for the role.

Establishing a good candidate flow will enable you to put your hiring on autopilot, bringing in a steady stream of qualified and talented candidates. And if you get this process right, you can even encourage the best candidates to apply directly to you, without a single job advert needed.

The 7-step recruitment process that gets results

There are a few steps involved in improving your candidate conversion and we’ll outline them below. By following this recruitment process, you can identify and hire the best candidates. And by establishing this process in your organisation, you’ll always be ready to switch on the hiring engine when you need it.

Identify the hiring requirements

Hiring a new employee doesn’t always mean a direct replacement if a team member is leaving. Sometimes there is the need to expand teams or to fill skills gaps. Being able to identify exactly what role you need to fill is the first step in the recruitment process.

There are a few common events that might trigger the first stage in the recruitment process. These include:

  • Identifying a skills gap within your organisation.
  • A sudden influx of work that your team cannot handle.
  • An employee handing in their notice.
  • Business growth or expansion requires new skills and experience.

7-Step Recruitment Process to Improve Your Candidate Conversion CMD Recruitment

Create a job description

It’s a common misconception that a broad job description will generate better results. Your job description should be well-defined so that candidates can start to visualise themselves in the role.

By creating a job description template for your company, you can save a lot of effort as you will never have to start from scratch. You can also include standard information such as company background that will be helpful for any vacancy.

Make sure your job description includes the following information:

  • Job title
  • Main responsibilities
  • Opportunities for growth
  • Key benefits, perks and the compensation
  • Job location

By being specific, you might feel like you are ruling candidates out. But if you are too broad, you can guarantee that candidates will rule themselves out.

Develop a recruitment strategy

The recruitment strategy might be different for every department, or it might be the same across the entire organisation. Your recruitment strategy will cover things like:

  • The geographical area you will target.
  • The channels you will use to promote the role.
  • The job listing websites you will use.
  • The recruitment agency or agencies you will work with.
  • The method you will use to interview (phone, Zoom, in-person).

The recruitment strategy should be defined for each role in advance. This will allow you to assess your efforts and determine what needs to change if you aren’t getting the candidate flow that you would like.

7-Step Recruitment Process to Improve Your Candidate Conversion CMD Recruitment

Pre-screen candidates

Before inviting candidates for an in-person interview, you might want to include a pre-screening task or test. For technical roles, this can save a lot of time by ruling out the candidates that don’t have the skills or experience to fulfil the role.

If you are working with a recruitment agency, they can handle the process of pre-screening candidates and save a lot of time and effort. Without a recruitment agency, you will have to determine the pre-screening criteria and any tests or tasks you might assign ahead of the interview stage.

Once you have an idea of the candidates capable of taking on the role, you can then shortlist and invite them for an interview. Remember the best candidates usually don’t stick around, so don’t expect them to wait a long time for the interview.

Interview candidates

Designing a successful interview template will help to streamline the process and ensure that all candidates are given a fair chance. You might devise a set of standard questions to ask all candidates and then create role-specific questions as required.

Alongside the interview format template, you should also create a “score sheet” for taking notes on the interview. This will help to standardise the evaluation and make for easier discussion between those on the interview panel. It also makes it easier to directly compare candidates.

Don’t waste time between the interview and making a final decision as you could lose good candidates in the meantime. If you need to stage another round of interviews to make a final decision, make sure you inform candidates of their progress.

Offer the role

Once you have found the right candidate, it’s time to offer them the role. But not without the final checks. Always check with candidates before contacting their references, as they might want to give their current employer a heads up that they are looking for a new role.

There is a chance that the candidate you want will turn down the offer, request a salary that you cannot meet, or be snapped up by another employer in the meantime. If this happens, you need to be ready to pivot to the next candidate on your list. If no one else was suitable, you’ll need to start the recruitment process over.

Onboard the new employee

If the candidate accepts the role, you need a streamlined onboarding process in place to reduce the burden on HR and department managers. This process should include signing the contracts, sharing employee handbooks, showing them around the office, introducing them to key people and welcoming them to the team.

When done correctly, onboarding can make employees more comfortable in their new role, which allows them to do their best work from the start. In time, this can translate to higher staff retention, meaning you will have to spend less time recruiting for roles in the future. 

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