The Recruitment Process

Learning Outcomes

  • Discuss the recruitment process

Recruiting is the art of attraction, a process that requires a clear understanding of what makes the company unique as well as what type of person a company wants to attract. It’s also important for human resource personnel to be aware of the subtleties of communication—for example, differences in how behavior, gestures, language (and silence) is interpreted, and the associated message received.

Illustration of five photographs lined up across a desk. Each photograph is a headshot of an individual person.

In a recruiting briefing for employers, employer research, review and job posting site Glassdoor made the following recruiting recommendations, supported by Harris Poll survey data of adults who were searching for work, both currently employed and not currently employed.[1]

Get inside the Job Seeker’s Mind

  • Factors that contribute to workers’/job seekers’ perception of long-term potential
    • Transparency about pay/benefits: 44%
    • Information about growth opportunities: 39%
    • Company’s track record of promoting from within: 37%
    • Positive employee reviews: 35%
  • Factors most likely to prompt an application
    • Attractive benefits: 48%
    • Convenient commute: 47%
    • Relatively high salary: 46%
  • Factors most likely to prompt candidate to abort the recruitment process
    • A layoff announcement: 44%
    • Negative interactions with a recruiter or hiring manager: 40%
    • Negative employee reviews: 35%
    • Leadership or employee scandals: 33%

Gender Differences

  • Female respondents were more likely than male respondents to cite CEO misbehavior as a reason to exit the recruitment process (42% vs. 21%)
  • Female respondents were more likely than male respondents to rate poor customer service levels as a detracting factor (39% vs. 23%)
  • Female respondents were more likely than male respondents to cite negative employee reviews as a deterring factor (43% vs. 28%)

Optimize the Candidate Experience

  • Aspects of the job application process that contributed to a positive experience
    • Clear and regular communication: 58%
    • Clear expectations: 53%
    • Feedback regarding rejection: 51%
  • Greatest causes of frustration during the interview process
    • Lack of information about pay and benefits: 50%
    • Interview schedule changes: 50%
    • Untimely responses: 47%
    • Lack of information about job responsibilities: 46%
    • Gender differences note: Female respondents were more likely than male respondents to be frustrated about lack of compensation information (57% vs. 44%) and lack of information about job responsibilities (55% vs. 39%).

With that perspective, let’s discuss the recruiting process. Recruiting is the phase that occurs after human resource planning and before selection. The goal of the recruitment process is to build a pool of qualified candidates. To be effective—from both a successful placement and cost of hire standpoint—the recruiter should have a complete job description that includes job specifications or minimum acceptable qualifications (and, perhaps, desired qualifications), essential functions and an ability to speak to job responsibilities and other details. The recruiter should also be able to articulate how the role contributes to the organization’s strategy and should develop a recruitment plan. Planning points to consider include evaluating your employer brand, identifying candidate sources, evaluating related technologies and—an ongoing responsibility—cultivating passive candidates and encouraging positive word of mouth. We’ll discuss these points further below.

Practice Question


  1. "50 HR and Recruiting Stats for 2019: Glassdoor for Employers." Glassdoor for Employers. Accessed July 15, 2019.