11-Step Guide to a Great Recruitment & Selection Process
Hiring team members is like playing poker.
You’ve gotta know when to hold on to the cards (or team members) and when to fold (or fire) them.
In both hiring and poker, there’s always an element of risk and heavy losses. But there’s also a potential for great reward .
And in your hiring system, that reward is a great hire who can add plenty of value to your business and that can help you scale.
But in order to get those “perfect hand” hires, you first need to follow the right steps to improve your recruitment and selection process.
That’s why in this guide, I’ll show you:
- The exact 11 steps for a great recruitment and selection process.
- Stats and data that support the hiring process.
- Why each of these steps adds up to a bullet-proof recruitment and selection process that will attract the best talent for your team.
Did you know this is the first step in a successful recruitment and hiring process?
Step #1 of Your Recruiting Process: Prepare the Description for the Job Ad
So your first step to actually hiring someone for your team is to write the job description for the position you’re looking to fill.
This is the information about the job opening that will tease applicants and make them be interested (or not) in the position.
Here, you’ll gather the necessary information the applicants need to know in order to apply.
For example, you can add the responsibilities the hire will be handling, the benefits they’ll get from being part of your company, the required skills they must possess, and the compensation.
Here’s a quick overview of our description for one of our job openings for our Quality Assurance Specialist (we’re hiring for that role and some others btw!).
Step #2 of Your Recruiting Process: Create an Application Form to Introduce Applicants to Your Company & Get to Know Them Better Too
This is simple. After putting together your job description, you’re going to create a short application form.
It will be short because 57% of applicants lose interest in a job opening if the hiring process takes too long according to TalentLyft.
But what’s an application form anyway?
This is a short form you’ll create that any potential employee will be required to complete when applying for an opening.
In it, you can ask a series of specific questions about the applicants covering topics such as personal information, education, work experience, employment history, competency-based questions and/or any personal information.
In fact, we usually combine personal and casual questions like “What’s a normal Friday night for you?” or professional questions like “How would you solve this specific issue in our company?”
And those questions always help us filter candidates based on their answers and if they match with our company culture.
Because cultural fit is often just as important as skills.
That’s why 95% of recruiters consider culture fit to be a critical factor when hiring according to Totaljobs.
An application form is meant to accelerate and facilitate the recruiting process. This is because it enables recruiters to actually review and compare applications more easily. And therefore, weed out candidates who aren’t a fit.
Also, don’t forget to add any relevant information about your company so applicants can get to know you better.
Step #3 of Your Recruiting Process: Post the Job Ad to Recruit the Right Applicants for the Role
Once you have your job description and application form ready, it’s time to post that job ad!
You see, in order for applicants to know about your job opening(s) you need to advertise the vacancy. And the best way to do so is posting the ad on free and affordable job posting sites.
There are a lot of recruiting sites like Indeed, Upwork, HireMyMom, or Flexjobs.
So choose the one that best suits your needs and budget—and start posting.
Step #4 of Your Recruiting Process: Assign Your Applicants a Skill Test to Test Their Knowledge, Ability, & Expertise
A skill test or skill assessment lets you test your applicants’ knowledge, abilities, and expertise.
It can show you if they can follow instructions and if they can think creatively and critically (i.e. display good judgement toward accomplishing a goal when the exact process of how to get there is left unclear).
You can create a skill test template and then tailor it to the different job positions you’re looking to fill.
A skill test is actually the most effective assessment method because it shows 29% of an employee’s performance according to Furst Person.
In fact, according to Talent Board’s Candidate Experience Research report, 82% of companies use some form of pre-employment assessment tests.
In our case, we have a very detailed skill test that we assign to the candidates that score well on their application form.
In this step of your hiring process, you’ll be testing the applicants’ abilities and aptitudes through a specific project.
I recommend that you add at least 3 different tasks in the project so you can get a better sense of their abilities.
And when you receive the submission of their work sample, make sure you inform the candidate what the next step in the process is.
If candidates don’t receive an update about the hiring process, they’ll likely drop out completely.
In fact, 52% of candidates don’t receive any communication in the 2-3 (or more) months after applying to a job according to the Talent Board Candidate Experience Benchmark Research Report.
And according to Recruiterbox, the best candidates are off the market within 10 days.
Step #5 of Your Recruiting Process: Time to Score! Evaluate the Applicants’ Performance Based on Their Skill Test
Time to tally up some numbers and score your applicants.
Based on their performance on how well they completed the skill test, it’s time to evaluate them.
In this step of your recruitment and selection process, also look out for any possible red flags to avoid in bad hires. Red flags like:
- Lame excuses for not submitting their work sample or skill test on time
- Refusing to complete the work sample if they don’t get paid for it
- Late submission of a work sample or skill test
- Zero knowledge about the job position they’re applying for
- Not following instructions for the skill test
- Their performance is not up to your company’s standards
For instance, we at AutoGrow have a very simple scoring system for each skill test we evaluate.
But you don’t have to get too sophisticated with the process.
Just having good judgement when evaluating applicants and their skill tests should be enough.
Step #6 of Your Recruiting Process: Select Your Pre-Qualified Candidates—the Ones Worth Moving Onto the Next Step!
So in the previous step you evaluated your applicants’ skill tests.
By now you probably have a pretty good idea of which candidates are worth moving to the next step of your hiring process.
And now it’s time to make a decision.
But don’t get too excited. The decision is not to actually hire someone yet.
Instead, you’re going to simply make a decision on whether or not to proceed with an applicant.
Based on your evaluation of their skill tests, select the ones who are prequalified—the ones who performed better.
Select the most skilled applicants and then… (you guessed it) move to the next step.
Step #7 of Your Recruiting Process: Time to Inform Applicants About Your Decision of Moving Forward (or Not) & Schedule an Interview
All applicants deserve to be heard, be understood, and know that the time they invested into applying for your job position and attending to your interview was worth it.
However, after completing an application, 55.1% of job seekers have indicated they were rarely or never updated about their status in the hiring process. And an additional 32.3% said it was only sometimes according to Talentegy.
And if applicants are dissatisfied with the communication throughout your hiring process, they could share that bad experience.
In fact, 69% of applicants who go through a bad experience in your hiring process would rarely or never reapply.
And all that comes down to 63% of job seekers being dissatisfied with the communication throughout the application process.
For instance, as soon as you make your decision about moving forward (or not) with an applicant, communicate your decision to the candidate.
Be polite even if you’re dismissing a candidate. Send them a short email informing them about your decision.
And for the applicants who you consider worth moving to the next step, schedule an interview to get to know them better.
For this, you can think about what people consider the most beneficial forms of communication between team members:
- Regular face-to-face meetings (93%)
- Conference calls (93%)
- Video conferencing (84%)
Video interviews are now being used by 74% of HR professionals around the world according to LinkedIn. And this is the best way to get to know applicants a little better.
So on the interview call, your hiring manager will evaluate the applicant’s professionalism, presentation, and if the applicant is open to receiving feedback and/or constructive criticism when hired.
At AutoGrow, we have a set of questions that our hiring manager always asks potential hires during their initial interview.
Feel free to use them or model them for your own interviews…
- How would you evaluate how successful you are in this job position?
- Do you have questions about the compensation?
- We’re looking to work with someone for the long term, is that something you want?
- Do you have references you can provide for us if we need them?
- Does full-time employment at our company fit with your career goals?
- For all our positions, we require you to complete an initial work sample. Is this something you are open to?
- Do you have any questions for me about the position or company?
And while interviewing candidates, we always make sure to communicate:
- The compensation
- What the next steps are in our hiring process
- The on-spec project that will be assigned
And don’t forget to always be nice to the person you’re interviewing.
Step #8 of Your Recruiting Process: Time to Test Their Diligence, Efficiency, & Skills With an On-Spec Project
After interviewing your applicants, if you still think they’re worth moving on to the next steps of your hiring funnel, then it’s time for an on-spec project.
For this, you’ll assign your pre-qualified candidate any project related to the job position you’re looking to fill.
AND you’ll compensate them only if they do a good job with the assignment (that’s why it’s called “on-spec”).
This project is twofold.
- You’ll be able to see the person’s promised skills in action.
- You’ll be able to see if the person isn’t willing to comply with the deadline you set up for the task and asks to push it back.
An on-spec project isn’t only about testing a specific skill but also diligence and responsibility too.
Step #9 of Your Recruiting Process: Find Out If They’re a Cultural Fit & Have a Few Key Team Members of Your Core Team Interview the Applicant
Getting a better sense of an applicant’s personality is an important part of the hiring process.
Because would you objectively want to work with someone every day if they’re always in a bad mood?
Or what about someone who’s stubborn and doesn’t like being flexible about certain tasks or requests?
You must look for candidates who fit in your organization.
And those applicants will look to fit in your organization too.
As LinkedIn reports, 70% of professionals in the U.S. today won’t work at a company if it means they have to tolerate or deal with a bad workplace culture.
So don’t only look for applicants who are a good cultural fit. But make your company be a great cultural fit for them too.
In fact, 25% of candidates say that a better company culture is among their top reasons for changing jobs.
So for this, have a few key team members of your team get on a casual call (but without it being unprofessional, of course) and have them ask the applicant questions like:
- Why do you want to work for our company?
- Why apply for this job position and not for another job opening?
- What’s your availability?
- Are you looking to work long term or short term?
- Do you have any goals you want to achieve within the organization?
Those questions will give you a good sense of their personality.
Do they laugh at your jokes?—Not a big deal, most people don’t have a great sense of humor =)
Did they get dressed up for the interview?—Or were they wearing Mickey Mouse pajama bottoms during the call (yep, I interviewed someone with that outfit once).
Do they know “something” about your company?—Or did they randomly apply for the position without even knowing what the organization’s mission is?
How do they express themselves and/or communicate?—You certainly shouldn’t only be looking for someone with 100% perfect spoken grammar but you need someone with strong communications skills.
And if after your core team members interview a candidate and consider them a great fit, time to move on to the next step.
Step #10 of Your Recruiting Process: Time to Hire BUT….
Hire any new team members on a trial basis.
This is super important and it’s part of our “hire slow and fire fast” approach.
Because we truly believe that making it to our team long term isn’t only about having a good set of skills.
There has got to be some engagement and interest in belonging to the team.
So, since you want to first see how bringing a new team member into your team works out, start by hiring them on a trial basis.
Don’t make a long-term commitment in case the person doesn’t work out.
This way, if the person you hire on a trial basis doesn’t turn out to be a great add-on, then you won’t have to stick with them for longer than needed.
Step #11 of Your Recruiting Process: Firing FAST!
Hope you’re not surprised about this step.
Because a normal part of hiring is also firing.
Some hires might stick forever with you (and bravo for them!). But most hires will naturally want to quit or need to be fired.
And thank God that firing is possible!
Under no circumstances should you ever retain team members who don’t do a good job or who aren’t adding any value to your organization.
Don’t spend time, money or resources on someone who can jeopardize the success of your company.
And don’t delay your decision any longer either.
Just fire FAST.
Congratulations for going through the entire guide!
If you follow each step, I assure you you’ll have a solid recruitment and selection process.
It’s what we always follow here at AutoGrow and it’s what has made us hire the best pros ever.
And in case you need to review, here are all the steps to follow in a nutshell:
- Step #1 of Your Recruiting Process: Prepare the Description for the Job Ad
- Step #2 of Your Recruiting Process: Create an Application Form to Introduce Applicants to Your Company & Get to Know Them Better Too
- Step #3 of Your Recruiting Process: Post the Job Ad to Recruit the Right Applicants for the Role
- Step #4 of Your Recruiting Process: Assign Your Applicants a Skill Test to Test Their Knowledge, Ability, & Expertise
- Step #5 of Your Recruiting Process: Time to Score! Evaluate the Applicants’ Performance Based on Their Skill Test
- Step #6 of Your Recruiting Process: Select Your Pre-Qualified Candidates—the Ones Worth Moving Onto the Next Step!
- Step #7 of Your Recruiting Process: Time to Inform Applicants About Your Decision of Moving Forward (or Not) & Schedule an Interview
- Step #8 of Your Recruiting Process: Time to Test Their Diligence, Efficiency, & Skills With an On-Spec Project
- Step #9 of Your Recruiting Process: Find Out If They’re a Cultural Fit & Have a Few Key Team Members of Your Core Team Interview the Applicant
- Step #10 of Your Recruiting Process: Time to Hire BUT….
- Step #11 of Your Recruiting Process: Firing FAST!
And if you want to skip the hassles of hiring and recruiting, reach out to us.
At AutoGrow, we can take care of all your digital marketing tasks without the headaches of hiring.
Or if you want to do it yourself, we also have great resources like training and customized, done-for-you products like lead magnets and Facebook Ads Sets in our Marketplace.
All you have to do is browse through them in our Marketplace, order them, and start getting good use out of them.
Now tell me something, what’s your current recruitment and selection process like? Are there any steps you think I should include in this guide?
Let me know in the comments below.
Keep AutoGrowin’, stay focused.