What is recruitment?

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To put it simply, recruitment is the process of identifying, attracting and hiring people (often referred to as “talent”) for your organization. It’s a process that can involve many steps and members of the company, including recruiters, hiring managers, heads of departments or other leaders, and members of the finance team.

Forward-thinking companies are based on the premise that the people who work there, the “talent,” are what gives these companies a competitive advantage because human connections and creativity fuel innovation. When companies adopt this people-first philosophy, it often influences the way they approach all aspects of the employee experience, from recruitment and onboarding to learning and development and career progression and promotions.

Many leaders recognize that while an intentional approach to recruitment can take a lot of time and work upfront, it’s ultimately worth this investment. That’s because hiring candidates who are aligned with the company’s values and expectations can lead to better performance and reduce turnover so there’s less need to repeat the process.

The specifics of the recruitment process can vary depending on the company and role, but the main steps in recruiting include:

  • Role kick-off and writing the job description: Outlining the business need for the role and the qualities a successful candidate will have.
  • Publishing the job opening: Sharing the job description and application on a company’s careers page and through external job boards.
  • Candidate sourcing: Identifying and reaching out to candidates and encouraging them to apply.
  • Resume screen: Reviewing resumes to ensure candidates meet the minimum criteria for a role.
  • Interview scheduling: Just what it sounds like! Coordinating interviews between recruiters or hiring managers and candidates.
  • Phone screening interview: Generally taking place early in the process, this interview allows the hiring manager or recruiter to introduce the job and company and ensure the candidate meets basic qualifications for the role.
  • Onsite interview: After a round or two of phone screens, candidates are often invited to participate in an onsite interview (sometimes at the company’s physical office, sometimes virtually) where they meet with additional members of the team and company.
  • Role roundup and decision-making: After a round of onsite interviews is complete, the hiring team will meet to discuss their assessment of different candidates and decide on next steps.
  • Offer: Informing the candidate that the company would like to hire them and sharing the details of their employment, compensation and any other relevant information.

To learn more about each of these steps and the overall recruitment process, check out this article.

Types of recruitment

Beyond the steps we covered in the previous section, there are a few nuances to how recruiting might vary from one company to the next. Here are some of the different types of recruitment you might encounter.

  • Internal recruitment vs. external recruitment

When you think of the typical recruiting process – a candidate finds a job listing on a job board or hears about an opening from someone they know, fills out an application, etc. – this is external recruiting because the candidate is coming from outside the company.

Internal recruiting – sometimes also called “internal mobility” – refers to the process of filling roles from existing talent within your company. This type of recruitment tends to be more common in larger companies or when there are economic constraints since it takes less time and resources to recruit internally. Maria Culbertson, former Senior Team Manager, Talent Planning & Acquisition, at Greenhouse, said, “As companies continue to scale, the likelihood of finding talent within the walls of your own organization grows significantly. You have entire talent pools of candidates on hand, fully bought into your mission and ramped on your company. So why not go there first?”

If you’re curious to learn more about internal recruiting, discover how Pine Gate Renewables added structure to their hiring process to create equitable opportunities for internal candidates.

  • Global recruitment/international recruitment

As companies expand their global footprint and strive to serve customers in different regions, it becomes important to focus on global recruiting – hiring candidates in different international locations.

This process might involve training hiring managers on how to set up structured interviews or adapt the company’s hiring practices to their location. There may also be laws or regulations that inform hiring practices in different countries or cities. Wondering what global recruiting looks like in practice? Learn how Policygenius has hired 20% of its workforce remotely thanks to scalable and repeatable processes in Greenhouse.

  • In-house recruitment vs. agency recruitment

In-house recruitment refers to having a team of recruiters (also known as “talent acquisition professionals”) who are full-time employees within the company that’s doing the hiring. Generally, an in-house recruiting team will handle all of the recruiting tasks like sourcing, interview scheduling, interviewing, etc.

With agency recruiting, these typical recruiting tasks get outsourced to an external recruiter or agency. Early-stage startups or small companies may not have the resources to invest in an internal recruiting team, so they might choose to work with an agency. In other cases, a company might have an in-house recruiting team, but they have to hire at a high volume, in a short timeframe or for specialized roles. Many companies, for example, work with an agency when they need to hire an executive or other senior leader.

Recruitment vs. talent acquisition

You’ll often see the terms “recruitment” and “talent acquisition” used interchangeably. These terms are quite similar in that they refer to the practice of hiring, but there is an important distinction. “Recruitment” generally focuses on the immediate, transactional approach of filling an open role and all the tasks that make that happen. “Talent acquisition,” on the other hand, looks at the bigger picture – the longer-term strategies and systems that allow you to attract talent to your organization. Your talent acquisition strategy might involve establishing practices for sourcing, employee referrals, talent pools and employer branding efforts. Talent acquisition efforts don’t always lead to (or even focus on) making immediate hires, but they help companies become better and more efficient at hiring in general.

As the talent landscape has evolved, workers now have more choice and access to information, and most companies find that the traditional recruitment approach is no longer enough. If they’re serious about making their company innovative and successful, they need to prioritize and invest in a talent acquisition strategy in addition to filling more immediate needs through their recruitment efforts.

Structured hiring and recruitment

If you’re committed to elevating your recruitment and talent acquisition practices, one of the most powerful steps you can take is to adopt structured hiring. In this process, you start with the business needs of the role, identify the qualities or experiences that will lead a candidate to be successful, and design the interview and assessment process around evaluating candidates in these areas.

Why adopt structured hiring? Here are a few of the benefits:

  • Structured hiring saves time and money

When you adopt structured hiring, it’s much easier to collect feedback on candidates and to identify when candidates are stuck in an interview stage for longer than you’d like. It reduces the need for extended deliberation and helps your team make faster and more informed hiring decisions. Discover how HubSpot doubled its employee base with 1,000 new hires and four new global offices to meet a need for speed – all in just three years – by partnering with Greenhouse.

  • Structured hiring helps you become data driven

Structured hiring is data driven at its core. Because you’re consistently collecting data across all stages of the hiring process, your hiring teams can quickly identify bottlenecks and pivot as needed. The rich recruiting reporting you get with structured hiring gives hiring teams better insight into hiring trends, helping you refine your evaluation criteria and adjust your recruitment process to get measurably better at hiring.

Here are some of the most popular recruitment metrics we’ve seen Greenhouse customers leverage by adopting our software’s structured hiring process:

- Time-to-hire and hiring speed

- Offer acceptance rate

- Offer pass-through rate

- DE&I reporting

- Quality-of-hire

  • Structured hiring creates a better candidate experience & employer brand

According to LinkedIn, companies with strong employer branding see a 50% decrease in cost-per-hire and are able to hire employees 1–2 times faster than their competition. Structured hiring elevates your employer branding by ensuring a great candidate experience and demonstrating professionalism and commitment to fairness. This, in return, helps you attract quality candidates while embracing efficiency.

  • Structured hiring limits bias & promotes equity

When you take a structured approach to hiring, you assess all candidates using the same rubric throughout the interview process. You also use interview tools like candidate scorecards and anonymized assessments that empower hiring teams to make fairer and more equitable candidate comparisons. Finally, by gathering insight into all stages of the hiring process, structured hiring gives hiring teams more visibility to make better hiring decisions based on data, not intuition.

Want to take your recruitment skills to the next level? Check out these resources to learn more and begin to apply structured hiring.

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