Candidate Experience

The Perfect Hiring Process: The Recipe for Success

The perfect hiring process according to Highr
Flavio Frei
August 18, 2023
min read

Crafting the Recruitment Plan and Strategy

So you're about to dive into the deep end of the recruitment pool 🏊‍♀️ - exciting times! But wait, don't take that plunge without a trusty recruitment plan and strategy! It's your personal roadmap, guiding you through the twists and turns of the hiring process. 🗺️

Now, what's this magical plan made of? Three simple steps:

  1. Evaluating the current and future needs of your organization. You've got to know what you need before you start looking for it, right?
  2. Defining the list of vacancies. Think of this as your shopping list for talent! 🛍️
  3. Preparing a comprehensive recruitment budget. Let's face it, even the best talent doesn't come for free. 

This plan doesn't just keep you sane during the hiring madness. It sets a rational foundation for all your future recruitments. And you can whip it up at the start of a quarter or year, depending on how much your company plans to grow. 

The Value of a Strategic Approach in Recruitment

Got your plan in hand? Great! Now it's time to bring strategy into the mix for each open position. Here's the recipe for a good strategy 📖

Start with defining a budget for each role, including the remuneration and all related costs. Then, identify your recruitment levers. Should you leverage your internal talent pool, or look to the great beyond (also known as external sources)? Decide the sourcing methods that will serve you best. And, of course, outline the stages of your recruitment process, the expected outcomes, and the people who'll have their hands in the mix.

A recruiter defining the recruitment strategy based on the recruitment plan

Taking a strategic approach isn't just a fancy notion. It's the key to efficient recruitment, resource saving, and boosting your odds of a successful hiring round! 🎯

Key Elements of a Successful Recruitment Strategy

Ready to know the secret ingredients of a stellar recruitment strategy? Here's the checklist 📝

  • Understanding the role's requirements
  • Picking effective sourcing methods
  • Carving out a clear recruitment process
  • Ensuring regular communication with all involved
  • Analyzing the job market and identifying your target audience.
  • Establishing a rock-solid employer brand.
  • And last but not least, evaluating the success of your recruitment efforts

Remember, it's not about doing the most; it's about doing the best with what you have. 

Stay tuned as we dive deeper into each of these areas in the coming sections. We're just getting warmed up! 🏋️‍♂️

The Briefing Stage: A Strategy-setting Step

Calling all recruiters! It's time for the briefing, a key moment that sets the stage for your recruitment endeavor. It's your opportunity to immerse yourself in the specifics of the role, the recruitment context, and the company culture.

Talent Acquisition Manager taking note during briefing stage

This stage demands a deep dive into the details of the role, from the daily tasks to the wider scope of responsibilities. This is where you learn how the role fits into the company's ecosystem. How else can you find the perfect candidate if you don't understand the environment they'll be stepping into?

The Path to a Solid Brief

How to gather all the necessary details? By interviewing key players, creating a comprehensive briefing template, and sharing the findings with the hiring manager and everyone involved in the recruitment process.

But who exactly should you turn to for the briefing? 🎙️

  • The hiring manager: Often the direct supervisor or N+2 of the new recruit, they have a clear view of the recruitment context, the role, and the scope of tasks for the new hire.
  • An employee in the same role: If a manager lacks insight into day-to-day tasks, feedback from an employee in the same position can be invaluable. If your recruitment process includes a culture fit interview, they can also shed light on team values and rituals.
  • The outgoing employee: In case of a replacement, it can be useful to hear from the outgoing employee. Their experience and insights will help you better understand the role's operational and strategic dimensions.

Your Briefing Checklist: A Must-Have for Effective Recruitment?

Creating a thorough briefing checklist with questions for the hiring manager can greatly streamline your recruitment process. The responses from other team members will further enrich this brief.

This process requires time and thoughtful consideration from both the managers and the recruiter. A comprehensive briefing will empower the recruiter to independently identify potential candidates.

To ensure effectiveness, share the briefing checklist 48 hours before a call with your hiring manager. This allows them time to clearly define their needs, thereby avoiding a rush through the call and providing only a simple job description. During your discussion, you will have the chance to challenge and understand their responses better. All for one and one for all, right? 👯‍♀️

Talent Acquisition Manager and Hiring Manager working together

Crafting the Ultimate Job Advertisement

Ever felt an urge to read a book because the back cover was too captivating to resist? That's how a job ad should feel! 📚

The Power of a Clear and Engaging Job Advertisement

Think about it: clear, concise, and utterly irresistible. A well-crafted job ad acts like a lighthouse to high-quality candidates, a siren call for top talent. Ensure your ad lets candidates comprehend the job requirements without becoming tangled in technical jargon or swamped with excess information.

Here’s the golden rule: Content is key! Think of your job ad as a 4-course meal 🍽️

  1. Start with a tantalizing appetizer about the role you're looking to fill and why your company is recruiting. Give candidates a taste of what's to come.
  2. Next, serve a balanced main course featuring a detailed description of the job and the required skills. Make sure it's a satisfying blend of responsibilities and necessary expertise.
  3. Follow up with a sweet interlude highlighting the benefits and opportunities your company offers. Sprinkle in a dash of company culture but remember, it's like dessert - rich and delightful, but not too overwhelming.
  4. Finally, wrap it all up with a digestif in the form of a clear breakdown of your recruitment process. Leave your candidates feeling informed and intrigued, ready for the next course of action.

Make sure your job advertisement avoids unrealistic qualifications, discriminatory language, and complicated application processes. Keep it compliant with legal norms and ensure it's inclusive. As a Glassdoor survey indicates, 67% of job seekers consider diversity crucial when evaluating companies and job offers. Let’s uphold that! 🌈

The Importance of Truthfulness in Job Ads

Here's the key: be truthful and transparent. Do not oversell the job or company, as it can lead to disappointment, high turnover, and potentially harm your employer brand. Being upfront about the challenges as well as the benefits of the role can lead to more committed applicants, who will stay with your company longer.

The job ad is the first interaction potential candidates have with your employer brand. Make it count!

Methods of Sourcing in Recruitment: Inbound and Outbound

Distinguishing Between Inbound and Outbound Recruitment

When we speak about sourcing candidates, we often mention inbound and outbound recruiting. Each strategy carries its own weight, but which one is best for your needs? 💼✨

Recruiter hesitating between Inbound and Outbound recruitment

The Art of Inbound Recruitment

Inbound recruitment is akin to growth hacking but applied to the recruitment process. Like in growth hacking, the key benefit of this approach is the quality of the candidates reaching out to you. These candidates have heard about you and often made an effort to learn more about your company! 👀💼

Building the Pillars of Your Employer Brand Communication

Firstly, it's important to establish what you're going to communicate. This involves internal elements such as: the company's values (ensure they're "real" values, not hollow ones); its mission (the same applies here); a list of verified elements, processes, rituals, and practices that reflect life in your company 🎨

Once you have a lengthy list of potential communication topics, you'll need to involve employees for their input, especially regarding company values and culture. 

From there, you can determine an employer brand communication plan, organized based on your recruitment plan, as you want to communicate primarily to recruit. 

Structuring the Team in Charge of Your Inbound Strategy and Choosing Channels

Next, identify who is responsible for the operational rollout of this strategy. Like traditional inbound marketing, this is a long-term task.

Quick tip: Don’t forget to consider leaning on internal HR teams, marketing teams, specialized agencies, or even department and team leads who can help you decide which channels and messages to use.

To choose the right channels, you'll need to clearly define your personas and determine the channels they use. This can range from your website's blog for SEO purposes, to LinkedIn, TV media, radio, or even more "exotic" networks depending on who you're looking for (Stack Overflow, Github, YouTube, or even TikTok, BeReal, Instagram depending on your target audience). 📡🌐

Involving Willing Employees in Communication

To accelerate your inbound strategy, consider involving your willing employees. Beyond co-opting, your employees can also assist in nurturing your talent pool. They can provide first-hand experiences and can be integrated into a newsletter dedicated to your talent pool.

The Science of Outbound Recruitment

Outbound recruitment can be accomplished with internal sourcers or headhunters. We don’t want to go into too much detail, because it is not our core expertise. But based on our past experiences, here's how to make the best use of these professionals:

Working Well with Headhunters and Agencies

When dealing with particularly scarce profiles or aggressive deadlines, it may be useful to work with headhunters to find the perfect candidate.

  1. Set the right collaboration framework from the start. Ensure you understand that you're not outsourcing everything. Your service provider is not a magic button.
  2. Choose a good provider based on your needs. Identify several providers and contact them without immediately providing the profile you're looking for. Instead, ask what the ten profiles they recruit the most are. Their answers will give you a good idea of their expertise.
  3. Manage the relationship with your provider to prioritize your search. Make sure to regularly exchange information: (e.g. provide them with all the information necessary for their research) and to maintain a good relationship - keep communication lines open 📞

The Recruitment Interview: Methods, Skills Assessment, and Follow-up

Preparing for Effective Recruitment Interviews: Drafting Your Scorecard

Talent Acquisition Manager rating candidates according to a scorecard

When it comes to avoiding recruitment based on gut feelings, a scorecard is your lifesaver. It structures your search based on specific missions and competencies. This scorecard should be prepped and ready to rock before you even think about interviewing candidates.

Best practice we identified. You'll need to list the competencies you're after. This is what you'll be assessing during the interviews, rating from 1 to 4.

List of potential competencies required (mix of soft skills and hard skills)::

  1. Results-oriented
  2. Leadership / Managerial Experience
  3. Data-Driven mindset
  4. Coachability, ability to receive feedback
  5. Positive energy
  6. English, French proficiency
  7. Java, Javascript, Python, C+,...
  8. Financial modelling
  9. Mastering of Google Ads

Don't forget to jot down the specific questions and tools you'll use to evaluate each competency!

Once collectively validated by all involved in the process, you simply have to clean up this scorecard and put it into a neat document. This will be used by everyone to ensure that all candidates are evaluated on the same criteria.

Skills Evaluation and the Role of Transparency

The interview isn’t a one-way street – it’s an exchange, a dance, if you will! 💃🕺 The recruiter’s mission? To suss out the hard and soft skills, to see the wizard behind the curtain.

Let’s start with hard skills. This is the candidate's technical know-how, their ability to perform specific tasks. Can they juggle five different software at once, or do they code in Python faster than a caffeinated snake? 

And then there are the soft skills, the secret sauce that makes or breaks a team. Can they communicate effectively? Are they team players? Or do they have the kind of leadership skills that could make even a pack of unruly puppies fall in line? 

Transparency here is king! 🤴 It not only ensures fairness, but it also leaves a good taste in the candidate's mouth. 

Reference Checks: To Check or Not To Check?

The practice of reference checks is the subject of much debate. Some are 100% for it; others are 100% against. We invite you to form your own opinion on the matter, considering the following points:

  1. Former employers or managers may be biased, sometimes out of spite or lack of objectivity.
  2. Reference interviews should be as structured as your recruitment interviews to avoid biases.
  3. Remember, reference checks can also help you maximize your onboarding quality.

Importance of Timely Follow-up

Remember the last time you went on a promising date, and then... nothing. No call, no text. A bit disappointing, wasn’t it? 😔 Well, candidates feel the same way when they don’t hear back from an interview.

That's why it's absolutely crucial to follow up with your candidates, whether they landed the job or not. So, drop a line, send a pigeon, whatever it takes. Just make sure you follow up! 🐦💌 It might seem like a small thing, but it leaves a lasting positive impression of your company.

Keeping Up with Trends and Best Practices

To ensure the effectiveness of the recruitment process, you must stay up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices in recruitment. This can be achieved through attending webinars 🌐, reading relevant articles 🗞️, and joining professional networks 🤝

Recommended Resources for Continuous Learning

Think of recruiting like a dynamic sport – always changing, always challenging.⚡🏋️ To keep up, you'll need some solid resources: toolkits, training programs, communities,... And like any good athlete, your training never stops. Join professional networks, and pop into recruitment workshops or conferences when you can.

Just imagine finding your next star player in the comment section of a LinkedIn post. Sounds crazy? That's what I thought too until it happened to us. So, stay curious and keep learning!

Here are some resources in English and French. This is not an exhaustive list, but don’t hesitate to contact us, we would be happy to update it with your go-to resources

Podcasts 🎧🎧

Thought Leaders/Influencers 🧠🧠

Blog & Resources 🖋️🖋️

Communities 🤝🤝

In the end, recruitment can seem like a high mountain to climb, but with the right gear (strategy, transparency, and resources), it's a rewarding journey. So grab your toolkit, and let's make hiring a breeze! 🧗

Elevate your Candidate Experience: Inspire, Engage, Succeed

You are now two clicks away from stepping-up your hiring process

Start now