Recruitment strategies: 6 steps to improve your hiring process

Recruitment strategies: 6 steps to improve your hiring process

By Ricardo Singh
Updated: 20 May 2020, first publication: March 2020

Recruitment strategies are fundamental when hiring new talent. If you choose the wrong candidate, you may find yourself looking for a replacement in just a few months, which will cost you time and money.

But, if there is only one open position to fill, how do you narrow down your list of candidates to just one person?

To select the right candidate, you need to have a good recruitment strategy in place. With a well-structured process, you can accurately identify candidates who aren’t right for the job, leaving you with the perfect candidate to fill your open position.

This article explains the steps of recruitment strategies, and gives you the best tips and tools you can use to improve your hiring process!

Keep on reading to find out more about recruitment strategies:

What is a recruitment strategy?

A recruitment strategy is the process of hiring the right employee for a specific job. The goal of this method is to match the requirements of a job description with the experience, competences and qualifications of candidates.

Recruitment strategies vary according to the type of firm hiring and the position available. Moreover, a recruitment strategy is a key lever to meet operational goals within any organisation, as hiring the right employee could save a company time and money, improve the workplace atmosphere, and increase productivity.


© Freepik

What are the steps of a recruitment strategy?

Before recruiting candidates, it is essential to perform a job analysis to understand precisely what an organization needs and where it needs it. A job analysis will provide a clear job description which will help to attract the right talent.

Once the job offer has been posted, you will begin receiving applications from many candidates. And, this is where the selection process begins.

Here are the 6 steps of a recruitment strategy:

1. Initial screening applications

During the initial screening, an applicant completes an application form and submits a CV and cover letter. Human resources will then review this information and conduct a brief screening interview of 30 minutes or less over the telephone.

2. Employment tests

Following an initial screening, the applicant may be asked to take one or more tests to assess his/her knowledge, skills, personality, cognitive ability and motivation.

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Its system is composed of a cognitive ability test, a motivation test, and a personality test. These 3 tests then provide one score which allows you to predict the top performers from your selection of candidates.

3. Selection interview

Those who pass the initial screening are invited to face-to-face interviews.


© Freepik

The format of these type of interviews varies: some companies prefer to have all-day interviews, where job candidates meet with a different person each hour. Whereas other companies rather have candidates meet with key personnel one day, then invite them back for a second meeting with executives.

This interview is designed to observe communication skills and motivation and the applicant may be presented with realistic job situations, such as dealing with a disgruntled customer and asked to describe how he or she would handle the problem.

4. Verifications and references

If applicants pass the selection interview, most firms examine their background and check their references. Today, employers review applicants’ backgrounds, legal history, reasons for leaving previous jobs, and even creditworthiness.

5. Physical examination

A firm may require an applicant to have a medical checkup to ensure he or she is physically able to perform job tasks.

Usually, candidates notify the tester of any prescription drugs he/she is taking because these will show up in the results. If he/she tests positive for any other drugs, it could jeopardize his chance of being recruited.

6. Final decision

The hiring manager will usually ask for feedback from human resources and other employees who interviewed the job candidates. He/she may also review his/her notes and decide which candidate is the best fit for the position.

Why are recruitment strategies important?

Recruitment strategies help increase the overall performance of an organisation by influencing daily operations, long term success and employee morale.

Benefits of using recruitment strategies

Using a recruitment strategy offers the following advantages:

  • it is cost-effective and reduces time and effort
  • it helps avoid any biasing while recruiting the right candidate
  • it eliminates candidates that lack knowledge, ability, and proficiency
  • it provides a guideline to evaluate candidates through strict verification and reference-checking
  • it helps to compare different candidates in terms of their capabilities, knowledge, skills, experience, work attitude, etc.

Tips to improve your recruitment strategy

1. Put test results into perspective

Many external factors can interfere with employment test results, such as the conditions under which the test is conducted or the candidate's interpretation of the questions.

To put things into perspective, you can check the consistency with other information received from the candidate while keeping in mind the importance of the results for a specific position.

2. Give importance to human interaction

Intuition is fundamental in recruitment! If there were interesting conversations during interviews, why don’t you value them? The truth is, no matter how complete a test is, it can never replace human contact.

Moreover, in general, isn't your choice already or almost made before using an employment test?

If so, use the results with hindsight and a critical eye and don't be afraid to rely on your impressions when interacting with your potential future recruit. Don't forget that the candidate is subjective in his or her judgments, and is not necessarily the best judge of himself/herself.

During your exchanges, use empathy and active listening by not focusing on what is being said, but on the message you really want to convey.

3. Believe in potential

New recruits could bring innovative ideas and a new way of looking at things.

Don't be afraid of atypical profiles; they may surprise you and they can prove to be a driving force in "shaking up" the workplace and bringing a fresh look at existing processes.

Some individuals can bring dynamism, a creative spirit and a constructive critical sense, all of which are assets for the development of your activity - and even a new source of motivation for the team.

4. Embrace collaborative recruitment

As a recruiter, you may decide to involve other people in the employee selection process, whether they are other managers or potential future colleagues of the person applying for the position.

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When you are involving your employees in the recruitment process, sometimes they know exactly what the company or the team needs. They are also experts in their field and are therefore better informed about the requirements for a specific position.

5. Use an applicant tracking software

Finally, by using dedicated tools to manage applications, you will be able to refine and improve your recruitment process.

CATS is a customisable, web-based applicant tracking system that you can use to manage your entire hiring process, from posting jobs and screening qualified candidates to reporting on your hiring campaigns.

By centralising data on CATS, you will avoid losing any information, especially when your process involves many steps.


Use these 6 steps to set up your recruitment strategy. However, remember to create a customized process that is adapted to your company and candidates.

Regardless of the approach you take, there are many tools available to improve your recruitment process. Which ones will you choose?

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