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Is your Recruitment Funnel fruitful and flowing? How to design and nurture every stage of hiring

Posted: 16 December 2015

Recruitment doesn't run smoothly and on-brand as if by magic. Every great recruitment process and experience is a meticulously designed, nurtured and managed series of steps. The time, effort and resources you put in really does make a difference to the who, how and why of sourcing and hiring top talent. You can't put in half-arsed effort and expect world class results.

A recruitment funnel is just a fancy name for the flow and stages of your recruitment efforts, from posting that job ad to making the final hire. It’s a complex little critter, but with some planning, love and a stellar grasp of your Employer Brand it can help you nail the tricky scamp that is recruitment. Spend some quality time with your recruitment funnel, get serious with each stage and potential employees and employers will reap the benefits. Here’s our stage-by-stage health check for your Recruitment Funnel, get yours on-the-ball and on-brand today.

Cast the net - The job is posted.

Ok, your funnel kicks into action when the job ad is released out into the world. As this is where candidates enter the funnel you need to see this as the start of their candidate experience - everything you do from now on can make or break a hire. The key to nailing this stage is to get creative and thorough with your reach. You want the right people, not just loads of people, to see your ad so think beyond the noble job board. Do you have a good referral system in action? How’s your social media strategy dealing with new job postings, and do you have folk on hand to man the social stations? Do you have a plan to target those passive candidates?

Peruse the Pool - Do you have suitable candidates on file?

A well nurtured talent pool can be invaluable at this stage. Who knows, you might have the perfect candidate on file so use this time to search your pool. Any relevant skillsets there? Do you have a current list of social profiles that you can browse through for keywords?

You really do get out of a talent pool what you put in.

Applications arrive - Ease, Engage & nurture.

Hopefully, you’ll have a flow of applications coming at you. This will all of course be dependent on the state of your application process. Nothing turns off great talent more than a long, complicated online application process. You need to get this in check before you post your job.

Engagement and nurture go hand-in-hand with applications, after all candidates will look for more info before they apply so you need to project the right culture and give them the info they need, when they need it. Do you have an easy to navigate, simple career website running? Have you got a thriving employee culture that can invite and inspire candidates? Does your application process reflect that culture and is there support in place should candidates need it?

Super screening - Finding ‘right’.

Slimming down the applicants is a tough part of the process. It’s hard to know who is suitable at this stage so don’t think you need to make that decision right now. Screening helps you add more meat to the bones and put a personal face to the professional name. Personality and character are just as important as qualifications and experience, screening can help you tap into that. What resources will you use to screen (Facebook, LinkedIn etc)? What are you actually screening for? How can you collect and share the screening results?

Interview adventures - Ruling out or reigning supreme.

With screening in the bag, you should have a nice pile of ‘right’ candidates. Interviewing is your chance to rule out the candidates that aren’t quite right and learn more about the ones that are. Remember, give the candidates you don’t take forward the best possible candidate experience.

Never leave them hanging or neglect to give them feedback if they request it, who knows they could be great for a role in the future so end your journey on good terms. Have you considered video interviewing as an option to face-to-face? Will you tailor your Qs to each candidate or roll out a uniform approach?

Offer & hire - Job’s a good ‘un.

And now we reach the end of the funnel. By this point you should have selected a candidate and made them an offer, which hopefully they take. Set and agree on the terms of employment and give them a total idea of what they can expect in the next few weeks.

Post-hire feedback & onboarding - Dig for the data.

This is a stage that so many forget, maybe they are high on the joys of finding that top talent or perhaps it doesn’t seem important right now. Well it is. Be sure to ask your new recruit about their recruitment experience - what was good/bad about their candidate and hiring experience? What made them accept the job? Do they have any suggestions on how to sharpen up your process? Oh and take the time now to start tailoring their onboarding process. Many employers roll out a pretty standard onboarding process but you have a window of time to make it truly their experience so do that.

No one stage of the recruitment funnel is more important that the next, each performs an important action that goes into the Employer Branding pot. Your funnel is the nuts and bolts of quality recruitment so make sure the whole bunch are perfectly planned and ready to roll.

Do you like this stuff? Then join over 21,000 other awesome people who get tips on improving their employer brand, recruitment, marketing and the odd spot of career advice delivered directly to their inbox from me! @markbevans