A Step-by-Step Guide to the Job Hiring Process

Finding the right fit for the job takes some work. Follow these 9 steps and you'll be well prepared to set up your new hires for success.

Sam Molony

Published on 

July 16, 2021

Updated on 

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According to recent Gallup research, two-thirds of U.S. workers surveyed said they’re currently in their “best job ever.”

Naturally, that’ll make it harder to pull top talent from other organizations and will put a wrench in your hiring process. In many ways, the hiring process becomes an equal mix of vetting candidates and impressing them with your company’s benefits, facilities, and compensation.

As that dynamic shifts, so will your entire hiring process. You’ll need to make more time for pleasantries and ensure in the short amount of time you have with them, they’re getting a clear picture of what your company does and why it’s great to work there.

To keep everything well-balanced, here’s a step-by-step guide on mastering your organization’s job hiring process:

Step-by-Step Guide to the Job Hiring Process

The hiring process may feel straightforward, but it has more moving parts than you’d expect. Each one is important in its own right, and skipping a step or not taking it seriously can hinder your hiring process.

With that in mind, here are the eight steps you’ll need to master to attract and close top talent:

1. Identify your hiring needs

There’s a good chance you already know you need this role filled, but if there’s any hesitation, it’s a good idea to slow down and think it through.

Look at the numbers and determine if you can get by without filling this role. Are the responsibilities something that could get delegated to other roles? Perhaps outsourced? There’s a lot of room for automation or AI to help eliminate or automate certain tasks as well.

Maybe you need to fill this role, but you don’t need it right now. Perhaps you could wait another quarter or pick up the hiring process next year? Doing so could be advantageous. Either way, the more clear you are on your needs, the easier the next step will be.

2. Write up a job description

Candidates need a little background on your open positions, or you likely won’t get much interest. Here’s where a thoughtfully written job description comes in handy. 

A well-written job description establishes the right expectations upfront. It says what the role is, what it isn’t, and most importantly, how the role could evolve. People want to know that there are opportunities for advancement. A job description is definitely a place to add such details. This will help make the description well-written and presentable.

Elements of a great job description include the roles, responsibilities and duties, experience required, soft skills desired, compensation and benefits, and company details. The more detailed, the better because you can use it for accountability purposes when they’re in the role.

Most job descriptions follow the same structure, which doesn’t always let them stand out. However, there are no limits as to what you can use to make your job description more noticeable. Take a look at this TEAM Industrial Services job listing -  it uses stats, graphs, and a chatbot to attract qualified candidates and provide as much information about available work positions as possible. Plus, these features add to the employer’s credibility.

3. Advertise the open position

Whether it’s an internal or external position, you have to put the word out so people know about it. The more effort you put into this step, the more candidates you’ll get, which usually means more opportunities to find highly skilled people.

If it’s internal, you’ll likely post it on an internal job board or your company’s website. You can easily create a website with a website builder in case you don’t have one. It doesn’t hurt to send out company or department-wide emails about it either. Again, you’re selling an opportunity here, and the wider the reach, the greater the opportunity.

It’ll also go on your company website if it’s external, but don’t stop there. Post it on your company’s social media accounts. Ask your employees to share your post as well. Depending on the qualifications needed, you could even post it on university job boards or Craigslist. If you’re looking for higher-quality candidates, it’s often worth paying to post on sites like Indeed, LinkedIn, or CareerBuilder as well.

4. Review applications

It’s important to review each employee application received carefully. Skimming them could result in overlooking great candidates. Pull up your job description while reviewing each application so you can match your experience and qualifications with what you’re seeking.

Look for obvious red flags that may require more questioning. Some prime examples here are people who habitually don’t stay at jobs for more than a year or have large gaps in their resumes. Look out for people with lots of typos. Lacking attention to detail might not be a good fit for your open role.

Pay attention to the skills sections as well. According to McKinsey’s research, many companies are working on “reskilling programs” to enhance their workforce. Some desirable skills include critical thinking, decision making, leadership, advanced data analysis, and project management. If they already have those skills listed, then they’re likely worth interviewing.

5. Schedule screening calls and interview

An application and cover letter say a lot about a person, but that doesn’t mean they’re a good cultural fit for your organization. The interview is where you get to see them in action and, more importantly, under a bit of pressure

You’ll want a healthy mix of credential and background verification questions so you get the full scope of the candidate’s experience. You’ll also want to ask open-ended questions related to competency and behavioral traits so you get a feel for how they handle real-world situations. Lastly, you’ll want to pepper in some hypothetical scenarios to see if their line of thinking resonates with what you’re seeking in a candidate.

6. Doing your due diligence

Reading resumes and conducting interviews is a great way to get to know someone, but it’s best to hire the right person to be a bit more thorough. You can uncover valuable information by having them tell their story in an interview—not just providing facts on jobs they've held previously. Find out why they want this particular role with your company and what challenges interest them most. Run background checks and reference checks if necessary. Don’t hesitate to do a little research on your candidate, either. A simple Google search can reveal social media profiles, personal websites, and even news articles about them.

Cross-interviews are another great way to get other leaders’ perspectives to ensure you’re not missing anything. These days, it’s becoming more popular to conduct working interviews to see what the job’s day-to-day is actually like. 

7. Presenting offers

The fun part is drawing up an offer and presenting it. Following your due diligence, it’s best to present the offer as quickly as you can – you may never know if the candidate is interviewing with other companies.

Once you have a candidate accept the position, you can reach out to the other candidates to inform them of your decision. It’s best to offer up some advice to these candidates. Let them know what they did well, how they could improve, and express that you would like to see them apply again in the future (if you really mean it). These small moments can create a pipeline of qualified candidates you can call on later, which is invaluable.

8. Schedule employee onboarding

Hiring a great person is far from the last step of the hiring process. Successful candidates are ones who receive a thorough onboarding. That means initial training, assigning a mentor, and conducting periodic assessments to ensure they have everything they need to succeed.

Don’t forget the all too crucial step of linking to an employee information form. You’ll need quite a bit more information than the resume provided.

9. Ensure long-term success of employees with mentorship

Finding the right employee for the job is a hard task. But the job isn’t over once they’ve finished onboarding. According to the Jobvite survey done in 2018, 30% of job seekers quit a job within 90 days of starting. Your employee turnover costs can be startling if a third of your new hires quit before their onboarding is complete. 

How can we make sure we not only pick the right people but keep them around as well? Mentorship. Most millennials and GenZ employees - the future workforce - value their learning and development almost as highly as their salary. LinkedIn’s 2021 Workplace Learning Report identified that 76% of GenZ’s see learning as the key to their career success. 

The purpose of mentorship is to connect more senior employees as mentors to guide and share their wealth of experience with more junior employees. These one-on-one meetings give individuals early in their careers the opportunity to ask their mentor questions that help shape their own career goals. So, if you don’t already, start a mentorship program for your new hires.

That’s it! If you’ve followed all eight steps, you’re in a prime position toward building a pipeline of excellent candidates and ensuring they have what they need to make a positive impact in your organization. 

Author Bio

Sam Molony is part of the marketing team at ZoomShift. Sam’s goal is to inspire people to not just “hang in there” but to thrive. When Sam's not publishing or promoting new content, you can find him playing sports and cooking up a storm in the kitchen.

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