Like any strong organizational strategy, effective recruitment is not a one-size-fits all initiative. The individuals in your organization are unique, and the new roles you seek to fill are, too. Your talent strategy must be flexible and inclusive, accounting for differences in job responsibilities and skills needed.

At Brighter Strategies, we designed a five-step hiring model to guide talent leaders on their journey toward better recruitment practices. As you can see, the process starts with sourcing, moves to selection, and finishes with new employee onboarding.

A structured hiring process model for sourcing, selection, and onboarding.

This blog introduces best practices for the first half of the process: acquiring and hiring candidates.

Talent sourcing

To ensure your recruitment strategy results in high retention and an inclusive workforce, consider the following best practices when sourcing and screening talent.

Talent attraction. Your company’s brand is its first impression for external candidates. Put your best foot forward and clearly define your reputation as a best place to work. Use the career page on your website—typically the first entry point for new hires—to show off your brand and publish your cultural values.

Role creation. Start with the end in mind. What is your intention? How do you want to manage and develop talent overall and open roles specifically? Consider these hiring goals, along with the size of your company, as you kick off the hiring process. If you are using the same recruiter for every new hire and implementing a cookie-cutter approach to acquire all talent, you will produce a homogenous workforce.

Job postings. Job descriptions must be both high-converting, competency-based, and inclusive. After identifying the skills and competencies required for the role, I recommend a simple gender decoder tool, such as this Gender Decoder for Job Ads to ensure your job postings do not contain linguistic gender-coding, which can discourage some candidates from applying.

Talent pool. Depending on the role and your overall talent strategy, you may source from your internal talent pipeline, external pool, or both. For candidates within your company, diversify your stream with a pipeline of employee applicants, interns, and referrals. Job boards, listservs, professional associations, and industry-specific membership associations are excellent streams of external talent.

Talent selection

Next, with your intentionally and inclusively sourced candidate pool, follow these tips for talent selection success.

Hiring team assembly. Your hiring dream team consists of recruiters and managers. Recruiters source candidates by tapping diverse yet targeted talent pools, screen applicants, and oversee the interviewing process. Acquisition managers offer the job and negotiate the employment contract (including compensation and benefits). Dividing and conquering hiring responsibilities allows for specialization, focus, and quality checks throughout the process.

Resume screening. Ensure the experience is uniform for every candidate, regardless of what you see on a resume or if the individual has a personal connection within the organization. Use blind resume reviews by removing all identification details from your candidates’ resumes and applications to help eliminate bias and support objective assessment.

Shortlisting. Your short list of most qualified candidates should comprise about half of the total pool of applicants. These are the prospects who make it through round one of recruitment and move on to interviewing.

Interviewer training. All interviewers must be prepared to apply the same techniques to each candidate. To promote an equitable hiring process, train interviewers in behavior-based questioning and raise awareness of potential personal biases such as confirmation bias or affinity bias. This approach assesses prospective talent for pre-determined skills and competencies important to the success of the new hire.

Evaluation. Identify the candidates from your applicant pool who best meet your predetermined talent goals and have the most critical capabilities based on the job description (that is, essential functions, qualifications, and competencies). Additionally, evaluate for behavioral and technical skills, which are both important for retention.

Vetting. Finally, do your due diligence by completing employee verification and background checks for all new hires. Sites like Goodhire provide simple and flexible screening options for employers.

High-performing organizations treat onboarding as part of recruitment. Next week, I will conclude this series on recruitment and onboarding with best practices and trends for developing your new hires from day one. In the meantime, learn how Brighter Strategies can help you realize success throughout the hiring process.