Hiring Process: What to Anticipate at Each Step of the Hiring Process

Knowing what to anticipate during the hiring process can be useful while searching for a new position. You can better manage your expectations by being aware of the steps in this procedure as you wait for an employment offer after submitting a job application.

As simple as it may seem at first, finding and choosing a potential employee isn’t always the case. You don’t simply scan the list of applicants and conclude, “Well, that individual will be fine,”

Instead, many phases must be completed before you can get to the last phase of the hiring process. These steps include developing a hiring plan, writing a job advertisement, interviewing people, conducting background investigations, and delivering the final offer of employment, among other things.

If you’re like most recruiters, HR staff members, or employers, you probably lack the time to go into the specifics of the hiring process. There’s a solution here to suit your needs: a short step-by-step approach to follow for your selection and hiring process so you may bring on that great star applicant. Whether you’re looking to recruit an apprentice for your firm, fill jobs in your rapidly expanding startup, build up your sales force, or increase your team of employees by tenfold, this guide has something to satisfy your requirements.

We outline the job search procedure in this post so you are prepared to start searching for a new job prospect.

What are the key phases of the employment search?

Although different businesses may have different hiring processes, the following is a summary of the most typical steps and suggestions for how to handle each one:

1. Begin your hunt

Finding out why you’re seeking an employment opportunity is the ideal place to begin your search. You might wish to switch industries, for instance, or go after a more high-level position with a greater income and more management experience. In any event, remember that you are not the only one. Even when they are pleased with their present job, most people continue to look for employees throughout their careers.

Moreover, networking will be a part of this phase to increase your professional relationships. You can enroll in professional associations or go to meetings and conferences catered to your field and expertise.

Read the position description offered on websites like indeed.com to investigate new professions or career choices. Find jobs that intrigue you and learn more about them. Make a note of the qualifications and responsibilities of positions so you can determine whether the position would fit with your goals, abilities, interests, and values in terms of work.

2. Create a resume.

To prove to the prospective employer that you’re perfectly suitable for the post, list your qualifications on your CV. Online resources are available to assist with resume writing. These are some fundamental pointers:

  • Be concise. You want the recruiting manager to be able to examine your credentials right away. Make sure your CV is concise—no more than one or two pages—and simple to understand.
  • Focus on your audience. Create a resume specifically for each employment you’re applying for. Only include your experience and talents that are pertinent to the position on your resume if you happen to possess a lot of them.
  • Provide a good summary. Start your resume by briefly stating your qualifications for the position in one or two sentences. Indicate your experience and abilities succinctly so the recruiting manager can quickly determine your suitability.

3. Write a cover letter.

Some recruiters need a cover letter in addition to your CV. This is a one-page document containing a summary of the information in your resume. If a cover letter is included, make sure to:

  • Make an introduction. Provide a brief introduction that includes your name, the position you’re looking for, and what you find appealing about the position and firm.
  • Describe your abilities. On your CV, make sure to highlight the qualifications and talents that make you a good fit for the role. This strengthens your case for why you should get the job.
  • Provide a narrative. Explain a time when you worked on a task or an experience that shows you have a special qualification for the available job.

Just keep in mind that you should only send a cover letter if the job advertisement specifically requests one or if the application process online allows you to do so.

4. Send in your application

What you must send should be stated in the job advertisement. Fill out the necessary fields on any online forms and follow the instructions for adding your resume. Only include a cover letter if the form specifically asks for one. You may apply for jobs with one click by creating or submitting your resume on Indeed, which also helps businesses locate you for open openings.

Include your name, the job title, and your résumé in the title tag of an email if you’re applying for the position. If a cover letter is required, you can either include it in the email or attach it to your CV. Include the job title, employer name, contact details for the prospective employer, the date that you submitted your application, and a status line in your spreadsheet.

The recruiting team may view the application stage of the hiring process as being passive because all you have to do is wait for applicants to reply to your job post. Applications may, and should, be used as screening tools to help you categorize people as qualified or not.

In what way is this possible? Starting points include gamification and qualifying questions.

The use of qualifying questions at the start of your selection procedure should be simple when you’re employing software to create your application forms. You can submit two or three inquiries that are pertinent to the job. To apply, applicants must respond to these questions. For instance:

  • Provide a brief account of your Excel skills.
  • What distinguishes journalism from content marketing?
  • Can you lawfully work in the United Kingdom?

A few of these questions might only demand a yes or no response, with the incorrect response automatically dismissing the candidate. This is a hiring process that may also be accomplished with relative ease using recruitment software. There should only be certain skills that are a strict requirement for eligibility. A disqualifying question may be, “Do you possess 7+ years of engineering experience,” for instance, if you’re searching for a senior engineer.

Assist applicants with submitting their applications

You want applicants who begin filling out your forms to finish them and submit them. Despite this, a lot of applicants give up on their applications since they require an excessive amount of time to complete or are too difficult. Here are some steps you may take to expedite this phase of the selection process to prevent this:

  • Limit the number of qualifying questions you ask and ensure they don’t call for lengthy or complicated responses.
  • Try applying for one of your vacant positions; that way, you can identify bugs, roadblocks, or protracted applications.
  • The mobile version of your application forms (and careers website) should be tested. Mobile applications are widely used, thus they must function properly.

You might also monitor your application abandonment rate to discover if there is a problem with your application forms. The closer to 0% the better, therefore the greater that figure, the more work your applications must perform.


Although it’s not a new concept, you can now employ gamification tools more successfully in the hiring process thanks to technological advancements. Consider inviting less experienced individuals and those coming from various professions to play either internet-based or offline games, particularly during the application period.

This is because, despite potentially being the best prospects for a position, fresh graduates or applicants who have changed careers won’t have many practical qualifications to highlight in their resumes. When you’re attempting to assess them depending on their application, this may pose an issue. By employing gamified assessment techniques at that point, you may narrow down potential hires and give your hiring staff a greater chance of speaking with a smaller pool of highly qualified applicants.

When you discover that the bulk of applicants who satisfy your needed background originates from a small subsection or demographic, this also provides an opportunity to broaden your candidate pool.

There are various ways to gamify your hiring process; for instance, an online platform is like a benchmark. games or coding competitions, like Workable’s built-in tool HackerRank, may be beneficial.

5. Screening of resumes

After completing the application stage of the hiring process, you now have a pool of  CVs or resumes to sort through and pick those deemed qualified for a screening call. You must now carefully review each CV, whether by hand or with the use of tools, to find the best applicants.

Finding and eliminating individuals that don’t exactly suit the criteria you’re looking for, is among the oldest ways of staff selection.

A single position could have hundreds, even thousands, of applications. There are several methods for filtering resumes:


This is a more pragmatic aspect of the hiring process; you’re searching for a candidate’s past that makes them qualified for the role you’re trying to fill. You should find out whether they possess the academic background, the professional know-how, or both, to do the job properly.

For example:

  • A person who has an accounting degree but has little to no real-world experience could be qualified for a junior-level role if you’re recruiting for an accounting job.
  • If you’re searching for a bartender, a candidate with experience working at several renowned restaurants or taverns in your neighborhood might be a good choice.
  • Alternatively, if you’re hiring an editorial manager, you must make sure they possess the academic credentials to back up their sophisticated ability to analyze, edit, and publish for academic assignments, as well as some experience working in a fast-paced media setting that necessitates making decisions on the spot.

It’s important to take caution not to adhere to these requirements too strictly because many qualified applicants might not have the typical background required for this position. Find out how unconventional candidates can contribute just as much as their conventional colleagues.

Resume format

An indication of a candidate’s suitability for a job can even be found in something as basic as the design of their résumé. Here, the ability to effectively organize and deliver information is on clear display.

Take a look at the samples below to see how a resume’s format can quickly demonstrate a candidate’s skill set:

  • The design of a resume can be a strong indicator of a candidate’s ability to design if you’re hiring for a creative profession in the arts, like web or graphic design.
  • If you’re trying to hire a salesperson, the way they display their CV might give you insight into their potential to attract clients’ attention with crucial details that will persuade them to become customers.
  • If you’re searching for an advertising copywriter, a check at their resume will demonstrate their aptitude for clear, concise, and interesting descriptions.

On the other hand, you are also on the lookout for resume red signals indicating an applicant could not be who they claim to be. For example, a CV might contain blatantly plagiarized boilerplate content, dates that are out of sync, errors, embellishments, or even outright fabrications (like a college that doesn’t come when you search for it on Google).

Cover letter

The cover letter of a candidate provides you an insight into their personality and what they’re able to offer to the position, much like the resume does. You want to see concise, intelligent writing that makes it obvious what the applicant can contribute to the role. Does the applicant:

  • Enumerate their qualifications and experience in a manner that is pertinent to the post for which they are applying.
  • Demonstrate their understanding of your company’s objectives and how they may assist.?
  • Write in a polished, error-free style that displays their capacity for email and other forms of communication.


Although it may at first appear corny to include one’s passions and interests on a resume, they can be excellent indicators of the type of candidate. For example:

  • Running is a sign of a healthy individual who has the discipline to regularly prepare for marathons or 10Ks.
  • “Volunteering” demonstrates their interest in the wider picture (i.e., the vision and goal of your organization) and their capacity for empathy, which in turn will make them valuable team members.
  • “Chess” denotes the capacity to think logically and logarithmically about complex data, a valuable trait for a developer role.

Unintentional bias

You should be mindful of your unconscious prejudice throughout each phase of the hiring process. You can use Harvard’s Project Implicit to assess the strength and locations of your inherent biases. Keep it in mind while you scan through resumes.

Look out for possible biases, such as those based on an applicant’s name, gender, color, age, status, or even educational qualifications throughout the selection process. For example, the fact that somebody earned their MBA from a community college instead of Harvard doesn’t automatically devalue them as an applicant or their MBA degree.

You may be aggressively seeking a D&I initiative, as many hiring managers and companies are. 

Several members of the recruiting team are frequently involved in this step of the hiring process, along with the HR professional, the recruiting manager, the recruiter, and perhaps even the line manager.

You’re likely correct if you think this will take a while. Workable’s software includes a variety of AI capabilities that let you expedite this phase of the hiring process.

6. Interviews

If you receive an invitation to an interview, it signifies the prospective employer has chosen you from the pool of top applicants for the position. The prospective employer will use the interview to assess whether you are the right candidate for the position. The number of interviews will vary according to the number of applicants and the requirements of the position. Before a face-to-face interview, you could also have a telephone interview.

The following advice will help you prepare for interviews:

Conduct your research.

Your job hunt should have given you some background information about the organization. You must now delve a little more. Look for material on the company’s social media and website that you may employ in the interview. Also, you’ll have the chance to discover more about the corporate culture and decide whether or not you’ll fit in well in this setting.

Prepare responses to typical inquiries.

Online, you can obtain lists of typical interview questions. Before your interview, practice your responses to these questions.

Being prepared for behavioral questions

You may be questioned about previous approaches to problems at work. The prospective employer can infer from your responses how you might respond in similar circumstances in the future. Prepare your responses using the STAR technique.

There are several common behavioral interview questions, such as “Provide an example of an objective you attained and explain how you did it” and “Tell me about a period you committed an error and how you addressed it.”

Dress to impress.

Before your interview, find out the firm’s dress code by checking the website and social media profiles of the organization, asking the person who booked your interview, or both. When in doubt, wear more formal attire. Make sure your clothing is clean and wrinkle-free by choosing it the day before.

Treat everyone with respect.

Treat everybody you encounter when you come for your interview as though they have a say in whether you get the job. That applies to the receptionist as well as your fellow passengers in the elevator. Every recruiting manager looks for the quality of politeness in a prospect.

A follow-up

After every interview, be sure to write a follow-up email. Express your continuous interest in the role and appreciate the interviewer for their time.

Call for screening

One of the early hiring processes is the screening call, or telephone screen, where recruiters shortlist candidates. The goal of this conversation is to determine whether the applicant is sincere about the position and (at the very least) reasonably qualified to execute it well. This will save your team time and money by ensuring that only the top candidates advance to the following, tougher (and more costly) hiring processes, such as evaluations and in-person interviews.

Plan a phone screening

While this may be your very first email exchange with a prospect, the email you write to arrange a screening call is crucial. Hence, here is your chance to establish the tone of your communication with that applicant and, who knows? a potential future employee.

In this situation, you must be direct, upbeat, and professional-looking. In the interest of getting to know the applicant better and providing them with information about the position, appreciate them for applying for your available position and then ask if they’d be interested in having a chat with you. Be succinct and to the point.

Plan thoroughly

You might find it challenging to manage screening calls since you can’t communicate with applicants face-to-face, read their nonverbal cues, or evaluate their body language. There’s also the potential for intermittent poor signal or ambient noise. The secret is to be well-prepared: before you start the selection procedure, know precisely what you’re searching for, what you’re hoping to discover about each applicant, and the type of information you’d like to express.

  • Make a list of your criteria. Put together a list of the fundamental requirements you’d like to verify during the screening call as you likely already know what they are. For example, “they should be able to begin working within the week” or “they must wish to relocate.” Consider the things that you can be flexible about. For instance, could you possibly be able to change a full-time work to a part-time one or accept flexible hours?
  • Read the resumes of candidates. This is crucial since you’ll demonstrate to applicants that you take their applications seriously and you’ll be able to discover inconsistencies that you may explore further. For instance, you might enquire as to the reason for a significant gap in a candidate’s career history.
  • Verify your ability to respond to simple questions. During the hiring process, applicants will be analyzing your organization just like they’ll be analyzing you. You should sell the job and your organization well to convince a qualified applicant to take the assessment or visit for an interview. Conduct your research on the position and brush up on your understanding of the company’s objective.

Choose the appropriate questions

Your interview questions should reveal whether an applicant is qualified and enthusiastic about the position. Hence, be sure to discuss both of those issues on the screening call (without getting into an excessive amount of technical depth, keep these inquiries for subsequent phases of the hiring process.) These are a few examples of questions:

  • If you were given the position, when could you begin?
  • Would you feel at ease traveling 50% of the time?
  • How much money do you hope to make in this role?
  • What part of the job description piqued your attention the most?
  • What aspects of our organization pique your interest?
  • Why is there a three-year gap on your resume?
  • What makes you want to quit your job now?

Ask questions and give the candidate your undivided attention. Check to see if their demeanor fits your business and whether their responses are satisfactory. Be wary of any responses that don’t seem sincere or conflict with their applications or resume.

6. Background checks

The organization might eventually verify references and background information. Make sure the references shown on your resume are credible individuals with up-to-date contact details. Your educational background along with any additional information you have provided about yourself may also be verified by the manager.

You may anticipate the potential employer visiting the social networking sites you listed on your CV. The prospective employer is seeking consistency between your online and in-person presentations of yourself.

7. The employment offer

Usually, a job offer will come to you via email or telephone. If by telephone, you can anticipate receiving a follow-up email soon after the call to go over the specifics of the job offer. It will contain details on the compensation package offered by the employer, the commencement date, and the salary. You are not obligated to take up this offer right away. You have the option to make a counteroffer in response or to request compensation negotiations before accepting or rejecting.


What’s next? It’s time to start getting ready for the arrival of your new employee. To get them pumped up and make sure they have a seamless onboarding process, write them a welcome email. A pleasant candidate experience will do wonders for your corporate image, so don’t fail to let rejected prospects know they didn’t receive the job. Not only are they possible employees for future positions, but they’re also prospective employees now.

Frequently Asked Questions about the hiring process

  • Who oversees the hiring process?

The hiring process may be handled by the Human resources department in some organizations. Others could choose applicants for interviews and pick their new staff through a talent selection committee. The recruiting manager may also serve as the new hire’s boss in smaller companies.

  • How can I make the hiring process more efficient?

There are a few methods you can use to hasten the hiring process, like utilizing an offer letter template rather than writing one from scratch or telling prospects you would like to employ them informally over the phone. Make sure you cover the employment conditions with the candidate during the interview so they have time to evaluate them beforehand.

  • Why is it vital to conduct background checks before hiring someone?

The wrong hire will cost you money and cause you frustration. Background checks can help you avoid hiring any undesirable or hazardous people, which is advantageous for both the employer and the employees. Making good hiring decisions will help to ensure a productive workplace.