How to Create a Strategic Recruiting Process to Attract Top Talent


Don’t let the right job candidate pass by. Learn how to build a recruiting process that stands out in today’s competitive job market.

What is a recruiting process, and why is it important?

The recruiting process is the driving force behind attracting the best talent to a company. This process is typically managed within HR by either a recruiter, hiring manager, human resource management (HRM), or a combination of all three. 

The recruiting process plays a critical role in the overall growth and success of a company. Why? Because the quality of talent determines how successful, competitive, and innovative a company can be. 

The urgency around effective recruitment has reached a fever pitch. When discussing post-COVID workplace planning, 74% of decision makers ranked recruiting as a top priority, followed by retention (57%), learning and development (48%), talent management (46%), DEI (44%), performance reviews (26%), and other (4%).

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Recruitment process steps

The recruiting process is made up of four core phases: strategy, planning, screening, and evaluation. Here’s a breakdown of what needs to be done during each step: 

  • Strategy. Set the tone for the process and answer the who, what, why, and how: Who do we want to hire? What do we want them to do? Why do we want this new hire? How will we measure success for this process? How do we want to present ourselves to applicants? 
  • Planning. Create job descriptions, identity skill/experience requirements, and determine salary range. 
  • Screening. Begin reaching out to candidates, reviewing applications, and kickoff the hiring process for selected candidates.
  • Evaluation. Analyze how successful your recruiting process was, where it fell short, and what you can do to adjust or finetune the process for better results in the future. 

The future of recruiting

According to Jobvite’s 2020 Recruiter Nation Survey Report, here are the recruiting activities recruiters expect to increase compared to previous years:

  • + 78% social media
  • + 75% mobile career site applications
  • +74% text recruiting capabilities
  • +74% recruiters’ professional networks 
  • +72% LinkedIn

What’s the difference between recruiting and hiring?

The recruiting process covers everything from sourcing and community engagement through application, and it funnels through to the interview process until an offer is signed, background check is completed, and a start date is confirmed. Once the recruiting process ends, the hiring process begins. 

The hiring process includes all of the pre-onboarding activities in addition to onboarding, and it can also include post-onboarding/probationary periods activities as well. 

The difference between the two processes is that the hiring process consists of internal tasks and the recruiting process is a combination of external and internal tasks. Even though these two processes are distinct, they are closely related. Without the recruiting process successfully attracting qualified candidates, there is no hiring process since there are no new candidates to consider. 

For recruiters seeking qualified candidates, it’s important to approach the recruiting process strategically in order to break through the competitive job market and keep top talent entertained. Keep reading to learn why and how.

See how Pipefy makes the recruitment process more human so you can hire the best & brightestLearn more

What are the elements of a successful recruiting strategy?

A recruiting strategy is the core of your recruitment process and ladders up to your overall company goals and objectives. Without a recruiting strategy, the effectiveness of your process may suffer, leading to bigger issues like negative candidate experiences. 

A successful strategy covers the following:

Employer branding

How do you want to present your company to prospective candidates?

Candidate qualities

Who is the ideal candidate? What skills and experience do they possess?

Candidate outreach

Where and how will you search for candidates? Will you leverage a referral program?


Where do you want to post job advertisements? Which social media platforms and jobs boards will you use?
KPI growth


How will you measure whether the recruiting process is successful?


Are there any immediate hiring needs or initiatives that you should mold your strategy around?

Benefits of a data-driven recruitment strategy

There are three key benefits for having a data-driven recruiting process strategy:

  1. More qualified applicants
  2. Higher process efficiency
  3. Less time to fill open positions

The data should measure, analyze, and inform the following facets of recruiting: quality, cost, and speed. Below is what you should measure for each stage: 

  • Quality of candidate. While filling vacancies quickly is important, choosing an unqualified or incompatible candidate can be costly and disruptive. Quality-of-hire data includes turnover rates, job performance, and employee engagement. 
  • Quality of process. For this area, you’ll want to measure the source of hires, number of applicants per job, number of candidates per hire, and job retention rates.
  • Cost to execute process. Investing in your business is essential, but it shouldn’t come at a loss. For this area, you’ll want to analyze the cost per hire, the number of applications per channel, total talent pool growth (or decrease), and how well your job advertisements perform.
  • Speed to hire. The longer it takes to find qualified candidates, the more expensive the recruiting process will be. But don’t rush the process just for the sake of it. Hiring the wrong candidate may cost you more in the long run. For this area, you’ll want to measure time: time to approve applicants, time to hire, time to accept offers, time to start, and total time per stage.

Once you’ve gathered your data and have used it to inform your recruiting strategy, it’s time to move onto building the process itself.

Delaying the hiring process negatively affects the candidate experience and can cost companies upwards of $4,000.

See how your team can deliver better end-to-end employee experiences through HR workflow automationLearn more

How to build a talent pipeline

With your recruitment strategy in place, use this roadmap to start building your recruiting process and attracting qualified candidates.

Step 1: Strategy and planning

The planning process is where the work begins. The point of planning is to assure alignment, reduce expenses, and narrow the focus. During this phase, take care of items such as:

The planning process is where the work begins. The point of planning is to assure alignment, reduce expenses, and narrow the focus. During this phase, take care of items such as:

  • Choosing where or how to promote your company and any open positions
  • Writing job descriptions 
  • Deciding whether or not to partner with a recruiting firm
  • Deciding on a recruitment method: internal, external, or both
  • Establishing immediate hiring needs

To standardize this step, use forms to collect important information and align participants on overall goals.

8 ways to promote your company and reach candidates

  1. Social media
  2. Job boards (Glassdoor, Indeed, Monster)
  3. Niche job boards (Dice, BuiltIn, Stack Overflow)
  4. Traditional advertisement (radio, TV, print)
  5. Company website/careers page
  6. Email marketing
  7. PPC ads
  8. Job fairs

Data-driven decisions are also essential in this step to guarantee the right people are entering your talent pipeline and applying for your positions. Here are some examples of data you may want to collect: 

  • Candidate sourcing (How did candidates find you? How did they apply? Which channels delivered successful hires?)
  • Time to fill and/or hire (How long did it take from posting the job to hiring the right candidate?)
  • Conversion ratios (How many candidates were interviewed?)

Step 2: Screening

Employers screen candidates to gauge their interest and assess whether the applicants’ experience is a match for a position. During this step you’ll want to: 

  • Evaluate candidate interest, skill set, availability, salary requirements, and relevant requests.
  • Conduct interviews, and assess skill set with applicant assignment (if applicable).
  • Finalize approved candidates and conduct final interviews.

How candidates are applying 

Data from Jobvite’s 2021 Job Seeker Nation Report shows that workers most frequently applied to their current/most recent job through:

  • 27% job boards
  • 24% employer’s career site
  • 18% friends or former colleagues
  • 14% social sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, or Craigslist

Step 3: Hiring

Once the best candidates are selected, it’s time to kick off the hiring process and start making offers. At this step, recruiters or hiring managers will: 

  • Choose a qualified applicant and make an offer. Once an offer is accepted, kick off the onboarding process.
  • Work fast, and avoid stringing candidates along.

While remote work has opened up a network of qualified candidates formerly not considered due to their location, it’s also created a unique set of challenges and a complex series of HR processes. As technology columnist Mike Elgan put it: “An employee working full time from home already adds complexity. …If you have employees in 30 states, you have to comply with the law in those 30 states.”

Check out how a business process management solution, like Pipefy, can cut through the complexity and boost the efficiency of your hiring process:  

Step 4: Evaluating

Whether you end up finding your next star employee or not, this step in the recruiting process is central to understanding what went right, what went wrong, and how you can improve your recruiting process. 

To see these steps in action, check out this illustration of a recruiting process below: 

Recruiting process workflow example

(Open image in new window)

Recruiting process do’s and don’ts

Improve the effectiveness of your recruiting process with these tips:

Do automate steps in the process to maximize the efficiency of your team.Don’t create a recruiting process without a strategy.
Do make data-driven decisions.Don’t create delays in the recruiting process and potentially lose candidate interest.
Do optimize your job careers page and social channels to promote company benefits and culture.Don’t paint a confusing or inaccurate picture of the company or role.
Do sync expectations and messaging with hiring managers or HRMs.
Do prepare for interviews by double-checking that your technology is working.
Do put people first, whether you’re focused on the process or dealing with technology.

Streamline your talent pipeline with Pipefy

The secret to attracting top talent and impressing job applicants lies in three features: great communication, scheduling with ease, and a user-friendly job application process. With Pipefy, you can easily incorporate all three into your recruiting process. 

Pipefy is a secure, no-code workflow automation platform that makes it easy to upgrade your recruiting process by centralizing and streamlining your workflows, automating manual tasks, and capturing real-time data from internal and external stakeholders.

With its low-code integrations, you don’t have to toggle between tools or worry about critical information along the way. With smart automation rules, you can connect tools and departments and let your team focus on putting people first.

See why more companies choose Pipefy to help them find and hire the best & brightest talentTry Pipefy HR

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