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An introduction to recruitment with key concepts and best practices.

What is recruitment?

Recruitment, or recruiting, is the process of an organization finding new talent to help meet its strategic goals. This can include employer branding, marketing, sourcing, screening, interviewing, negotiating a job offer, and onboarding.

As anyone who’s ever had a hand in recruiting will tell you, it can be in equal measure a rewarding and frustrating process, but one that is vital to the success of an organization.

The recruitment process—it begins with your brand

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Employer branding

Organizations with the most success hiring talent that’s the right fit for them are constantly thinking about their employer brand.

The employer brand is how an organization is perceived as an employer by the wider world. Do they treat people fairly and help them grow and develop, are they working on interesting projects, do they champion a wider cause beyond making profits for shareholders?

A lot goes into developing and maintaining a brand, but it will act as an anchor for all your recruitment-related efforts, including how you market yourself to potential candidates.

Recruitment marketing

As our resident recruitment expert, Mariya Hristova, points out “Recruitment marketing occurs everywhere regular marketing occurs because potential candidates are likely looking at what you’re putting out there that is aimed at clients.”

So, in essence, everything that’s shared about you as an organization, either by you or someone else on sites like Glassdoor, is a form of recruitment marketing.

A thought-out employer brand and creative recruitment marketing will help you attract the right candidates for your roles, and hopefully a lot of them, but sometimes it’s necessary to take a slightly more vigorous approach and actively source candidates.

Candidate sourcing

Candidate sourcing can be one of the toughest challenges in the recruitment process, the real nitty-gritty. It involves actively searching for people who you think would be a good fit for the role and reaching out to them with a compelling reason for why they should join.

Once you’ve hooked them in, it’s time to take them through your interview process.

The interview process

Interviews are precious and should be treated as such. They’re the reward for what can be a long search to find an ideal candidate.

As well as helping you determine if someone is right for the role, it’s worth remembering the interview process has a significant impact on the overall candidate experience and whether or not someone is excited to join.

As there’s so little time available, some things to think about are ensuring the interviews themselves are as focused and engaging as possible, as well as that the interview process itself isn’t too protracted or onerous for both sides.

Once you’ve decided someone is a good fit for the role, now comes the nerve-jangling bit—the job offer or “the close” as it’s called in the industry.

The job offer

Although this is one of the final stages in the interview process, in reality this stage started way back in the hiring process.

Closing candidates starts from the first moment you talk to them, and the actions you take at each step of the recruitment process allow you to bring them to a "closeable", "Yes I want to work at company!" state of mind.

With the right approach from the offset, and maybe a dash of luck, they’ll accept, and then you can start the onboarding process.


Someone’s accepted the job so that means they’re already joining and you don’t need to worry anymore, right? Wrong!

Some argue that onboarding still counts as recruitment because you’re still not 100% convinced on each other and it’s now up to you as an organization to prove to them they made the right choice (and vice versa, of course).

Onboarding starts after they’ve accepted the offer and normally stretches for at least 90 days after their first day. But, in reality, your work regarding recruitment is never done.

Circling back to the original point about branding, you could make the argument that, when it boils down to it, the way you manage the employee experience across the whole employee lifecycle is a form of recruitment.

Your current employees are highly effective recruiters, especially when they’re prompted by a well-crafted referral program.

The success of your recruitment program, and indeed your organization, also requires solid talent management and workforce planning. In other words, having a proper hiring plan.

It’s no use going to all this effort and hiring for roles you don’t actually need and it’s surprising how often this happens.

Further resources

This has been a super-quick run-through of recruitment and what it entails. 

Covering everything is well beyond the scope of this article, but we’ll end with one last nugget of wisdom from Mariya:

“Recruiting is first and foremost a people profession, so the focus should be on the people!”.

Best of luck with your recruitment efforts, some further resources:

We’d love to get your thoughts and ideas regarding recruitment and what you’ve found works or doesn’t work for you. 

Feel free to reach out to me in the People Managing People Community, a supportive community of HR and business leaders sharing knowledge and building organizations of the future.

By Finn Bartram

Finn is an editor at People Managing People. He's passionate about growing organizations where people are empowered to continuously improve and genuinely enjoy coming to work. If not at his desk, you can find him playing sports or enjoying the great outdoors.