recruiting process

How to build a recruitment process

Reading time: about 9 min


  • HR

Lawrence Bossidy, the retired CEO of Honeywell, said, “I am convinced that nothing we do is more important than hiring and developing people. At the end of the day, you bet on people, not on strategies.”

At Lucid Software, we couldn't agree more. Because the fate of your organization depends on the people you choose to help you build it, it pays to take the time to perfect your recruitment process. And a recruitment process flowchart is an excellent tool to get everyone on the same page and efficiently grow your organization. 

recruitment process flowchart
Recruitment process flowchart (click on image to modify online)

What is the recruitment process?

A recruitment process is an organization-specific plan for finding new candidates and hiring top talent. The Human Resources (HR) department generally executes the recruitment process, with assistance from hiring managers. Sounds easy? Not so fast. A recent study by Training Magazine found that annually, companies spend over $92 billion on training, and employees dedicate an average of 64 hours to it per new hire.

Of course, each company operates differently—what works well for one company might not be the best choice for yours. But the recruitment process steps below will give you some ideas on how to find and evaluate job candidates. We encourage you to adapt these based on your company culture and needs.

Recruitment process steps

Consider using a recruitment process flowchart to highlight the critical recruitment steps  and communicate important information. 

1. Identify the hiring need

You can’t get what you want unless you know what you’re looking for. At the end of this process, you’re hoping to find the ideal employee, so you have to start by determining what “ideal” means for this position. This step is important, as it will impact every other part of the recruitment process. Survey employees close to the position and consider questions such as:

  • How does this role fit into its department?
  • What gaps or missing skills does this employee need to fill?
  • Which skills and qualities are essential for this position and which are simply nice to have?

As you answer these questions, you may want to look at an org chart of your company. With a single glance, an org chart can give you an idea of what skills are already reflected in the team and where this new employee would fit within the hierarchy.

If you need to fill an existing position, don’t just recycle the job description used when you hired the last employee. Understand the role as it currently stands, since the responsibilities and skills involved have likely changed.

2. Prepare a job description

A job description is often a potential candidate’s first impression of your company, so make it a good one. It should accurately reflect what you need from this employee—required skills and responsibilities of the position—but it should also show candidates what they can expect to receive in return. Aside from compensation, what can this employee gain? What will life at your company be like? What goals will they help to accomplish?

Write the description to match the company culture. Your job description should include some, if not all, of the following:

  • Job title and department
  • Location
  • Hours (full-time, part-time, shift schedule)
  • Summary of the position, including objectives, responsibilities, and its relation to the rest of the company
  • Minimum requirements
  • Preferred experience and qualifications
  • Description of your company and its mission
  • Salary and benefits

Despite all the information you need to include, try to keep the job description as concise as you can. Remove qualities that won’t factor greatly into your decision.

Learn to write a job description that attracts the right candidates for the position.

Learn more

3. Develop and execute your recruitment plan

With some initial preparation and your job description in hand, you're ready to recruit candidates. Use the following outlets to convince potential candidates to apply:

  • Careers page on your website (make sure to showcase company culture!)
  • Job boards, including Indeed, Monster, and more specialized websites
  • Social media, especially LinkedIn
  • Job fairs and campus visits

There’s no need to feel overwhelmed with all your recruiting options—a recruitment process flowchart will help you track your recruiting sources to make sure you consider a diverse pool of candidates. Plus, you will be able to note who is responsible for each channel.

Before you spend time and effort tracking down new candidates, consider that the best candidate might already work at your company. Internal recruitment is much more efficient and cost-effective, plus it encourages employees to excel in their current positions with the hope of promotion.

Has your business done enough to educate current employees about opportunities? For example, HR could send a regular email with new openings, and supervisors could suggest career paths to their team members during one-on-one conversations.

Similarly, your current employees could be your best source for bringing in new candidates. According to JobVite, referred applicants are 15x more likely to receive a job offer. Establish an employee referral program, typically with a bonus if the candidate is hired, to encourage employees to look through job listings and contact colleagues who would be a good match.

4. Review applicants

Based on research from LinkedIn, each corporate job offer attracts an average of 250 resumes—and some of these potential employees that start flooding in will be more qualified than others. Before you put valuable time into interviews, narrow down your list of candidates with these steps:

  • Compare the candidate’s resume and other materials to the job description. Does this person’s prior job experience and skills line up with the essential requirements?
  • Look at the time spent in previous roles. Does the candidate’s history demonstrate progression and drive or a tendency to bounce from job to job?
  • Conduct phone screenings. Before you bring someone into the office, a quick phone screening could determine whether you can accommodate the candidate’s availability and desired salary. You can also ask questions related to the resume if an otherwise qualified candidate didn’t mention an essential skill.
recruiting process

Follow these steps to screen your candidates effectively.

Learn how

Remember, however, that the recruitment process isn’t a perfect formula. Someone who only has related skills and hasn’t held a similar position before could still surprise you. Allow some leeway for a wild card—that’s where the interview process comes in.

5. Conduct interviews

Interviews are largely considered the most crucial step of the recruitment process. Since you have established the qualities you would like in a candidate and have already vetted the incoming applications, you're set for success. These tips will help determine whether an individual is the best choice for the job.

  • Make the environment comfortable: A job interview may be a nerve-wracking experience, but you can ease the tension by reserving a quiet room ahead of time (even if it’s a virtual interview) and explaining the interview process upfront.
  • Get multiple perspectives: It’s difficult to be entirely objective, so if you’re able, bring more than one person to interview the candidate. They might see qualities or ask questions you didn’t think of.
  • Review the applicant’s materials beforehand: To avoid an interview that’s too long, review resumes, cover letters, writing samples, and other materials before the interview so you don’t have to ask about information you should already know.
  • Standardize your questions: You can ask candidates for more information on specific experiences, but if you try to ask similar questions between candidates, you can objectively compare them.

Of course, give the interviewee time to ask questions about the company as well. You need to market the company just as much as they need to market themselves.

Collect feedback from all interviewers quickly while the candidate’s responses are still fresh. Although you should gather feedback from multiple people, most companies assign one person, the hiring manager, to make the ultimate decision.

recruiting process

Improve your interview process using these strategies.

Learn how

6. Check references and make an offer

As a final check in the recruitment and selection process, you will want to contact the candidate’s references. Gather information to confirm responses during the interview, such as:

  • The person’s relation to the candidate
  • The circumstances around the candidate leaving his or her previous company
  • The candidate’s strengths and weaknesses

If you decide to hire the candidate, extend an offer quickly to show your enthusiasm and avoid competing offers. If the candidate seems hesitant, ask about their reservations. Remember what you have learned during the interview process—consider how your company fits in with this person’s career goals and motivations to seal the deal.

Should I consider recruitment process outsourcing?

This entire process of finding and hiring new employees translates into many hours of work, which translates into thousands of dollars. If you’re wondering whether you can afford to spend the time, or if your HR team isn’t large enough to handle such a massive process, you may want to consider recruitment process outsourcing. This option allows an employer to transfer all or part of its recruitment processes to a third-party service provider.

How to organize your Human Resources recruiting process flows

As you can tell from the steps above, the recruitment process—no matter how many people you hire, how your company personalizes these steps, or how much you rely on an external service provider—will involve a lot of different people completing a lot of different tasks to find the right employee. 

To keep everyone on the same page, use the information you collected from the steps above to create a recruitment process flowchart. 

Begin building your flowchart using these tips and tricks: 

  1. Orient your flowchart logically from either top to bottom or left to right. Arrows and lines should follow the same patter. 
  2. Use swimlanes to delineate responsibilities. Simply add a swimlane for each team or individual involved, such as Talent Acquisition or the Hiring Manager.
  3. Add boxes for various tasks in the recruitment process, and drag the shape into the appropriate swimlane.
  4. Connect boxes with arrows to show the order of tasks. Add text to your arrows to clarify the path processes and choices.
  5. Use diamond shapes to show decision points, like if a candidate declines an offer and you need to move to another.
  6. Color-code your flowchart to make it easier to read and denote the different phases of the process. Only use a few colors to avoid confusion.
  7. Share your flowchart with the right stakeholders to keep everyone up-to-date as additional people are incorporated and the recruitment process is adjusted. Lucidchart documents update in real time so everyone is always aligned.

Once you've built a flowchart and shared it with others, it's time to start implementing your new recruiting process. Be sure to update your recruitment process and flowchart to match the needs of your company as the organization grows. 


Map your completed recruitment process using our flowchart software.

Learn more

About Lucidchart

Lucidchart, a cloud-based intelligent diagramming application, is a core component of Lucid Software's Visual Collaboration Suite. This intuitive, cloud-based solution empowers teams to collaborate in real-time to build flowcharts, mockups, UML diagrams, customer journey maps, and more. Lucidchart propels teams forward to build the future faster. Lucid is proud to serve top businesses around the world, including customers such as Google, GE, and NBC Universal, and 99% of the Fortune 500. Lucid partners with industry leaders, including Google, Atlassian, and Microsoft. Since its founding, Lucid has received numerous awards for its products, business, and workplace culture. For more information, visit

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