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Recruitment checklist every employer should have

Updated on Mar 25, 2021 4108 views
Recruitment checklist every employer should have

As much as many people are searching for job opportunities, hiring the right candidate for your vacant position still requires some effort. Investing the right amount of effort will determine the kind of talent you would attract.

It might be tempting for you to think; “many people are searching for job opportunities, so why should I invest so much when I could just pick one person from the lot 

Hiring the right candidate is far from picking any available person to get the job done. Selecting a bad hire can cost you more than you think. According to the U.S. Department of labour: “The average cost of a bad hire is up to 30% of the employee’s first-year earnings”.

To avoid falling into the pit of employing a bad hire, it is good you invest in hiring strategies that will help you improve your hiring process and speed things up. The question is how do you ensure a good hiring strategy?

Using a standard recruitment process checklist will go a long way to ensure that you are on the track. Having a set of things-to-do in place will ensure that both you and your team members are on the same page in the hiring process.

Before we go into the checklist, it is good you know why using a recruitment checklist is important.


Why you should use a recruitment checklist?

 A recruitment checklist serves as a guide to ensure you follow the right recruitment process and then finally hire the best candidate for the job. If you are a first-time recruiter without experience in HR, then you need a recruitment checklist to keep you in check.

A recruitment checklist also ensures:

  • That your team is compliant with the latest human resources practices
  • You give job candidates a positive experience.
  • You promote organizational efficiency, effectiveness, and general success.

Need a recruitment guide instead, click here

 A - Z recruitment process checklist

A recruitment process checklist is simply a checklist that guides you on the way to go when recruiting new talents from start to finish.

This includes things you should do before advertising your position and things you should do even after you have made an offer to a successful candidate. Let us get into the checklist.


Stage 1: Put a hiring plan in place 

Before you go on with your hiring process, the first thing you have to do is to schedule a planning time. Spending time to plan the organizational need and other things that will eventually save you time and effort in the end.

You can start your hiring plan by:

Schedule a planning meeting 

It is good you set up a planning meeting with the department manager, HR and anyone else that may be involved in recruiting to assess the job opening, the recruitment process, etc. This will help you get input from others as well as help you reach an agreement before moving forward.

Create an objective

Creating a hiring objective will help you know the outcome to expect. You can create an objective to do the following:

  • Overview of the hiring process, timelines for each process, roles and responsibilities, salary/ training budget, success measurement, etc.
  • Confirm that there is truly a need for the position you plan to fill.
  • Create and review the job description and job posting.
  • Assess, seek input and conclude plans 

In concluding your recruitment plans, you should take note of the following aspects:

Sourcing: What source will be most effective for these positions? Do I need to do some form of advertising?

Screening: How do we screen candidates? Who is the best person for the job? Do we need to make provisions for or subscribe to prescreening candidates using assessment test even before the interview?

Interview: Who should be involved in the interview? What interview channel works best for the position we are looking to fill (video, telephone, in-person)? the interview should be in how many stages?

Assessment: What methods are we going to adopt to evaluate and finally select the right candidates after the interview?

Offer: How do we make the offer? Who should make the offer?


Stage 2: Determine your candidate sourcing channel

One very important question you need to ask yourself at this stage is; how do I intend to find job candidates for my positions?

There are a few things You need to know to identify the right sourcing channel for your positions. You have to understand the details of the roles and your organizational needs to determine the channel that will enable you to reach the right audience. Details like:

  • What kind of category does this job fall into? (is it part-time, full-time, freelance, remote, internship, or a temporary role?). What sourcing channel will help you reach the right audience for the job category.
  • Would you like to source for candidates yourself or would you like to use the services of a recruitment agency?
  • Does your organization have a relationship with any professional education association to enable you to reach more audience with the right skills?
  • What other channels can you consider in reaching more candidates? (Channels like job boards, social media, employee referral program, talent community, etc.
  • Which of the sources will work best for your open positions, and which sources have proven to yield the highest return on investments from your experience


Step 3: Create your job ads

Once you have settled on the skills and qualifications needed for the new role, then you can go ahead to create your ads.

Creating a good job ad is the first stage of achieving hiring success. When creating a job ad, writing a good job description is the first opportunity, you have to communicate your employer brand to your prospective employees.

The way you write your job description largely will influence the kind of people that will apply for your job.

Tips for writing a good job ad

There are things you have to include in your job posting to attract the right talent. A well-written job ad will make your job ad stand out from the rest. In creating a job ad, you can add the following:

  • Add a clear and straightforward title: You could be tempted to be creative with your job titles by using description like rooky, rock-star, wizard, etc. Although these titles may sound trendy, using them might make you miss your audience. 
  • You can use a simple and clear description like; qualified graphic designer, etc. 
  • Add an “about us” section to your job ads: Adding an about-us section to your job description allows you to sell your company culture to your prospective employee. Give a short but exposing description about your company that answers the question; “why should I work for your company?” 
  • Let your prospective candidate see how they can add value to your organization: You can use your requirement section to let your prospective employees see how they add value to the organization immediately. 

So instead of having a section titled requirement, you can add a more inclusive title like; “How you will make an impact”If you look forward to attracting millennials, then you should consider this approach because millennials care more about how they can add value rather than what they are required to do.


Step 4: Make your job application process simple and easy to use

Once you have settled your job ads, you can go ahead to sort your application process. It is good you choose the application process that is easy to use and the one that works best for your position.

You should decide if you would prefer candidates to send their application to a specified email address or use a form, etc.

Whatever medium you choose to use, make sure your application process is easy and simple to use. A research carried out by career builder reveals, “60% of candidates will stop filling an online application that is too complicated”.

There are a lot of approaches that you can adopt to eliminate the chances of creating a complex application process. Like:

  • Avoid making your application page long and complicated. Too many or repeated questions can make your application form uneccessarily long, be intentional about every question you ask.
  • You can ask quick online questions instead of using a long application form.
  • Make your application process more trendy and user-friendly. You can even allow candidates to chat with you to ask questions regarding the job advert.


Step 5: Screen candidates and create your shortlist

After creating your job ad and deciding the candidate-sourcing channel to use, you may start to receive applications. When you have gotten a good number of applications, you can go ahead to screen and evaluate these applications. 

You can follow these processes to shortlist and narrow down your candidate list.

Filter your applications

Once you have been able to create a candidate pool for your position, the next thing for you to do is to filter candidates that meet the job requirements from candidates that did not meet the requirement. 

Screen the candidates 

Here you have to use the screening technique that you chose during the planning stage to decide the candidates that will be moved to the next stage. 

Whether you want to schedule a phone call or use a video interview to screen candidates, make sure you have all the requirements for the job in mind to make the best use of any technique you want to adopt.

Review your shortlist

When you create your candidate shortlist, always remember to attach the reason why you shortlisted those set of candidates. Doing this will help you when you are reviewing the list with the hiring manager, HR, business owner, etc. 

Once you are done with reviewing the shortlist, you can seek approval from the hiring manager (if you are working under a hiring manager) to move to the next stage. 


This is one of the most important stages of the recruitment process. After you are done with your shortlist, let selected candidates know that your organization has selected them and would love to know more about them.

Just like you have followed-up with selected candidates, you should also follow-up on candidates that were not selected. You don’t have to abandon them, communicate with them that you are moving on to the next stage of the interview with other candidates.

You should not discard them as they may still be useful for other positions in the future. You can encourage them to join your talent community and if other opportunities arise, they will be the first to know.


Step 7: Prepare/Schedule the interview

Just like job candidates prepare for the interview, you have to prepare for the interview too. The interview is not just an opportunity for you to know more about the job candidate, it also an opportunity for you to sell your brand/company to the candidate.

In preparing for the interview, you have to put some things in place. If you are going to interview with your team, then you should make sure you and your team members have:

  • Have a printed/soft copy of the job description and a list of competencies for the open role.
  • Have copies of the candidates' CV, cover letter, or the result of any pre-employment test.
  • A set of interview questions to ask to guide both you and your team member’s conversation.
  • Have a list of things that you expect from the candidates.
  • Printout or have soft copies of evaluation forms to gauge each candidates performance.

Once you are done with the preparations for the interview, you can now go-ahead to schedule interview dates with selected candidates. In scheduling the interview, you can put the following in place:

  • Pick a date that would be convenient for both you and the candidate.
  • If you consider doing a virtual interview, you make sure you have all the set-up in place.
  • Make sure you put your candidates’ logistics into consideration.
  • You can add your candidates' info to your visitors' book.
  • Sort out other provisions for your candidates. Provisions like book a conference room, prepare refreshment, etc.

In preparing for the interview, make sure your candidates know what to expect from the interview. This will help them to prepare better. Make your candidates know:

  • The basic information about your interview process. They should know if it is going to be a panel interview or not, how many stages are involved in the interview process, etc.
  • You can share information about your company. You can do this by sending them your company culture video or any other material that will give them information about your company.
  • Give job candidates information about the direction of your office.
  • You can also share the LinkedIn profile of other people in your team that your candidates will be meeting during the interview. This will help the candidates prepare better. 


Step 8: Assess your candidates 

Once you are done with the interview, it is good you assess each of the candidates before making your final decision. In assessing your candidates, make sure you and your team members do the following:

  • Complete a candidate evaluation form immediately after the interview with each candidate when the candidate is still top of mind.
  • Gather the complete assessment and discuss candidates with your team members.
  • Conclude on the candidate(s) that will be moving forward to the next stage of the interview.

After assessing your candidates, you should also communicate the interview outcome with the candidates. You should:

  • Inform the candidate about the next steps of the interview process.
  • Inform selected candidates that are moving on to the next stage of the interview.
  • Inform candidates that were not selected to join your talent community.


Step 9: Make an offer and seal the deal 

Based on all the assessment and evaluation that you have done, the hiring team should be able to select a top candidate. (Remember to keep a back-up candidate at the top of the list).

Before you make an offer, you should do the following:

  • Create an offer and include the following:
  • The salary
  • Start date
  • Terms and conditions
  • Benefits, compensations, etc. 
  • Identify the aspects of the offer that are negotiable and which ones are not.
  • Let the hiring manager or your superior make the offer over the phone before going ahead to send an email. 
  • Make sure the selected candidate add their signature on the final offer.
  • Let your new hire get some basic information about the company before the day of resumption. You can send them a copy of the company’s handbook.
  • You can also give them a brief introduction to what they will be working on so that they know what to expect on the first day of work. 



Step 10: Prepare to onboard your new hire

Once a candidate accepts the offer, you have to prepare for the candidate’s onboarding. If the onboarding process is going to involve other staff members, then they should be informed about the process.

  • You should let them know what exactly they will be doing to onboard the new hire.
  • Team members should submit their onboarding materials to you or a higher staff member for reviews.
  • Make sure you schedule dates and time for your team members to do their onboarding for the new hire.
  • You should be strategic when onboarding your new hire. Don’t go straight to giving your new hire the task they should complete, start on a subtle note.

On the first day

Allow your new hire to meet and connect with team members. You can do the following:

  • Encourage team members to say hi to the new hire.
  • You can add a welcome tag to your new hire’s desk.
  • You can plan lunch with your team members to welcome and communicate with the new hire.


You should set up a meeting with some key members of your organization from different departments so that your new hire can meet with them so that he/she knows who to meet for what.

You should also give the candidate a clear picture of what they are going to work on in the first 3 months. It is also important you set realistic expectations of what the new hire should accomplish within the first 90 days.


Step 11: Analyze the candidate’s accomplishment

During your planning segment, you should have determined what success will mean for someone in that role. After employing your new hire, you should go back to your success measurement plan to determine what is working and what is not.

This will help you recognize the aspects that need improvements and strategies that you should change altogether. You can also ask the new hire for feedback to create a better work process.

Always remember that your employees are supposed to be nurtured to achieve success.


Yes, hiring new employees can be challenging, but having a handy guide is sure to help you go through the process without stress. A recruitment checklist will not just help you with getting talents on board, but will also help you work together with your team members in a more organized manner.

If you are busy with other aspects of your business, then consider using the service of a top recruitment agency to swiftly move candidates from hi to hire.


Staff Writer

This article was written and edited by a staff writer.

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