The recruitment funnel is one of the most renowned marketing and management techniques in the talent acquisition process. In short, a recruitment funnel is a framework that defines the stages of the recruitment process from start to finish. The journey through the recruitment funnel begins with a large pool of talent and ends with a narrow selection of applicants until the final candidate is hired. 

Recruiting Funnel Steps and Process 

Recruitment process steps vary across agencies; however, many follow a similar pattern which includes fostering brand awareness, increasing candidate attraction, managing applications, and, most importantly, converting candidates into employees. 

Recruitment Process Funnel

Awareness Phase 

This part of the recruitment process is primarily centred around brand awareness and recognition. The employer should aim to position itself as an appealing organisation that candidates aspire to join. 

This involves touchpoints such as a company’s career site and social media profiles. Modern-day candidates want to feel motivated during the recruitment process and you can entice them to apply by demonstrating your workplace culture and company values. 

Attraction Phase 

The attraction phase is similar to the awareness phase, but it places a greater emphasis on candidate sourcing. During this stage of the recruitment process, you want to boost your chances of being seen by the ideal candidates. You’ll need to craft a compelling job description that captures the applicant’s attention by using enticing text and relevant keywords.  

Another important part of this stage is to identify the most efficient channels with which to advertise the role. This step ensures you receive the highest number of both active and passive applicants. Ask yourself whether your target persona is searching for jobs on social media platforms, like LinkedIn and Instagram, or through more traditional channels, such as career fairs or job boards.  

Application and Pre-Screening Phase 

The goal of the application phase is to generate the highest volume of qualified applicants for the role. You can do this by pre-screening potential candidates as well as creating an effortless and enjoyable application process. 

You can use video interviews to communicate with candidates beforehand and gain a better understanding of their interpersonal skills, or, adversely, ask applicants to undergo various tests to see if they would be a right fit for the company. Automated software can funnel out underqualified CVs or reduce discriminatory bias by anonymising applications to help you find the perfect fit for the role. 

This is arguably one of the most important recruitment process steps. Recruiters should facilitate the application process to reduce drop-outs and ensure the most skilled candidates remain engaged. For example, focus on creating a seamless recruitment process by fostering consistent communication. Keeping job seekers engaged can be as easy as sending out follow up emails, thanking them for their submission, and informing them of the next steps in the recruitment process. 

Conversion Phase 

After all your efforts, you’ll want to make sure that your permanent or contract recruitment funnel ends successfully. This means it’s time to make them a job offer. Any highly qualified individual is likely to be applying to numerous roles and receiving multiple offers. 

When it comes to converting your candidate into a hire, you should be open to negotiation and focus on tailoring the job offer to the individual. Establish your limits but be flexible in your approach. You may not be able to offer them more money, but perhaps you could entice them with flexible work hours or yearly bonuses. 

Key Metrics 

The best way to improve your recruitment funnel effectiveness is by evaluating the different metrics and readjusting your strategy to be as efficient as possible. 

Key Recruitment Metrics

Time to hire 

Hiring is often a lengthy process, so the faster you can find a suitable candidate, the better. Time to hire measures how long it takes to find, recruit, and hire a new candidate. You could reduce this metric by using pre-employment assessment software or by investing in a great application tracking system. 

Cost to hire

Cost to hire and time to hire go hand in hand. Time is money, so the longer you take to find a candidate, the more costs you will incur. This metric evaluates the costs involved in finding, recruiting, and hiring an applicant. It encompasses recruiter fees, advertisement budgets, and even employee referral bonuses. 

Source of hire 

The source of hire establishes which platforms and communication channels are generating the most applicants. You can track where the majority of your CVs are coming from and make changes across job advertising platforms. In the long run, monitoring your source of hire can reduce the cost of acquiring a candidate.  

Quality of hire 

This metric identifies which platforms draw in the best-qualified applicants for the role. Not only does the quality of hire improve retention rates, but it also leads to a higher calibre of staff. To improve the quality of hire you should always provide an accurate description of the job during the attraction phase and make objective hiring decisions at the screening phase. 

Recruitment conversion rate 

This rate helps recruiters determine the success of various areas throughout the hiring process. You can measure key conversions such as the % of interviews extended after screening CVs and adjust your hiring strategy as needed. In this instance, the higher the conversion rate, the better the permanent or contract recruitment funnel is performing 

Every agency will have its own way of structuring the recruitment funnel. The secret lies in tweaking these important recruitment funnel benchmarks to create an optimum hiring process that sources the best candidates and in the most efficient way.