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How To Write An Effective Recruitment Policy

Whether you have a formal written strategy or not, it’s likely that your company has a recruitment policy. Your company’s attitude toward hiring is crucial. In addition to impacting the quality of candidates you seek, it can influence how your brand’s perception among customers and the community. Here’s how to develop an effective recruitment policy—and why it matters.

The Purpose Of A Recruitment Policy

Your process of attracting and hiring the best talent is one of the key roles of any human resources team. Being intentional with that process and then documenting it for consistent use across the organization is the purpose of a recruitment policy.

Like any other company policy, it’s important to create a clearly-written recruitment policy that everyone understands and can adhere to. A well-developed recruitment policy seeks to bring in better hires while limiting your chances of violating hiring best practices, including those outlined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The Scope Of The Recruitment Policy

An employee recruitment policy should cover the details of your full life cycle recruiting methods, from the point you advertise the job to the offer of employment. But who exactly does it cover? Any employee that’s involved in the hiring process, including HR teams, interviewing managers, and those handling personnel files, should be included in the policy coverage. It also protects job candidates.

Recruitment Policy Elements

There are many parts that go into a comprehensive recruitment policy, including advertising, the candidate interview process, and background and reference checks. Here are the most common:

  • Determine your need to hire, and the position you need to fill
  • Pick between an external or internal hire
  • Write a new job description (or edit an existing one)
  • Create a job advertisement
  • Post the ad to various job boards, and LinkedIn, Facebook, or Craigslist, if applicable
  • Create the hiring timeline
  • Review resumes and applications with the help of an applicant tracking system (ATS)
  • Interview the short-list of candidates
  • Conduct pre-employment testing and background tests
  • Pick a candidate
  • Make an offer of employment

Some businesses may combine or add steps, or they may skip a few altogether. Your unique hiring needs will dictate which policy elements you may need to create.

What Is The Recruitment And Selection Process?

The recruitment process can be lengthy, but yours should attempt to cover the rules and measurables for each step. Take time to document your preferred way of handling each of these parts in the process:

Posting Jobs Internally

Many companies opt to hire from within before ever advertising open positions to outside applicants. There are many benefits to internal recruitment. Before you advertise the job to your employees, decide on a deadline. Then, use all available internal company communication methods to get the word out to your teams. These may include company newsletters, emails through your ATS, and message boards where your staff gathers.

Creating Job Descriptions

If you don’t already have job descriptions for the positions you need filled, create them now. You can also update existing descriptions to better reflect the role. Each job description should include:

  • Summary of the role, including title and department
  • List of responsibilities and tasks required
  • List of skills needed and certifications or education required
  • Company background, including mission statement
  • Instructions on how to apply for the job

To further boost interest, consider adding an employee testimonial to give authenticity to the job. Job candidates will already likely search for the company and for reviews from customers or employees. This can make your brand look even better within the hiring community.

You also want to pay attention to voice. This is the tone and style of the writing. Is it friendly? Do applicants feel welcome? Avoid writing in third-person or using internal company jargon to talk about positions. This should be a conversation between the hiring team and the candidate.

Employee Selection Stages

Each new employee candidate hired from outside of the company needs to go through similar selection steps. Generally, most companies practice:

  1. Resume and application screening and selection
  2. Phone interviews
  3. Work assignment
  4. In-person or video interview
  5. Background check and skills assessments
  6. Final interviews

There may be additional interviews added or removed from the process, and not all jobs will require a skills assessment. Also, the type of interview will vary, with some companies opting for a panel or group interview format, with others sticking to strictly one-on-one interviews.

This is your chance to decide what kind of interview you’ll use with each step. Are you more likely to embrace a structured interview? Do your hiring managers do better with unstructured interview questions? Or, will you approach it with a hybrid format?

Interview Feedback

With so many interview steps included in a typical hiring process, your recruitment policy should address how feedback is given at each of these stages. Will you give immediate feedback? Or are you more likely to let them know how they did at the point of a job offer? Whichever approach you use, inform every candidate of your hiring decision. They should never be left wondering if they got the job or what happened in the interview.

If you interview a large number of candidates, you may choose to go with more standardized feedback methods. Always check with your HR and legal departments to make sure you can communicate how interviews went without violating discrimination laws..

Your emails or letters to candidates should be brief and polite, and they should only speak to job specifics. If possible, provide feedback the same or next day; this helps boost your brand in the hiring community.

Revoked Offers

What happens if you offer a candidate the job, but then change your mind? Sometimes, the right hire is no longer appropriate for bringing on board. This can happen in the following instances:

  • The candidate was dishonest about an important fact on their job application or during an interview. Finding out the truth later proves them to be an unsuitable hire.
  • They are not legally allowed to work at your job site.
  • They don’t respond to your offer of employment in a timely manner, or they cannot start by the deadline presented in the offer.
  • The job is no longer available due to unforeseen changes in the company, management, or the job description.

When you have to revoke an offer, you should get your legal or HR department involved to ensure you’re handling it professionally and within the law. A formal document notifying the candidate of the revocation should be created and signed. Mention the reason for the revocation in the letter as well. This letter must be sent as soon as possible to give the applicant an opportunity to look for work elsewhere. An applicant may have already turned down job offers, so you don’t want to waste any more of their time.

Recruitment Policy Changes

As you continue hiring, you’ll be able to use the metrics from your ATS, along with the quality of applicants hired, to determine the success of your policy. It may not take long to see that a particular policy detail isn’t effective, for example. Good HR teams will continually adjust policies to bring in the best candidates and to create a consistent hiring framework.

You can also adjust your policies as laws or industry best practices change. Keep on top of what’s happening in the hiring world through news sources, HR magazines, online articles, and your legal team.

If you’re not already harnessing the metrics that an ATS provides, learn more about how Comeet can integrate seamlessly into your new recruitment policy and provide data on how well your policies are working.

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Adrienne Smith

Adrienne Smith

Adrienne Smith is a content strategy consultant working with high-growth businesses on their brand messaging, content strategy, and content creation. A digital nomad, she's exploring the world's cultures and cuisines as she works.

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