What to Expect During the 8 Stages of the Hiring Process 2024
When you begin the process of looking for a new job, it can be difficult to know exactly what to expect.
Whether you are looking for your first job after finishing school or college, or something new to help progress your career, it is likely that you will have to go through multiple steps before being offered a work contract.
More and more companies have begun introducing longer recruitment processes.
Although this can sometimes feel like 'jumping through hoops' to obtain a role, in reality, it's a beneficial process for the company and the candidate.
By thoroughly screening and interviewing candidates, companies can be assured that they are choosing the right person for the job.
Candidates can also be confident with the knowledge they will have multiple opportunities to ask questions and be certain that the company they are applying for fits with their personal values.
Taking the time to understand some of the steps you may encounter in your application process can help you to feel more confident in knowing what to expect.
This can also mean that you are able to perform to the very best of your potential when it comes to the interview process.
Not every interview process will follow the same eight steps. Some may be simplified, and others may have alternative stages.
You may also find that the steps occur in a different order than the one listed in this article.
However, the eight steps below are commonly found within the interview processes of a variety of sectors and will help you to understand what to expect to sufficiently prepare.
The first step in any application process is to understand exactly why you are looking for a job.
Identify what you are looking for in your new role, the type of salary you desire and the roles or responsibilities you are seeking.
It is also a good idea to consider your personal values and what expectations you would have of the company you would be working for.
It can sometimes be useful to spend time networking, speak with others who work in your desired industry and attend events where you can mix with a variety of businesses.
If you are looking for your first role after leaving college, it can also be useful to consider graduate programs.
Once you have decided the type of industry you want to work for and the potential roles you would be applying for, it is important to research them thoroughly.
This way, you can understand typical wage expectations, progression routes, the potential for personal growth and factors, such as key responsibilities and duties.
Spending time thoroughly researching every aspect of your chosen role and a potential employer will allow you to gain insight into what the recruitment process may look like and the traits that are required in an employee.
This can help when it comes to tailoring your CV or covering letter and submitting your application, as well as helping you to prepare for interviews and assessments.
Depending on the role you are applying for, you may need to complete an application.
This is normally a relatively straightforward process of completing information on a form.
Other positions will require individuals to submit a resume or CV. It is important to know exactly what is needed for your chosen role.
If you are submitting a CV or resume, it is important to know which one is required.
Typically, a resume is a one-page summary of your education and work history that highlights your key skills.
A CV is a more in-depth version of this which includes information such as certificates and publications.
Whether you are applying for a position for the first time or as part of a career change, it is vital to make sure that your CV or resume is up-to-date.
A good CV or resume should be eye-catching and easy to read.
It can sometimes be a good idea to include a covering letter alongside your application.
This is your first opportunity to introduce yourself to your potential employer and make a good impression.
A covering letter doesn't need to be as formal as a CV or resume but should include a summary of the information you have provided in the more formal application.
Make sure to use a covering letter as a chance to highlight any skills which are particularly valuable for the role you are applying for.
Once companies have had time to review applications, they will compile a list of individuals who are called for an initial interview.
This may be done over the telephone or in person. Sometimes, an initial interview is completed through a video call.
Before your initial interview, it is a good idea to prepare for a variety of interview questions so that you have some answers and situational examples ready if you are asked.
You should also think of some questions to ask the interviewer about the company or role you are applying for.
You should also consider what you will wear for the interview. This is especially important if it is being conducted in person, as you will want to appear professional.
If your initial interview is being conducted through video call, there are a few extra things to consider. It is vital to ensure that the technology is working before your interview begins.
In particular, you should make sure that you have a quiet location to conduct the interview so that you won't be disturbed and have a strong internet connection.
You should also have a notepad to hand in case you wish to take notes during your interview.
Candidates who are successful in the first round of interviews will often be called for a second or final interview. Subsequent interviews will often be more detailed than an initial interview.
They will sometimes involve group tests to see how you would deal with a variety of workplace scenarios.
You will also probably be asked a series of questions similar to those in your initial interview.
It is a good idea to prepare some answers to common interview questions as well as examples of situations where you have shown some of the skills which are most important to the role you are applying for.
Employers also prefer for candidates to ask questions regarding the role and responsibilities as this shows interest and understanding of the role.
Many companies now will include tests as part of their interview process.
These can come in a variety of formats, such as personality tests and skills assessments.
These types of tests help an employer to see whether a candidate is likely to fit well within the company and whether they have the skills required to do their role to the level expected of them.
Most of these tests will be completed online at home, although some will be required to be completed at a designated testing center.
You should be informed ahead of time which tests you are required to take. This will give you an opportunity to research and prepare for them ahead of time.
Some tests will require revision and practice, and others will focus on your personality.
One of the final stages of the hiring process is the completion of background checks. Depending on the role you are applying for, the exact nature of these checks will vary.
Most employers will start by contacting your references. These will have been listed on your initial application.
The recruiter is also likely to check your education information and any social media links which you have provided.
There are a variety of other checks which could be required as part of the process. Some employers may conduct credit checks or criminal background checks to ensure that you meet their requirements.
Once you have been offered the position, you will begin the onboarding process. There may be paperwork to complete as well as initial training.
Typically, onboarding is a four-step process that begins as soon as an individual accepts a job offer.
You are likely to be asked for a wide variety of documentation as part of the application and interview process.
This can include identification, proof of address and educational certificates.
Knowing exactly where these documents are and keeping them in an accessible location will make providing them to a potential employer much easier.
Almost every job will require references. These will be checked by the employer to ascertain how you performed in your previous role and also offer an insight into your personality.
It is important to check if the person is okay with being listed as a reference before you include them as a reference on an application. Not everyone will feel comfortable being listed.
It is common to list your current employer or manager as well as one individual who can act as a personal reference. It should not be someone to whom you are related.
If you have never applied for a job before or have had a long period without employment, then you may need to use more than one personal reference. However, you can also ask individuals from relevant volunteer organizations you work with.
Even if you are unsuccessful in your application, that doesn't mean it can't be helpful.
Asking for feedback is a good way of finding out what you could have potentially done better or how you didn't fit an employer's ideal candidate criteria.
Not all recruiters will provide feedback, but you can still ask.
It may feel as though applying for a job is a long, drawn-out process, but it isn't always a bad thing.
Companies will go to a lot of effort into finding the perfect fit for each position, and having a multi-step process helps to ensure that the right candidate is chosen for a role.
It also offers individuals a number of opportunities to be confident in the company they are applying to work for.
Having multiple stages to the recruitment process can help to reduce staff turnover and increase employee satisfaction.