Man working on laptop

Designing a Recruitment Process that Works for Your Team

Recruitment myth: All roles and departments within the same company should follow the same recruitment process.

There is a common misconception that there’s a one-size-fits-all way to design a recruitment process across a company. Because all roles within the same company should follow the same process, right?

Not quite.

From deciding how many interviews you should have, what workflows and automation you need, how many people are involved, and how those people communicate will inevitably differ. It's important to not shy away from tailoring a process if helps ensure that the “uniqueness” of your company and the quality of each candidate shine through.

The best recruitment process is specifically designed to fit the needs of your current team (not your peers' teams, not your previous teams').

It is not to say that the standard steps within the process are not of value, but rather that each step may need to be tailored to fit your situation or the specific role at hand.

Let's dive into a few important aspects to consider when designing your recruitment process and what to think about to ensure that it works best for your team.

Step 1: Needs Analysis

Let’s start with a classic needs analysis. Just because a process has “worked well” in the past doesn’t mean you’re set up for future success. If you want to find the best process for each role, you’ll need to go back to the basics of why you need the role in the first place.

Before you decide to open a new role, start by asking yourself the following questions:

  • Why do we need this new role?
  • Where does this role fit (i.e., what team will they be on, who will they report to, etc.)?
  • What are the requirements for this new role?
  • What skills, qualifications, and characteristics are important for someone to succeed in this role?

At Amby, we usually ask these questions in the Job Analysis stage. The information you gather during the job analysis can help you understand the “why” behind the role, the recruitment stages and timeline, who the hiring manager should be, and most importantly, what the ideal candidate persona looks like.

Step 2: Draft a Talent Attraction Strategy

Once you know who to hire, why, and who will be involved in the recruitment process, it’s time to determine candidate attraction. And surely, you can assume that with the war for talent, this needs to be tailored to your specific candidate persona as well as the uniqueness of your company.

“Recruitment is a lot like going fishing–you need to know where the fish are.”


To help ensure you’re fishing with spears and not a broken net, you’ll need to prep the following material:

  • Draft your job description: When creating the job description, you need to pay close attention to the language you use and how you present the information, as it will directly impact the people you attract. Make sure that you are accurately defining the job at hand as well as addressing aspects that you know will intrigue the candidates. Do not simply recycle old job posts thinking they will yield the same results; create a template and customize it based on the new needs. All job descriptions should embrace your employer's brand and tone of voice, but the content you include will likely differ from department to department. For example, linking to team members’ Discord, LinkedIn, and GitHub profiles could be valuable if you're recruiting for an engineering role. Whereas if you’re filling a sales role, video interviews with the sales team about their projects and clients could bring your job descriptions to the next level.
  • Select your recruitment channels: If you only use one job board repeatedly, it is most likely not adding value when attracting the right talent. You need to think hard about where you can find your ideal candidates and what are their preferred channels. Remember, this also influences the diversity of the people you are attracting. Tip: Track the performance among the different channels to determine which brings you the most qualified candidates with the highest close rate. NB: Quality over quantity.
  • Tailor your employer brand: Invest in your employer brand, as organizations that do are 3 times more likely to hire a quality candidate. This shows potential candidates what sets you apart from other companies and why they should pick you. So, how you position yourself is not something you can take from a standard process. Returning to our first point in the job description, you will need to tailor what content you show and when for each department or role.

If you’re recruiting for an engineering role, linking to team members’ Discord, LinkedIn, GitHub profiles could be valuable. Whereas, if you’re filling a sales role, video interviews with the sales team about their projects and clients could bring your job descriptions to the next level.


Step 3: Schedule and Prep Interviews

Interviews are an important part of the process as you screen the candidates for their skills and see if they are a cultural fit. Most often, you’ll need more than 1 round of interviews, regardless of the role or team. Therefore, you have to be proactive and flexible when scheduling and prepping the interviews and the candidate for each round.

  • Decide on your interview teams. Traditionally, the status quo has been that one hiring manager will conduct interviews along with a recruiter. If this works for your team, that’s great. But today, we see companies leaning more towards an interview team setup. An interview team (if formed correctly) can bring to the table different perspectives across the board, minimize potential bias, and encourage diversity. But with that said, it would still be wise to have a plan as to who (recruiter, VP, or manager) leads which interview at which stage. At Amby, we create a small table that lists each stage of the process, who leads that stage, and ideally what dates they happen. This ensures everyone knows who is responsible for what so they can set aside time in their calendars for recruitment.
  • Set aside time. The time recruitment takes away from day-to-day tasks is no joke. Ensure every hiring manager understands the time commitment it takes and that they set aside adequate time (in advance) to prep for, participate in, and give feedback on the interview process. It might be helpful to book them in for placeholders on the weeks you need them most so they can plan their workload accordingly.
  • Agree on your interview style: Although each interview should have an interview guide with standardized questions, the pacing and flow will vary from person to person. The most important thing to remember is to make the situation feel as relaxed and natural as possible (interviews can be uncomfortable and nerve-wracking enough as it is). This means steering away from solely asking questions and taking notes. Put extra effort into really listening to their answers and understanding their motivations. You can even invite candidates to a team lunch or coffee with team members they would be working most closely with to give them the perspective and insight into the company culture that matters most to them.

Step 4: Formalize a Communication Flow

Clear and speedy communication is equally important across the hiring team and candidates. Maybe you have been using a standard process for a while to do this, but have you ever wondered if it is time to try something new?

  • Write a Communication Playbook. Every company has its own communication stack for getting work done day in and day out. For example, just because one hiring manager preferred email updates does not mean another would not prefer Slack updates. If there aren’t any clear guidelines around what tools you use for what in the recruitment process, information will be scattered, meetings will be unproductive, and teams will be misaligned. One way to avoid this is setting up a simple communication playbook to align the recruitment team, such as the example below.

    Comms. Playbook
  • Ask candidates what they prefer. Instead of just reverting to the usual forms of communication, first, you should try to better understand what the candidates want to know and when they want to know it. It is also worth noting that candidates like being contacted through different channels. For example, some prefer emails for the ease of receiving and replying, while others prefer phone calls due to the personal approach. Understanding the candidate's preference early in the process is a sure way to gain their trust. The most important thing regarding candidate feedback is being thorough, timely, and clear.

Step 5: Test the Process

Last but not least, test. Once you have decided on a talent acquisition strategy, how many steps the process has, who is involved and when, and how the team will communicate and give feedback, you’ve got yourself a process. The success of the process is in part determined by the feedback from the hiring team and of course, the candidates.

  • Did they feel like the process took too long?
  • Was it clear who is needed where?
  • Did hiring managers feel overloaded with interviews?
  • Was feedback scattered or too slow?
  • Did candidates feel comfortable and well-informed?

Answering questions like this will help you determine if your process is well designed for its users: those recruiting and those being recruited. At the end of the day, there is no such thing as a perfect process, but we hope that by focusing on core principles and doing what’s best for those involved, you to design a process that runs like a well-oiled machine.

Author profile Sally Tarr

Holds a Masters in Industrial Psychology and is currently a Talent Acquisition Consultant at Amby. Writes on culture, employee experience and talent strategies.