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Stages of the Funnel
The funnel might look different from company to company and even candidate to candidate. For instance, at a small startup, a founder or CTO might simply reach out to someone they have worked with closely before and convince them to join the company. The entire process may be a few meetings and a lunch with the team.* At a large, mature company, the process will likely be more formal and involve the following:
Sourcing and selecting. You source candidates who might be a good fit for your company, and/or select from a pool of applicants.
Screening. A quick assessment (for instance, a quick call with a recruiter or hiring manager) that can help rule out cases where there is an obvious lack of fit.
Interviewing. A deeper assessment of the candidate’s skills, experience, traits, and values.
Making an offer decision. The company has gathered all the information they need to decide whether to extend a job offer and what that offer will look like.
Extending an offer. When the company has decided it wants to make a hire, it extends a formal job offer to the candidate.
Negotiating and closing. After receiving the offer, there might be negotiations between the candidate and the company before the candidate decides whether to join the company.
caution At larger companies, the recruiting process can get complicated. There might be multiple people accountable for different stages of the funnel. There might also be different paths a candidate can take through the funnel (for instance, maybe candidates who don’t do well enough on a technical phone screen to warrant an on-site interview and not poorly enough to be rejected are invited to take a coding challenge).
A recruiting process flowchart maps out the different points and paths between a candidate entering the funnel and being hired. Along the way, decision points are clearly mapped out with the corresponding paths for a candidate’s progression. Anyone on your team looking at this flowchart should understand how your recruiting process works.
Whether you’re designing a new process or documenting an existing one, flowcharts provide a visual way to align your team on the hiring process. In fact, when teams try to put together a flowchart of their established (and, they believe, clearly understood) process, they are often surprised to discover that not everyone expects the same things (“I thought everyone gets a HackerRank challenge?”… “No, we skip those if the candidate is a referral”). Many teams are also surprised at how complex their process has become over time, and the flowchart is a great way to identify areas that might be simplified or improved.
This Hire by Google flowchart is a good overview; we’d recommend taking it a step further by indicating who is responsible for each stage or decision, and agree on timing around how long each stage should take.
Data and Metrics
It’s important to have a set of metrics that you can use to evaluate, diagnose, and improve your hiring funnel. Metrics can also help you predict whether your activities are putting you on track to hit your hiring goals. There is no single metric that encompasses the health of the funnel. We present several commonly used metrics that, combined, can help you understand how your recruiting process is functioning.
Reviewing the number of candidates, or volume of candidates, at each stage gives a broad sense of your hiring funnel. Because this metric is easy to calculate, and it’s hard to have any insight without it, most companies will review their volume regularly.
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