Effective recruitment process for scale-ups

How to implement an effective recruitment process for your scale-up

Attracting and retaining top talents within a rapidly evolving environment are two of the main challenges encountered by almost all scale-ups we have met.

In this blog, we'll show you how to set up a structured recruitment process. Even if there is no one-size-fits-all approach, we want to share some ideas on the essentials to include in your recruitment approach.

Different steps in a recruitment process

Having an interview and signing the contract are the most visible parts of a recruitment process, but the recruitment process actually starts a lot earlier. Here are the key steps in a recruitment process:

  • Identify your hiring needs
  • Prepare a complete job description
  • Source candidates
  • Draw a shortlist of candidates you want to invite for an interview
  • Have interviews and assessments
  • Make an offer
  • Onboard the new employee

Hiring needs defined?

Choosing your moment to scale is key. You need to think strategically from the very beginning, and include this in your recruitment strategy. As a scale-up, you might need people for a short or longer period of time. Would it be best for you to work with a freelancer or hire someone on your payroll? Think about it upfront, because it can have a massive effect on your cashflow.

Get the job description ready

What do you want this new hire to do exactly? What tasks do you want to assign to them? What expertise do you need to achieve your targets? Be as specific as possible! You can find a good checklist of job description elements here. In your job description, it will be important to already offer a glimpse of your employer brand.

Some key elements of a good job description:

  • Job title: Make it catchy but not too creative - clear is better than clever
  • Responsibilities: What will this person be in charge of? Who will he report to? Will he manage a team? A maximum of 7 bullets has to be enough to cover the content.
  • Requirements: What are skills, qualifications or language requirements for this role?
  • Culture is everything: Make a link with your employer brand

Where will you look for candidates?

You can either work with internal candidates (people who want to evolve to a new role or take on more responsibilities) or external candidates.

Do you prefer to attract candidates via your social media channels, a recruitment agency or job boards? Or do you want to do the headhunting yourself?

And don't forget that your best ambassadors are people already on board. They are your greatest asset, so put them at your service to bring other top talents to the organization.

Choose wisely, in function of the role, the available time and budget. Make sure to communicate in an open and transparent way about the recruitment process, also towards internal candidates. 

How to shortlist candidates?

Based on incoming applications (and if you have sufficient candidates), you can make an initial selection based on CV, cover letter, experience and expertise. You can do a quick prescreening by phone and invite the candidates who seem to match for an interview.

The interview - how to prepare as a hiring manager? 

The number of interviews will depend on the size of your company. In smaller companies, the founder will probably do all the interviews, whereas in bigger organizations, they might only step in for the final interview. One thing remains key: it's important for you to make a professional impression. To conduct a structured interview, we developed an interview guide as part of our DIY headhunting script.

In some cases, you might want to conduct additional testing or competency assessment (center).

Making an offer your candidate cannot refuse

Once both you and your candidate are convinced about the match, you can make a job offer to your candidate. Don't take it for granted that a candidate will sign, especially these days. This can help to close the deal:

  • If you have made up your mind, why wait? Act quickly, because time is the enemy in this war for talent.
  • Give them a call: don't send an e-mail, personal contact is preferred for this kind of interaction. It will be an opportunity to share your excitement and to measure your candidate's reaction on the spot.
  • Follow up in writing: confirm your proposal by e-mail to have a written trace of your conversation.

And now, fingers crossed and hope that the candidate makes the right decision!

Onboarding starts now!

For candidates, the time between signing the contract and effectively starting, is rather awkward.

They can start having doubts: did they make the right decision? Will they be welcomed well?

By keeping in touch, sending some information to build connection and making concrete agreements on how the first days will go, the candidate will feel welcome.

Try to already offer a glimpse of your Employee Value Proposition during this 'void' period, so that people can already feel part of your tribe and get a flavor of your company culture.

Our support to your recruitment process

We developed an interview guide and script and A-Z selection process to help you structure your interviews and to be sure to dig deep enough during the selection process to make good hiring decisions.