How to create the perfect recruitment process

Business journalist Colette Sexton on how to get your recruitment process right without spending more than you need to


Recruiting new staff costs money, and the bills begin adding up well before their first working day. On average, it can cost anything between €3,000 to upwards of €20,000 to hire a new employee between job advertisements, paying a recruiter, updating company branding and the time and resources used internally for reading CVs, selecting candidates and interviewing.

It is important to streamline your recruitment process to ensure that you do not waste your precious resources. At the end of the process, you want to make sure that you have hired the right person, otherwise you will find your company spending thousands on recruitment to little avail.

Maureen Lynch, director at Hays Ireland, recommends a mixture of different approaches for the perfect hiring process. 

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Phone call

Companies should begin the recruitment process with a telephone conversation, she said. The Hays What Workers Want report 2018 found 82% of applicants said it is important to them to have a contact person who can provide status updates on their individual application during the initial application through to when they join.

Maureen said: “The sooner a company gets that interface confirmed the better. This can be achieved through a telephone interview/initial pre-screen call.” 

Following a successful telephone conversation, the company should arrange to meet candidates for an in-person interview. Although it might be convenient to conduct these interviews in the office, depending on the role you might decide to rent a boardroom for the interview to ensure those being interviewed can do so in confidence.

Actual role

During these interviews, it is also important to include some kind of assessment, such as questions and/or tasks that reflect the actual role. 

She said: “This gives an employer an opportunity to see how the individual would potentially respond in the actual work environment.” This can also give the applicant an opportunity to experience what it would be like to work in the organisation, making it all the more real for them, according to Maureen. She said: “This can potentially help to make a more informed decision if it comes to offer stage and candidates are deciding between more than one offer.” 

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Maureen also advises companies not to overlook the value of a cheap and cheerful coffee during the interview process.

She said: “Coffees are also a good way of creating a more informal environment allowing a person to be more relaxed and as a result, both parties should get a better insight to each other.”

She also warned companies that while they are looking for the perfect person for their organisation, candidates in the current market could have several job offers, so it is important to move quickly.

“Remember in this environment while employers are trying to find the best people for their organisations, applicants are also researching the best organisational fit for them. Very often, they have choices.” 


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