How a Typical Corporate Recruiting Process Works

If you apply for a job with a medium-sized organization or larger, they probably have an
established hiring process, and while the minor details will vary from one organization to the
next, the overall process is usually similar in nature. Here's a list of actions within a typical hiring

  • The hiring manager completes a requisition for a new employee in the Applicant Tracking
    System (ATS), and forwards it on for approval.
  • Once the requisition is approved, it's forwarded to the recruiter, who then discusses the
    particular requirements of the job with the hiring manager; there may also be a discussion
    to determine a recruiting strategy, such as where the job will advertised, or in what other
    ways will the recruiter look for candidates.
  • The recruiter posts the job, typically both internally within the company, and externally on
    the Internet.
  • The recruiter conducts a search in their database of resumes to see if a good match can
    be found there; she may also do a search of resumes in the database of various job
    boards, and there's a charge to the employer for this.
  • If necessary, the recruiter may use an outside recruiting agency for assistance in finding
    candidates, but this is usually very expensive.
  • Applicants who want to apply for the job are directed to the company's website, where
    they complete the online application; that information is automatically entered into the
  • The recruiter reviews the applicants, and forwards those that seem qualified to the hiring
    manager. If the hiring manager is not interested in an applicant, that notation is made in
    the ATS, and no further processing of the applicant will occur. The applicant may or may
    not receive notification that they have not been selected.
  • If the hiring manager is interested in an applicant, often the first contact is a phone
    interview by the recruiter. The interview may include some key questions that were
    provided by the hiring manager, to assist in the initial screening process. If the initial
    phone screen is successful, the applicant will be invited in for a face-to-face interview.
  • The hiring manager and recruiter will discuss the interview schedule, as well as who all
    will be involved in interviewing the applicant.
  • The recruiting coordinator will coordinate schedules of all that will be involved in the
    interview, as well as that of the applicant.
  • The interview is conducted, and a feedback form is completed in the ATS by the inter-
  • If the hiring manager is not interested in moving forward with the applicant, the recruiter
    should notify the applicant, and appropriate notations are made in the ATS.
  • If the hiring manager is interested in moving forward, a second round of interviews may
    be requested, perhaps including individuals that weren't involved in the first round, or to
    ask questions and discuss issues that weren't covered in the first round.
  • If the interviews are successful and the hiring manager is still interested in the applicant,
    the recruiter will conduct reference checks. If it’s an internal applicant, the recruiter
    and/or hiring manager will review the applicant’s personnel file, and speak with the
    current manager. It's a common corporate practice that an offer cannot be made to an
    internal candidate until their current manager is informed what's happening.
  • A verbal offer of employment is extended by the recruiter. If the applicant doesn’t accept
    the verbal offer due to details of the compensation or benefits package, there may be
    negotiations to get this resolved, or the organization may decide instead to eliminate the
    applicant from consideration. If the applicant does accept the offer, a written offer of
    employment is mailed, and is often contingent on the applicant successfully passing a
    drug test and background check. The written offer will state how soon the candidate must
    return the signed job offer, and it's typically about a week.
  • The recruiting coordinator makes arrangements for a drug test and background check.   
    If the applicant fails the drug test and/or background check, the offer for employment is
    withdrawn. If the applicant passes, the recruiting coordinator arranges for the applicant’s
    start date.
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