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Breaking Down The Recruitment Funnel And Why It Matters

From a practical standpoint, all funnels represent a process for narrowing down a wide audience, where each step is measured and optimised. On the consumer side, it helps prospects stay interested and eventually become customers. In our space, the funnels help keep candidates engaged and eventually become valuable employees.

Every recruiter’s top priority is to recognise, evaluate, and hire the talent that best fits the specific opening of the company. In their search for high-performing individuals, hiring managers screen hundreds of applicants, analyse their career histories, and schedule interviews. These processes take more and more time as the number of potential candidates constantly grows, turning hiring procedures into quite a costly operation for the company.

What Is A Recruitment Funnel

A recruitment funnel is a framework for you to follow that takes you through the entire recruitment process from start to finish, narrowing down the candidate pool until you are left with a desired number of hires. Recruitment is considered a complex process but in the end, it’s marketing only. If you want to convert the candidates, you need to ensure that your recruitment funnel is perfect. The recruitment funnel helps you to simplify the recruitment process into various stages and breaks each stage into tasks. And the tough part is managing these multiple stages.

Breaking down the complexities of the recruitment process into its basic stages allows us to further simplify them into targets and tasks and, with that – optimize and manage a solid recruitment funnel.

Let’s be honest, the competition for good positions is fierce, but why is it sometimes hard to find a high-achieving employee? The problem is, maybe the person you’re looking for isn’t planning to make their next career step. Consequently, posting on a job board and the company website isn’t enough. Diversify your efforts by carefully laying out your recruitment funnel. It’s important that there’s an even flow of applications, that way you will ensure a good candidate drip at the bottom. We will be going into more detail on that in the next section.

Different Stages Of the Recruitment Funnel

There are a lot of HR strategies that are used to hire talent and optimise the process of recruitment. Recruitment funnel management assumes that you can (and should) optimise each stage of the recruiting process, which is often visualized in the form of a funnel. By putting the hints listed below into practice, you will attract more potential employees, speed up the recruiting process, and noticeably minimise the odds of hiring the ‘wrong’ person.

It should be said that not all recruitment funnels are the same, but the basics and principles stay the same. From top to bottom, this is the basic structure of a recruitment funnel:


The awareness stage is where organisations need to concentrate on employer branding to bring as many ideal candidates into the funnel as possible. Two important touchpoints during this phase are a company’s career site and social media profiles. Both are platforms where an organization can showcase their workplace culture, demonstrate their values, and convince potential applicants why they should join your workforce.

Tip: Figure out what makes your company great, ensure it is clearly defined, and promote this messaging consistently throughout all of your communications, both external and internal.


The attraction stage focuses on candidate sourcing. However, before you can advertise a job opening, it’s critical to craft a compelling job description. The job description is often the first point of contact for potential candidates, so it needs careful consideration. It needs to spark interest in your company, outline the essential job requirements, and include the right keywords to show up in relevant candidate’s search results.

Tip: Perfecting the job description is crucial to snaring the right kind of candidates – you want to convey enough information about the job opening and your brand to whet prospective appetites, without overwhelming anyone.


Attracting more relevant candidates is also a matter of identifying the best job boards and social media platforms where your job descriptions can attract the highest number of active candidates and passive candidates.

Tip: Consider including an FAQ section on your career page to answer common queries.


The application stage aims to generate the highest volume of qualified applicants, and it requires attention to the candidate experience. The first step is to evaluate the application process to reduce the number of dropouts. Create a seamless path to the application, requiring the least amount of clicks possible for an applicant to submit their documents. Job seekers are increasingly applying to jobs via mobile devices. Make sure your career page or online application functions properly on smartphones and tablets.

Tip: Candidates will abandon a job application, despite the job really appealing to them, because the application process was too long and convoluted. Make sure yours is straightforward and easy to use.


The selection stage consists of shortlisting applicants, the interview process, and candidate assessment. The goal is to narrow down potential candidates during each step to zone in on the few who get considered for hire.

Tip: Consider creating an assessment experience that is unique to your company. You can include company videos with realistic job previews, a gamified assessment, or situational judgment tests.


Hiring is the final stage of the recruitment funnel. Once you have the final candidate, it’s time to make them a job offer. Tailor the offer per prior discussions and be open to negotiation. A highly-qualified candidate is likely to be receiving other job offers, so already establish the outer limits of your salary range.

Tip: Modern candidates care about more than just what their remittance will be. So find out what matters to your chosen candidate and include it in your offer.



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