I have worked in different positions within the Recruitment Industry for the past 20 years.  Family and friends know that I work in the industry but even after all this time, most probably don’t really understand what it is that I do every day.  They would know that I talk to people all day, conduct interviews and reference checks but not much more than that.  People assume that recruitment is just about putting someone into a job so we fill that job for our client, but there is so much more to the process than people think.  As the title says – it’s not just about bums on seats or finding someone to do the job, it’s about finding the right person so that the final outcome of the recruitment process is mutually beneficial for our client and the successful applicant.

So what does the recruitment process look like from our perspective?  And how can understanding our process, help you with your job applications?

Our process starts with a meeting with our client to gain as much information about the role as possible. It’s an extensive list of questions that we ask to gather the required details about the business and the vacant position. This includes specifics about role and the skills required to be successful, the environment, the team, salary, future opportunities within the business and other employment benefits to name a few.  From this information we are able to build the key selection criteria for the position which we use throughout recruitment process to assess applications.

The next stage, once the position is advertised, is to assess all applications against the key selection criteria.  Have you submitted the documents requested?  Are they addressed correctly? Do they mention the right position/industry?  Do you have relevant experience or if your experience is a little different to what has been requested, have you explained your transferable skills and how they relate to the position you are applying for.  If a job advert lists “must have high attention to detail” then we would expect your application to demonstrate that you have high attention to detail by having no errors.  Keep in mind that for some positions we receive in excess of 200 applications, so sometimes you have some stiff competition.

Each recruitment process is different but generally the next stage of the process is a phone interview.  There are a number of contact points in this process.  One of our staff members will call and explain that you have been shortlisted for the role and that we would like to book a phone interview.  How you treat our team member and how easy (or difficult) it is to make a time to speak with you all play a part in the assessment process.  Answering the phone at the appointed time and being ready for the phone interview also creates a good impression.  There are many instances when I have called someone for a phone interview at a confirmed time and they haven’t been ready to talk or they don’t answer the phone because they forgot.  This stage is equally as important as the face to face interview stage.  If you don’t create a good impression here, you have zero chance of being shortlisted to the next stage.

From the phone interview we move into first round face to face interviews or in some instances a Skype interview. By now we are starting to build a profile of how suitable you may be for a position, what skills and experience you have, your personality type, likes and dislikes in a work environment and how that might all fit against the key selection criteria.  At the face to face interview we continue to gather information using behavioural interview questions relating to the key selection criteria.  Arriving on time, having good communication skills and personal presentation, having completed research about the business and providing specific, detailed and relevant responses to interview questions will continue to build a positive profile about you.  Second round interviews are then conducted with our client following a similar interview process and giving you the opportunity to talk about your skills and experience.  The biggest mistake you can make at this stage of the process is to not prepare for your interview.  Both interviews are opportunities for you to be assessing the company as well.  Have a think about what it is that you are you looking for from your next role?  Does the position meet your requirements? What questions can you ask to gather this information?

Depending on how comfortable our client, your potential new employer is, there may be further interviews conducted. There might also be some form of Skill assessment like computer testing or behavioural profiling depending on the position being recruited for.

While we are going through the various interviews we will also be completing your reference checks.  You may think you have limited control over this element of the process however, while you can’t control what the referee will say, you can have a positive impact on this process.  Have referee details ready to provide to us, ensure that you have spoken to your referee’s and they are expecting our calls for a quick turnaround and be realistic about what you think your referee may say.  Our reference checks are long and detailed, covering everything from confirming dates of employment, responsibilities, team fit and working style.  The information we gather during the reference check should match what you have already told us at interview.  If it doesn’t, it raises question marks for us about what we have been told and can risk the opportunity of you moving forward in the process.

Getting to the job offer stage takes a lot of time and effort from you, we understand that applying for jobs can almost be a full time position in itself and when you are applying for positions that 200 other people are applying for, you have to do something different from everyone else. With a little bit of knowledge around our process and what we are looking for you may be able to adjust how you apply for jobs, assisting you in getting closer to your dream job.  It is not enough to think you can do the job, to be successful you have to demonstrate that you can do the job; throughout the entire recruitment process.


Jo has over 20 years experience as a recruiter and has a passion for helping her clients recruit and engage the talent they require to meet their workforce goals and objectives. Her enthusiasm, structured approach and eye for detail have held her in high regard and ensured she has successfully delivered and supported businesses with their recruitment and human resource needs.   Jo has delivered career coaching, career transition and outplacement programs to employees across Ballarat and has successfully coached, mentored and supported them in to new employment opportunities. Taking great satisfaction from supporting people through these challenge periods of their careers, Jo has a natural ability to identify skills and expertise in people and align those skills with potential employers.

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