July 11, 2023
July 11, 2023

Step-by-Step Recruiting Process for an Early-Stage Start-Up

Isabel Strijland

In today's competitive business landscape, success depends on the people you hire. But how do you find the right talent that propels your organisation forward? The answer lies in mastering the art of effective recruitment. From mapping out your ideal candidate to sourcing top-notch talent and seamlessly integrating them, every step is crucial. In this article, we will walk you through the journey of an efficient recruitment process.

What is a recruitment process?

A recruitment process refers to an organisation's series of steps and activities to identify, attract, and select qualified individuals to fill job vacancies. It is a crucial aspect of human resource management and involves finding the right candidates who possess the required skills, qualifications, and experience to meet the organisation's staffing needs.

The recruitment process involves several steps that are all needed to make the right decision and build effective teams. Keep in mind that this is just an example and that every company and industry needs different nuances in their recruitment process. Let's walk through the steps off a detailed process that should lead to making the right hire.

1. Kicking off new roles

  • Workforce planning: You might be noticing more and more that recruitment is getting a seat at the table in companies. It's not just reporting to C-level but also deciding, debating, and arguing with them. Deciding on how to build the workforce is a combination of business and people functions. Are these roles needed or is it just a hire for growth? Recruitment starts with challenging the teams if the suggested hires are needed, can somebody be put in a dual role? Can parts be automated? Find out how talent leaders of Emnify, Trengo, and Clue do it.
  • Job research: Once decided the role is needed, there has to be calibration of the job profile. It includes identifying the necessary skills, qualifications, and experience required for the role. What is missing in the team currently that needs to fill the gap? What is needed for the planned projects moving forward?
  • Kickoff the role: Now that you are aligned that the role is needed, and understand the details of the job. Create a detailed job description in collaboration with your hiring manager, make sure it fits with your company style. Find detailed steps here.
"Co-creating the job description with Hiring Managers is also a great way of getting the right tone and vocabulary, especially for technical skills and requirements." A8 Tip 💡

2. Sourcing candidates

Don't underestimate this part of the recruitment process. Filling the pipelines with fitting but diverse candidates makes the screening and selection more impact.

  • Sourcing candidates: Once the job requirements are established, recruiters use various methods to find the right candidates. Just advertising the job is not enough, but actively sourcing on several platforms is needed to build a diverse talent pipeline. Can refer to the social media article here.
  • Pitching your company: The person recruiting needs to know what the benefits are of joining the company, and connect this to the needs of the candidate. Make the candidate the hero in the story of the company, and be open about what challenges they will come in to solve. Closing starts from the first touchpoint you have with the candidate - find out more on how to create your pitch as early-stage company. 

3. Evaluation of candidates

Now that you got candidates interested, a crucial part of the recruitment process starts -  screening. Instead of just having a big part of your employees talk to the candidates and come up with their evaluation, design a detailed screening process.

  • Screening and selection: Here's where a lot of companies go wrong in just copy+pasting other processes. As your company is unique you need to make sure the screening process fits that uniqueness. 
  • Interviews: A big part of the selection process is the interview. Diving deep into the interviewing side, scorecards help to reduce biases and do a fair evaluation across multiple candidates. The outcomes and scores, combined with qualitative feedback are a combination to make a call on if the candidate is a right fit for the role and your company. How to get it right, you can read here.
  • Scorecards: A list of the skills, traits, and qualifications someone will need to have to succeed in the upcoming role. See how to create scorecards here.
  • Culture fit: To decide who fits the team in values and work ethic, it is important to involve a team member in the interview process. It can be even someone who might not be involved in the team you are hiring for. Find how embedded recruiters can make sure the candidates have a culture fit.
  • References: Before extending an offer, you should always conduct background checks, including verifying employment history, educational qualifications, and checking for any criminal records. References may also be contacted to gain insights into a candidate's past performance and work ethic. Find more details here.

4. Offering and hiring candidates

Nothing is certain until it is signed. After the recruiter aligned all stakeholders to come to a decision, the offer is ready to be created and given. The last face is as crucial as the ones before and starts with a signature and ends with on-boarding the employee.

  • Job Offer: Once a new team member is found, a job offer is extended, detailing the terms and conditions of employment, including salary, benefits, and start date. Find tips on how to do so here.
  • On-boarding: When the candidate accepts the offer, you can proceed to the on-boarding process, which involves integrating the new employee into the company, providing necessary training, and facilitating a smooth transition into their new role. Starting this even before the employee comes on board can be beneficial to have a strong first day. Share resources, let them meet for coffee with the team, and make sure all information on how to work is clear.
  • Documentation: Make sure to map out every step in the recruitment process on Notion or your company's wiki. This will make it easy for the team to understand why a hire is made. This can be important to break biases throughout the recruitment process.

Effective recruitment practices are crucial for attracting top talent, ensuring a diverse workforce, and ultimately contributing to the success and growth of a company.


Your recruitment process plays a pivotal role in the success and growth of your company. Skipping a step will cause harm on the long run, and bad hires for the the wrong roles, can be a silent killer for your company. As those wrong decisions slow down your growth, but even more importantly influence the quality of your product or service offering. The solution to avoid this is to dedicate time and resources to designing and executing the recruitment process. This will allow you to start hiring right from day one.

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