What is a Recruitment Funnel?

What is Recruitment Funnel - WeCP Blog

A recruitment funnel is a strategy that refines a broad audience to identify the best candidates to hire. As the name suggests, it is a funnel that starts with a wide net. And through measuring and optimizing every step in the process, recruiters can narrow down the talent pool. Effective sourcing, screening, interviewing, and onboarding contribute to the success of the hiring funnel.

The funnel is not the same for every company or every candidate. Small companies and start-ups may have a shorter or more informal recruitment process than medium to large companies. Bigger organizations might have different people involved in different steps of the funnel, and candidates may be taken through alternate paths.

Is it the same for candidates?

The candidate’s journey and recruitment funnel do share similarities. They are both about engagement, exploration, and selection. When a candidate is actively pursuing new career opportunities, the candidate funnel will have intersecting points with that of the recruitment funnel.

For example, when the company does its outreach to advertise a position, it creates candidate awareness among those actively looking for new employment. The candidate then researches the employer brand and makes a decision on whether to apply. By applying, the candidate then enters the recruitment funnel. This would be different for passive candidates who are not actively looking but are approached. If they are not ready to move, recruiters can still keep these candidates in the talent pool for vacancies in the future.

In this post, we will walk you through the recruitment funnel from a recruiter or a hiring manager’s perspective. The focus is on how to enhance the hiring process for better results.

Key stages of a recruitment funnel

In every step of the process, recruiters are building relationships and networks to develop a filtered pipeline. Today, it is more important than ever to raise the bar with effective and personalized candidate engagement.

Recruitment funnel #1 Outreach

The first step in the recruiting funnel is about reaching out to quality candidates. It incorporates strategies to build on your brand as an employer, market the job, and attract top contenders. The employer brand and maximum visibility are key in competitive technology markets.

LinkedIn published a report on Employer Brand Statistics where 75% of applicants rate the employer’s brand as the top factor when considering a new job. Click To Tweet

The success in your outreach depends on how effectively recruiters use active and passive recruiting techniques to tap into multiple channels to find top talent.

Recruitment funnel #2 Screening

The screening stage for recruiters is to shortlist candidates for the interview step. Screening can be done using several methods, such as brief video or voice calls, online skills assessments, personality tests, or reference checks to determine which candidates are selected for an interview.

Online skills assessment in particular can fast-track this stage to screen out unqualified candidates. Assessments with multiple choice questions and coding tests can help quickly isolate weak and strong candidates. It can radically transform the process for recruiters.

A misstep in this stage of the funnel can affect the overall efficiency of the recruitment funnel.

Recruitment funnel #3 Interview

Bringing in too many candidates to the interview stage increases time and recruiting costs. It can indicate a lack of clarity on the position requirements and a lack of insight in the screening stage. Ideally, only the top qualifying candidates should pass the screening stage and land an interview with a hiring manager. A pre-employment testing software does a great job in filtering out unqualified candidates and pushing only the top performers for interviews.

Candidate experience must be at the forefront of the recruiting team’s mind. Effectiveness and speed are important, so the scheduling process should be accelerated. Using a combination of competency-based tests with a well-prepared, meaningful dialogue is effective in getting to know the candidate and assessing their abilities. At the same time, the candidate should be given as much information as possible on what they can expect in terms of company culture, challenges, benefits, and future opportunities.

Video interviewing is a practical approach that offers several benefits. Recruiters can promptly interview in-demand and remote candidates. It facilitates pair programming interviews, saving time for people with busy schedules. With the ‘new normal’ brought on by the pandemic, video interviewing is highly convenient as it keeps the recruiting process on track and without any risk. Additionally, video interviews can be recorded for comparing candidates later.

Recruitment funnel #4 Offer/Hire

When it’s time to present an offer to the candidate, both parties would have done due diligence to determine the compatibility. A well-developed talent acquisition funnel would see at least 90% of candidates accepting a formal offer.

New hires become new ambassadors that market your employer brand, which in turn builds awareness in attracting top talent to improve your recruitment pipeline.

Recruitment funnel #5 Retention

After onboarding a new hire, the candidate should not fall off your radar. Retention is paramount to retaining the best talent and reducing new recruitment costs. Employee turnover is expensive, so an employee retention strategy is as important as your talent acquisition.

A study by Glassdoor revealed that a great onboarding process can improve retention rates by as much as 82%. Click To Tweet

Employees typically quit their job for more money or because there is a lack of career growth. Money can be negotiated and addressed but there’s no compromising on career growth. To increase retention, training & development are paramount. It provides employees with more opportunities to reskill to change internal job roles and upskill for promotions and career advancement. Looking after top performers ensures lower turnover and continued progress within the organization.


Every stage in the process is comparable in importance, serving a very specific purpose. Each of these steps influences the candidate and has an impact, either positively or negatively on the employer’s brand.

Recruiters represent the employer brand. Their engagement with candidates plays a vital role throughout the funnel and it can make or break the candidate experience. The bottom line is to move through the process swiftly but effectively to onboard top talent and have a recruitment pipeline that attracts the best of quality hires.

WeCP is an online technical skills assessment and video interview software that auto-evaluates and screens out unqualified candidates to help you find the best of tech talent sitting right at the comfort of your homes. Get in touch for a personalized demo!

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