Skip main navigation

12 steps of recruitment and selection

What are the 12 steps of recruitment and selection? Find out in this course from Learning Lounge and FutureLearn.
Number 12 in yellow on a white wooden background

Processes are a sequence of resources (employee time, energy, machines, money) completing an action that converts inputs (data, material, parts, etc) into outputs.

Processes and procedures are based on policies and are step-by-step instructions for how something needs to be done. Procedures can also specify who needs to perform the steps and what documentation is involved.

One policy may result in the implementation of several procedures. For example, a recruitment policy may require an advertising procedure to be developed as well as a training procedure to teach managers how to write advertisements.

From end to end, it’s often considered that there are 12 steps to recruitment and selection. Each of these steps requires upfront planning and careful scheduling. Resources, time, and support are required. If any of the steps are rushed or mistakes are made there can be negative consequences.

You can end up recruiting a candidate that isn’t quite right for the role because the job description was not thorough enough. Or the new staff member could start their new role with a negative impression of the organization because they were not communicated with clearly.

In the worst-case scenario, an applicant’s perception of your organization is so negative, as a result of a poor recruitment process, that they decide not to accept your offer of employment and you miss out on a talented individual joining your organization.

The twelve steps

  1. Workforce planning and/or job analysis
  2. Preparing the job description
  3. Advertising the position
  4. Forming a selection committee
  5. Shortlisting applicants
  6. Interviewing applicants
  7. Seeking references
  8. Deciding upon the successful applicant
  9. Managing unsuccessful applicants
  10. Offer and negotiation
  11. Contracting (terms and conditions)
  12. Induction


The departure of a staff member provides an opportunity to consider and analyze whether the position itself should change. Could changes to the role provide increased benefit to the organization? For example, could new elements be added to the job description because the skills required have evolved to include experience using a new piece of software?

This article is from the free online

Recruitment, Selection and Induction: The Basics

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now