Understanding the Recruitment Funnel

As a human resources professional, your most crucial task is to source the best talent for the job opening. However, recruiting top talent has increasingly become difficult, especially after the “Great Resignation.”

Even if you find and attract the best candidate, getting them through the whole hiring process can be daunting.

Herein lies the need for the recruitment funnel.

The recruitment funnel is a strategy that outlines how to accurately manage different stages of the hiring process effectively.

This blog will look closely at what a recruitment funnel is, its stages and metrics, and the importance of optimizing the recruitment funnel to attract the best candidates to your company.

What is the Recruitment Funnel?

A recruiting funnel is a framework that depicts all stages of the hiring process. The top of the funnel contains all the potential candidates for a specific position, while the bottom, narrowest section contains the new recruit.

A recruiting funnel assists the recruiter in shaping the end-to-end recruitment process. Maintaining an effective recruitment funnel helps organizations find the right candidates for open positions and build a strong, qualified workforce.

It typically includes several stages, starting with sourcing and attracting potential candidates, followed by screening, and evaluating them, and ultimately extending an offer to the most qualified candidate. Each stage is covered in detail in the next section.

What are the Stages of the Recruitment Funnel?

The exact stages of a recruitment funnel vary from one company to another. However, many companies follow a similar pattern that includes the below-given phases:

1. Awareness Phase 

This phase of the recruitment funnel is mainly concerned with brand awareness and recognition. The employer should strive to position itself as the “best place to work” that people want to work for.

This includes touchpoints like a company’s job site and social media accounts. Modern candidates want to feel motivated during the hiring process, and you can entice them to apply by showing them your workplace culture and company values.

2. Attraction Phase 

The attraction phase is quite similar to the awareness phase, but it lays emphasis on candidate sourcing. During this part of the hiring process, you want to increase your chances of being seen by potential candidates. You will need to write a compelling job description that gets the applicant’s attention by using persuasive language and relevant keywords.

Another important part of this stage is to identify the most efficient channels with which to advertise the role. This step ensures you receive the highest number of both active and passive applicants.

3. Application Phase

The application phase is for individuals interested in applying for the job role. Hence, the application form must be short and easy to fill out. Recruiters also need to make sure that applications are mobile-friendly so that people who do not have computers or laptops can still fill them out.

Once recruiters receive applications, they start to evaluate resumes and their skills. At this point, recruiters can leverage automation recruitment tools like Applicant Tracking Systems and online assessment tools to evaluate applicants. 

These tools will perform the tedious job of screening thousands of resumes and testing technical skills automatically.

4. Interview Phase

This stage provides a clear picture of the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses. Recruiters can use interview scheduling tools to process this stage efficiently and effectively.

With these online tools, recruiters can automatically send interview invite links and give feedback on their performance. This way, recruiters can engage and interact with potential candidates.

5. Conversion Phase 

After all your efforts, you will want to ensure that your job recruitment funnel ends successfully. This means it is time to make them a job offer. Any highly qualified candidate is likely to apply for and receive multiple job offers.

When turning a candidate into a hire, you should be willing to negotiate and focus on tailoring the job offer to the individual. Establish your limits, yet be flexible in your approach. You may not be able to offer them more money, but you might be able to attract them with quality of work, growth path, learning, and flexibility in terms of work hours.

What are the Metrics of the Recruitment Funnel?

The best method to increase the effectiveness of your recruitment funnel is to evaluate the various metrics and re-adjust your plan to be as efficient as feasible.

Every HR professional and recruiter should monitor the top recruitment funnel metrics:

1. Quality of Hire

One of the most useful recruitment funnel metrics for hiring managers is estimating the quality of hire. Hiring quality has a long-term impact on the firm. It also has an impact on the overall quality, productivity, engagement, and satisfaction of employees.

This statistic aims to strengthen a workforce, one recruit at a time. The obtained results lead to higher retention rates, effective succession planning, and a robust organizational growth strategy.

2. Time to Hire

This is a quantitative metric that looks at how long it took to hire someone. Time to hire refers to the amount of time that elapses between when a company contacts a job candidate and when they accept the job offer.

Usually, longer hiring times result in an increased cost per hire. Organizations also incur indirect costs as a result of an unfilled role.

3. Source of Hire 

The source of hire identifies which platforms and communication channels generate the most applicants. You can track where most of your CVs are coming from and make modifications across different job posting platforms. Monitoring your source of hire, in the long run, can lower the cost of acquiring a candidate.

4. Cost per Hire

The cost-per-hire measure informs businesses how much it costs to hire new employees, including advertising costs, recruiter fees, social media accounts, LinkedIn, and so on. It includes both individual recruits and the total number of new employees. This helps an organization understand if they can recover the cost per hire in the lifetime of the employee with that organization.

5. Candidate Experience

The Candidate Experience, also known as the Net Promoter Score, is a key performance indicator that assesses the applicant’s experience during the recruitment process. The better your experience, the better chances an organization has of onboarding the candidates. It also ensures that you get good word of mouth.


The recruitment process is essential for every organization as hiring the best people helps them grow. To ensure the firm’s success, recruiters must use the best tactics and technologies to hire top-tier individuals.

Furthermore, the recruitment funnel is the most effective technique to ensure that you recruit or hire the best candidate available. Furthermore, using data-driven analytics and calculation, the recruiting funnel measure will tell you at which point you are making mistakes or spending more time or money.

Using the recruitment funnel technique increases recruiters’ productivity and allows them to focus on more crucial critical thinking activities.


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