How to optimize your recruitment funnel

Author Avatar

By The Fetcher Team

How to optimize your recruitment funnel

9 mins read

How to optimize your recruitment funnel
base blog bottom squiggle

Sign up for Fetcher’s newsletter and get updates and good news

Let's face it: the recruitment landscape is ever-evolving, and to keep up, it's essential to have a firm grasp on your recruitment funnel.

Let’s take a few minutes and explore each stage of the hiring process together and highlight some proven strategies that can make your journey smoother, smarter, and more effective.

Ready? Let's dive in.

The recruitment funnel

What is a Recruitment Funnel?

A Recruitment Funnel is a framework that outlines the stages of the hiring process, from initial awareness to final decision, consisting of the following stages: Awareness, Interest, Consideration, Application, Interview, Offer, and Onboarding.

It serves as a roadmap for the candidate experience, from the moment they learn about your company to their eventual onboarding as a team member. The funnel is a diagnostic tool that helps you identify bottlenecks, measure effectiveness, and, most importantly, improve your ROI.

Stages of the Recruitment Funnel

The awareness recruitment funnel stage


Ah, the Awareness stage—the first impression, the ice-breaker. This is where potential candidates learn about your brand, culture, and open positions. It's your opportunity to grab their attention and entice them to learn more. This isn't just about job ads; it's about establishing your employer brand and making your company a magnet for top-tier talent.

How to Optimize:

  • Craft compelling, SEO-friendly job postings. Embrace inclusive language so you’re reducing bias in your process from the get go.

  • Leverage social media channels, existing employees, and industry influencers for maximum visibility.

  • Provide transparency up front! Give insight into the stages of your funnel, what to expect in the process, your company values, and your expectations.

  • Use your existing workforce as brand ambassadors through employee referral programs to expand your reach organically.

The interest recruitment funnel stage


If Awareness was the ice-breaker, Interest is the first conversation. Now that candidates are aware of you, they're sizing you up and researching your company culture, values, and growth prospects. They're window-shopping, and your window display needs to be compelling.

How to Optimize:

  • Your "Careers" webpage should be your strongest pitch; make it count.

  • Host informational webinars, online Q&A sessions, or in-person candidate mixers. These can help candidates get to know the company, regardless of your open positions.

  • Keep an active social media presence that shows off your company culture.

  • Share testimonials from current employees to offer genuine insights into life at the company.

  • Consider implementing pay transparency into your recruitment strategy by including salary and compensation information in your job listings. This will help candidates more easily self-select themselves in or out of roles.

The consideration recruitment funnel stage


We're moving into serious territory here; the candidates are pondering whether to make a move. They're looking at your job descriptions closely, reading reviews on Glassdoor, and reaching out to current employees for insider info. At this stage, you should strive to become their top choice.

How to Optimize:

  • Meet your candidates where they are and simplify the application process to avoid losing candidates to cumbersome forms.

  • Use retargeting strategies to keep your roles top-of-mind.

  • Provide clear and concise job descriptions that set proper expectations while detailing roles, responsibilities, and growth opportunities.

  • Cultivate positivity on employee and candidate review sites like Glassdoor, Blind, and Comparably.

The application recruitment funnel stage


This is the make-or-break moment—the candidate has decided to apply. They're filling out forms, tailoring their resumes, and crafting cover letters. Your goal should be to make this process as simple as possible, reducing friction that may cause them to abandon ship.

How to Optimize:

  • Ensure you and your team are responding to applications with a clear decision through a timely SLA.

  • Recruiters spend an average of just 6-8 seconds on a resume. If that sounds familiar, consider removing unnecessary barriers to entry, such as cover letters.

  • Ensure that your application platform is mobile-responsive.

  • Offer options for easy applications, like LinkedIn apply buttons or resume uploads.

The interview recruitment funnel stage


Alright, things are heating up. You've shortlisted your candidates, and it's time to meet face-to-face—or perhaps screen-to-screen in the era of remote work. This is not just your chance to assess the candidate, but also their opportunity to evaluate you, the team, and the workspace.

How to Optimize:

  • Align your interview questions with competencies! This gives your interview team transparent areas to focus on, while ensuring the candidate isn't getting bombarded with the same interview questions multiple times.

  • Keep the number of interview rounds reasonable to avoid candidate fatigue. Send clear instructions and agendas for each interview round so candidates come prepared.

  • Again, meet your candidates where they are. Offer a mix of interview formats—video, in-person, and skills tests—to get a well-rounded view of the candidate.

  • Enable your recruiters and interviewers to understand your Employee Value Proposition - what do you as an employer uniquely offer to your candidates - and ensure they are selling at every point of the process.

The offer recruitment funnel stage


The drumroll moment has arrived—you're ready to make an offer. This is a pivotal stage that seals the deal, so tread carefully. Ensure that your offer covers all elements discussed during the interview process and leaves no room for ambiguity.

How to Optimize:

  • Get an understanding of salary expectations earlier in the process to make negotiations easier.

  • Present the offer promptly to avoid losing the candidate to another opportunity.

  • Ensure your offer letter is crystal clear, covering all aspects from salary to benefits and beyond.

  • Be open to negotiations and understand the candidate's value proposition.

  • Include a personalized message in the offer to show enthusiasm and commitment.

The onboarding recruitment funnel stage


The final stretch—the candidate has accepted your offer and is now an official employee. The onboarding process sets the tone for their career with your company, so make it as smooth, informative, and welcoming as possible. First impressions mean everything.

How to Optimize:

  • Deploy a structured onboarding program featuring key milestones and timelines.

  • Assign a mentor or buddy for the initial weeks to help the new hire acclimate.

  • Solicit feedback from new hires about the recruitment process for continuous improvement.

  • Mix it up with e-learning modules and in-person sessions to make onboarding engaging and fun.

In Closing

By examining and refining each stage of your recruitment funnel, you can streamline your talent acquisition efforts to a T. This isn't just about filling roles; it's about building relationships that last, improving the candidate experience, and ultimately boosting your ROI.

About Fetcher

Our mission is to help you engage talent that will transform your business aspirations into reality. Great talent is hard to find - that's why we offer a talent sourcing platform that not only gets your brand in front of the right candidates but also gives you a competitive edge in talent acquisition.

Begin building a relationship with your next great hire today and let Fetcher handle the rest. Learn more.

Share on