Recruiting Funnel

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What is a Recruitment Funnel?

A recruitment funnel refers to the entire recruiting process, from beginning to end. It consists of sourcing candidates, screening, interviewing, and hiring. It’s a funnel because it starts with a large number of candidates, which then reduces through each step of the funnel. 

The number of candidates who apply for a position won’t be the same number of candidates who reach the interviewing stage.

The employer’s job is to ensure the recruiting funnel identifies the best candidates, chooses the best hire, and creates an enjoyable and streamlined process for the candidates.

What are the Benefits of a Recruitment Funnel?

A recruitment funnel or hiring funnel helps you to attract, interview, and ultimately hire the best candidates. Done right, it streamlines the recruitment process by making it easier to identify the prospective employees who’ll be most successful.

By thinking of the Talent Acquisition process as a funnel, and dividing it into clear stages, you’ll stick to a standardized workflow. You can divide responsibilities amongst your recruitment team. And you can keep candidates informed about which stage they’re currently at, and what happens next.

The other advantage is that you can use metrics to evaluate the performance of each stage in the process, and easily identify areas for improvement.

The Recruitment Funnel Process in Stages

The easiest way to understand the recruitment funnel—and how to optimize your own—is to break it down into five distinct stages:


The first step of the recruiting funnel is sourcing candidates. Organizations choose to do this in multiple ways, from posting job advertisements to reaching out to ideal candidates on social media. In order to attract top talent for the role, you need to build your brand awareness so that potential candidates will recognize your name. You should also pay attention to the wording of your job ads—make sure they don’t include any unconscious bias.


Once a prospective candidate is interested in your company, they’ll want to know a little more before applying. Make sure there’s plenty of information in your “About Us” and “Careers” pages, and respond to any direct queries about the advertised role.

A simple application process is best (for example, don’t make people upload a resumé and then repeat the information in a form). Some firms include specific questions to help determine whether the candidate would be a good fit.

Communication is critical—send an auto-reply when you receive an application, and let candidates know when they can expect to hear more.


Next comes the screening process. At this stage, employers need to identify who out of the applicants best suits the role. They likely only have a resume to go on, so this will often be about the candidate’s work experience, education, and skillset. 

Many employers choose to use application tracking software at this stage, especially if they receive a large volume of applicants. This will help you evaluate multiple applications with automation for scanning and screening. Some systems let you search by relevant keywords, or use anonymous screening.


The interviewing stage is a significant part of the candidate funnel. It involves meeting candidates either in-person, on the phone, or via a video conference and gives recruiters the chance to figure out who is the right fit. The experience, passion, cultural fit, or all three, of a candidate might determine this.

Your Interview Process might have several rounds. For instance, you could start with a video meeting and decide who will progress to the in-person stage. After each interview, provide all candidates with feedback on how it went and what the next steps will be.


This is the final stage of the talent acquisition funnel. It’s time to send an offer to the chosen candidate, including details of working hours and employee benefits. You’ll need to demonstrate that your company has more to offer than others.

Communication is key, as you don’t want them to slip through the net at the last moment. Once the candidate has accepted the offer, you can tell them about your onboarding process, such as signing a full contract, submitting right-to-work documents, and undertaking training.

How recruiting funnel metrics can optimize your hiring process

Like any other metric, recruitment funnel metrics enable you to measure how things are going and optimize your processes if needed. For example, you might look at the number of accepted offers, candidates who remain with the company, and number of qualified applicants. 

Here are some things to consider:

  • Quality of hire: Is the new employee able to handle the job? Do their skills match those on their resumé? Did they quit during onboarding? If the quality of your hire is poor, it could show that potential problems weren’t flagged in the Candidate Screening and interview process.
  • Source of hire: Ask all your applicants where they heard about the company or the position­—this will tell you if enough people are seeing your job ads. You can also correlate this with the quality of hires. Are the most/least suitable candidates coming via a particular source? 
  • Time to hire: You want this metric to be on the low side (although not at the expense of finding the right person). If hiring is taking forever, look at whether your software and processes are up to scratch. What can you do to move people through the funnel more efficiently?
  • Cost to hire: Consider the optimum cost-per-hire figure for your company and benchmark against it. How much did you budget for hiring and are you exceeding it? Recruitment funnel analysis helps you find the reasons why—high costs may be related to productivity, or errors and delays in the process.

Improve your recruitment funnel with robust recruitment software

Organizations must plan a recruiting funnel that works for both the employer and the candidate. That way, they end up with the best hire while ensuring all candidates leave with a positive impression.

An efficient hiring funnel splits the long Recruitment Process into manageable steps. But for maximum recruitment funnel effectiveness, you also need to use the right software. For example, Oleeo provides smart features to help you streamline your workflows at each stage and enables high-volume hiring.

Automation lets you scan multiple resumés simultaneously and communicate regularly with candidates to keep them in the loop. 

There are tools for virtual recruitment, whether it’s remote interviews or online events. Add in reporting and analytics, and you’ll see a reduction in time-to-hire—and cost per hire, too.

Book a free consultation and find out how Oleeo can improve your recruitment funnel.