The Recruitment Process Explained

By Marie-Eve Altur
Consulting Services for Employees

The Recruitment Process Explained

Are you a first time employer and don’t know how the recruitment process works? Would you like to know more about the different steps that make up a recruitment process ? Novea is here to guide you and give you all the advice you need!   

Here is a brief overview of the typical recruitment process. 

Prepare your Application  

Since first impressions are always important in business, it is essential to present a solid application file. First, we invite you to write a detailed and personalized cover letter that must be addressed to the targeted company.   

This cover letter allows you to briefly explain the reasons for your application and to highlight the elements that make you the ideal candidate for the position. These elements include a brief explanation of your professional background, your motivation to change, your interest in the position and the company, etc. A cover letter is usually concise, one page in length, with no more than two or three paragraphs. Check for spelling mistakes and always be sure to edit your letter for the position and company.  

It goes without saying that the cover letter is not mandatory. Its usefulness is also being questioned at a time when job seekers have a choice of opportunities and employers in many industries are facing a labour shortage. However, we believe that a cover letter allows a candidate to stand out from the others and to show that he·she is serious about his·her work and commitment. If nothing is specified in the job posting concerning the addition of a cover letter, an interesting alternative is to use the body of the email as a support for your letter. The format will then generally be shorter and free of the polite wording that is customary in a professional letter.   

In addition to your cover letter, you must send your curriculum vitae (“CV”). This should be no more than two pages long and should list, in chronological order, your professional experience. Your academic background, volunteer work, interests and technical skills (languages, software, abilities) should also be included in your CV. Make sure that your CV is clean and legible, free of spelling mistakes and with consistent punctuation (especially in lists ending in periods and semicolons). Note that the documents you attach should always mention your name in a format such as firstname_lastname.doc or similar.  

Apply now!  

Once your application is ready, all that’s left to do is apply. There are several methods. You can send your application through an online platform, via a job posting site or on a company’s website directly. You can also send your application directly to the contact person by email, if you have their professional contact information. Alternatively, you can use a recruitment agency such as ours, which will send your application file directly to the client, with your consent, of course.   

You can also send your application directly in response to a job posting, in which case it is a good idea to mention the title of the job or the number of the ad in the subject line of your e-mail. Unsolicited applications are also welcome when you have an interest in a particular company but no role corresponding to your experience is open at the time you apply. In this case, you can simply state in the subject line of your email that it is an unsolicited application and mention the position or department you are interested in.  

The Telephone Interview  

The recruitment process generally begins with a telephone call with the contact person in the target organization. The questions he·she will ask you will be generic: 

  • What are your salary expectations?  
  • Are you bilingual?
  • Why did you apply for the position?   
  • Why do you want to join our organization?  
  • Validation of your work experience and your reasons for leaving the job.  

It is possible that the contact person will reach you directly after receiving your resume, without making an appointment. If it turns out that you receive this call, but that the time is not convenient for you, for example if you are at work or out of town, do not hesitate to mention it and suggest a an other time frame. This way, you can prepare yourself for the telephone interview and make sure you are in the best possible position to talk.  

The Interview   

If the phone call goes well, you will most likely be called for an interview. Whether in person or virtually, the preparation for a formal interview is the same. Do your research on the company and read the job posting carefully. Learn about the company’s mission and values, and do some research on your future interviewers. Read their biography on the website, consult their LinkedIn profile, etc.  

On the other hand, be prepared to answer various questions about your professional and academic background, your technical skills, your social skills and your fields of interest. Before a virtual interview, it is always recommended to test your material beforehand to avoid any technical problems when the time comes.  

The format of the interview itself may differ depending on the company or sector. Some organizations will prefer a discussion format while others will choose a more formal interview, in the form of a question and answer session. Regardless of the format chosen, a good preparation of the candidate is above all a careful review of his/her CV. For each role held, education completed, and even each hobby displayed, you should consider what questions an interviewer might ask you and how you would answer them.   

Technical Tests  

For certain positions, technical tests may be required. You might be asked to take language tests to assess your level. This could involve correcting a text in French or English that contains spelling or grammatical errors, writing a text or answering a multiple choice test. In addition, if the position requires specific technical skills, such as mastery of a specific software program, you may be asked to take a test to assess your level of expertise with that particular software.   

Please note that if the tests are to be done at home, it is preferable to do them in a quiet place where you will not be disturbed.   

Psychometric Tests  

Psychometric tests are used to evaluate certain aspects of your personality in order to validate a more nebulous aspect of an application, namely the famous “personality fit”.  In fact, these tests also evaluate the broad outlines of your personality, such as your emotional stability, your ability to handle pressure, your spontaneous reactions to various situations, and evaluate on a pre-established scale how well you match the company’s needs and requirements in this area.    

Nevertheless, it is important to mention that the reliability of the results of these tests is relatively controversial. Indeed, if you do not “pass” a psychometric test, you have not failed any exam. It simply provides information on the potential “fit” with a candidate. Note that a number of companies do not use psychometric tests in their hiring process.  

Medical Examination  

Some companies require candidates to undergo a medical examination. Although this is an employer’s right, it is highly regulated by law and can only be required for justified professional reasons. To learn more about this subject, please consult this article: https://www.avocat.qc.ca/affaires/iiexamen-med.htm  

Taking References and Background Checks  

The employer may also ask you to provide a list of references with whom it will be possible to discuss, in order to verify certain aspects of your application file by obtaining concrete examples of previous professional situations.    

We recommend that you provide the names of some of your former supervisors rather than the names of former office colleagues. The latter will not be able to establish the same level of credibility as the former because they are not subordinate to you. It is also best if you inform the individuals directly that you will be providing their contact information as part of a reference process.   

A background check allows the company to collect information about your criminal and credit history, among other things. In order to collect this data, the employer, or an external representative such as a background check firm, must first send you a consent form and cannot proceed with this investigation without your agreement. 

The Offer of Employment  

If all of the previous steps have been successfully completed, you should receive an offer of employment detailing the terms and conditions of your future employment. Make sure that all relevant information is included in the document:   

  • Date of hire;  
  • Title of the job offered;
  • Weekly work schedule;  
  • Flexibility of the daily schedule;  
  • Telecommuting policy, if applicable;  
  • Annual salary or hourly rate;  
  • Sick days/personal days;  
  • Vacations and the vacation reference period;  
  • Schedule of salary increases;  
  • Structure and payment of performance bonuses;  
  • Length of probation;  
  • Admission to benefit programs such as insurance, pension plans, etc;  
  • Reimbursement of certain expenses such as cell phone charges, professional membership fees, transportation or parking, etc;  
  • Conditions for termination of employment including notice period;  
  • Specific non-solicitation and non-competition clauses.  

Welcoming and Integration  

Congratulations! You have successfully completed this process. Now all you have to do is show up at the scheduled time with human resources for your first day of work and prove yourself!  

For any other advice, do not hesitate to contact a member of our team!