Studies show that for every job opening, there are close to 200 resumes that the hiring team has to go through to finally find the one. And that’s just the beginning of the hiring process—needless to say, it’s tiring and complicated. The startups that crack through this process succeed in scaling faster than their peers, thanks to an efficient recruiting funnel and the use of good recruitment software. Here’s how you can do so too. 

What is a recruitment funnel?

A recruitment funnel is a useful tool that helps streamline the entire hiring process starting from attracting the right candidates to converting them into your employees. The funnel begins is a useful tool to understand which stage of the funnel you’re spending most of your time on, and which stage actually requires the most attention. 

What are the stages of a recruiting funnel?

what are the stages of a recruiting funnel what are the stages of a recruiting funnel


- Awareness: The first step of the hiring process is to make sure that your ideal candidates get to know about the job opening.

- Interest: Once the candidate is aware of the job opportunity, you need to create interest—ensure that the candidate wants to know more about the job opening.

- Desire: What would induce the candidate to apply for the position? This is the stage where you want the candidate to submit their resume for the job. 

- Evaluation: This is the stage where the candidates are put through assessments, calls, and face-to-face interviews to determine if they’re the right fit for the role as well as your organization.

- Conversion: You like them. But do they like you back? Once the offer is rolled out, can you get your desired candidates to accept the offer?

Each of these stages will have plenty of drop-offs, but with a recruitment funnel in place, it’s easier to understand where your challenges lie.

14 simple steps to build a recruitment funnel


1. Build your employer branding

It’s important to build a good workplace culture and work on your employer branding. Employer branding begins much before your ideal candidates get to know of your job openings—it’s how they perceive your organization and how attractive a brand you are to work for. The better this perception, the better your candidate pool will be. 

Employer branding includes your social media image, PR efforts, employee wellness programs, retention rate, customer testimonials, etc. Companies like Google and Microsoft find it easy to attract good candidates because their employer brand is already well established—for startups, the competition is higher and the need for good employer branding is more important than ever. 

2. Create job awareness


Once the candidates are aware of your brand, it’s easy to get more of them to apply—but there’s more to it than attracting the right candidates. To do so, you need to post the jobs on popular job boards like LinkedIn, Indeed, ZipRecruiter, etc. You have no excuse not to do that, especially when you post to multiple job boards with one click.

You can also sponsor job postings depending on your startup’s hiring budget. This makes it easier for your ideal candidates to know about the opportunities available and apply accordingly. 

Here are some better ways to create job awareness for your startup:

Deciding which channel of hiring works best for you can be very easily identified through the recruitment funnel.

3. Create precise yet informative job descriptions

The first step is to create precise, well-structured job descriptions for every role you’re hiring for. The job descriptions must include:

You can also add what your hiring process looks like to add more transparency. This not only reduces the number of irrelevant applications, it also speeds up your entire hiring process since your HR team now has more time to focus on the right candidates. 

4. Add more character to your careers site

Careers site needn’t be a list of jobs that are currently open. Adding FAQs about the hiring process, videos where employees talk about their experience working for your startup, information about your work culture, pictures of team outings and events, etc., all go a long way in creating the desire for the candidate to become part of your startup. 

5. Keep an eye on employee reviews

While positive employee reviews may or may not push a candidate to apply for your startup, a string of negative employee reviews will most certainly stop the right candidates from applying. 

Websites like Glassdoor enable employees to express their disappointment with their workplace. So, addressing these issues and focusing on creating a healthy workplace is the highest priority. 

6. Reduce redundancies in the application process

The only reason candidates who are interested in applying for the job drop off at this stage is because of redundant steps in the process. 

Most career sites require candidates to upload their resumes, and also mandate candidates to fill out long forms with information that’s already present in their resumes—this makes the process slow and inefficient causing applicants to drop off. 

Only ask for extra information that is not mentioned in the resume—this not only makes the process simpler but also brings more candidate information to light that can help you with the filtering process.

7. Minimize the number of steps to apply 

Avoid redirecting candidates to multiple pages to complete their application. Career sites that require candidates to sign up/create an account can cause a lot of drop-offs. 

Requiring cover letters to be written on the website rather than allowing them to be uploaded as an attachment also affects the job application completion rate significantly. 

Consider your current application process and make it as short and simple as possible—this is not the stage where you should be losing too many candidates.

8. Make it mobile-friendly

If you’re building any website, it might as well be mobile-friendly—and the same goes for your careers page too. Job boards like LinkedIn are extremely mobile-friendly and enable candidates to apply for jobs on the move. So if your careers site isn’t mobile-friendly, it might deter candidates from completing the application, as this study shows:

Mobile-friendly job sites are important Mobile-friendly job sites are important

9. Send application confirmation email

Once your candidates complete their application, it’s important to notify the candidates that their application has been received and also give them a timeline as to when they can expect to hear from your startup next. This will help prevent duplicate applications and also keep the candidates in the loop. 

10. Screen resumes faster

You’ve received your candidate applications, and now is the time to refine your candidate pool through the hiring funnel. 

Given that every job opening receives almost 200 resumes on average,  this can eat up your HR team’s time and delay the entire recruitment process. Startups lose many good candidates due to these delays, and it’s completely avoidable. 

Resume parsing tools automatically reject resumes based on set criteria like a number of years of experience, visa availability, location, educational qualifications, etc. Resume parsing tools reduce the hiring timeline by almost 20% and enable you to save your time for resumes that have satisfied all your basic criteria. 

Bonus points: Using resume parsing software also reduces the chances of hiring bias and improves diversity in your workforce.

11. Assess your candidates to perfection

Resumes don’t always present the whole picture, and the best way to judge if a candidate is a right fit for a role is to test it out. Create assessment tests that check the candidate’s technical and soft skills—see how well they perform under a short deadline, how far above the task do they think, how quickly they react under pressure, how well they know their field, and if they have anything new to bring to the table that adds value to your startup. 

The assessments can go for multiple rounds, but too many will end up with good candidates dropping off due to the long and cumbersome process. 

Standardize and quicken candidate assessment with a good ATS. Set online assessments to go out automatically once they clear the basic requirements with an ATS—This makes sure that the recruitment process is free of delays and bottlenecks.

12. Interview your potential employees

The recruiting funnel is very narrow and concentrated at this stage, and it’s a crucial stage to determine whether the candidate will be the right fit for the role, the team, and your startup. So the interview stage needs to be a well-planned process. 

Automate interview scheduling and collaborate with the hiring teams in a faster, streamlined manner with good interview scheduling software to avoid confusion and delays.

This also enables you to view the candidate’s test scores and answers on a single platform, so you can refrain from repeating questions that the candidate has already answered during their assessment process. 

13. Notify all candidates

At the end of every stage of the recruiting funnel, whether the candidates move forward or not, notify the candidates and let them know whether they’re moving forward or not. It helps to give the right feedback and add the rejected candidates to your talent pool

Not only does this keep the candidates engaged during the recruitment process, but it also contributes towards improving your employer branding since rejected candidates now have a positive take on your brand as well. 

Set up these notifications automatically so you can make your hiring funnel more efficient. 

14. Roll out the offer:

This is the stage in the recruitment funnel where drop-offs should be at the minimum. Most companies lose the right candidates at this stage due to:

Minimize the delay in rolling out the offer by using offer management software that will automatically send out offer letters once the candidate moves to the final stage. This also eliminates paperwork and makes it easier with e-signatures.

On the other hand, if candidates are dropping off due to compensation issues, it might be worth benchmarking your offers and bringing it up to industry standards.



1. What are recruiting funnel metrics?


Recruiting funnel metrics are the data that you look at to measure how effective your recruitment funnel is. There are 7 sets of metrics you can use to check this:

Candidate sourcing: Which channel is giving you the best candidates? Where are spending the most to attract candidates and what is the ROI? These will help you know where to focus your efforts and hiring budget.

Interview qualification rate: Check how many candidates applied vs how many made it to the interview—if the number is disproportionately large at the application stage, you might have to refine your resume screening process or work on making your job descriptions clearer.

Offer acceptance rate: The drop-off at this stage of the hiring funnel needs to be minimum—high numbers might indicate the need for benchmarking your offers to candidates. 

Time to hire: Recruiting funnel metrics also help measure the total time taken for the entire recruitment process—extremely long processes end up costing your startup more and increasing the chances of losing good candidates to the competitors.

Cost of hiring: This is one of the most important metrics to measure—this helps you understand where you should cut down on your hiring costs - job postings, interview process, etc.

2. What is recruitment funnel effectiveness?

what is recruitment funnel effectiveness what is recruitment funnel effectiveness

Recruitment funnel effectiveness is the process of managing and measuring the effectiveness of your hiring process through each of the 5 steps in the recruitment funnel:

It starts with finding the right candidates before getting them into the funnel, followed by evaluating candidates effectively at each stage.

Recruiting funnel effectiveness accounts for drop-offs too. Though you want only quality candidates to move through the next stage, a high funnel leakage at any stage indicates that you either need to source them better or your qualification criteria are too stringent.