Recruiting 101: Get Hired Faster by understanding the roles that are involved in YOUR hiring process

Sep 7 / Thomas Bartelsen

How could a recruitment process be like?

When it comes to the recruitment process, it can vary depending on the company and the position being filled. However, some general steps are typically followed.
First, the job opening is posted, and applications are received via an applicant tracking system.

From there, the hiring manager and recruiter will review resumes and cover letters to determine which candidates best fit the position.

Interviews will then be conducted in person or virtually to assess further the candidates' qualifications and fit for the role. Background and reference checks may also be completed before making a final decision.

The hiring manager, recruiter, or HR Generalist will work together to select the best candidate.

The recruitment process length can vary, but it's important to remember that finding the right candidate is worth the time and effort. By understanding the responsibilities of HR and the hiring manager and what they're looking for in a candidate, you can better position yourself for success in the recruitment process.

Your ultimate FAQ

This list may not include every term, but it aims to encompass the majority of important ones and act as easy translator towards HR, recruiters or hiring managers.

Applicant tracking system (ATS)

This recruitment software is designed to automate and streamline the hiring process, making it easier for you to manage job applications, screen candidates, schedule interviews, and communicate with applicants. With an ATS in place, you can improve the efficiency and organization of your recruiting efforts, ultimately leading to better hiring decisions and a stronger team.

Automatic Screening Questions

Predefined questions used in the initial screening process (the ATS) of job applications to filter and assess candidate qualifications. This mostly leads to an automatic pre-selection of candidates and sometimes even automatic declines.


Before or during an interview process some companies use cognitive, behavioral or personality-based assessments to evaluate candidates. 

Background Check / Reference check

Verification process to gather information about a candidate's personal, educational, and professional background.

This could be for example calling a former boss that was mentioned as reference to be contacted regarding the application in order to assess the fit to the role and previous performance. 

In some cases it might be a check whether a person is on a terrorist watchlist.

Interviewing techniques

Strategies and methods used by recruiters or hiring managers to assess candidates during the interview process.

Stress Interview

Evaluates a candidate's ability to handle pressure and unexpected situations by intentionally creating a stressful environment.

Behavioral Interview

Focuses on past behaviors and experiences as indicators of future performance.

Panel Interview

Multiple interviewers simultaneously assess a candidate, typically representing different departments or positions.

Case Interview

Presents a specific business problem or scenario to assess problem-solving and analytical skills.

Chemistry Interview

is a term for a meeting with the team in order to ensure that there is a match at the end. 

Coding challenge / technical interview

Assesses a candidate's technical skills and knowledge in a specific field or role. Could be a coding challenge for example.

Digital or remote interview

Interview conducted remotely, typically using video conferencing tools or specialized interview platforms.

Gamification based assessments

In essence, this game-based assessment solution (i.e. equalture is a tool or system that helps large companies move away from relying solely on the instincts and past experiences of hiring managers when making hiring decisions. Instead, it encourages a more structured and scientific approach by assessing candidates

Group Interview

Multiple candidates are assessed together through group activities or discussions.

Telephone Screen

Initial phone call with a candidate to evaluate their qualifications and suitability for the position.

Intelligence test / cognitive ability test

Intelligence tests in employee selection assess a candidate's mental aptitude and problem-solving abilities to predict job performance. They come in various types, such as general cognitive ability (GCA) or specific cognitive abilities, and are administered online or in-person, typically with a time limit. The content can include verbal reasoning and numerical reasoning.

On-site interview

In-person interview held at the employer's location, providing an opportunity for face-to-face interaction.

Letter of intent

Formal job offer extended to a candidate, outlining terms, conditions, and compensation for employment.

Pre-recorded Interviews

Candidates record their responses to pre-set questions, which are later reviewed by the hiring team.

Workscouncil and works council hearing

Representative body of employees in a company, involved in employee rights, collective bargaining, and consultation processes, including conducting works council hearings.

Who is part of the recruitment process?

When looking for a job, knowing who is involved in the hiring process and what they do is essential. The hiring manager is in charge of overseeing the new employee's work and making the final decision. The recruiter or HR generalist is responsible for finding and screening potential candidates, conducting interviews, and communicating with candidates throughout the process. It's worth noting that the hiring manager and recruiter work together to ensure that the best candidate is selected.

Sometimes it might be that you get contacted initially by an active source. This role is somebody who actively engages talent on Linkedin. Likewise, it could be that the recruiter or HR Generalist contacted you like this.

The length of the recruitment process varies depending on the role and number of candidates, but it typically takes a few weeks to a few months. By understanding who is involved and their functions, you can better prepare yourself for the job search and increase your chances of getting the job you want.

Regarding the recruitment process, one of the most common questions job seekers have is, "How long does it take?" The answer to this question can vary greatly depending on the company and the position being filled.  Best practice in Germany would be four weeks from your applicaiton to hire. Yet, the reality is often different. 

If the entire process, from your application to a final decision, takes four weeks or less, that’s best practice. Everything below two weeks is lightning fast.

Whatever the length is, if a company doesn´t keep the timeframes promised, this might be a red flag. If they stop responding and don´t come back to you after seven business days, it´s probably ghosting.

Why is it taking so long?

Generally, the recruitment process can take a few weeks to a few months. It all depends on the number of applicants, the complexity of the position, and the availability of the hiring manager and HR team. While waiting for a response can be nerve-wracking, it's important to remember that the hiring process takes time and that it's a good sign Why if the company is taking the time to consider each applicant carefully. On the other hand, some factors might be involved that could be a warning sign (red flag) for you if the company takes ages. 

The reasons might be:

- The recruiter handles too many positions at once and doesn´t have time to give regular feedback to every candidate (in some cases, recruiters hold 250+ candidates at the same time for 25+ roles and 1-2 hire managers per role)
- Internal red tape 
- Vacation time or other forms of absenteeism
- Multiple persons are involved and don´t provide feedback promptly.
- Persons signing are not on site, and HR doesn´t get a signature.
- A combination of all of them

If you don´t get feedback within the time frame, simply ask for a follow-up with an expected time frame. If it takes too long, decide once and if this becomes a warning sign.

So, if you're in a job search, keep going if it takes a little longer than you expected. Keep applying to other positions and stay positive. Your dream job could be just around the corner!
Here are three recommendations to help you navigate the recruitment process:

1. Familiarize yourself with the various terms and processes involved in the recruitment process, such as the applicant tracking system, automatic screening questions, background checks, and different types of interviews. This will help you better understand what to expect and prepare yourself accordingly.

2. Learn who is involved in the recruitment process and what their roles are. The hiring manager and recruiter work together to select the best candidate, while the HR generalist is responsible for finding and screening potential candidates. Knowing who is involved and their functions will help you better prepare yourself for the job search.

3. Be patient and stay positive. The recruitment process can take a few weeks to a few months, depending on the position and complexity of the role. Keep applying to other positions and stay positive. Your dream job could be just around the corner!

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