How to write a recruitment policy and why it's important

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 9 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Writing a recruitment policy is essential for businesses to outline the strategies and practices they use during recruitment. Writing a successful recruitment policy can help businesses ensure consistency, compliance and uniformity across all departments working within the business. Writing a successful recruitment policy includes clearly outlining and understanding the philosophy, the procedures and the standards of a business or organisation. In this article, we explain what a recruitment policy is and provide a step-by-step guide on how to write a recruitment policy.

What is a recruitment policy?

A recruitment policy is a standardised framework, sometimes considered to be like a rulebook, that clearly outlines a business's recruitment methods, practices and strategies. It demonstrates the transparency of a business and its adherence to different laws. The policy acts as a statement of how the business hires new employees and encourages consistency when recruiting new employees to the business. A recruitment policy is important to ensure a strong level of consistency across an entire business. These policies are also valuable for potential hiring candidates by reassuring them that they all experience the same hiring process and hiring culture of the business.

Each policy has three distinct parts:

  • Philosophy: The philosophy that a recruitment policy should focus on sharing is the hiring philosophy that businesses use during the recruitment of new employees.

  • Procedure: When addressing procedures throughout a recruitment policy, this refers to the various hiring procedures that the business utilises when recruiting new employees to the workforce.

  • Standards: When structuring your recruitment policy around standards, this refers to the standards that the business works towards and within throughout the hiring process of new employees.

Related: 6 stages of an effective recruitment process

How to write a recruitment policy

Here's a guide showing you how to write a recruitment policy:

1. Share the hiring philosophy of the business

It's valuable to share the hiring philosophy of the business in your recruitment policy to successfully set the tone and showcase the ways that the business approaches employee recruitment. You can share your hiring philosophy in the opening statements of your recruitment policy, working to express the unique perspective or unique actions of the company.

Some examples of what you can express in the opening statements of your recruitment policy include:

  • Mentioning steps that the business has undertaken that strongly connect to the culture and the ethos of the business, for example, the offer of paid internships and the rejection of unpaid opportunities.

  • Listing the goals and the ideas that the business is generally committed to and working towards, for example, increasing diversity of the workforce using blind hiring.

  • Sharing the employer brand that the business is strongly dedicated to building and establishing and mentioning some of the ways that you work towards this, for example, mentioning training programmes that the company offers.

Related: 9 Essential Recruiter Skills for Career Success

2. Answer key questions

This section of your recruitment policy can also be helpfully focused on answering key, practical questions about the company, including the following:

  • What are you looking for in an employee candidate? This question informs candidates of the type of person that the business hires and informs them of the types of values that the company looks for during recruitment.

  • Who takes on which tasks? This question provides valuable information about the different roles that function within the hiring process. For example, it's the task of recruiters to share job listings and post advertisements and the task of the hiring manager is typically conducting second-round interviews and final round interviews when recruiting new employees.

  • Where do hiring teams look for candidates? This question highlights the preferred source of hire that the company uses. For example, does it prefer to find candidates through recruitment agencies or job referrals to find new recruitment candidates?

  • Do recruitment and hiring managers have a range of flexibility? This question explains the range of flexibility that recruitment and hiring managers work within when finding and considering new candidates, for example, are there policy instructions that they follow or work towards or are the decisions made more personal?

  • What are the main recruitment tools that the company uses? This question answers the style of recruitment tools, if any, that the organisation uses. For example, you can share that the business traditionally uses an applicant tracking system (ATS) to streamline and maximise new hiring.

Related: A guide to building high-performing teams (plus benefits)

3. Outline the hiring procedure of the business

This section focuses on outlining the company's hiring procedure and can form the main body of the policy document. Any necessary information about the different stages of the hiring process are typically included in this section.

Some important details to include to successfully and clearly outline the hiring procedure are:

  • Describe the pre-hiring details. Here you can describe the pre-hiring details by distinguishing between internal and external hiring, the potential necessity for listing approval and instructions regarding hiring criteria for the evaluation of candidates.

  • Explain the standard hiring process. This includes highlighting the different hiring phrases needed for each role, for example, entry-level or senior-level, and highlighting background checks and candidate screenings that can further and disqualify potential candidates.

  • Mention methods and tools used during recruitment. This means highlighting the various techniques, methods and tools used to increase the success of the hiring processes. This includes details about whether you plan to use group interviews or structured interviews and whether this changes depending on different roles alongside other recommendations during the hiring process.

  • Emphasise the essential details of the hiring process. This includes finalising policy and details surrounding the length of time that a specific role is typically advertised for and listed alongside details about the possible re-hire of employees and the potential consideration of remote candidates.

Related: Internal Recruitment: definition, benefits and tips

4. Set out the business's hiring standards

This section of the recruitment policy is important for outlining the equality and legal requirements included in the business's hiring standards. Here are a few of the most important hiring standards for you to include in this section of your recruitment policy:

  • Hiring bias: Provide tips and general advice to avoid hiring bias and risk missing out on adding exceptional candidates to your workforce, this may include the encouragement of structured interviews or specialist training for hiring managers.

  • Data protection: Referring to the company's data protection policy is important to express how it's applicable to the recruitment process of new candidates. It stands as an important reminder that candidate information and data are under protection and remain confidential throughout the hiring process.

  • Candidate experience: Providing information about candidate experience is valuable for shaping your brand as an employer and attracting future candidates, this can include sharing interview feedback and opting for open communication as much as possible.

Related: Characteristics of effective teams (with benefits and tips)

4. Add a conlusion

The final stage of writing a recruitment policy for any business is disclosing the company's hiring vision. In a nutshell, your hiring vision is its goals for the overall hiring process. Disclosing the business's hiring vision in your recruitment policy is a great way to answer questions about future development and growth whilst also showcasing the types of people that you want to hire to help achieve these goals. When writing your recruitment policy conclusion, it's important that your hiring vision showcases the following:

  • Complement the philosophy. A business's hiring vision should strongly complement the outlined philosophy of your recruitment policy as this highlights the core qualities of your unique business brand and illuminates your overall message and business ethos that you're trying to present.

  • Provide information about employee development. It's valuable to include details about the growth and development opportunities accessible to employees alongside details about the growth and development opportunities accessible for the business brand as a whole because you can increase employee buy-in and support.

  • Disclose employee benefits. Disclosing the available employee benefits in the recruitment policy is key for further encouraging employee buy-in and loyalty to the business as it's extremely encouraging to see the ways that employees can benefit from the business's employment in various ways.

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