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In a full life-cycle recruiting scenario, sourcing applicants or candidates means the recruiter has to determine the best resources for identifying suitably qualified applicants. Sources for applicants could range from online resume banks to university campuses to technical school guidance offices. Sourcing candidates depends on the type of job, position or title, as well as academic credentials or certifications. For example, sourcing candidates for hourly, food service positions will be quite different from the sourcing for legal professionals, such as paralegals and secretaries. Advertisements for hourly food service positions might be most effective at the place of employment, as in a "Help Wanted" sign posted in the window for a casual diner, while sourcing for legal professionals might be more effective on association websites, such as the American Bar Association's career pages.
Screening applicants involves comparing employment applications and resumes to the job description and job postings to determine which applicants meet the requisite qualifications. However, applicants whose materials don't contain the references to specific job qualifications shouldn't be immediately discarded. There might be an omission on the applicant's resume that the recruiter needs to clarify before screening them out before the preliminary interview. For example, if an applicant's resume indicates she anticipates receiving her college degree in May 2012 and the recruiter screens resumes in June 2012, it would be prudent for the recruiter to first confirm whether the applicant has her degree before screening out, because it could be that the applicant has already received her degree and thereby qualified for the job where a basic requirement is a college degree.
Many employers conduct a series of interviews before selecting a final candidate. The first interview might be a preliminary phone interview where the recruiter spends 20 to 30 minutes talking to the applicant about the basic job requirements and verifying his work history. Assuming the applicant passes the first step in the interview process, he's likely to become a candidate and is invited for a second-round interview. Second-round interviews typically are face-to-face meetings with the recruiter, a hiring manager or a panel of interviewers. Employers who conduct third-round or final stage interviews may have candidates meet with the company's highest level of leadership, especially for management positions. Alternatively, some employers engage staff in determining whom they feel is best suited for the organization's culture. It's not unusual for a candidate to meet with employees who will be colleagues or direct reports.
After the candidate passes the second- and possibly third-round interviews, it's time to make a decision. If there's just one hiring manager responsible for selecting the best candidate, she often will consult with the recruiter about the candidate's suitability from an HR perspective, while the hiring manager shares her thoughts about job fit related to culture and professional characteristics that appear in sync with the company's expectations. This type of exchange between recruiters and hiring managers is productive in some work environments where diverse opinions and feedback are essential to the organization's culture.
Final Steps
Once a job offer is extended to the candidate, the next and last steps in recruitment and selection are process-intensive activities. The burden shifts back to the recruiter in organizations that have dedicated HR staff. Recruiters are responsible for verifying the candidate's previous employment, conducting a background check, calling references for information that previous employers can't provide, scheduling drug testing and obtaining documentation from the candidate that substantiates he's eligible to work for a United States employer. In the event the first-choice candidate doesn't pass the final steps, the hiring manager has usually identified a second-choice candidate so that they don't have to begin the recruitment and selection process from the initial phase.


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