May 27, 2018

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The Search Process Checklist

Do you have a search process that you execute in your office? Of course you do. But, do you have it written out in a checklist format? If you’re like most firms in our industry, your process exists in your head but not on paper.

Why not look at the recruiting process as a definable set of steps that can be “bottled”? For instance, “The 17 steps in our search process”. Having a written and numbered process helps you to be more productive in several ways.

First off, it frees up your creativity because you’re not trying to remember what you’ve done so far with the other 8-15 searches on your desk. Secondly, it standardizes the process for everyone in your firm. Lastly, it gives you the ability to sell that value of your process (your 17 steps), rather than just the outcome (your people get hired) when speaking with new prospects. The list below is a starting point and will give you a framework that you can customize, add to, and modify to create your own unique process.






  1. _____ Get agreement on fee

  2. _____ Signed contract returned

  3. _____ Pre-close urgency and timely feedback w/ client

  4. _____ Test the search (if contingency)

  5. _____Selective web posting

    • Niche job boards
    • Association newsletters/ magazines
    • Association web sites
    • Specialty newsgroups
  6. _____ Internal database search

  7. _____ Research & Sourcing:

    • Directories (Dun & Bradstreet, Standard and Poor’s, etc.)
    • Similar industries/vendors
    • Alumni lists & Convention attendee lists
    • Your client’s competitors
    • Company directories, associations & Niche publications
    • Phone sourcing
    • Web sourcing: search engines, virtual communities, niche groups etc.
  8. _____ Networking & Referrals:

    • Send email to VIP network of similar people asking for referrals.
    • Post message for advice on niche boards
    • Call candidates for advice/ names
    • Call people at vendors who may have info
    • Call candidates you have placed or who you know for referrals
    • Call people in a similar role and ask how to locate a users group
  9. _____ Execute recruiting calls

  10. _____ Decide whether to use outside researchers or split partners

  11. _____ Present candidates

  12. _____ Schedule interviews

  13. _____ Prep client & candidates

  14. _____ Reference checks

  15. _____ Spearhead the Offer & Acceptance

  16. _____ Resignation

  17. _____ Follow Up

- Gary Stauble

Gary Stauble is the principal consultant for The Recruiting Lab, a coaching company that assists Firm Owners and Solo Recruiters in generating more profit in less time. His free monthly e-zine, “Creative Recruiting” will help you to attract premium clients, make more placements, and still be home in time for dinner. Subscribe today at There are also over 25 Free Special Reports online covering advanced marketing, firm management and recruiting best practices. For more information or to schedule a Business Checkup, visit the site or call 408-847-5049.