How Does the Job Hiring Process Work?

There are five steps in the hiring process: Employer realizes a position needs to be filled, the job is posted and applicants apply, the employer creates an interview list and interviews employees, the top candidates' references are checked, and job offers are made based on the number of vacancies.

1: Employer Decides to Add Employees

There are two reasons why an employer decides to start the hiring process. The first reason is to fill a vacant position that has become available because the previous employee has quit. In this case, the job will have established duties and expectations, and it is possible that there will be little flexibility with the schedule because the employer or supervisor would like to take the new employee and have that person work the shifts or hours left empty by the previous employee. The second reason an employer may want to hire a new person is because she has more work than her current employees can handle. In this case, the employer may not know all of the duties or the work requirements for the position, and there may be more flexibility for scheduling shifts or required hours of work. If you are hired, you may end up working fewer or more hours than you expected at the beginning of the hiring process. Most of these requirements will be established by the employer in the job description. With a "fill-in" job, some duties may change, or the job may only be temporary.

2: Job Is Posted

The employer creates a job posting that outlines the job duties. Some job postings are exact, as is usually the case with an established job. Other job postings are quite vague, especially with a newly created position. The job posting should explain how to apply, but you will usually submit a cover letter and resume or an application form. The job posting is advertised on a classified job board, in a local newspaper, in an industry periodical or on a niche job board.

For some jobs, there is no job posting. The employer fills the job with a personal contact or someone who is recommended. For example, some employers have asked their employees to advertise the job opportunity on their Facebook feeds and then pass on the names of any of their friends who express interest. The employer may interview these candidates without taking applications.

In some cases, an employer will try all these methods to find employees. So you, as a potential applicant, should use a multi-pronged job search, as described in the job search articles on

3: Employer Conducts Interviews

Interviews can be scheduled by email or telephone, sometimes even by text message, and you should wait no longer than 24 hours to respond to a request for an interview. A job interview can be an informal chat, a conversation about your previous work experience and schedule. The employer may need to determine if you are available for the shifts he needs to fill. Other interviews can be lengthy, and you will have to answer questions related to the work and discuss your skills.

4: References Are Checked

It is possible, though unusual, that an employer will narrow down the candidates by calling references before asking for interviews. It is a good idea to contact your references, by phone or email, as soon as you begin looking for work, so you can find out if the references will be available to talk to your potential employers. It is acceptable to ask a reference to provide you with a reference letter. Have at least three references available for the employer to contact.

5: Job Offers Are Made

After reviewing the application, conducting the interview and talking with at least one reference, an employer will usually make a job offer. You can take a few days to think about it, but you should usually take no more than two business days for a casual job.

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