How to Excel in your Recruitment Process

Damia Group Portugal
12 min readJun 2, 2022

Strategy | Processes | Tools & tips — Made with ♥ by Raquel Cota


01. Kick-Off — Explore and establish common goals

02. Hiring — Process Build your strategy for success

03. Data Analysis — Dig deeper into what went right and take lessons for the future

“People are not your most important asset. The right people are.” Jim Collins


”A project kick-off meeting is the first meeting with the project team and the client of the project where applicable. This meeting is the time to establish common goals and the purpose of the project. Starting a project without a kick-off meeting is like setting off on a trip without any concrete plan.” — ATLASSIAN

The more you prep the less work you have moving forward. Although it’s not always easy, you should strive to respect the three main steps (as seen below). Sometimes you only have one stakeholder, it’s fine. Sometimes that stakeholder doesn’t have a lot of info to share, but it’s fine. Sometimes he can’t support you on the process as a whole, it’s fine. Doesn’t matter how little of it, information is your best friend and making sure that everyone is on the same page is crucial for you to develop your work.


The stakeholders


Ideas and goals


The process

I. Identify your stakeholders (present yourself to them if needed)

II. Define role specifications and the why

III. Define the persona

IV. Define the hiring process (how many steps, and with what purpose)

V. Define expectations and plan the communication (Pipeline review? Sync or Async status update?)

VI. Remember that hiring is a team effort. The team has a need you have the solution and you should work together on making things happen!

You will need to be both approachable but assertive and available while also demanding. Don’t be shy with the ”Whys”, the more you understand, the better you can help the team, let them know! Keep things organised and easy for you to access at any point of the process, I would even suggest that you keep a doc template, and after the kick-off phase share it with the team! Let them be part of the process! And remember, if you can’t do it perfectly, do it imperfectly!

While making sure everyone is on the same page make sure you don’t feel left out! Dealing with tech is not easy and we are people-centric not tech professionals, so it’s only normal to sometimes feel lost. You should aim to understand the role so well that you could feel comfortable presenting and selling it to your grandmother!
Your kick-off questions are up to you and with time you will make it more personal but you shouldn’t miss the following:

Key questions

Why are we hiring this person?
What is this person's day today going to look like?
Is anyone on the team doing something similar at the moment? (And if the answer is yes you should definitely slide into those slacks DMs! What better way to understand the role than by actually getting to know the people?)
What will be the onboarding process?
What is most interesting about this role?
What are some things that totally suck?
What improvements are being made?
What do you expect from this person
What would the perfect candidate be like?
Now let’s be real….How does the candidate actually need to be? (explore as deep as needed, why does the person need X? I don’t know the W tool, what is it for? Why is Y so important?)

Don’t forget to truly Connect. Building a relationship of trust and teamwork with your hiring team is not only essential for the short term but is also a great long term strategy. It’s not easy to change minds but keep showing up and showing them that you truly care about supporting them in the best way possible.

Prove to them that you are a team and keep them informed and up to date. Show them both the good and the bad. It’s certain that not all of them will care but don’t let that stop you. Adjust the information shared as you go and as you better understand the team and their ways of working.

Hiring process

You have it all set. The beginning at least! Now it’s time to stretch a bit and get ready for action!

Let’s build our path to success:

01. Create the job ad: And don’t forget to share it with the team! Bonus points: Ask the hiring team to co-write a small text describing the day to day and the team culture! Who better than them to sell the role?

02. Create all your templates: Don’t waste your time and write all your templates upfront:

  • Messaging for sourcing
  • Rejection, next steps and even approvals emails!

0.3 Define your strategy: Sourcing? Database research?

0.4 Ready… Fire up those keywords and the search targets!

Hiring Process — Strategy

Pick up your kick off persona and ask yourself what would be the best strategy to find that candidate. One size doesn’t fit all so I, unfortunately, won’t be able to able to give you a magic answer. Sometimes you will have to go through your database! Other times betting on referrals is a great way to guarantee that the pipeline is looking full! But, and as we are all very aware, the tech market is so competitive that to boost things up, sourcing it’s almost always part of the plan.
You can always readjust whenever needed, learn and grow as you go!

Persona example for role X

Soft skills:
The candidate will feel comfortable talking with different people from the organization, from colleagues and c-level execs to critical clients.
Needs to love mentoring since the team is hiring a lot of new talent.

Hard skills:
A Back End master. This person will be someone who can see the big picture and feels comfortable following different approaches while being aware of the overall impact. More than a doer a thinker.
Solid professional experience with Java is a must.

Hiring Process — Sourcing sucks

or does it? Don’t get me wrong, I am not, by any means a sourcing lover. I would much rather spend my energy in interviews, getting to know amazing people and wandering around my slack channel keeping up with the team! But sometimes you have to put on those headphones, fire up with a badass playlist and just go at it!
If you think sourcing might not be for you is most likely because you aren’t making it work for YOU. Sourcing is a lot of things, but from all of the things that it is, it neither needs to be boring nor robot-like. That’s what I hated most about sourcing at first, you know? The non-stop messaging that you do, the million profiles that you see… Some people love it like that, nothing against it! But if you are like me, maybe you just need to change your strategy. Here are some things that I’ve changed to make it more me:

I make time for sourcing — I set specific blocks into my calendar to remind myself that during that time I am all about sourcing, this means no multi-tasking during my busy days, no getting frustrated by seeing random profiles or sending random messages just because I have some “available” time.

Switch gears — Tired of LinkedIn? Who isn’t sometimes? Dive into the broad world of sourcing and discover other ways to find those hard profiles. GitHub, Octohunt, Slack, Stack Overflow…

I don’t find joy in numbers nor do I care to, I want results — Finding the right person is what it is about! Having good potential candidates is better than having a full pipeline full of unfitted ones. You have to read the profiles, not scan them, you have to empathise with people, not bombard them with messages, they have a million other recruiters after them. What can you give them that the others don’t?

Hiring Process — Sourcing doesn’t have to suck

If robot allies it’s more your style, rock it! Just remember to keep the human in there somewhere!

With so many things happening it’s often hard to give ✨manual attention✨ to sourcing and that’s why automation tools are great! Having an automation tool might get costly, so if you want to automate things in a more organic way don’t forget to use the best LinkedIn quick selection tools and template messages.

For the robot lovers, the following are great:


Keep being human even with the help of robots, it will definitely get you further and also important, not get your LinkedIn account blocked!

Hiring Process — Keywords and search targets

Like templates, defining and keeping track of your keywords and search targets is a great way to save time and your sanity. When dealing with a high volume of work it’s quite easy to lose track of things, profiles keep repeating, you aren’t sure how many times you changed the phrase structure to get new results and it feels like you are running in circles. It’s also quite easy to feel lost in the beginning, either because you aren’t familiar with a certain tool\system\language or because you have no idea where to start. Here are some of my favourite ways to start this stage!

Help your future self by keeping track of keywords\search targets and numbers. This is a great way to not only measure your effort but to also keep track of what already went through your radar. Extra beneficial since it gives you real data that you can share with your hiring team!

By Company

  • Ask your hiring team for company referrals
  • Analyse your hiring team background, in which companies were they in before?
  • Search same business companies
  • Search well-known companies
  • Search companies with great talent

By comparison

  • Analyse your hiring team background. What type of keywords is relevant on their profiles that you can recycle?
  • Don’t forget to make LinkedIn your ally and use “see similar profiles” to the max!
  • Found a great candidate? Gather all the things that make them great and go from there.

By Stack:

Despite being the most used method, here are some tricks you might not be aware of just yet:

  • Start by being super-specific. Search your ideal candidate, and I mean it, this is all about narrowing down our search. Make the “not mandatory” and ”nice to have” part of your search and tackled those profiles first.
  • As time goes by start broadening your search, play around with keywords and see how many profiles you can find!
  • Don’t try to start your search without having a clear understanding of the tech you are looking into. If you asked the right questions during kick off this shouldn’t be a problem for you, if you are feeling lost ask the hiring team again or dive into google.

Hiring Process — Interview Stage

Now that you have your first interviews scheduled, the next phase begins. Each company will have different hiring processes and the recruiter, more often than not, is not the one in charge of deciding how many phases are there supposed to be or how the process is structured. But this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ever stop trying to advocate for your candidate's experience and while you are at it, your own.

How do you make sure that you are ensuring a good candidate experience?

  • Guarantee that besides selling the project and the company in your conversation, you clearly explain the hiring process.
  • Be present during the process, and check upon them. Yes the team is loving the candidate, is the candidate loving the team? Does the project resonate with them? Is it something on their mind?
  • You don’t need to have it all figured out, but you should always be available to try!

As you gain seniority your interview style will change but your sense of commitment not only to the business but to the candidates should never. As a recruiter the interview stage is crucial. On the business side, you have to guarantee that you are not wasting anyone’s time by keeping the pipeline flowing onward with good fitted candidates. On the candidates’ side, you should always strive to be transparent, and emphatic and manage their expectations accordingly.

Hiring Process — Offer

Congratulations! You were able to find candidate X and the team is excited to present them with an offer. Before anything, do a little celebratory dance, don’t ever forget to celebrate the good things, you earned this!
Different companies have different regulations so you should get well informed of those beforehand.
You may or may not be in charge of this part but even if you are not, don’t forget to keep yourself invested in the outcome and be sure that your emphatic superpowers are available if needed!

Data Analysis

The best way to improve? Understanding what happened. Using data in your hiring process increases your quality of hire and better prepares you for future processes. You can’t improve unless you understand what went wrong and you can’t grow unless you understand what you are doing right.

Data Analysis, Why is data important? Well, data allows you to more effectively determine the cause of problems and to plan for the future taking into account important past points. Data is not only great for personal use, to better define your hiring strategy, but it is also a great way to present results and to change minds.

You can play around with a lot of different data, so don’t get too focused on the data sets previously shared, analyse what makes sense for you. And remember, simplicity and results over wasting your time doing complex but unnecessary things! An excel or doc file is more than enough to start.

Speed will get you there faster but the strategy will take you further!

About Raquel:

Raquel is an octopus with a typing record 😱 Massive skills on a computer keyboard. Currently living in Estonia, she started at Damia Portugal in January in our RPO team as an In-House Recruiter: Global Talent Acquisition Specialist @ OLX Group.

A great professional and coworker that is helping our client scale and hiring talent for Product, SRE and QA 🚀

A People-centric professional with a passion for problem-solving! She’s an Optimistic, dynamic and tech curious, that love to build puzzles.

Check out her LinkedIn and say Hi to Raquel!


About Damia Portugal:

We are an international innovative Tech recruitment Agency. We came to Portugal with the promise to shake up the market and redefine how one engages with clients. Our core goal is to develop relationships across the market, and offer a disruptive (but positive!) approach to both clients and candidates, always based on open and transparent communication.

As an RPO service provider, we’re on a mission to unleash human potential, to combine and join forces with our clients to find the best talent available in the market.

We’re helping companies who want to expand in the Portugal tech market, but who are struggling to find suitable talent. Our In-house recruiters dig deep to understand your organization, and also the job profile and skills necessary for successful hires.
We take the stresses out of recruitment and engage the right professionals who will excel in your organization.

We use out-of-the-box sourcing techniques.

We are innovative, disruptive, transparent and relaxed.

We came to the market to do it differently and we love it!



Damia Group Portugal

At Damia Group we take the hassle out of tech recruitment and put in the right professionals who will excel in your organization 🔥