HR approaches to recruitment

New relationships are exciting

Both parties do their utmost to impress the other, hoping for long-term compatibility and mutual happiness. The recruitment process is no different. Done properly, it can bring together professional soul mates who can enjoy their work and accomplish great things for your company.

Attracting the right candidates

A job advertisement might be the first interaction between a potential employee and your company. For this reason, it needs to be accurate, truthful and interesting. The ad should include the following:

  1. Job description — the role’s core duties, responsibilities and tasks
  2. Person specification — the skills, qualities and experience you’re looking for (and whether they are ‘essential’ or ‘desirable’)
  3. Reward package — salary details, plus information about bonuses, company car, holiday entitlement and commission if applicable
  4. Clear details of how to apply, with a deadline and your contact details

Managers are just as important as HR staff in compiling the job description. They understand the daily realities of the role, and what qualities or skills they most need in their team.

Where to advertise

Candidates will expect job information to be available online. You might post your advert on your company website, national job boards or professional networks such as LinkedIn.

If you’re looking for local candidates, links with job centres and universities can be helpful. You could also employ the services of a recruitment agency to carry out much of the administration and help ‘sift through’ applications as they arrive.

Applications and shortlisting

A clear, communicative application process can make an excellent first impression to candidates. The application form itself should be carefully designed to gather relevant information, as this will make shortlisting much easier. If you’ve asked for candidates’ CVs, it might be best to make sure they complement the application form rather than asking for the same information.

The power of social

Increasingly, employers are using social media networks to check information about candidates. Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, for example, can reveal details and motivations which don’t come across in a formal application. If you’re going to ‘harness the power of social’ in the recruitment process, it’s courteous to mention it as a possibility in the job advert.

Equality and diversity

Increasingly, employers are adopting recruitment methods that ensure all candidates are considered on their merits only. This might include removing information about candidates’ names, genders or nationalities when shortlisting. It’s one way to remove bias (however unconscious it might be) and any hidden barriers to joining your organisation.

Choosing the best candidate

Once you have a shortlist, you might use interviews or proficiency tests to help make your final decision. Don’t forget, at this stage, the candidate is also assessing your company as a suitable place to work.

Making an offer they can’t refuse

The job offer should always be made in writing. But don’t forget, a verbal job offer made in an interview is legally binding.

Once your preferred candidate has accepted your offer, you might need to do the following, if necessary:

  1. Check your candidate has the right to work in the UK
  2. Check qualifications, training or licences
  3. Gather professional or character references
  4. Organise a medical examination

It’s polite to notify the unsuccessful candidates as soon as possible.

And finally, it’s time to prepare for your new employee to start. Their induction should continue to make a positive impression of your company, just as your recruitment process did.


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