The latest thinking, news and events from the world of Recruitment

Top Tips on Getting Recruitment Right First Time


What role does your business really need
Forget who was in the role last. What role will provide value to your business? Invest time to really think about the role and every detail of what it should involve. Create a comprehensive Job Description with time-scaled objectives for the role. Involve your team and perhaps even others outside your department to generate ideas for the role.

What type of person and experience will benefit your business
Successful recruitment relies upon recruiting someone who will fit culturally into your business. This means behaviours, attitude, emotional well being etc.. Invest time here to develop a full Profile for the ideal candidate you believe will be very successful in your business.

Keep to an agreed time frame and allow time for the recruitment process.
The ideal time scale to recruit candidates is 3 to 5 weeks for your recruitment partner to gather and competency base interview candidates before presenting a shortlist. There is then a further two weeks for you to set up and conclude final interviews, a week to get an offer accepted and agreed notice served and a further four weeks’ notice period. In total this is 10 to 12 weeks from start to finish. Make sure that employees, line mangers and most importantly candidates are aware of this.

Provide a complete and accurate job description.
By not providing a complete job description you slow down the recruitment process significantly by interviewing candidates, or being presented a shortlist of candidates by your recruitment partner who should not be applying for the position in the first place. By providing an accurate description of the job, you can narrow down your candidate pool and make the process easier.

Involve your employees and Line Managers
In a small working environment it’s particularly valuable to let your current employees know that you are filling the position and your reasons for doing so, (unless the role needs to be kept confidential). If the employee will report to a certain line manager it is important to involve them in the process.  This gives the candidates a sense of the structure and the working environment and the line manager a sense of ownership and responsibility.

Make candidates feel welcome and make the interview process clear to them.
You need to make candidates feel welcome when they arrive for interview. Never keep a candidate waiting for long and make sure reception and security know that you are expecting them. Maybe offer some refreshments and conduct the interviews in a suitable environment which makes yourself and the candidates feel comfortable. When meeting candidates make sure the process is clear for them. If you are to have the top candidates come in for three interviews over a period of two weeks, let them know. Leaving candidates in the dark about what will happen for the next stage can leave them confused and may lead to a bad reputation for your business.

Sell and promote the role and company to the candidate.
Interviewing is a two way process and should not just be candidate led. When candidates get to the interview stage make them feel ‘delighted’ with the company. Sell your company and make them feel that they want to work for you. Maybe give them some handouts or extra information to take away with them. Even if they don’t get the job you need to see them as a prospective customer or someone who could champion your company. Send them away desperate to work for you.

Keep your recruitment partner informed and up to date.
Make sure your recruitment partner is kept informed about any changes to the process or job description. Are there going to be any managers who are unavailable for interviews at certain times? Have you made any amendments to the job description? Have you had any further thoughts or concerns about candidates you have seen? When would you be looking to final interview? These all link to the timescales and interview process which needs to be made clear to candidates and your recruitment partner needs to be kept informed about to ensure a smooth process.

Give constructive feedback to candidates
Always offer timely and constructive feedback, even if the candidate is not suitable for the role. If you are going to reject the candidate you may decide to let the recruiter give feedback. Inform the candidates of this and provide the recruiter with sufficient information.  The candidate may be suitable in the future or maybe right for a different position in the company. Their goodwill towards your company (even if not successful) will be great PR in the future and may attract other applicants that they speak to.

Make the job offer right and fair.
Make sure your offer is clear and concise. Either you or your recruiter should obtain verbal agreement from the candidate before putting the offer in writing. Try to avoid the temptation to pay the minimum you can get away with (especially in the current economic climate where candidates may see a move as more of a risk). One of the reasons why they applied was to improve their terms. Don’t disappoint and add further uncertainty at this later stage.

Continue the recruitment process after the offer has been made.
The recruitment process is not over until the candidate starts employment with you. Keep the candidates informed of any changes in the company during their notice period, involve them with any small decisions and make them feel part of the team. Maybe take them out for lunch or include them in a staff social event before they start. It is important to keep them feeling valued and eager to start working for you.

Prepare for the candidates start date.
When they arrive on day one have the day planned out in its entirety. The first day shapes the entire early career. Get it right and you are off to a good start. Get it wrong and you will be playing catch up. Make sure all services including email, desk, telephone, stationary etc are ready. If possible have a sign in reception welcoming the new arrival. This not only makes them feel welcome but makes other aware that they have a new colleague.