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10 tips on how to be recruitment-fit for 2016

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If you are looking to expand your workforce, replace a leaver, hire a required skills set or specialist, or take on your first employee, then you will need to prepare well to avoid making costly mistakes.  This article will give you a handy checklist to ensure you have everything covered before starting out. 

Each of the areas will feature in future blogs and articles that will give you a step-by-step guide on how to undertake each step properly.  If you are recruiting soon and can’t wait for these guides, please feel free to contact us for advice - this is given freely and without obligation.

Here are the things you need to prepare and have in place to conduct a successful recruitment campaign:


1.  Time - you need to start the process approximately twelve weeks before you want somebody in post.  This allows adequate time for advertising campaigns, longlist and shortlisting processes, effective interview and selection, and for candidates to serve notice.  If you need somebody in post sooner please consider a temporary measure while continuing to seek the ideal candidate.  Please be aware that specialist roles can take much longer.

2.  A full job description & person specification - make sure that you include all of the tasks and responsibilities that fall within the remit of the role.  Think carefully about what your business really NEEDS rather than what you think you want.  Consider the type of person the role and company culture would suit.  Also make sure that you’re not combining two roles that may be slightly at odds with each other; for example, we often have smaller companies request a fantastic sales person with really strong administrative skills.  These usually fall into two different personality and behavioural types.  Good all-rounders are few and far between and you have to settle for them being ‘good/steady’ in all areas rather than a sales superstar!


3.  Time - identify which people within the business will be involved in the recruitment process and make sure they can invest adequate time in it.  Decision-makers must ensure that they are responding to CVs within a day or two of receipt and arranging interviews quickly.  Good candidates are currently not remaining in the market for long.


4.  Interview & selection process - it is imperative in today’s candidate-driven market that the recruitment process is as quick and painless as possible.  You should avoid prolonged gaps between interviews and should make any job offers quickly.  Think about what skills and experience in interviewing you have in-house – competency based interviewing is a useful technique and interviewers should be expert in exploring a candidate’s true motivators and values.  This means that a good cultural fit is made to ensure longevity in employment as well as having the right skill sets in place.


5.  Time - you should set aside adequate time for interviews.  Having dates already set aside can help the process and avoid the risk of losing a good candidate while all stakeholders faff about seeing who is available and when.


6.  Selection tests - while sound interview techniques and skills are great at unearthing most information, some roles lend themselves to further psychometric profiling and tests.  Senior management and sales roles are obvious choices but there are also numerous great tools that can be used for team-fit and other soft-skill identification.


7.  Offer stage - there is an art to making an offer to a candidate.  Having discovered an individual’s true motivations at interview, the offer must be carefully worded to fit with their values and motivators.  Always make the best offer first time round.  Don’t “go low” first.  You may never get another chance to counter and you will leave the candidate feeling under-valued.  You should also have explored the chances of counter offers at interview stage and put things in place to mitigate, or reduce, the risk of these resulting in the candidate declining your role.


8.  Communication & contracts - ensure that official offer letters and contracts are current and compliant.  We work with selected HR partners who can help with this if you haven’t reviewed contracts within 12 months.  Keep in touch with your candidates between handing in their notice and start date, but not in a weird, daily, stalker way.


9.  Induction & on-boarding - irrespective of level of experience of the new starter, there should be a fully documented induction and training programme to help people settle in and work to best efficiency levels as quickly as possible.  This also aids retention.


10.  Always select based on attitude & aptitude - you can train most skills but you cannot train attitude!


We hope this helps and wish you Good Luck with your recruiting!




If you read this and shudder at the realisation that you lack the time or internal expertise, you can outsource the process to us!  We’ll handle every step of the recruitment process and will provide you with expert guidance and support when making important hiring decisions.  Please call now on 01902 763006.