What does recruitment involve?

Job description.  This should be reviewed to check whether there are now additional tasks you would like this job to cover.  It’s important that it’s accurate because it’s what candidates will look at to decide whether they want to apply or not.

Person specification.  This sets out the skills and experience a candidate needs for this particular job and should be used to select candidates for interview.  Be careful to avoid discrimination – don’t set a requirement which would disadvantage one of the protected groups.

Advertisement.  Think about where to advertise to attract a large pool of suitable candidates.  Be careful about wording – asking for a mature person would fall foul of discrimination law.

Interview questions.  These should test to see whether the candidate has the skills and knowledge you need for the job.  Asking for examples of how they have already demonstrated competency in a previous job  will provide more reliable answers.  Be careful to avoid any questions which could be viewed as discrimination – nothing on age, health, children.

Tests.  Interviews alone are a poor indicator of future job performance.  If possible build in short work based tests to check whether the candidates would be able to do the  main parts of the job.

Psychometrics. For senior roles you may want to consider psychometric tests. These indicate someone’s personality and preferred ways of working. You can then see whether these are a good fit for the job.

Short-listing.  You should set your short-listing criteria before you receive any applications, so that you can avoid any bias.  It should be based on your person specification.  Keep notes of your short-listing scores so that you can justify your decision and defend any legal challenge.

Interview.  It’s best to have 2 people to interview, so one can take notes whilst the other asks questions, you have 2 views to help form your recruitment decision and you have a witness should any candidates claim you said something discriminatory.  Keep notes of the interviews to justify your decision, but remember that the candidate is entitled to ask to see the interview notes so ensure what you have written is professional and doesn’t suggest any discrimination.

Job offer.  Make notes before ringing with the job offer so you are clear about what you are offering and have a record.  If the offer is subject to receipt of satisfactory references make sure you say that.

References.  You should check at least 2 references, including the last employer.  It is usual to ask about performance, sickness absence, disciplinary and whether the previous employer would re-employ.

Induction.  Once the new recruit starts they will need induction training to help them get up to speed quickly in the new job.  This should include familiarising them with your rules, eg on data protection, health and safety, and procedures, eg what to do if they are sick, and work systems.

I can help with any or all of these aspects, depending how much you can handle yourself.

  • Key skill

    In summer 2013 I was a guest tutor on the CIPD’s 3 day course for HR professionals on interviewing.  I was also the HR industry expert interviewer for Total Jobs candidate coaching programme.  I have designed and run assessment centres for senior positions (Chief Executive, Strategic Director, Head of Service) as well as more junior employees.

  • Quote

    Great vision without great people is irrelevant.

    Jim Collins, Good to Great