Recruitment on the rise – are you getting it right?

Britain’s bosses are among the most optimistic in the world according to a survey held by PwC; with 61% of UK CEO’s “more confident about the outlook for growth in the global economy than their peers almost anywhere else in the world.”

Two thirds of those surveyed confirmed they would be planning to hire more staff in 2014, and so with recruitment potentially on the rise this year it is important to consider a few things;

1. Do you really need to use an agency?

Reports of low performing recruitment agencies showering employers with bundles of irrelevant CVs are quite common, so this year at myhrdept we have agreed to undertake ‘executive style’ advertised recruitment for our retained clients, providing a recruitment service from drafting the job and person specification through to shortlisting. Other employers might consider (time permitting) handling all activity in-house, and some of our tips below may help secure a successful appointment.

2. Are you wasting money by advertising in the wrong place?

This is a trap that most small businesses are likely to fall into, but a little time spent looking for the right place to advertise your role can save you money and even more time spent sifting through the wrong applicants further down the line. An ad in your local paper is rarely the answer; look online and find out where others are advertising similar roles, compare costs and find the right place for you.

3. Is your job description drawing in the right applicants?

To recruit effectively, you must define the skills and experience that are essential for the role and use this as the basis for your job description. (For help with this, you may want to use our job description template and see our employer’s guide to writing job descriptions) Jobseekers don’t want to waste time (yours or their own) and won’t apply for a role they know they aren’t suitable for. If you get this right, you can be certain you will see an improvement the relevance of the applications you receive, with their skills better matched to your needs.

4. If they’re not right, don’t interview.

A lot of small business owners make the mistake of hiring staff based on how well they think they ‘clicked’ during an interview, and not on their suitability for the role. To avoid hiring the wrong person, a fool proof solution is not to interview them in the first place. While this may seem obvious, a failure to properly sift initial applications will mean that too many unsuitable candidates reach the interview stage of your recruitment process. This is where a well-written JD will help you again; list five or six of the ‘essential skills’ and sift applicants based on how their CV matches your needs.

A telephone interview is another good way to quickly sift out unsuitable candidates. If they interview well on the phone, ask them in for a face to face interview to explore their skills in more depth; you can create telephone and face to face interviews using our interview builder tool.

5. Do aptitude/psychometric tests have a role to play?

Testing can be a great way to get an impression of a candidate’s literacy, numeracy, speed or aptitude for a particular job such as sales or customer service etc. However, the important thing is not to rely too heavily on the results of your tests; this can cause you to overlook a candidate who is, overall, a better fit for the job.

In all parts of the recruitment process, the key is to take a common sense approach, and take into account all the information at your disposal before making a decision. While aptitude or psychometric tests may form a part of this, it should only be a part (e.g. to measure general aptitude and ‘fit’), with candidates being selected where possible on their proven ability to deliver against core measurable parts of the vacant role.

We help our clients design and implement recruitment strategies and methods to maximize the chances of successful recruitment; from creating job descriptions to managing advertising, sifting applicants and carrying out first stage interviews. All this for a fraction of the cost of a recruitment agency for a dedicated and targeted recruitment campaign designed to meet your needs. Please contact us to find out more.

Points to consider after you have chosen your new member of staff;

  • Don’t forget to chase up those references; a follow up by phone might get a few more answers to your questions than a request in writing.
  • It is absolutely essential that you make sure the applicant is eligible to work in the UK, take a few moments to look at our information on the subject here.
  • Be sure to issue a well-written offer letter and contract of employment; your contract is legally binding and it is far better that this states your requirements before it’s signed than trying to change it afterwards. To ensure you are complying with the law, you can purchase our employment contracts and an offer letter here. Or contact us to discuss our bespoke contract drafting service.

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