Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Candidate's Recruitment Process

See what Mike Moore has to say.

Effective recruitment processes are vital in ensuring that an organisation has the people it needs to implement its strategy and meet its objectives. Recruitment can be expensive, but so too is the appointment of an employee who is inadequately qualified, fails to perform well or leaves the organisation before he or she has been able to make a significant contribution. The time and effort invested in planning the process of recruitment carefully can help to get the right person for the job, reduce labour turnover and enhance competitive advantage.


Recruitment is the process of attracting, assessing, selecting and employing people to carry out the work activities required by a company or an organisation. This checklist focuses on planning and undertaking the initial stages of the process. This involves assessing whether there is a need for additional or replacement staff, identifying the tasks to be carried out, specifying the kind of person needed, finding a pool of suitable candidates and drawing up a shortlist.

Action checklist

1. Review staff requirements

Take a broad view of your staffing needs and consider whether you really have a vacancy. If an employee is leaving, review the work load and decide whether a full-time permanent replacement is needed or whether an alternative option would be more appropriate. For example, would a part-time or temporary worker be sufficient? Should the work be restructured or outsourced? What would the staffing implications of this be?

2. Consult with those involved

Take any organisational policies and procedures into account. Authorisation for a replacement or a new appointment may be needed from senior management. Consult with your personnel or HR department if you have one, as they will have expertise in this area. Ask yourself which other departments may have an interest in the appointment--it may be possible to make it a joint effort. Where possible, talk to the previous holder of the post. Discuss the job role with the relevant supervisor, and especially with the people the new employee will be working with.

3. Specify the sort of person you are looking for

List the duties, responsibilities and relationships involved in the job role and define the level of authority the post holder will have. If you are filling a post that has been vacated, consider whether the job should be carried out in the same way or whether there are changes that you wish to make. Decide what qualifications and skills are required; what type and length of experience is needed and which personal attributes will be important. This will enable you to draw up an up to date job description and person specification. State how soon the person is expected to be competent in the job, what training you are prepared to give and set a target start date.

4. Research the labour market

Review the job description and person specification and ask yourself whether you are likely to find what you are looking for in one person. If so, undertake some research to gauge the pay and benefits package you will need to offer. Salary surveys are usually expensive, but are often summarised in the press at the time of publication. Monitoring job advertisements and networking with employers in your area and sector can also give you an idea of current pay rates. You should also consider whether you will be able to find suitable candidates locally or need to look further afield.

5. Comply with legal requirements

Recruitment activities are covered by a growing body of legislation and codes of practice designed to exclude discrimination and unfair treatment. These include: the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, the Race Relations Act 1976, the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, the Employment (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2002; the Employment (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003 and the CRE statutory Code of Practice on Equality in Employment. Keep yourself up to date with the latest developments to ensure that you follow good practice and don't infringe the regulations.

6. Plan how to find and attract candidates

* Start within your organisation. Are there any employees suitable for promotion or re-assignment? Even if you are doubtful, it is important to advertise internally as a courtesy to staff who may wish to apply, and because they may have friends or relations who will be interested in the position.

* Check records of any previous applicants, whether unsolicited or otherwise. Draw on any appropriate contacts. For example, training organisations may be useful, whether you are looking for apprentices or MBAs.

* Decide whether to use the services of a recruitment agency to identify and shortlist candidates for you, weighing the costs incurred, against the time and expertise at your disposal.

* Consider whether e-recruitment techniques, using either a corporate website or an e-recruitment service would be appropriate.

7. Decide where to advertise

If you decide to advertise independently rather than use an agency, think through the options and decide which is most likely to reach the kind of candidates you have in mind:

* local job centre

* local or national press

* specialist publications, such as the magazines of professional bodies or trade associations

* Internet recruitment sites and mailing lists.

Research the costs involved and decide what you can afford.

8. Write the advertisement

Decide if you and/or other staff have the skills and knowledge required to draw up an advert. If your organisation has a personnel department they will probably take on this task, but do ensure that you are involved throughout the process. In the case of a senior post, or if you are recruiting in large numbers, you may wish to hire an advertising agency to draft the advert and place it appropriately. It is preferable to name your organisation in the advert rather than use a box number unless you have particular reasons for secrecy, as a box number could deter some applicants. Ensure that the advert provides the following details clearly and succinctly:

* duties and responsibilities of the job

* qualifications and experience required

* personal qualities sought

* location

* some indication of the salary range

* form of reply you require i.e. a CV and covering letter or completion of an application form

* the deadline for the submission of applications

* whether further information is available and in what form.

It is important to ensure that the advertisement complies with relevant legislation. Bear in mind too, that it will be on public display and ensure that it presents a positive picture of your organisation which will attract candidates.

If you are using an application form, check that it requests all the details you will need to help you assess the candidates. It can also be helpful to ask a colleague to complete the form from the perspective of a candidate to ensure that it is clear. Prepare an information pack to send out to those requesting further information.

9. Draw up a short-list

Decide how many people you wish to interview, probably five or six at the most. Ask other colleagues, including a supervisor or manager, to help you sift through the applications and take their opinions into account. Be as objective as you can, matching the candidates against the requirements you have defined. Look out for any unexplained employment gaps, and assess the quality of presentation and how well the replies are tailored to the specific job.

10. Reply to candidates

Contact those you do not wish to interview as quickly as possible. Treat them courteously, thanking them for their interest in your organisation and the position. You may wish to keep a few candidates in reserve, in case none of those on the shortlist proves suitable. Contact the candidates on the shortlist to check that they are still interested in the job and arrange a date and time for interview. Make sure that you provide directions so that candidates can find you and be clear about whether you are prepared to meet travel expenses.

11. Next steps

The following checklists cover the next stages in the recruitment process:

* Steps in successful selection interviewing

* Organising the induction of new recruits

How not to plan recruitment


* assume you have a vacancy before reviewing the current situation carefully

* skimp on the preparation of an appropriate job description and person specification

* overlook suitable internal candidates

* ignore relevant legislation

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