Blog » The recruitment process – what you need to know

The recruitment process – what you need to know

2nd September 2019

The recruitment process can be tough and you may be unsure where to start in your recruitment efforts. So, to help, we’ve teamed up with the CIPD to answer all your burning recruitment questions.

Here’s everything you need to know about the recruitment process.

The recruitment process

Effective recruitment involves ensuring that the organisation has the right people for its current and future needs. Here we look at some of the key stages of the recruitment process that your organisation should undertake before making any job offer.

Defining the role

The starting point of defining any role is preparing a job analysis. Information about the job can be gathered from a variety of sources. You’ll need to think about a range of things including the job’s purpose, the duties involved, how and where it can be carried out and whether it can be done flexibly, the outputs required by the job holder and how it fits into the structure of your organisation.

All of this will form the basis of a job description and a person specification.

The job description outlines the requirements of the job, providing a clear overview of the role. This will be used to inform both potential candidates and the recruiter and can also be used to help with performance and objectives once in the role.

The person specification outlines both the necessary and desirable criteria for selection. Characteristics should be clear and verifiable and should avoid bias to ensure that you get the best person for the job.

Attracting the right candidate

There are many ways to generate interest from potential candidates and using a combination of these will help you to widen your talent pool and attract a more diverse workforce.

Some of the most common ways include advertising in the local press, using the employer’s website, advertising on commercial job boards, using recruitment agencies or using social media and professional networking sites such as LinkedIn.

Many organisations also operate an employee referral scheme, offering an incentive to employees who recommend their employer to their friends or contacts.

However, it’s important not to forget your internal talent pool. Providing opportunities for development and career progression can aid retention and support succession planning.

Managing the application process

Increasingly, organisations are using ‘name blind’ application processes to address potential discrimination in the first stage of the selection process.

You’ll need to decide whether you would prefer applications to be made via an application form or a CV and covering letter. Some organisations also allow candidates to apply using their LinkedIn profile.

Application forms allow for information to be presented in a consistent format which makes it easier to collect relevant information from job applicants and then assess each applicant’s suitability for the position.

Using CVs or LinkedIn profiles is much less restrictive however they will vary in format and are likely to include surplus material which undermines a consistent assessment.

Selecting the right candidate

There are two key stages involved in selecting candidates: shortlisting applicants who have the essential skills to proceed to the assessment stage and assessing the shortlisted candidates to determine who is most suitable for the role.

It’s best to use insights from several methods in the selection process, and everyone involved should have the necessary skills and should be briefed to understand the role and its requirements.

Interviews are widely used in the selection process, giving employers the opportunity to gauge the candidates’ experience, explain the employee value proposition and give the candidate a positive impression of the organisation.

For candidates, the interview gives them the opportunity to understand the job and its responsibilities, find out about the organisation and decide whether they would like to take the job if offered it.

The use of psychometric testing has become an important part of the selection process, and evidence suggests that standardised tests or tests of cognitive ability can be good predictors of job performance, although test results should never be the sole basis for a decision.

The third option is using assessment centres, where candidates are required to complete several different tasks relating to the person specification and the role they are applying for. For example, they could be asked to deliver a report or presentation or get involved in problem solving, group discussions, simulations of business activity or functional role-play.

Using a combination of the above should ensure that you create a fair selection process, which will help you to find the best person for the role.

Want to know more? Find out more from the CIPD here.

What’s happening next month?

Next month’s topic is contracts of employment. Do you need to know what should be included in a contract? What is a valid contract? Or are contracts even necessary? We’re here to answer all your questions.

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