RECRUITMENT - Do It Yourself and Make it Work

Follow this guide and you should find it straightforward.

1 Review your job description

Is it still relevant? Make sure you are working from a job description which is in line with your business today. Finalise it before you start the recruitment process. Don’t be tempted to use the same documentation for the Job Description as you use for the advert. They are separate and completely different documents with different purposes. You will use the JD to manage and train the individual. It forms part of their contract of employment and their performance review process.

2 Ask your Team  

If you already have a good team working for you- ask them to “Refer a Friend” for a reward, if the person stays more than 3 months. Your staff are not likely to introduce someone they believe to be unreliable and untrustworthy. Do interview this person with your other shortlisted candidates.

3 Write Your Advert

Remember - you want to attract lots of people to apply.

Sell the benefits of working for your company, mention any awards you may have won, if you have grown and that is why you are recruiting, if you have free parking, if you have a good holiday allowance, flexible working options MENTION THEM in  the advert. Everyone wants to work for a company that sounds positive and proud of what they do. Make your company seem like a great place to work.

Don’t fill your advert with “Must Haves” keep them to a minimum, remembering that you can train someone to use software etc but you can’t train them to be enthusiastic, a team fit and keen to learn.

4 Place Your Advert

Advertise where people are going to see it, where you are going to attract the most well skilled candidates.

People looking for new jobs look on job sites Like,,,

There are other more specialist job boards for Finance, or Science, or Charity/Third Sector, Engineering, Education etc

People use Linkedin to advertise/search for candidates. Facebook works particularly well if you are in any groups based on shared interest locality etc. People will share an interesting well written advert that makes the job and the company sound like a great place to work.


5 Applicant Management  

Where are you going to direct your applicants to apply? Do you have an info@ email address they could send their CVs to or perhaps you want them to apply to your e-mail address? If not you, then who is going to receive and manage these CVs? Remember you will need to retain all applicant CVs and able to justify your selections and rejections.

Have an email prepared to send the candidates, acknowledging receipt of their CVs.

Have another e-mail prepared for candidates who are not suitable and let them know as soon as possible.


6 Interviews

Set some interview days. Aim to interview all candidates within the same 48 hour period.

Always have someone with you when you are interviewing. Apart from the chaperone element – to protect you from any claims of discrimination or harassment ( it happens!) you will benefit from having someone else taking the interview notes. It will leave you free to really engage with the candidate and fully observe them. You are required to retain interview notes to justify your selection and rejection rationale.

7 Interview Scripts

 Prepare an interview script before the interview so that you know you have asked the same set of questions to each candidate. Keep the questions open, relevant and appropriate. If there are specialist technical skills required, prepare some questions where the candidate can demonstrate their level of technical skill in the area you need. Perhaps some competency questions would be useful to highlight particular strengths. (Interviewing for Sales Jobs does involve a special set of target and KPI based questions)

Here are some appropiate questions you may want to use.

What do you know about our business?

What appealed to you about our job?

Why did you leave your last job?  

What did you do every day? What were you responsible for?

What was your favourite part of that job? What aspect did you enjoy the most?

What software did you use and what for?

What about the job before that?

Can you give me an example of a time when you had conflicting demands on your time and how you managed it?

Can you give me an example of a time when you were not going to meet a deadline – how did you manage that?

Can you give me an example of a time when you received negative feedback on your work? What did you do about it and how did that make you feel?


8 Interview Feedback and Selection

Give all candidates their interview feedback within 48 hours of the interview. You will find it helpful to have their interviews fresh in your mind as you give feedback. You will need to retain your interview feedback e-mails, so that if you are questioned about your reasons for selecting or rejecting candidates you will have that information to hand.  You will need to make sure that they do not get snapped up by another employer. If you think they are an attractive prospective employee – so will another business.


9 Making The Offer

When you make the offer – make it appealing! Phone them in the first instance to make your offer and when they accept, agree to follow up your verbal offer with a written offer.  Let them know you are really pleased to be able to make them the offer, that they did well at the interview, that you were impressed with them and you would love them to accept your offer.

10 Start Date Induction and Probation

On your candidates’ first day have everything ready for them. Make sure you have all the equipment they are going to need. Is their e-mail address set up? Do they need logins?  Make sure that you have someone there assigned to show them around on their first day and take them under their wing during their first week.  They will need to know where to park, where to put their coat, where the fridge is, where the hot drinks are made, toilets etc. They will need to be told about internet usage policy, breaks, eating at desks, use of personal mobiles, how to answer the phone etc.(It is a sensible idea to have these Company policies and Standards included in their offer pack with their offer letter, contract of employment  and Staff Handbook).

You should set their first 3 months probation meetings in their diary so that they know when they will meeting with their manager to discuss their progress training and any concerns they may be having. This is where the job description becomes useful again. You cannot review performance against a non existent set of expectations. In order to make the performance review process effective the employee must have a document to work from.  The new starter can use their JD to help them to gauge their process against what is expected of them.

Of course, they should be encouraged to understand that they can speak to you/their manager at any time about any concerns they have. Make sure that has been written down somewhere for their reference and that their manager reinforces that message as well.

 Performance Review Meetings are ideally at the end of week 1, end of week 2 then after completing the first month, after completing the second month and then finally at their 3 month/12week review to confirm that they have passed their probation.  Let them know as nicely as you can that confirmation of employment following probation is not guaranteed and make sure they strive to be confirmed, not take it for granted.


PS If you choose to work with a professional recruiter then numbers, 3, 4, 5 and 8 will be managed by them.  For a full recruitment service, you can expect to pay between 15 and 20% of the salary offered to the candidate and you will be entitled to a 12 week sliding scale rebate/guarantee in the event of something going wrong and your candidate leaves inside 12 weeks – ask the recruiter for details.

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