Recruitment – hints and tips for a successful campaign

A business’ workforce is it’s greatest asset and this puts pressure on managers to make sure they have the right people in the right jobs.  So what happens when a manager identifies a gap in their workforce? It’s time to recruit!

Once managers have identified a need to recruit there are many questions to be answered; what are the tasks of the role? Is the job likely to be temporary/permanent? Could it be done part time/full time? If there is no one available internally to complete the tasks, then there is a need to recruit externally.

Having an accurate and up to date job description and person specification for the vacancy is an important first this will help managers write an effective job advert.

The job description should include the job title and position within the business and who it it accountable to, location, key tasks and responsibilities, qualifications required, an indication of the type of person the role would suit and any information on salary/benefits. It should give potential applications a good idea of what they would be doing, should they be appointed the role.

A person specification details the ideal skills and characteristics of the person for the role, divided into a list of ‘essentials’ and ‘desirables’.  Managers could include relevant qualifications, previous training or certificates.  The person specification may also include personal qualities such as being able to work in a team, or being self-motivated.  It is important to keep the person specification relevant to the job and remember that the Equality Act prohibits discrimination on grounds of race, sex, disability, sexual orientation and religion or belief.  It is not advisable to ask for a certain number of years experience as you could miss out on excellent candidates if they fall short of the length of experience asked for.  In addition, by specifying a certain number of years experience managers are also at risk of indirectly discriminating people.

Once managers have the job description and person specification, it’s time to write the job advert! Although the aim of the advert is to attract applicants, it is important not to embellish or exaggerate to attract applicants as this runs the risk of hiring applicants who are unsuitable, or become unhappy in the role – this can lead to increased staff turnover and ultimately cost the business. The job advert should include the job title and outline the key tasks and responsibilities of the role, the company name and brief overview of what the company does, the location, any role specific qualifications required, any key personal qualities required, salary and benefits, how to and to whom to apply and specify a closing date for applications.

Once the advert is written, managers need to consider where to advertise the position ensuring that the advert will be seen by the most suitable potential applicants. For example, it is unlikely to be effective to post an advert for an engineering role in a marketing magazine. You could consider advertising via the Job Centre, recruitment agencies, local and or national newspapers, subject specific magazines, social media or even schools or colleges.

Consideration also needs to be given to how applicants should apply for the job and this should be made clear in the job advert.  Are they to email a CV? Complete an application form? Write a letter of application?  There are pros and cons to each method, depending on the type of role which is being recruited. An application form allows you to obtain specific information from applicants, but it is important to remember to only ask for information specific to the job for which they are applying. For a more creative role, a letter of application may give applicants a better way to demonstrate their skills and experience.

By following this process, managers will have optimised the chances of their job advert reaching the most suitable applicants for the role.  The manager’s work is not yet done however, as following the successful recruitment campaign – it will be time for selection and to make sure the best candidate is chosen for the role! Keep an eye out for a future post with hints and tips on the selection process.

About Debbie Pepler