How to Recruit Effectively

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Getting your recruitment process right is important for various reasons, not only to ensure you select the right candidate but also to ensure that you are abiding by the law. This article will address the job itself, attracting the right candidate, the job advertising processes, interviews and the offer.

The Job Description

When you are developing a job description for a role make sure it’s an attractive prospect. Think about offering a greater variety of tasks, training and development opportunities and even possible flexible working arrangements. Clarify all the requirements of the role in a concise way and include whether the role is permanent, fixed term etc. so there are no surprises at the interview stage. Ensure the description details the purpose of the role, the tasks and responsibilities of the job. It’s important the job description is as accurate as possible so once the successful candidate starts, the expectations from both sides are crystal clear. You want to avoid a new employee leaving soon after joining because the job that was ‘sold to them’ is not actually the job they have been hired in to.


Describe the knowledge, skills and aptitudes which you believe are essential and desirable for the role. During the interview you can use these criteria to construct interview questions for the candidates. However, be careful your requirements do not discriminate someone with a protected characteristic.

Advertising the Job

Think about which method suits your business the most. There are so many online job boards (e.g. Indeed, Reed etc.), some are even industry specific so it can help you target the right candidates. However be aware online job boards have a wide reach so you may be inundated with lots of applications to review. Social media is another potential source of candidates. Posting on LinkedIn, Facebook or a Twitter Feed can help by getting your followers to share the job with their own personal network. Encouraging your colleagues and staff to share the job advert to their networks is a really effective and free way of getting the role out there.


Outsourcing a recruitment to Harwood HR is a great way to avoid the inevitable recruitment administration that comes with recruiting. We can assist with recruitment by; writing an effective job advert with you, placing the job on a variety of job sites, conducting the initial screening / shortlisting of candidates (including conducting phone interviews) and then at the end of the recruitment process assisting with offers and regretting the unsuccessful candidates. Unlike recruitment agencies Harwood HR provide recruitment services for a fixed fee package from £600 per role (including recruitment advertising costs). For more details please see our website

Application Process

The application process should be suitable for the role. Think about what tests you may wish to use (if any), are you happy to consider a CV and cover letter or is there anything else you want the candidates to complete? Do you have any minimum requirements, if so, how can you incorporate those into your application process? Try and keep the application process simple and straight forward otherwise you may put candidates off applying for the role.


Screening the applications is essential in any successful recruitment process. Ensuring they are reviewed without bias is very important. Many businesses choose to use technology when assessing candidates as it removes this potential risk. As you progress through the process keep your candidates up to date with the status of their application. A common mistake made when recruiting new staff is the length of time to make a decision on the preferred candidate by which time they have accepted another position. You want to avoid missing out on top talent but also help the candidate feel valued.

The Interviews

The job interview is a chance to piece together what information you already know to determine whether the candidate is really qualified for the job. It’s not just the questions you ask that are important but also the way in which you conduct the interview. Interviews are not always easy and so using best practice employer interview techniques, here are some handy tips to help you find the right candidate.


Invest time in planning your interview questions and techniques. Questions don’t need to be difficult but planning these in advance is important. A mix of competency or behavioural questions can provide additional insights into a candidates initiative, problem solving skills and how they work with others.


Explain to the candidate how the interview will run. Include the timeframe, who they will be meeting with, topics you might be covering etc. You may wish to start the interview by explaining how the role has come up, information about the business etc. You want to eliminate any surprises during the interview.


Be prepared. Always read through the CV and any application materials before the interview. You will avoid asking questions that may already be detailed in their application and makes sure anything you are unsure about is covered.


Listen to the candidate. It may be an idea to take brief notes as they are talking so you can remind yourself when you come to assess the candidates later on.


Body language. Take note of the candidate’s body language. Do they appear to be engaged in the interview? Do they look like they want to be there? Are they making eye contact?


The conversation. Keep the conversation focused on the role, you need to be mindful you’re hiring the candidate because they have the best skills and experience not just because you like them as a person.


The process. At the end of the interview explain what the next steps are and when they will receive a response from you. It is also worth explaining what the next steps are so the candidate is prepped.

The Offer

Once you have interviewed all the candidates and completed the interview process you will need to notify the successful candidate. Carrying out all the necessary background checks is a vital step in the recruitment process. You will need to send the candidate an offer letter detailing the job title, any conditions relating to the offer, the particulars, the start date and any probation period. The candidate will need to either accept or decline. If the letter is to be the employment contract or form part of it then you need to be clear about this and include the main terms and conditions.


All employees should be given a written statement setting out the main particulars of their employment ahead of the start date. Remember from 6 April 2020, the right to a statement of particulars will be extended to all workers as well as employees.

Harwood HR – HR Consultants providing HR Outsourced and recruitment services to SME’s in Bristol and surrounding areas for over 10 years. We provide clear, cost effective HR advice. For a free consultation, please contact us on:


0117 907 4769 or

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