An overview of the main stages in good practice recruitment and selection
Ensure you are aware of relevant legislation and the latest legal position on issues such as discrimination and the need to treat candidates fairly – as well as asylum and immigration rules, data protection, and employing those with criminal records and anyone who will be working with children or vulnerable adults. Take advice from HR or legal professionals.
Make sure you have thought through the content and purpose of the job as well as the output required by the job holder and how it fits into the team structure. It is also important to consider the skills and personal attributes needed to perform the role effectively.
Tip look at the IOG job descriptions available for IOG members online or look at job adverts and job descriptions for similar roles.
Applicants (and an agency if you are using one) will require a job description to see what the role involves and if they are suitable. Its content will also help to put together the job advert and employment contract, and will be the basis for your assessment during interview. Following the structured criteria of the job description will prevent subjectivity coming into the decision making process.
Person specification/job profile
A person specification or job profile states the necessary and desirable criteria for selection. Increasingly such specifications are based on competencies necessary for the performance of the job. In general, specifications should include details of:
• Skills, aptitude, knowledge and experience.
• Qualifications (which should be only those necessary to do the job - unless candidates are recruited on the basis of future potential, for example graduates).
• Personal qualities relevant to the job, such as ability to work as part of a team.
The person specification/job profile can be used to help shortlist applicants.
Tip don’t forget to start from within. Providing opportunities for development and career progression increases employee retention.
There are many ways of attracting external candidates including adverts in trade press and websites, newspapers or on your organisation’s websites. You could also build links with local colleges, working with the job centre and hold open days.
Tipcreate a pool of future potential employees from promising applications in response to adverts or any
ad-hoc CVs received. You can also try engaging with suitable candidates on social networking sites such as Facebook and Second Life. As unconventional as this may sound, more progressive companies are using this as a preferred route to traditional advertising.
If you are paying to advertise your vacancies, make sure
you get value for money by ensuring the advert clearly
outlines the requirements of the job, necessary and desirable criteria, about the organisation, location and package, job tenure (contract, full time, part time) and details of how to apply.
If you decide to recruit via an agency ensure you undertake the following:
• Look at what agencies are available and ensure they understand your market.
• Be clear about what is required and provide a clear and accurate brief in writing.
• Provide an up-to-date job description.
• Agree, in writing, the responsibilities of the agency and the organisation during the process.
• Agree the selection tools to be used and the criteria against which applicants will be selected from the initial approaches, to the shortlist stage.
• Ensure equal opportunities standards are adhered to consistently and are in line with the requirements for in-house recruitment.
Managing the application process
There are two ways of receiving job applications - either by CV or a standard application form issued to all applicants.
Application forms allow for information to be presented in a consistent format, and therefore make it easier to collect information from job applicants in a systematic way and assess objectively the candidate’s suitability for the job.
Application forms should:
• Use clear language.
• Be piloted for readability and ease of completion.
• Be realistic and appropriate to the level of the job.
• Not request detailed personal information unless relevant to the job.
• State the procedure for taking up references, how these will be used and at what stage in the recruitment process they will be taken.
• Be accompanied by details of the job and clear information about the application and selection procedure.
• Enable you to draw up a shortlist.
• Provide a source of information to draw on in the interview.
• Help track how applicants found out about the position – to enable a review of the effectiveness of recruitment methods.
• Provide a store of information about good but unsuccessful candidates that can be filed (either in hard copy or electronically) for future use.
The advantage of CVs is that they give candidates the opportunity to sell themselves in their own way and don’t restrict fitting information into boxes, which often happens on application forms. However, CVs make it possible for candidates to include lots of additional, irrelevant material which may make them harder to assess consistently.
Remember - all applications should be treated confidentially and circulated only to those individuals involved in the recruitment process.
Tipacknowledge all applications, formal or speculative, successful or not. This is good practice and presents a positive image of the organisation. Increasingly candidates are being treated as customers – a bad recruitment experience will fail to entice talented individuals into the organisation and is likely to damage the employer brand.
Selecting candidates involves two main processes: shortlisting and assessing applicants to decide who should be offered a job.
Selection decisions should be made after using a range of tools appropriate to the time and resources available. Care
should be taken to use techniques which are relevant to the job and could include psychometric testing, written tests (financial management, theoretical knowledge of the subject, computer literacy) or practical tests. All tools used should be regularly reviewed to ensure their fairness and reliability.
Making the appointment
As the employer it is your responsibility to check that applicants have the right to work in the UK, and to see and take copies of relevant documentation - a list of acceptable documents demonstrating the right to work in the UK is available from the Home Office website at www.homeoffice.gov.uk
• Ensure a good induction for the new employee.
• Always obtain a reference to cross check factual information - do not ask for subjective views e.g. likely future performance.
• You may request for a health questionnaire to be completed; however any particular physical or medical requirement should be made clear in the job advert and recruitment literature. Ensure any decisions made in relation to this observe the Disability Discrimination Act (www.direct.gov.uk
• Advise and feedback to unsuccessful candidates in writing, as soon as possible.