Friday, 10 December 2021 09:49

Attracting, Recruiting & Retaining Employees Pt II

Recruitment: Part two of our three-part blog.

Before we dive headlong into part two of our three-part blog, recruitment, it’s worth noting that there is some overlap with the first subject that we covered, attraction. If you’ve done your groundwork, built an employer brand and a reputation as a good company to work for, you don’t want to let yourself down with a shoddy recruitment process. It’s reported that 58% of candidates turn down a job offer due to poor interview and recruitment process.

For most candidates, the first physical interaction with your organisation is likely to be when they apply for a job. You need to make it a good experience from the outset and one that demonstrates your culture and gives candidates a taste of what it will be like to work for you. Make sure that enquiries are dealt with competently, consistently and in a timely fashion. Even those who you’re rejecting should receive a good experience and be dealt with politely and professionally.

Your entire recruitment process should be fair and consistent. Decide upon the format for selection, interviews and shortlisting in advance so that it can be consistently applied. You’re bound to encounter questions about this during the process so knowing it in advance will mean you’re not scrabbling around for answers. For example, will there be psychometric, aptitude and ability tests? How many interview stages will there be? When will a decision be made?

Ensure you have a well written job advert and job description, especially if you’re after certain skills or qualifications. If something is an absolute must have, such as a certain licence or product experience, make that clear. Giving under-qualified potentials the opportunity to de-select themselves at an early stage will save both your time and theirs.

Advertise in the right place for your role and industry. Are there are industry forums, newsletters or job boards you can utilise? For some positions consider that social media might be a good option.

Most job adverts these days tend to ask applicants to submit a CV, and while it’s an opportunity to see how candidates express themselves, there’s no universally agreed format, so consistently gathering information can be challenging. Job application forms may sound like a thing of the past but with modern technology they are easy to administer. You can make them downloadable from your website for example and you could have different forms tailored to different roles.

Not only will you ensure that the information you gather is consistent across all candidates, application forms also enable you to manage your process to ensure best practice and avoid discrimination. The first page might contain information that could cause bias, unconscious or otherwise, but could be withheld from those sifting applications so that applicants are truly filtered by relevant criteria. Even someone’s name might be enough for someone to form an unconscious view that affects selection. Simply numbering all applications and referring to them as such could be a solution here.

Your interview format should receive the same attention as other part of the process; make it fair and consistent but also polished. If you’re interviewing on-site, depending on where your premises are located, it might be appropriate to provide parking, or at least inform candidates where parking is available. However, in the current climate, a first interview of Zoom or Teams could be a good way to garner initial interaction. Remember your company branding however and ensure all interviewers understand the technology.

It goes without saying that asking the right questions and actively listening are crucial for successful interviews. It is important to think about any questions that are key to the role or the industry that you need to ask all delegates. It’s also important to ask open questions, actively listen to answers and to pick up on non-verbal communication.

All interviewers should be familiar with the standards and expectations of the recruitment process and how the scoring works. They should also all be trained on Equality and Diversity.

If you are conducting second interviews, determine those questions on the outcome and responses from the first round. It is good to ask questions that are relevant to your industry and your business but below are some basic questions to consider:

  • What can you tell me about the company?
  • Why do you think you would be successful in this role?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • Name three strengths
  • Name three weaknesses
  • Tell me about a challenge or conflict you’ve faced at work, and how you dealt with it?
  • Tell me about a time you failed.

Don’t be afraid to poke around a CV or application form; ask:

  • Why are you looking for a new role?
  • If there are gaps in a CV, ask why
  • If a candidate is changing careers, why?
  • If there are short periods of time in a role, why?

Don’t overlook legal considerations during the process. Under the Equality Act 2010, an individual does not need to be an employee to put a claim in against you and take you to a tribunal.

  • When using social media ensure that if there are algorithms being used by the site there is no criteria that could be deemed unfair.
  • Consider and ask if candidates would like any reasonable adjustments made during the interview process.
  • Follow a fair, open, and transparent process
  • Keep records
  • Ensure you know the protected characteristics
  • Follow and record a fair ranking system when deciding a candidate is right or wrong for you
  • Is your candidate legally allowed to work in the UK and you have seen physical, official evidence of this?
  • Health questionnaires can only be used once a job offer has been made and accepted
  • References taken must be fair, accurate, true, and confidential - you can be challenged here
  •  Remember a verbal job offer is a binding contract

Recruitment is a complex task that can’t be rushed; processes need to be followed and there are legal aspects that must be considered.

However, it is also a positive time for your business, and it’s a process that should be enjoyed. Recruitment needs to happen because a company is growing, it is successful, or it is developing and there is a need for new skills. These are all good things and you can exploit them to promote your business and attract the right people with the right skills.

Attraction, recruitment and retention will be key themes with our forthcoming one-day seminar on Tuesday 18th January at Worcester Warriors Rugby club. There will be oceans of information from ourselves regarding the full process and how to recruit an inclusive and diverse workforce. We’ll also have a range of key guest speakers to support businesses in fulfilling their recruitment needs. Book your place now. Cost is £50 pp with any profits being donated to charity.

Should Covid restrictions mean we are unable to host a live event, we will switch to an online delivery via Zoom.

For further help, support or advice or to discuss training, call us on 01452 331331 or drop us an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Read 823 times Last modified on Friday, 10 December 2021 10:10


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