An effective and efficient workforce is key to the success of any business and is reliant on having the right people with the necessary skills and experience to carry out the required tasks. Recruitment is the first step to determine if prospective candidates are suited to the organisational culture and have the correct aptitude for the role. The recruitment, selection and induction process is a significant investment for employers and the cost of replacing an employee is estimated to be around £30,000, with a considerable amount of this being due to the loss of productivity (ACAS, 2017). One of the key goals of any business should be to attract and retain the best employees and having a strong recruitment process in place will facilitate this. The following areas should be taken into consideration during the recruitment process:
- Accurately assess staffing needs
It is essential to carefully consider what the requirements of the job are and the type of person with the skill set required to fulfil the role. At this stage employers should consider current roles and the allocation of work, this will determine if the tasks required can be distributed among existing employees or if recruitment needs to take place.
Reorganisation is also an option, if the role is a promoted position current employees should be considered, this will allow you to develop existing employees and significantly reduce recruitment costs.
- Attract the correct applicants
The job description, person specification & application form should be designed to attract the desired candidates. The person specification should detail the ideal person for the job and, for the purposes of avoiding discrimination, this should largely focus on skills, experience, attributes and personal qualities.
Salary benchmarking should be carried out by the employer and a competitive rate offered. The salary should always be included on the job advert, even where this is dependent on experience, the salary band should be incorporated. It had been found that omitting the salary details can reduce the application rate by as much as 50% (Smart Recruit Online, 2015).
The method used to advertising the role also has an impact on the applications received. Advertising on generic online job boards can generate a large number of applicants, however these may not be appropriate for the role. The majority of industries have sector specific advertising platforms and although a fee is involved, this allows the advert to reach a large targeted audience.
- Selecting candidates for interview
The application form will allow you to gather the information required to filter out unsuitable candidates. When sifting through the applications it is important to refer back to the person specification and job description, this will allow you to remain focused on selecting the best applicants for interview.
- Interviewing and pinpointing the best candidate
When interviewing applicants it is important that the interviewer’s personal opinions or bias does not cloud their judgement of candidates. The interviewer should focus on the requirements of the job and the extent to which the applicant’s background matches these. Information should be obtained through open questioning on matters such as the applicant’s experience, skills, abilities, strengths and weaknesses (Xpert HR, 2017). Competency based questions are often the best way to identify candidates strengths and previous experiences.
It is essential that discriminatory questions are avoided, even where these are unintentional they will be viewed by an employment tribunal as discriminatory. For example any questions involving marital status, childcare arrangements, family commitments or relating to the candidates age would be considered discriminatory.
- Offering the candidate the job
When the most suitable candidate has been selected a job offer letter should be sent, at this stage the employer is on the verge of entering into an employment contract which is legally binding, they must, therefore, make it clear in the letter if this offer is conditional or unconditional.
The employer should ensure that they have definitively decided on the candidate before extending the offer. In a recent employment tribunal case, a candidate was verbally offered a position which he accepted, following this the employer then withdrew the offer. The employment tribunal decided that as the offer had been verbally accepted the candidate and the employer has entered into a contract of employment. As a result, the claimant was awarded damages of one month’s salary of £2,708, which the tribunal determined would be commensurate to a reasonable notice period (Xpert HR, 2017). In light of this it is evident that an offer of employment should not be extended, unless the business are certain they would like to offer the candidate the position.
- Consider funding options
As the costs of recruitment are considerable it can be worthwhile to consider different funding options. Government bodies offer several different options in relation to funding, for example, “Scotland’s Employer Recruitment Incentive” offers funding to cover the initial cost of recruiting a young unemployed person (Skills Development Scotland, 2017).
If we can help you with recruiting or any other HR issue, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our HR Team at HR Services Scotland Ltd on 0800 652 2610. We have excellent relationships with local employment funders and often the cost of our recruitment service more than pays for itself, taking away all the pre-screening, employment checks, CV and application form sifting and initial interview stages, allowing you to focus on running your business and interviewing only the most suitable candidates at final stage.