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Outsource your recruitment

When it comes to taking on new staff, it pays to get the recruitment process right first time. Mistakes can be costly and stressful.

Hiring people that are wrong for your organisation or not right for a particular role can lead to high staff turnover, issues with employee morale and significant unnecessary costs.

Recruiting isn’t as simple as bashing out a quick job ad and taking it from there. There are a number of crucial areas you’ll need to think about.

The key to getting it right is careful planning, a clear strategy and a focus on fairness.

Understand what you’re looking for

Before you can write a good job description and attract fitting candidates, you need to have a very clear understanding within your organisation about what kind of skills and experience are required for the role and what the job entails.

Even if you’re replacing someone, it’s a good idea to think this through carefully rather than just looking for an exact replacement. Perhaps your needs have changed or the role needs to be refocused?

Don’t forget to involve other relevant people too, such as the line manager that the new employee will report directly to.

Write an effective job description

Make sure you write a detailed job description and person specification so that you don’t waste time on applicants who aren’t suitable for the role and vice versa.  You should include info such as:

  • the job title
  • the position in the company, including the job title of the person the employee will report to and any staff that will report to them
  • the purpose of the role
  • an overview of the role and a list of the main duties or tasks of the employee
  • the competencies for the role

A person specification is also useful and should outline the knowledge, experience and skills you are looking for and detail which ones are essential and which are desirable. When writing this, remain objective and avoid referring to personal characteristics such as “an outgoing personality” or “a quiet nature”.

You should also take care to avoid being discriminatory, even inadvertently. Never refer to age (that includes terms like “school-leaver” and “recent graduate”) and make sure you don’t specify conditions which could disproportionately affect those with a protected characteristic.

Ensure that the ad you write and design reflects your company well – it should be clear, attractive and free of typos.

The search begins

You need to place your job ad where it will get in front of the most relevant people. Advertising vacancies can be pricey so you’ll want to ensure that you choose wisely and take a strategic, rather than scattergun, approach.

Don’t forget about social media connections, networks and contacts as well as traditional channels such as newspapers and job sites.


Jobs are getting more applicants all the time and you need a system to help you identify who to interview. You need to whittle the mass of CVs and application forms down to only those that you have time to interview.

Before you can make a shortlist it pays to define what the criteria will be for this, based on your job description and person specification. For example, you could begin by assessing which candidates meet all the essential criteria and work from there. If you still have too many, start to assess those candidates against the desirable qualities and then against their overall application. Just make sure you’re consistent in assessing the applications.

Be aware that you must not discriminate against applicants on the grounds of sex, race, age, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief.


Although face-to-face interviews are the most common way to select candidates, some companies also use methods such as phone interviews and group interviews and these techniques can also be used to narrow down which candidates you’ll interview one to one.

You’ll want to make sure there is a quiet, comfortable place to carry out the interviews and that you have prepared well in advance.

Put together a set of questions based on each candidate’s application and the job in question. You may want more than one person to be included in the interview for fairness and a different perspective – if so, decide in advance how you’ll divide up the questions.

It is essential that you are aware of the types of questions that could breach discrimination laws in an interview. For example, you can’t ask about issues such as a person’s marital status, sexuality or religion. You also can’t ask about things such as whether someone has children or is planning to. Stick to the job and stay away from anything personal.

To encourage the candidate to open up, ask open-ended questions rather than yes/no ones and don’t forget to introduce the company and yourself to set them as ease.

You should make notes in the interview, based on the questions and answers. These notes should be based on fact, not your opinion or impressions of the candidate and their comments. Should there be any comeback, remember that these notes could have to be presented at an employment tribunal.

To help you make your final selection it’s a good idea to collect references from former employers and to gather any relevant criminal records checks and medicals.

Welcoming new employees

It’s good practice to design an effective induction programme for new employees and at the very least plan well for their arrival. Starting their first day with no email and no one having time to show them round is not a good welcome for new starters.

An induction should cover rules, regulations, health and safety and other policies as well as what’s expected of the employee in relation to behaviour and performance.

As you can see there are a wide range of issues to consider when recruiting new staff. At FitzgeraldHR, we can help you make sure you get recruitment right the first time by offering some or all of the following support:

Recruitment outsourcing company

Sometimes it helps to pass all of the above to a recruitment outsourcing company to save you time. We can provide as little or as much help as you need and if you don’t have an HR department, we can even sit on your interview panel with you, providing you with an expert opinion and peace of mind when you make your selection decision.

Whether you’d like to outsource all your recruitment or just one job, give us a call on 01271 859 267 or email office@fitzgeraldHR.co.uk to see how we can help.