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Darren Jones

6 Steps to Stress Free Recruitment

Recruiting can be a daunting and sometimes stressful experience. This 6-part guide will help support small businesses through each stage of the hiring and onboarding process. Following it will help you hire with confidence and remove unnecessary stress from the process.


We have produced a FREE one-pager that summarises each step you need to take throughout the hiring and onboarding process. Get in touch if you would like a copy.


Part 1: Defining the Role

Write a person specification. This important step is often overlooked by new and even experience employers. Think hard about the kind of person you need in the role you will be advertising. List the key skills required to do the job, the experience needed, the personal attributes, and the behaviours you expect.

Write a job description. Start with a blank canvas, and don’t be tempted to copy and paste from Google. Give good thought to the role and where it fits within your business. Identify the main duties and responsibilities of the role, and the key tasks performed. Specify the objective and outputs of the role.

Define your employment brand: What type of candidate are you looking to attract to your business. What do they think of your business when they see you job advert or website? Do these things tell the story about your company culture, your ethos, and your values?

Watch this short video summary about defining the role.


Part 2: Attracting Applicants

Promote your employment brand: Ensure you tell a positive story about your business. Let candidates see your personality and your company culture. Shout about any great community or charity work you do.

Writing an appealing advert: Tell a positive story about your company and the job that you are advertising. Sharing your company values and culture is more likely to attract the right candidates to your business. Use details from the job description and person specification to give an accurate picture of the role itself.

Avoid discriminatory language: Familiarise yourself with the nine protected characteristics of the Equality Act, that protects everyone in Britain; to avoid direct or indirect discrimination.

Advertising in the right place: Where do your ideal candidates hang out and spend their social time. It’s no good advertising on LinkedIn for non-professional roles, where people are likely to spend most of their time and Facebook and Instagram. Market leaders in UK are online sites such as Indeed, Glassdoor, and CV Library; featuring millions of jobs across all sectors, with powerful search capability.

Watch this short video summary about attracting applicants.


Part 3: Selection

Sift CVs to shortlist for interview: Use the information previously created in the person specification and job description to create clear and consistent selection criteria, scoring applicants again this.

Create interview questions and exercises: Your person specification and job description will come in handy again when you create the questions to ask candidates at interview. 6-8 questions will be sufficient. Ensure you interview all candidates for the same role using the same process and questions; and score and record outcomes consistently.

Think diversity and avoid discrimination: Treat all candidates fairly and with respect, be consistent and keep good records. Throughout the hiring process think diversity. Try to assess different candidates with different background, as they will bring new ideas and perspectives to your business.

Confirm identity and right to work: It is critical that you see physical proof of a candidates right to work documentation BEFORE you conduct an interview. Take a photocopy and retain on file for future reference. If in doubt, see the government guidelines at Gov.UK

Watch this short video summary about the selection process.


Part 4: Make the Appointment

Making a verbal offer: Choose you preferred candidate from the interview and selection processes and make them a verbal offer. Follow this up in writing with a job offer letter. It is also good practice to include an equality & monitoring form at this stage.

Conduct pre-employment checks: When the offer is accepted you can start your pre-employment checks. There are a variety of checks to make depending on the role and any legislative requirements relating to it.

Issue contract: Once the offer has been accepted you can create the ‘written statement of employment particulars’; commonly known as the ‘contract’. It is a legal requirement to ensure new employees receive this on or before day 1 of employment.

Watch this short video summary about making the appointment.


Part 5: Induction

Create induction plan: Ahead of your new employee starting, give thought to how you can create an amazing induction experience. First impressions really do count. How can you make the whole welcome and induction experience a really special one?

Create a robust induction plan for day 1, week 1, month, and beyond. Ensure it covers all critical and complimentary training, support, and communication throughout the entire period.

Create time in the first few days to help your new employee develop a deep understanding of you, your business, its culture, values, and purpose.

Issue the Employee Handbook: It is important to issue the employee handbook (or associated policies) BEFORE the 8th week of employment. But the earlier the better as this document defines how your company will deal with certain processes required by the Employment Rights Act (1996).

Watch this short video summary about induction.


Part 6: Probation

Your employee’s probation period will vary depending on what you have specified in their contract of employment and is typically between 3-6 months.

Create a good structure of training and support throughout this period and ensure regular communication. Focus on celebrating progress and supporting with training and development opportunities.

Conduct informal monthly reviews and keep a record of the conversations that have taken place. If you have any doubts regarding the capability or conduct of the employee, consider expending the probationary period. It is important to follow good process and take advice if unsure.

Watch this short video summary about probation.


if you need help

Instinct HR have all of the tools, templates, and most importantly the experience to support and guide you on this journey.

Please do get in touch if you would like a free consultation to understand what support you may need.

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