Recruitment Essentials

Effective recruitment is vital for every business, but it’s a process many companies struggle with.  Here’s a short overview of the essential stages of the recruitment process to help you get started.

1. Defining the job

Before drafting the job description it’s worth spending some time analysing what you want from the role; what the job entails, its purpose, the outputs required by the job holder and how it fits into the organisation’s structure. As well as helping to develop a robust job description, this process may identify opportunities to organise things differently in order to accommodate the work within another role, possibly as an internal development opportunity for an existing member of staff. It will also help you to consider whether the role could be done flexibly and/or whether or not it requires a temporary or permanent solution.

The job description and person specification should provide a clear guide about the requirements of the role and state the necessary and desirable criteria against which you will be assessing candidates. It can also be used to communicate expectations to employees and managers to help ensure effective performance in the job.  Remember that this is your opportunity to sell the benefits of working for your company so think about why an individual would want to work for your business; what makes your business successful and different, and why you are a good company to work for. If you are looking to attract the best talent you need to sell the benefits of working for you.

2. Attracting applications

Recruitment can be a costly process, so it’s worth really considering your options before jumping straight to recruiting externally. You may first want to consider if the skills you are looking for are available within your current workforce . As well as offering a more cost effective solution, staff development and in-work progression can also improve wider employee engagement and retention, so there are additional benefits to going down this route.

If you’re unable to fill the vacancy internally, there are various methods of recruiting externally. Bringing in new staff can also bring wider benefits; new ideas and a fresh perspective, as well as vital knowledge, skills and experience. Bear in mind that there is a growing expectation from candidates that jobs will be advertised online and on social media, so it’s worth considering what channels will best attract the right candidates.

If you need help in reaching a wider audience or support with parts of the recruitment process a recruitment agency could meet this need. Different agencies will have different strengths and specialisms so make sure you find one that is right for you and be clear on how you will measure the return on your investment. Not all recruitment providers charge for their services, so you may be able to access free support. If you’re a business in the Swansea area, the Better Jobs, Better Futures team could provide you with tailored recruitment support free of charge. Get in touch with us to find out more.

3. Managing Applications

Once you’ve decided which recruitment channels you want to use, you’ll need to decide what format you want applications to take and how you’re going to assess candidates’ suitability for the role. For example, you’ll need to consider application forms versus CVs. Both have pros and cons, so there’s really no right or wrong here. A CV gives applicants an opportunity to sell themselves in an unrestricted way but can also provide information that is not relevant to the job description, whereas application forms allow information to be presented in a consistent format for every applicant, and therefore make it easier to collect information from job applicants more systematically. Whichever option you choose, remember that all applications should be treated confidentially and only those involved in the recruitment process should have access to them.

When deciding on selection methods, ensure you allow sufficient time for short listing. Getting this bit of the process right will ensure that the right candidates progress to the next stage and will give you a good insight into the areas you may want to explore at interview. You may want to introduce a written or practical assessment to test out specific skills or competencies relevant to the role, or a group exercise to see how candidates interact with others. Whichever route you choose, be sure to apply the process consistently for all candidates.

4. Making the offer

When you’ve decided on the right candidate and you’re ready to offer them the job, ensure you follow up any verbal offer of employment in writing. Remember to check the applicant’s eligibility to work in the UK and to take up references – most companies do this after the applicant has been given a ‘provisional offer’. When notifying unsuccessful candidates it’s helpful to offer feedback so you’ll need to ensure you’re ready and equipped to provide this if candidates take you up on the offer.


If you would like help with recruitment please contact the team at Better Jobs, Better Futures to discuss how we can assist you. Better Jobs, Better Futures is a fully funded programme that can offer workforce planning and development, a recruitment service tailored to your company and, via access to the wider provision available within Gower College Swansea, a full package of funded and partially funded training courses.