The recruitment process can be a lengthy one, even for a small business. From establishing what you want from the role to finding someone who can do it, there’s a fair bit of work involved.

This guide will talk you each of the stages of recruitment, and explain exactly what you need to do so that every step becomes a little bit simpler.

The recruitment process

So first up, you need to understand what the recruitment process consists of. While it’s different for every business, the following 5 steps generally cover the recruitment process.

  1. Define the job role
  2. Build a profile of the sort of person you think would be perfect for this role
  3. Advertise the role and attract applicants
  4. Shortlisting for the best applicant
  5. Interviewing and choosing an employee

Following this sort of recruitment process will make sure you’re efficient and fair. We’ll explain each in more detail below.

Defining the role

The first step in the recruitment process is to define the role. The aim of defining the role is to understand work out what this new job will involve. This will help you create the full job description.

To define the role, you should identify:

  • The overall purpose of the job, ideally in one sentence.
  • The main tasks, duties and areas they’ll have to report on. Basically, what you want them to do on a daily basis, and the results you want to see from them.
  • What the new employee will be responsible for – whether that’s specific equipment, key business areas, or other employees.
  • Who they’ll report to, and whether anyone will report to them.
  • Any other information like the wage bracket, number of hours, where the job is based, and the length of the contract (full-time, part-time etc.)

Remember, this is just an overview of the job itself. How you’ll assess someone’s suitability for this job comes next.

Building a personal profile

The personal profile is a mix of what you need and what you want from the person who’ll fill your job role. So, for example if your job description involves a lot of computers, you’d look for someone who’s proficient in IT.

Some things to consider when building your personal profile:

  • Do they need any specific skills or knowledge to do this job? Split your list according to which skills are essential and which are just desirable. You can also work out which of these skills you can afford to teach on the job, and which your employee needs to know before they start.
  • Decide on the level of experience you need. Some jobs will benefit from practical experience more than formal qualifications. Remember this experience can come from out-of-work activities, like hobbies and volunteering.
  • Are there any specific criteria need to perform this job, such as a driving licence?

You can find out what the skill gaps are in your current team by running reports, like the ones available in KashFlow HR.

When building a personal profile, remember that it’s illegal to discriminate based on age, gender, race, nationality, religion, sexuality or disability.

Advertise the role and attract applicants

Your job descriptions and personal profile can now form the basis of your job advert. This has to perform two key roles:

  • Clearly explain what the job is, and what is required from successful applicants – the more specific the advert, the better quality applicants you’ll have.
  • Sell your company! Remember, this might be the first time they’ve heard about you, so make sure you’re making a good impression.

There are a number of ways to advertise your new job role:

  • Recruitment websites like Monster and Reed are a great place to start
  • Jobcentre Plus will advertise vacancies and refer applicants for free
  • Local newspapers or can help find local people
  • Trade journals are useful for finding applicants in your industry
  • You could also ask friends or peers for recommendations

Shortlisting for the best applicant

So, now you’ve got lots of great candidates to sort through. The next question is how to find the best one.

Start by creating a checklist of everything you consider essential and desirable for the job – including skills and experience. Then compare the CVs or applications you’ve received to this checklist and see who meets the most criteria.

How they meet these criteria is up to you, but you can consider certifications or qualifications, past experience and achievements, or ask for references. You could even set a pre-interview test, if applicable to the job.

Add the best-suited applicants to a shortlist of who to interview, and think carefully about including anyone that doesn’t meet your essential criteria.

You may need someone to help you make this decision, so consider asking a colleague or professional advisor to help. Doing so will also help remove any personal bias towards or against candidates and encourage critical thinking about each applicant.

The next step is to invite those on your shortlist to an interview.

Conducting a job interview

One of the best ways to decide on the best applicant from your shortlist is to conduct a job interview. To conduct a successful job interview first time, follow these steps:

  1. Before you go in, make sure you know what you want from your future employee. Have a clear vision of which business issues you need them to resolve, and treat this interview as a chance for them show you how they’d do it.
  2. Work through their CV beforehand and create personalised questions. Ask more about their achievements, why they accepted and left previous jobs, what they want from a career. This’ll help the interview feel like more of a natural conversation and add some detail to their application.
  3. Ask follow up questions to keep the conversation flowing and learn more. This can help you establish the candidate’s actual role in any past achievements they’ve mentioned, and better establish what they consider a success and why.
  4. Don’t be afraid to throw some hypothetical scenarios into the interview – it’s a great way to see how quick-thinking (or how much of an in-depth expert) your candidate is.
  5. Give the candidate time to ask lots of questions. This’ll give them a chance to find out more about your company and answer honestly. If your honest answers appeal to the candidate, then they’re more likely to be a better fit.
  6. Ultimately, it’s really important to make sure the candidate is the right cultural fit for your company. If they don’t have the right personality or interpersonal skills, or even the right level of drive or ambition, then you’ll struggle to work with them.

At the end of the interview, let each candidate know what the next steps are – namely when and how you’ll be in touch.

You should get back in touch with to everyone you interview, even if they’re unsuccessful. Beyond it being good manners, failing to follow up will create a bad impression of your company – one which candidates will more than likely to share with others. This’ll harm your reputation and may discourage strong candidates from applying for future roles.

You may have to go through a few round of interviews to find the right candidate – depending on the number of applications and your

And as for your successful candidate? You need to hire them.

The hiring process

Assuming your chosen candidate accepts the job (and why wouldn’t they? You’re awesome), you’ve got a couple more steps left.

First up, you need to negotiate the start date and salary. These negotiations may also cover paid time off, severance pay, remote working arrangements and other fields. You’ll have to be flexible, particularly if you’re candidate is coming from a job with a better arrangement (e.g. more paid holiday than you’re currently offering).

You’ll have to add the employee to your payroll, taking care to enter the correct tax information, bank details, and opening balances (if they’re joining halfway through a tax year). To get all that done in a couple of clicks, we’d recommend you take a quick look at KashFlow Payroll.

What happens on their first day will depend on the size and sort of business you have, but in every case make sure you introduce the new employee to their colleagues, take time to familiarise them with you company handbook (if you haven’t already).

And that, in a nutshell, is the recruitment and hiring process!

For advice on how to keep your employee happy and make sure you’re ticking all the compliance boxes at every stage, explore the KashFlow website and blog.

And to cut down all the admin that comes with hiring and keeping a new employee, try KashFlow HR! You can get a free 14 day trial by clicking on this link:

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