Essential steps for a successful recruitment

Dec 8 2023

Recruitment is more than just a series of transactional activities; it is about creating a great candidate experience, and finding the right person in good time.  With a competitive job market, planning is vital, and making sure you have everything you need before starting to recruit will pay dividends.  The more you invest in planning, the greater chance of attracting and hiring the best candidate.

Below are some important actions to ensure your recruitment is progressed quickly and efficiently:

  1. Create a compelling advertisement. Take a fresh look at the role and focus on the key selling points and what makes the role unique and special. Avoid just listing tasks.  You need to create a description that attracts suitable applicants and reaches as wide a talent pool as possible.
  2. Ensure you actively monitor and maintain the status of applications at each stage of the recruitment process. E.g., shortlisted. Not doing this may provide a negative recruitment experience and impact on your organisation’s reputation. Additionally, it will affect the reliability of reporting for recruitment in your organisation.
  3. Shortlist candidates in good time. Read and score the applications as they come in, rather than waiting for the closing date.
  4. Request all the necessary documents at interview. Ensure copies of the Right to Work and any other documents you require as part of pre-employment checks (i.e. DBS documents, professional registration and qualifications) are obtained at the interview. It can be complicated to organise these afterwards, as some checks require original documents, presented face-to-face.
  5. Check that referees are appropriate during the interview process to avoid having to seek clarification at a later date. 
  6. Act fast on making your job offer.   Check your candidate is happy with the offer being made, and be sure to discuss salary at this stage, to avoid further negotiations down the line.  Ensure that, post offer, you keep in touch with the candidate during the ‘pre-employment check’ process.
  7. Set a realistic timeline. Remind candidates that for pre-employment checks to start, they need to accept the Conditional Offer issued to them.  Each candidate and every pre-employment check is different, so make sure the timeline is realistic for the vacancy. For instance, you should allow a minimum of three weeks for non-'safer recruitment' checks, or four weeks for 'safer recruitment' checks.
  8. Maintain dialogue with your candidate during the pre-employment checking process. Ask the candidate to contact their referees if they are slow to respond.  Keep them engaged on next steps and keep the dialogue going, especially if the checks are taking longer than expected.
  9. Set an appropriate start date. Make sure you provide Shared Services with sufficient notice of a candidate’s start date. Not providing enough notice could impact on our compliance to the Good Work Plan, which states that candidates must receive their contract ahead of their start date, and ultimately could impact on their pay. Before agreeing a start date with your candidate, take a look at our guidance pages to make sure that you are allowing enough time for all hiring steps to be completed before the candidate can start. 
  10. Help the candidate prepare. Let them know that they must complete their actions “New Employee Step” in Success Factors before their start date. Encouraging them to do this promptly will help to speed things up and ensure their Contract of Employment is issued ahead of their start date and where possible (payroll closure dependant) avoid a delay in the candidate being paid their first wages. 
  11. Be ready on their first day. Make sure you have an induction plan in place, set up accounts and order equipment in good time.  Keep the engagement up to make your new recruit feel welcome and part of the team before they start.