The recruitment process is usually the first contact someone will have with your company so always treat potential candidates respectfully to ensure their experience of your business is a positive one, even if they are not successful getting a job with you. They may pass on their good experience to someone who may be your perfect candidate for another position down the line, and reputation counts for a lot.
Recruitment Process & Key Questions to Ask
- A good starting point is to spend time reviewing the key specifications and what desirable and essential skills, knowledge and qualifications you need for the role. Build the questions around what you need to establish from the candidate.
- Ask questions which are non-discriminatory in nature, relevant to the job and concerned only with finding out as much as possible about the skills and experience of the candidate.
- Use mainly open questions which will generate discussion and allow the candidate to describe what they have done in the past. Competency based questions are helpful to enable them to give examples of specific situations, how they acted, what the outcome was and what they learned from it. This will give valuable insight into the person and also can expose untruths.
Methods of Assessment
If several applicants have applied for a position you could do a telephone screening interview first in order to shortlist, this may save some time rather than seeing them all face to face, then follow up with a more detailed face to face interview.
Consider what types of assessments to use. You will almost certainly want an interview to meet the candidate, but would another assessment on top allow them to demonstrate a necessary skill such as a presentation, a quality exercise or a practical test. You may only need this if you have several possible candidates who similarly meet the criteria and you need to look for additional evidence of their skills, or where a skill can only really be demonstrated.
Always be mindful of discrimination risks throughout the whole process, someone can take a company to a tribunal before becoming an employee. The Protected Characteristics are age, disability, sex, gender reassignment, pregnancy, maternity, race (which includes colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins), sexual orientation, religion or belief, marriage and civil partnership.
A common concern in the recruitment process is whether you can ask health related questions, including whether someone has a disability, during interview. In most cases this is a definite NO unless a health related question is necessary to establish whether the applicant can ‘carry out a function that is intrinsic to the work concerned’. Ultimately this could be a judgement that a tribunal will make, so there is a need to be cautious with health related questions.
However there is a necessary exception – you can and should ask pre-interview whether the applicant has a disability which will require adjustments to be made to the interview process. There is a legal requirement to make reasonable adjustments for a disability (as defined under the Equality Act 2010) including at recruitment stage.
Always score the individuals you are interviewing or assessing using the same scale and make notes. As well as later possibly needing to justify why one was selected over another, it also helps as a reminder when you are deliberating during the recruitment process, and keeps you on track with being fair and consistent.
- You can make the offer of employment verbally first and then follow up with an offer letter detailing the main terms, including whether the offer is subject to satisfactory references or any other factors, and whether a probation period applies.
- From 6th April 2020, certain terms and conditions need to be issued before or on the first day of employment.
- After you have found your perfect candidate, its good practice to send rejection letters to those who were unsuccessful. This helps to convey a professional image of your business.
- A good introduction to the business and a thorough induction is essential to help the new employee settle in and understand what is expected of them. If possible, assign them a mentor so they have someone to approach with any queries in the first few weeks, and /or devise an induction or training plan so they meet other members of the team and understand how their role fits within the organisation.