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Top 5 tips for BEFORE you start recruiting

Hayley Murfitt, Associate Director

written by Hayley Murfitt, Associate Director

Whether you are recruiting directly or partnering with an agency, we have compiled our top 5 tips before you start recruiting:

1)     Define the role

If this is a new role or a replacement, it is crucial the job description is accurate, detailed and best represents how this role fits into the business and the purpose of it.

The questions to think about here are:

-        Is this a like for like replacement (if applicable), has the job role changed or evolved since the last time the “job description” was used – can the current job holder provide an update on the new responsibilities taken on?

-        If it’s a new role, have the right people been involved in the writing of the job description, have all elements been factored in?

2)     Job title

Is the job title reflective of what the role is? If these are pre-defined and hard to change in your business, then think about at least how the role is advertised, to make sure you do not limit the number of applications you receive by having a job title that is not relatable and one which potential applicants would “search” on job boards for. A good agency partner should be giving you advice on how they will advertise the role to attract the best talent.

3)     Map out the recruitment process and diary management

Having a timeline is (most of the time) a good thing, however, timelines should be moved if you are not getting the right calibre of applicants.

Some points to consider when planning a recruitment process include:

-        How many interview stages are appropriate for the role?

-        How are these going to be conducted? In person or virtually?

-        Who needs to be involved in each stage?

-        Will there be a task, presentation or assessment, what tools/resources do you need?

-        Closing dates for applications?

-        Where are you advertising the vacancy?

One of the big areas that slows down processes, is when time is not blocked out in the hiring team's diaries in advance, so a top tip here would be to block out time for following three areas at the START of the process, where possible:

-        Shortlisting of CV’s

-        First and second stage interviews including time after each for feedback

-        Decision making

Recruitment can be unpredictable, so as with all good plans, be mindful that things can change!

4)     Salary and benefits

It is imperative that before you launch a new role, you have done your homework from a benchmarking perspective to make sure you are at least in line with similar roles in your geographical area. This is something we can help you with. One of the things we often see, is when a company has been advertising themselves or with other agencies and they then approach us to help and at this stage, they could already have been at least 3-4 weeks into the process, before realising they need to expand the search, and it’s this point when we are going through our initial consultative process that discussions around salary come up, typically, the salary and benefits package may not be where it should be to attract the right level of candidates. We would always encourage advertising the salary and benefits in adverts, so it can best represent the whole package on offer and ensure you only get candidates who are in the right salary bracket.

5)     Company culture, employer brand

When you reach the point of advertising, being clear on what your culture and employer brand look like is important because whatever you advertise this as, needs to be reflective of what it actually is.
This is often an underrated part of the process because some may assume that people naturally gravitate to the salary, benefits, and job role, over this.

There is no point having a company description, or lovely “about us” section on your website that is not truly descriptive of who you are – this may pull in candidates – but ultimately if they join, you are at much higher risk of them leaving if the things you promote, are not in place.

Examples would include a buddy system, regular socials, lunch and learns, or most importantly the right training to carry out the job.

Final thoughts

We all know recruiting is time-consuming and we hope you have found the above tips useful for next time you go to recruit that all-important hire!

Whilst advertising directly can often appear to be the more cost-effective option, it is worth considering the time spent on recruitment if someone is doing it in addition to their normal job and most importantly the access and resources a good agency partner will have to local talent.

Here at EA First, we pride ourselves on being consultative in our approach to working with our clients, where they see us as a true recruitment partner and an extension of their HR/TA teams and businesses. We are happy to help with benchmarking, job mapping and defining your recruitment processes as well as providing those all-important insights into the local market and candidate availability.

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