10 top tips for recruiting the best candidate

  1. Be clear what the role is – this will inform what knowledge, skills, behaviours and experience you will need which will, in turn, inform where you are going to find them and what to include in your advert to appeal to them
  2. Recruit for attitude, train for skills. Identify the behaviours that are important for the role and the organisation and use them as your key selection criteria. You can train the technical knowledge for the job but it’s much harder (possibly impossible) to train different behaviours.
  3. Use competency-based questions over hypothetical and thinking questions when interviewing. Hypothetical and thinking questions only test a candidate’s knowledge of what they might do in certain situations. Competency-based questions assess what a candidate has actually done and the results actually achieved.
  4. It’s not all about the interview. The more selection methods you use, the more robust your process will be. But be appropriate for the nature of the role – too many tests will put off some candidates. Consider use of presentations, psychometric tests, work simulations and work trials where they are appropriate to assess your selection criteria.
  5. You don’t have to recruit the best candidate on paper but you do have to justify (for a non-discriminatory reason) why you preferred another candidate. This will be your defence if you subsequently receive a discrimination claim.
  6. Know some basic employment law – National Minimum Wage, Working Time Regulations, Data Protection Act and the Equality Act all come into the recruitment and selection process. Invest in some training to keep your recruitment and selection processes compliant and keep your focus on the business rather than defending complaints.
  7. Keep notes from your selection processes, e.g. a shortlisting grid, interview notes. You will need to refer back to these if a candidate wants feedback or you receive a complaint about the fairness of your decision making. Make sure your interview notes are a verbatim record of the candidate response rather than your opinion on their response.
  8. Keep the process swift or you will lose your best candidate to another recruiter.
  9. The candidates are assessing the employer so make sure you create a good, but realistic impression of what it’s like to work in your organisation. Keep on time and present yourself well.
  10. Don’t forget induction. It is a crucial part of appointing the best candidate. It’s expected, demonstrates your commitment to employees, keeps the organisation safe in terms of standards and removes distractions preventing your new hires from becoming fully contributing and productive employees.

Our in-house Recruitment and Selection training workshop covers all these aspects and more to ensure your managers can appoint the best possible person for the business. All of our programmes are variable to be delivered precisely to the needs of the organisation. See our HR Training page for more details.

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