How the Recruitment Process Works

Recruitment of new employees can be a costly and complex business, with suitable candidates often being difficult to find. However, recruiting the right people in the most effective way is crucial for the future prosperity of the business. In order to ensure this occurs, a number of steps need to be followed in a correct and thorough manner so that valuable talent is not missed.


1. Identifying Vacancies

This is a simple first step but is important in ensuring the right resources are hired. The number of positions to be filled is identified, whether full or part-time, permanent or temporary, with the duties and responsibilities set out for each one and the required qualifications and experience being determined.

2. Analysing the Jobs

The aim is to identify what each job demands and therefore, what a future employee needs to possess to do it effectively. Analysis will determine the duties and responsibilities for a job, the work environment in which it is performed and the skills and abilities necessary to undertake it. This will also help to ascertain any training and qualifications as well as the likely pay rate for the job.

3. Preparing the Job Description and Job Specification

The job description is essential for successful recruitment since it sets out the scope and responsibilities of the job as well as its position within the organisation structure. It sets out the title and location of the job, duties involved, materials and equipment used, working conditions and any associated health hazards.

The job specification focuses more on the requirements of the candidate for each job. It covers the necessary qualifications, experience and training as well as the required skills and work responsibilities. It may also set out possible career progression.
Associated with these two documents is an evaluation of the job. This may specify the job grade and classification as a basis for setting the appropriate pay grade.

4. Sourcing the Appropriate Candidates

Once the necessary descriptions and strategies have been approved, the search for suitable candidates can begin. These strategies include the choice of media to advertise the posts as well as determining where candidates may be found. This may be:

  • internally, by promotion or transfer of existing employees and may be based on internal advertisements, referrals or revisiting previous applicants
  • externally through job advertisements, referrals, direct contact or via employment agencies or university recruitment.

5. Screening the Candidates

Once sufficient applicants have been obtained, the aim is to filter out those who are deemed unsuitable and end up with a shortlist to be followed up. This is achieved by reviewing résumés and covering letters to check background, work experience and qualifications for each candidate. Particular attention will be paid to any gaps in employment, frequent job changes compared to long-term employment, the degree of progression and reasons for wanting to change.
Once unsuitable candidates have been removed, further filtering may be carried out by short telephone interviews. These will provide insights into candidates’ attitudes and communication skills as well as verifying their availability

6. Final Selection

A shortlist of candidates may be prepared for face-to-face interviews. These, together with evaluation of résumés, should enable preferred candidates to be identified and job offers made.

7. Evaluation of the Process

Since recruitment can be an expensive process, its effectiveness should be assessed periodically and changes made if necessary. The evaluation should take account of all costs — recruiters, advertisements, overheads, management time and additional costs resulting from unfulfilled vacancies.

At Schward Recruit, we can help with your recruitment process, ensuring it’s efficient, cost-effective and that you get the right employees to help your business grow.


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Dr Schultz spent 22 years working in psychiatry and then went on to qualify as a lawyer. He has spent 34 years helping people solve problems and the unique combination of medicine, psychiatry, law and mediation provides a unique academic and practical approach to life's challenges.

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