Recruitment – how to attract the right candidates

By January 26, 2018Advice, Recruitment


The implications of poor recruitment can be far reaching and costly for a business. When the wrong person is appointed to a role, it can affect colleagues’ morale and lead to a poor standard of work by the new starter. The cost of underperformance – and the time it takes to support and manage the new starter – can place additional demands on managers too.


The best course of action is to get it right first time, by introducing a well-structured recruitment process. By following recruitment and selection best practices, you’ll always employ the right person for the job and they’ll want to stay with you.


Having a professional, fair and positive recruitment process will also improve your employer brand. Potential candidates are likely to research your business before applying, so the impression they get from your job advert, careers web page, or from what current and past employees are saying about you will have an influence on whether they apply or not.



There is no general duty for employers to advertise job vacancies, however you may struggle to attract suitable candidates without doing so. Employment tribunals may also take a failure to advertise into account if determining whether an employer has discriminated on grounds of sex, race, disability, or other factors.


It is unlawful to advertise a position in a manner that indicates that it is only available to members of one sex, those of a particular age, or that race will play a part in who is selected. The exception would be a Genuine Occupational Requirement (GOR), when specific criteria such as sex, age or ethnicity are essential to do the job.


Job description and person specification

Your job description should outline the main purpose of the job, with a brief overview within a couple of sentences of what the role entails. A key tasks section should be a series of bullet points listing the major responsibilities covered by the job.


The person specification should be able to filter out unsuitable candidates at the application stage. It should include the specific academic or professional qualifications required, the amount of experience needed (measured in quality rather than simply length of time), special skills that will have to have been demonstrated in the past, and any personal qualities that are essential for performing the role to the required standard.


Screening candidates

When a number of application forms or CVs have been submitted, you will have to screen them to filter out the applicants who do not meet the qualifying criteria for the post.


This can be done manually by checking against the person specification, or by carrying out an online screening process or telephone interviews. This could include a brief questionnaire for candidates to prove they have the skills or knowledge required.


Shortlisting candidates

Following screening, you should still have a potentially large pool of candidates who meet the basic qualifying criteria. The aim of shortlisting is to reduce the pool to a manageable field of candidates.


To identify a shortlist, you should review all of the data obtained on applicants at the application or screening stage against a set of shortlisting or job-related criteria. The candidates who progress to the next stage should most closely meet the essential and desirable criteria that show they can excel in the role.


Beware though – you’ll have to strike the right balance. Being too strict with the criteria might lead to you eliminating candidates unnecessarily who are suitable for the role. Being too lenient will reduce the overall quality of your candidates. The remaining candidates should be invited to an interview.


What next?

Deminos can help you develop an effective recruitment process. We can work with you to write a job advertisement that’ll attract the right applicants, along with a job description and person specification with suitable essential and desirable criteria.


To learn more, call us now on 020 7870 1090.

Author David Ralph

More posts by David Ralph

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