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The job of recruiting and selecting the right candidate for a vacancy


Mon 15 April, 2019

Interview setting

The job of recruiting and selecting the right candidate for a vacancy

Finding the right person to fill a vacancy can be a job in itself.

Good recruitment and picking the right candidate for a vacant role is crucial for every employer.

The importance of the task is obvious, in ensuring that the workforce has the required skills, experience and ability to serve the current and future needs of the business.

Recruitment (1) is the process of finding and hiring the best-qualified candidate (from within or outside of an organisation) for a job opening, in a timely and cost effective manner. Selection is the process of picking the ideal candidate from the applicants.

Recruitment agency Reed lists what it calls ‘7 steps to a foolproof recruitment process’ (2)

Those steps are:

  1. Know what you need

The key to getting what you want? Knowing what you are looking for. That's where good planning comes in

  1. Prepare the job description and person specification.

Attracting the right applicants during the recruitment process is largely about getting these two documents right.

  1. Choose where to advertise

There are various options that include job sites, internally or social media

  1. Review your applications

Good candidates should quickly and clearly highlight how their experience aligns with the available role.

  1. Conducting interviews

Good preparation is key to getting the most out of the conversation. Enter knowing what talking points are most important to cover, including highlights from their CV or application, and of course key requisites for the role.

  1. Checking references, drawing up a contract and offering the job

Many employers miss this recruitment step, but it’s essential to check your candidate's background to help make sure they are everything they claim to be.

  1. Welcome your new rising star as they settle in

Being the new person often feels awkward, difficult and uncomfortable.

Effective recruitment will identify those with the right skills, expertise, qualifications and potential for development. It will essentially select the individuals that can contribute positively to the values and aims of the business.

As with anything in life things do not always go to plan, and there can be significant cost and other implications in hiring the wrong candidate.

Previous research from The Recruitment & Employment Confederation found that UK businesses were failing to hire the right person for two out of five roles (3)

The study revealed that 85 per cent of HR decision-makers admitted that their organisation had made a bad hire. At the time a poor hire at mid-manager level with a salary of £42,000 was said to cost a business more than £132,000

Getting recruitment wrong can also result in lost business and opportunities, low staff morale, reduced quality of products or services, along with reputational damage.

Once it is recognised that a mistake has been made additional cost are likely to be incurred in having to repeat the recruitment process all over again.

The may be an understandable temptation to just dismiss a bad hire without following any process. After all they will not have the required length of service to make a claim for unfair dismissal (4).

But, be warned because as ACAS point out, it is a myth that an employee can be sacked without notice or warning (5)

All employees win basic rights from the beginning of their employment, including the right not to be dismissed on grounds that are classed ‘automatically unfair’ (6) This would include dismissal because of family-related reasons (such as pregnancy and parental leave), union representation, age, sex, religion, belief, race, sexual orientation and so on.

So if you are an employer and you are searching for the answer to the question ‘How do I avoid hiring the wrong person?’ The simple answer is: due diligence.


  1. Definition of recruitment [Internet] [Cited 15.4.19]
  2. Recruitment agency Reed [Internet] [Cited 15.4.19]
  3. The recruitment and employment confederation [Internet] [Cited 15.4.19]
  4. Unfair dismissal [Internet] [Cited 15.4.19]
  5. Acas [Internet] [Cited 15.4.19]
  6. Basic rights [Internet] [Cited 15.4.19]

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