31 August 2018

According to the Chartered Institute for Personal Development (CIPD) the average recruitment cost of filling a vacancy including associated labour costs is £6,125. For a senior manager role, these figures rise to £19,000 and if things fail to work out first time around you can expect to double these for the cost of rehiring once again. Hiring guru Bradford Smart estimates the cost of a ‘mis-hire’ to be anywhere from four times annual salary for supervisors all the way up to 15 times annual salary for Chief Executives.

This checklist sets out the main stages involved in recruiting a new member of staff and

summarises key legal aspects of recruitment, such as avoiding discrimination and carrying out right to work checks. Employment legislation is complicated, this checklist is intended as a starting point only.

An overview of the recruitment process

 Write a job description

Job title, main purpose of job, manager or supervisor to whom the person will be responsible and responsibilities and tasks.

Write a person specification

 This should set out the skills, experience and personal qualities that are essential to carry out the job, and those that are ‘desirable’ but not essential.

 Decide how applicants should provide information about themselves

 A completed application form, a CV, covering letter, the names and addresses of two individuals who can supply references, one of whom should normally be the applicant’s current or recent employer.

Write a job advert

The location of the job, description of the business job title and a summary of responsibilities summary of required skills, qualifications and experience and how to request further information and apply for the job and closing date.

Produce an application pack

This can be posted or e-mailed to applicants on request and should include the job description, person specification, application form (as required) as well as some information about your business. Where possible, online job adverts should provide the opportunity to download the application pack.

Advertise the job

Potentially the jobs can be advertised through Jobcentre Plus, careers services and local schools, colleges and universities, local/regional newspapers, online jobs boards, social networks such as LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook.

Shortlist applicants

 As best practice, two people should be involved in shortlisting applicants to ensure that the

assessment is objective, consistent and fair. Produce tick, cross and question marks piles, mapping and scoring against the job description and personal specification.

Interview shortlisted applicants

 Competency based questions based on past and current performance rather than theoretically based questions are preferable. Answers should be scored to encourage objectivity.

Make a verbal job offer

When you have selected the applicant that you would like to recruit, you can make a verbal job offer. You should make it clear that the offer is subject to a right to work check and mention any other pre-employment checks that will need to be carried out before the offer is confirmed (such as a reference check).

Carry out legally required checks

For all jobs, you must carry out a ‘right to work check’, to ensure that the candidate would not be working in the UK illegally.  For some jobs, such as working with children or in healthcare, a criminal record check must also be made. This is to prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups.

Take up references, if these are required

 Send the successful applicant a written job offer

 If all checks are satisfactory, a written offer should be sent to the successful applicant. This is an important document and should be carefully worded to include: The title of the job that is being offered, terms such as salary, hours, benefits, pension arrangements, holiday entitlement and place of employment. Start date, what the applicant needs to do to accept the offer or turn it down. it is good practice to select a reserve applicant who can be offered the job if necessary.

Send rejection letters to unsuccessful interviewees

 When you have made a job offer and it has been accepted, you should send rejection letters to the unsuccessful interviewees.

Key legal aspects of the recruitment process

 Avoid discrimination

Under the Equality Act 2010, employers must not discriminate against employees or job applicants on any of the following grounds:

Gender. Race (colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin), age, marital status or whether they are in a civil partnership, being pregnant or having a child, disability, religion or lack of religion, transsexuality or sexual orientation.

To ensure that you can provide evidence, if necessary, that your recruitment process was not discriminatory, you should keep all application forms and letters of rejection on file for six months after the recruitment process has ended.

Comply with data protection regulations

Provide job applicants with clear information about what personal data you collect from them and what the purpose for collecting it is (for example, to assess their suitability for the job, or to monitor the business’s equal opportunities policy).

  • Ensure that you only collect personal data that is necessary for the stated purpose, and that you do not use it for any other purpose.
  • Ensure that you do not keep it for longer than necessary. If you wish to keep the details of unsuccessful applicants on file for future consideration, you must request their permission for this.
  • Allow employees and job applicants to view the personal data that is held about them on request, and to correct it or have it erased in certain circumstances.
  • Ensure that personal data is stored securely.


HMRC provide webinars and information for engaging staff https://www.gov.uk/guidance/help-and-support-for-employing-people

Templates are provided by ACAS http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=1392   

To find out more about starting or running for your business, call 0845 609 9991 or visit www.nwes.org.uk

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