Getting and Keeping the Best Employees!

Businesses spend a great deal of time and energy looking, selecting and training the right people for their business going through rigorous processes to ensure they have people in their business who are the right fit.

A recruitment process can be rewarding, especially when you find great people to join your business. However, recruitment can also be complex and it is vital that businesses are aware of the potential pitfalls to ensure that the process runs smoothly.

This article will look at some best practice guidelines for a successful recruitment campaign.

Employment protections before someone becomes an employee

Even before a person becomes your employee they have certain protections in law, so you need to be mindful of the way in which you recruit new staff.
What the law says

It is unlawful to Discriminate against a person in the arrangements (ie., application forms, location and timing of interviews, job and person specification) that a business makes for deciding to whom to offer employment.

It is also unlawful to discriminate as to the terms on which a person is offered employment or, indeed, by not offering a person employment.

Best practice dictates that keeping a paper trail to show decisions made and processes taken are objectively justified and not discriminatory.

Step by Step guide to avoiding the pitfalls of recruitment

Before advertising

  • Ensure staff have adequate training and guidance.
  • Compile a job description and a person specification.
  • All requirements relate to the job, e.g., specific qualifications, working hours or times, travel, age ranges or dress. Does the job have to be full-time? Or can you consider part-time, home working or flexible working or a job share.

Advertising job

  • Where will the job be advertised? Internally and/or externally?
  • Which publications and mediums will you use to reach the widest range of applicants. Specify that you are an equal opportunities employer.
  • Consider in what format applications should be submitted, ie., a standard application form with generic information for each applicant.


  • Decide on the interview process in advance, one to one interview, panel? Any aptitude tests (such as written or psychometric tests).
  • Agree a selection criteria based on the job description and person specification.


  • Be consistent in interviewing all candidates.
  • Don’t ask personal questions (unless relevant to the requirements of the job). Do not make assumptions about the candidates’ personal life.
  • Provide feedback to candidates if requested.

Prepare contractual documentation

  • What type of contract? Employment contract, zero hours contract, permanent, fixed?

Make offer of employment

  • Written offer to successful candidate subject to a time limit for acceptance. Ask for acceptance in writing.
  • An offer of employment should be subject to contract, i.e., references, right to work in the UK. If relevant also subject to the candidate confirming they have no restrictions preventing them from working for the employer, a satisfactory medical examination, proof of relevant qualifications required for the job, and also potentially a DBS check.
  • Candidates should be reminded not to resign from their existing job before these conditions have been satisfied.

Commencement of employment

  • Obtain employee’s P45. Ask employee to fill in any new starter forms.
  • Explain the probationary period (if applicable)

Induction process

  • Set performance objectives.
  • Provide full details of the employer’s policies and procedures.