preparing for recruitment

Whether recruiting for an existing or new post, it’s a good idea to apply a consistent strategy, consult your recruitment policy and consider the stakeholders.

Start with listing the requirements of the post and the skill set that will be embodied by the candidate you seek to employ. In most cases, this will involve input from the line manager, who is best placed to formulate these requirements. You should also consult your resourcing strategy (see chapter 3 ‘building a resourcing strategy’).

For existing posts, insights gained from the outgoing employee are useful, and any exit interview should be structured to gain additional information, not only about reasons for leaving, but why they joined, what attracted them, what they gained while working with your organisation and, perhaps, what may have changed.

If recruiting for a new post, the relevant manager(s) should be able to advise what role they want the new post-holder to perform, the attributes of the person required, and how the new job fits into the organisational structure.

Depending on organisational practice, you may either need to draw up a job specification and a person specification for the role or recruit against a competency framework (see chapter 2 ‘competency frameworks’).  If your organisation has a recognised trade union, check whether there is anything in agreement which might affect the process, such as whether vacancies are first advertised internally, or advertised externally with no preference to internal candidates.

steps before recruitment

Ask yourself:

  • is this a replacement position?
  • would the organisation benefit if the role were altered?
  • what skills, competencies, knowledge and experience, including soft skills and behaviours, are required to fill the role?

Once these questions are answered:

  • prepare an up-to-date job specification document detailing tasks, reporting lines, areas of responsibility and performance criteria –  chapter 3 ‘job and person specifications’ provides you with a template
  • prepare a person specification document describing the behaviours and attributes the successful applicant should possess – chapter 3 ‘job and person specifications’  provides you with a template
  • determine how to source candidates for the vacancy, taking into account your resourcing or recruitment strategy. Chapter 3 ‘building a resourcing strategy’ gives details of how to build a resourcing strategy.


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