I was chatting with Rachel Flanagan from Flanagan Shaw Recruitment the other day about successful recruitment.


The first step is to understand the purpose of the recruitment.  Has someone left?  Are more resources needed? Is there a skills gap in the business that needs to be filled?


Before finally deciding to recruit someone, it is a good idea to review the business as a whole. Recruitment might not be the best solution.  Restructuring, promotion from within or even out sourcing could be the answer.


Once the decision has been made to recruit, the next step is to write a job description and a person specification.  Bear in mind the many pitfalls in writing a job description. Discrimination laws cover many issues which may seem trivial but are not.


They say you can teach technical skills but you can’t teach values and behaviour.  These are inherent.  Softer skills are just as important as the harder, technical skills.  If the individual doesn’t fit well with the business culture and mix well with other employees, the recruitment will not be a success.


Rachel always goes through a screening process before putting candidates forward to clients.  The assessment of candidates should be thorough and could involve a formal interview (with 3 interviewers on the panel if possible), exercises and scenarios to test technical and business skills, role play, presentations, psychometric testing and opportunities to meet the team.  Spending a day interviewing may seem excessive but getting the best candidate can save a good deal of money and time.


It’s a good idea to always record the interview process and keep paperwork as an audit trail.  If you have any doubts about an individual don’t offer them the job.  Use probationary periods wisely.  It is much harder to remove someone from a permanent job.  The wrong person in the wrong role can be very expensive.  Not only are there repeated recruitment costs if the person leaves but if HR issues are raised the cost in time, money and stress can be very significant.


Rachel aims to get the best person for the role.  This can take time.  There is no perfect candidate and you often only get one chance.  Recruitment is a two way process so you have to sell your business just as much as the candidate has to sell themselves.


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