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How to build a recruitment process to hire top talent

If you want to fill job vacancies with the most appropriate talent and, if you want to attract successful, accomplished candidates to your job postings, then a strong recruitment process is vital. There’s no point publishing vague ads or scatter gunning your vacancy all over everyone you’ve ever heard of on LinkedIn; you may attract a whole bunch of candidates, but will they be the best people for the job? 

First of all, create the job specification. What has your client told you about the role – is it enough? Identify the vital skills for the job and then collate others that would be useful extras – “must-haves” and “desirables”. Have a thorough conversation with your contact at the client employer so you know you’re looking for what they need. And if the client is vague, constructively and positively help to narrow down their requirements. 

The job spec you write must get candidates interested in the role – obviously you need to mention the preferred skillset, but also talk about what the job really involves and about what achievement in the role might mean in terms of promotion, contract renewal or financial reward (if appropriate). What does your advert and job spec say about the company culture of the employer and about your practice as a recruiter? And finally, ensure your online presence is easily readable on mobile devices – vital for today’s jobseekers.

Then, of course, you need to source your candidates. Job boards are still relevant, but be proactive too: use your own database of contacts from previous hires, talk to any trusted previous placements about people they may know. Positively engage with relevant groups on LinkedIn and make time to attend industry conferences, events and meet-ups to build face-to-face relationships.

Assuming you’ll attract a fair number of candidates, have a think about initial screening. This could take the form of a short phone interview, or an online application with questions relevant to the position that will allow you to identify candidates to go through to the next part of the process. Some people also use video interviewing at this stage.

The face-to-face interview is still really important, although this is where Skype comes into its own, especially if your candidate or the role for which you’re recruiting are based away from your own office. Work out what you’re looking for before the interview; think not only about skills but how the candidate will fit into the company and its culture. How many people are conducting the interview? Work together beforehand to consider your shared approach. Make sure you ask similar questions in every interview you conduct so you can make an objective comparison. 

Finally, check references. Personal recommendation adds the final seal of approval to the right candidate.

Read our related blog: 6 key pieces of advice for the interviewer
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