Maximising your recruitment process

Over the last twenty years, I have helped hundreds of companies with their recruitment processes. From my experience, the majority of businesses cite that their employees are their main asset. People are at the heart of every organisation and therefore getting the right talent in the right business is vital.

This is why the recruitment process is so important for the success of a company. A failed recruitment drive not only costs thousands of pounds of wasted time and resources, but it also creates negative PR if it is handled badly. Below are some points which every company should think about before and during their own recruitment process, whether this is internal or through a recruitment agency.

  • Understand that the recruitment process is 50/50

Employment is like a relationship, both parties have to feel valued and fulfilled. The recruitment process should mirror this. An interview is as much for the candidate to decide that they want to work with the company and people, as it is for the company to decide that they want to employ the person.

  • Know what you are recruiting for

Recruitment can often be a very fluid situation however, not fully understanding who or what you are recruiting for, will not only lead to a failed recruitment process and wasted time. It can also give interviewees a negative impression of the company which can lead to a poor reputation in the marketplace.

  • Have a timely process at both interview and offer stage, manage expectations and be in a position to recruit within a reasonable time frame

If all parties know the timescales in advance, expectations are managed. The longer a recruitment process goes on, the more risk there is that candidates involved will either lose interest or be approached by other companies. A timely and efficient process reassures candidates that the company is professional.

  • Talk about salary and package expectations in the interview

People can sometimes find it awkward to talk about money and package, but they are often one of the main reasons people don’t accept job offers. Nuances in salaries and packages and equally candidates’ expectations, should be talked about, ideally before interview stage, to reduce the risk of wasted time.

  • Give prompt and balanced feedback

Detailed, balanced and factual feedback ensures that candidates feel that they have been treated fairly and professionally. It creates a natural end to the process and promotes the company’s professionalism.

  • Keep in contact during the notice period

With notice periods ranging between one and three months and with counter offers being dangled, the momentum gained during the recruitment process can sometimes be lost. To keep everyone on the same page, meeting up for a quick coffee or meeting the team during a notice period, can keep a candidate keen, eager and more importantly, for them to feel valued before they have started their employment.

  • Be ready for your new starter

Imagine, you have had several interviews, accepted a job offer, worked your notice period and on your first day, the company aren’t ready for you. This happens more than you would think and it creates a negative feeling with your new starter that is hard to rectify. Being ready and prepared for new recruits is vital to show that the company is professional and organised.

With top talent always being in short supply, it is so important to not burn bridges with your candidate pool. If people are treated poorly, they won’t forget and will more than likely carry that negative feeling for many years to come.

In short, how a company handles its recruitment, reflects on how the company is perceived. An efficient, timely and professional process will leave a positive impression on all candidates, even if they aren’t successful.


Alex Ritchie (Director, Alaska Black)