Top tips: How to streamline your recruitment process

Recruitment is never an easy process. Often, it can take much longer than you had hoped to find the right candidate. Sometimes, for whatever reason, things don’t work out with the newcomer and the process must be started from scratch. You’d think automating the process and putting everything online would speed things up, which is technically true… but that’s only half the job. There are certain points recruiters need to be bearing in mind when screening candidates and taking them through the process.

Planning the recruitment process

Depending on the size of an organisation, the recruitment process may vary. For example, the larger the organisation, the more steps to work through. But the steps most common across all sectors are advertising the vacancy, receiving applications, conducting interviews and then making a final decision. The average recruitment process takes about 28 days from beginning to end. And there needs to be a balancing act too – you want to find someone quickly, but you also want to make sure they’re the perfect fit. Every extra day you have your job ads online will drain the HR budget. An ideal plan, as an example, would be allowing at least 2-3 weeks for applicants to apply, followed by 1 week of interviewing.

Writing a good job and person specification

If you are unclear as to what the job expects of a candidate, then you could find yourself being overwhelmed with underqualified candidates who do not know any better because of the poor information they received. The deal is in the detail on this one. A good job description needs to contain:

• A detailed description of all the duties involved

• The requirements you expect from each candidate

• Any benefits that will come with the job

• Opportunities for progression

You need to make sure your advert has a wide reach through a mix of high-profile job boards and depending on the sector, some niche job boards too. If applicants can find you, it will speed up the process. Another factor to consider is asking a recruitment agency who generally only charges if a successful candidate is placed with you.

Reviewing CVs and applications

It is very rare for a recruiter to find a candidate who 100% fits the profile. So usually, it’s not about whether they’re right for the job, it’s about which qualities you can afford to compromise on. Perhaps it’s a level of experience that has lesser relevance or maybe it is a qualification that can be completed at a later point. Compromises may be required here, so consider what skills are most important to your workplace.

You may also benefit from bringing in other members of the department linked to the vacancy. They’ve been with the business long enough to understand what is required for it to run smoothly, so don’t be afraid to let staff members look at candidates’ CVs.


For the interview stage, even though first impressions are important, keep in mind that there will be a level of nervousness on the part of the candidate. Confidence is good, but you need to see competence too. If necessary, find out if there are any adjustments you can make that will make the process easier for them.

Ultimately, you want someone who will stay in your workplace for many years to come. So, take a look at their career history. How long have they been in their previous jobs? What did they get out of those? What do they want to get out of their time here? What original ideas can they bring to the mix? And ultimately, do their values align with your company?

Making a decision and informing candidates

Ideally, you need to make a decision within a week of the interview. When you make a decision, it often comes down to who is best suited for the role and who has the right skillset. If necessary, consult other staff for more feedback to make an informed decision.

Another factor to consider is the start date. You want someone to start ASAP, but if they have four weeks’ notice to work, you must consider whether the wait is worth the reward. And for those that didn’t make the cut, remember, they took the time to apply, so it’s good courtesy to thank them for their time, explain why they didn’t get the role, give them some pointers for the future, and maybe encourage them to apply again at a later date.

James Newbury Appointments has a long-standing and successful history of helping companies fill positions with a successful retention rate of 96.4% of every placement made. Contact us today to see how we can help you.

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