Recruitment & Selection

Recruitment is the process of appointing the right person, in the right place, at the right time. It is crucial to organisational performance. The direct and indirect cost of making the wrong appointments are phenomenal and therefore the entire process of recruitment is critical, not just for HR practitioners but also for line managers who are increasingly involved in the selection process.

All those involved in recruitment activities should be equipped with the appropriate knowledge and skills.

The importance of diversity should be taken into account at each stage of the recruitment process. Processes and systems should be regularly reviewed to ensure hidden bias is removed and to ensure talent is not being blocked from entering the organisation. Everyone taking part in activities such as shortlisting and interviewing should be aware of relevant legislation such as the equality act and the importance of avoiding discrimination.

How MBHR Consulting can help

Whether you need a whole system review to check you are legally compliant and efficient within your own processes or to review your selection methods used to improve the appointments made and your organisations turnover, retention, employee stability and engagement. MBHR Consulting will utilise its expertise in employment law, best practice and LEAN methodologies to provide you with the necessary advice, guidance, recommendations and action plans to improve your recruitment and retention and ultimately your organisations performance.

To discuss your needs please do not hesitate to contact us.

The recruitment process involves working through a series of stages:

Defining the role

Before recruiting for a new or existing position, it is important to invest time in gathering information about the nature of the job. This means thinking not only about the content (such as the tasks) making up outputs and behaviours required by the job holder but also the job’s purpose and how it fits into the organisation’s structure. The job analysis informs the content of the job description providing a clear guide to all involved in the recruitment process the requirements of the job. Following the appointment of the successful candidate it then forms the key document to reinforce expectations about performance and behaviour to employees and managers to help ensure effective performance in the job. A person specification or job profile states the essential and desirable criteria for selection. Increasingly such specifications are based on a set of competencies and behaviours identified as necessary for the performance of the job.


Employers should state clearly how references will be used, at what stage of the recruitment they will be taken up and what kind of references will be necessary (for example, from former employers, professional, character). These rules should be applied consistently. References are most frequently sought after the applicant has been given a ‘provisional offer’. However it is increasingly common practice to incorporate obtaining references into a ‘clearance stage’ before any offer of employment is made.

Joining the organisation

Employers must be aware of their responsibility to ensure that the successful candidate has the right to work in the UK before their employment commences. If an employee commences on day 1 and has not proven their right to work in the UK with relevant identity documents the organisation could be liable for fines up to £20,000. Therefore it is essential to have conducted such checks at a ‘clearance stage’ of the recruitment process and ideally before any offer of employment has been made.

A well-planned induction enables new employees to become fully operational quickly and should be seamlessly integrated into the recruitment process. Attrition rates of new starters within an organisation are a clear indication of how effective the recruitment and induction process are. Anything more than 10% within the first 12 months of employment suggests that recruitment and / or the induction process leaves room for improvements.

Attracting applications

It is important not to forget the internal talent pool when recruiting. Providing opportunities for development and career progression increases employee engagement and retention and supports succession planning. The cost of recruiting externally is far greater than internal recruitment and organisations should invest their efforts in external recruits for entry level jobs and place a much greater emphasis on internal candidates with the right outputs, behaviours and attitude for any higher level posts, supporting individuals with potential with the appropriate management and skills development. However, getting the internal pipeline moving can take time, if this is a new focus and therefore if you do need to source your new recruits externally there are many options available for generating interest. Depending on the nature of the role, whether it is highly skilled or not will depend on the methods that you choose.

  • Trade press, newspapers, on commercial job boards and on the organisation’s website.
  • Social networking sites are also increasingly being used as part of the recruitment process.
  • Recommend a friend can be useful for finding like-minded individuals

Advertisements, whether online or on paper, should be clear and indicate the:

  • Job purpose and requirements
  • Essential and the desirable criteria
  • Location
  • Reward package
  • Contract type
  • How to apply

Medical examinations

The Equality Act 2010 makes it unlawful to ask candidates to complete a medical questionnaire before being offered a job. Only essential medical issues should be discussed at this stage. However, any particular physical or medical requirement should be made clear in the job advertisement or other recruitment literature and employers are recommended to ask candidates whether they require any reasonable adjustments making to any of the proposed assessment activities during the recruitment process. Employers should also take care before making selection decisions relating to a candidate’s mental or physical health. They need to think creatively and innovatively about where they can make reasonable adjustments, such as flexible working, where someone has a disability.


The recruitment process should be documented accurately and access limited to recruitment staff. It is good practice to monitor applications and decisions to ensure that equality of opportunity is being allowed. Information should be kept for sufficient time to allow for any complaints to be handled. Unsuccessful candidates should be notified promptly in writing and if possible given feedback. As a minimum, feedback on any psychometric test results should be given.

Managing the application and selection process

There are two main formats in which applications are likely to be received: the curriculum vitae (CV) or the application form. It is possible that these could be submitted either on paper or electronically. Application forms allow for information to be presented in a consistent format, and therefore make it easier to collect information from job applicants in a systematic way and assess objectively the candidate’s suitability for the job.

The advantage of CVs is that they give candidates the opportunity to sell themselves in their own way and don’t restrict the fitting of information into boxes which often happens on application forms. However, CVs make it possible for candidates to include lots of additional, irrelevant material which may make them harder to assess consistently.

The recruitment process is not just about employers identifying suitable employees for the future, it’s also about candidates finding out more about the business, and considering whether the organisation is one where they would like to work for. The experience of candidates (both successful and unsuccessful) at each stage of the recruitment process will impact on their view of the organisation. This could be both from the perspective of a potential employee and, depending on the nature of the business, as a customer.

Selecting candidates involves two main processes: shortlisting and assessing applicants. Selection decisions should be made after using a range of tools appropriate to the time and resources available. Care should be taken to use techniques which are relevant to the job and the business objectives of the organisation. All tools used should be validated and constantly reviewed to ensure their fairness and reliability.

The reliability of each recruitment method is detailed below

  • Structured Interview (0.2)
  • References (0.1)
  • Ability Tests (0.4)
  • Assessment Centres (0.5)
  • Psychometric Testing (0.35)

No single method of selection on their own will find the best candidate for your job or your organisation and the most commonly used methods (interviewing and references) is one of the most unreliable methods.

Employment offer

Offers of employment should always be made in writing. But it is important to be aware that a verbal offer of employment made in an interview is as legally binding as a letter to the candidate. Employers must also be aware of the legal requirements of and what information should be given in the written terms and conditions of employment.