How to recruit


  1. Identify any current gaps areas where you are underperforming owing to inadequate personnel, or where employees have left (or intend to).
  2. Use your business plan to anticipate changes in the number of employees needed or the skills they require (eg expansion or new technology).
  3. Set up recruitment procedures and ensure those responsible understand legal issues such as discrimination and employment contracts.
  4. Prepare a job description for any vacancy you have, including key tasks and responsibilities and who the individual will work with and report to.
  5. Prepare a person specification with the skills, knowledge and attitude required; identify what is essential, and what could be developed later and give each a weighting.
  6. Review what the job is worth to you, and what pay competitors offer.
  7. Consider whether outsourcing the work would be more cost-effective.
  8. Advertise the vacancy internally; look for opportunities to train, develop and promote existing employees.
  9. Identify publications which reach likely candidates; consider other sources such as schools and colleges (for trainees).
  10. Prepare an advertisement; explain who you are, what is attractive about the opportunity, what you are looking for and the closing date.
  11. Consider using an agency, your local Jobcentre or online recruitment site; choose one with experience in your sector, provide a clear brief and negotiate a clear contract.
  12. Be clear on what descriptions and questions are legally unacceptable in job advertisements and interviews and of your obligations under discrimination and data protection legislation.
  13. Use the job description and person specification to shortlist and interview applicants; focus on evidence of how they meet your requirements.
  14. Offer the job to the best applicant; be prepared to reconsider what you are offering and looking for if none of the candidates is adequate.
  15. Send polite rejection letters to other applicants.
  16. Plan the new recruit's induction.
  17. Periodically review how effective your recruitment is at delivering good candidates who perform well and stay with the company.

Cardinal rules


  1. anticipate your personnel needs
  2. prepare job descriptions and person specifications
  3. develop and promote existing employees
  4. identify the right sources of potential employees
  5. look for evidence that a candidate meets your requirements


  1. discriminate illegally
  2. make assumptions about candidates' ability to perform
  3. expect recruits to perform well without induction and training

Other relevant checklists

  1. Successful recruitment interviews
  2. Induction of new employees