A journey of 1000 miles begins with the first interview!

(With apologies to Mao Tse-Tung)

Recruitment is arguably the most important activity any company does and in our experience many organisations spend much less time and effort devising an effective recruitment strategy and its sister, induction, than they should.

Often when we are called in to help deal with a tricky staffing problem or issue it can be traced back to issues that were present at the beginning of the employee/employer relationship so getting it right at the beginning can save lots of headaches later on.

Job Design

We begin with Job Design; is what someone is being asked to do going to be as attractive as possible to the widest possible pool of available talent. The next step is designing the advert and deciding where it’s going; nowadays ‘online is fine’ almost everyone from all four of the current generations at work looks for his or her job on the Internet.

People Focus

Really think about the skills and abilities needed to fill the post, if the skill levels are relatively low because it’s an entry level job, then think about the attitudes and attributes you believe will make a good contribution to the business. If you have a cheerful, happy, enthusiastic bunch – do you really need another clone?

Might you need a thoughtful, measured, reserved person to balance things up? Educate your teams in the real meaning of diversity and inclusivity that goes far beyond the 9 protected characteristics in the Equality Act. Diversity applies to personality as much as to external elements of us as people.


Make your job stand out by making sure the title isn’t too dull, generic or too obscure. Next, try to use layout, design and logos to make it look attractive and make sure you include the salary. Finally follow up with social media, encourage all your staff to tweet, Facebook & LinkedIn the ad. Make sure they like and share your ad to their networks, the more take up a post has the wider it goes. Use the Internet to make it work for you for free.


We recommend having a blended interview. By that we mean going beyond the traditional question and answer session. One of the key elements we encourage is the involvement of staff, other than managers to help get a wider view. We also encourage using real tests based on the actual work the person would be doing. So if they use computers make sure they use one in the interview process. It’s always a good idea to get the candidates to do something that they have control of on the day so we can see them at their best. Asking them to interview staff to find out what it’s like to work in the company is a good idea and easy to implement.


Induction is much more than the day a candidate starts. It’s very important to give some thought to the successful candidate’s initial few weeks as well as to their first day that should be as welcoming as possible. Make sure the key people know that a new person is starting, particularly the receptionist or those manning the entrance or gatehouse if there is one.

Have a welcome pack prepared with any key information, keys or access cards and uniform etc. After you’ve gone through the usual key Health & Safety briefings, signed the essential forms make sure they get a tour of the site. It’s always a good idea to give new staff a 3 month training plan that they need to complete and ensure they have a training mentor, a member of staff who has responsibility for helping them complete it. This can be an excellent motivator for existing staff and give them an enhanced sense of trust and confidence and can be used as a precursor to management responsibility.

If a new employee has a relatively straightforward role that can be explained in a few days then it is very important that the training mentor follows this up on a regular basis to encourage good habits to form as early as possible. It also can give opportunities for staff who are slower on the uptake to ask questions that arise as they gain in confidence and knowledge.

Please call us on 01242 254466 or email to discuss your recruitment needs.


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