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Get ready to hire or be hired - a recruitment checklist

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It is important that you adequately plan your recruitment process, whether you are looking to employ someone or be employed yourself, follow our checklist to make sure you are in a good position to let things run smoothly and minimise issues


Get yourself ready to hire or be hired...


  • CV up to date, rewritten and formatted – It could be years since you last prepared a CV, don’t lazily tack on your most recent role, redesign it entirely focusing on what is relevant for your next role.  Take expert advice, this is your marketing document to the world
  • Sharpen up your wardrobe – A scruffy old suit and shoes will not cut it I’m afraid.  For the gents, invest in a smart suit, preferably Navy, with crisp white shirt, black oxford brogues and a nice tie.  Avoid flashy piping and other trimmings.  For ladies, an equally smart, professional and understated look is ideal (in my experience ladies tends to get this right more often than not)
  • Make time – how are you going to find time for interviews if you’ve blown all your holiday by September? With difficulty, that’s how.  Don’t put yourself in a compromising position, make sure that you are going to be able to get out to at least 2 but upto 8 interviews as you talk to different employers
  • Linked in up to date – It pays to keep on top of your Linkedin under normal circumstances, not least because it’s less obviously apparent that you are looking if your previously barren profile suddenly looks like  Jeff Weiner’s.  Most importantly make sure it accurately reflects your CV
  • Clean up your social media – There is a good chance that employers and recruiters will check out your facebook and twitter profiles so make sure you are comfortable with the image you are presenting
  • Set realistic goals and expectations – You can save yourself a lot of time and effort if you determine early on what you hope to achieve.  Are you looking for better career progression, more money, better conditions? Have a clear idea in your head and it will help you zero in on the most relevant opportunities
  • Talk to your manager – If you are broadly happy in your role, talk to your current line manager, discuss your aspirations for the future and ask them to articulate how you can achieve that with your current company. 
  • Be honest with your employer - With your new outfit, numerous half days, jazzed up linkedin talk of progression I’m very surprised these days that managers ever get an unexpected notice go in but assuming that you feel positive towards your current employer and have given them the opportunity to address your concerns then it can be much less stressful to be honest with your employer that you are looking to leave, although this isn’t right for everyone



  • Use a trusted agency – Your agent should be someone that you can talk to freely and engage openly with.  They should understand you and your business and be able to challenge you when needed.  Deal with them directly and don’t suffer fools, invest your time with people who inspire confidence and they will invest the time in you.
  • Be flexible – You may have spent hours writing the perfect job spec that covers every aspect of the role and skills required but in reality you are going to need to be flexible.  Companies need people who are going to bring something unique and special to the business and help drive it forward, not those who tick boxes on job spec.  The most successful hirers know instinctively that they are likely to have to invest time and effort in the right person to bring them up to speed but it doesn’t frighten them
  • Make time – You need a clear time commitment to the process in terms of turnaround for CV’s and making time for interviewing and decision making. It’s tough when you are already short-handed but without being disciplined about this you will lose the better candidates to rivals and eventually even the most committed agents focus will drift to those businesses that act swiftly and decisively. However…
  • Don’t be rushed – This is an extension of the above point.  By planning effectively you won’t make rushed decisions under pressure, which rarely turn out to be good ones
  • Understand your offer – Hiring managers are often longstanding employees and time can dull the awareness of the wider market.  Understand why someone would come and work for you personally, what are you going to do for them and what does your job offer that others don’t?  How are you going to engage candidates and get them to buy into your vision? The answer to this should be clear before you sit down for the very first interview
  • Salary and package – In addition to understanding what you offer, you need to have a clear idea of how your salary and package fits in with the market.  Every single agency in the country will know of a client who is looking for the earth without the package or offer to match – don’t be that client!
  • Plan backwards – It takes on average 8-12 weeks to hire a permanent employee.  Work out when you are going to need someone and plan backwards from there.  If you need temporary resource, Bristow Holland can help find someone to fill the gap


These are some simple steps that all sides can take to help make the process that bit smoother and reduce the chances of it turning into a headache.  To discuss this further please get in touch with any of the team on 01473 722944.

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Guest Wednesday, 18 October 2017

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