Preparing For An Interview: Deciding How To Recruit


After drawing up a job specification, you need to choose a method of recruitment. The various methods range from advertising in the national press to using a professional “headhunter”. Whichever method you select will involve at least one interview.

1) Avoid wasting time by interviewing only genuinely suitable candidates.
2) If you know of an ideal candidate elsewhere, invite them to apply.
3) Always make sure the advertisements are proof-read.
4) Ask for a photograph to remind you of each candidate.
5) Be objective about a recommendation to employ a colleague’s relative.
6) Record the progress of each recruitment drive to use for reference in the future.

Recruiting Internally

One way of recruiting is to appoint somebody who already works elsewhere in your organization. Many companies encourage internal recruitment, and some insist that all vacancies are advertised internally before being advertised outside.

It can be easier to interview internal applicants because they already know the company and understand its work culture. However, remember that they were originally recruited for a different job. Why are they suitable for yours? Consider also that internal recruitment may not cut costs overall. The recruit’s old job may have to be filled once he or she has moved to your department.

1) The response to advertisements for jobs in the national press can be overwhelming.
2) Headhunters charge a percentage of the salary of the person they are recruiting, so the higher that person’s salary, the more hunting they will do.
3) Processing responses can be time-consuming, so a candidate should not be interviewed just on the strength of a well-written curriculum vitae.

Placing Advertisements

Where you advertise and what your advert says will determine the type and number of applicants you receive and whether you find the right person for the job. Use trade publications for jobs that require specialized skills. For a more generalised approach, use the national press; many papers allocate different days to particular professions. Advertisements can be costly but usually elicit a huge response. If you lack the time or resources to cope with hundreds of applicants, advertise in a publication with limited circulation. Decide how many times you want the advertisement to appear.

Designing An Advertisement

The design and wording of an advertisement can influence the response you get. Ensure that the layout is eye-catching and clear – size will be dictated by cost and content. Describe the post, and be specific about what skills and experience are needed in order to eliminate unsuitable applicants. Always give a closing date applications.

Make the best features of the job prominent. You only have a moment to grab the attention of the perfect applicant.

Advertising for recruitment is subject to stringent legal restrictions that vary from country to country. The laws most likely to apply are those of libel and those relating to discrimination on the grounds of gender, race, or age. Do not use sexist terms or refer to “he” or “him” throughout an advertisement. Select your wording carefully to avoid stipulating characteristics that exclude potential applicants of any sex or race, or a particular age range.

If in doubt, consult a legal adviser. Your national advertising standards authority is the body that regulates advertising and receives complaints. They should also be able to advise you on what is permitted in advertisements. Most of the current restrictions in force apply to newspaper, magazine, and television advertisements. However, advertisements on the Internet are beginning to come under scrutiny, for these it is advisable to follow the same rules.

Using Recommendations

There are positive and negative aspects to consider when using personal contacts to help you fill a job vacancy. On the positive side, if a potential recruit comes with a recommendation from someone you trust, it suggests that their skills and experience have, to a degree, been proved in practice. In addition, they may have been briefed by your mutual contact about the work culture within your organization. On the negative side, personal recommendations can be awkward to turn down if you feel the candidate is not right for the job. When a colleague suggests a candidate, assess their skills and abilities objectively, and be prepared to reject their application if you consider them unsuitable.

Using Local Resources

Check whether there are any local, government-backed programmes in your area that are aimed at reducing levels of unemployment and assisting in training. These programmes are often organized on a regional basis to look at specific local needs – both of employers and the unemployed. Local universities or colleges may also employ specialist staff who deal with enquiries from prospective employers. It is a good idea to make contact with both of these resources if you have a vacancy that could be filled by a relatively inexperienced person who is looking for their first job.

Creating A List Of Contacts

Make a list of useful contacts, including individuals, agencies, and advertisers that you come across while recruiting. You can then use your list every time you need to fill a vacancy.

  • • Create a database of potential sources of recruits for future reference.
  • • Maintain an updated printout of the database

Using Agencies

Recruiting via an agency reduces the extensive amount of time-consuming paperwork involved in sifting through and replying to advertised vacancies. This is particularly relevant if you anticipate a substantial response. For a fee, which can vary according to the seniority of the vacancy, an agency will provide you with a shortlist of candidates from which you make the final selection. If you intend to use a recruitment agency to fill a post, ensure you approach one that will cater for your specific requirements. You can use professional headhunters to find suitable candidates for a senior vacancy.


Initially, many employers look to recruit from internal personnel.
• Candidates have an existing track record with the company and are familiar with its way of working.
• You can ask their current manager for references.
Advertisements in relevant media can reach the right candidates.
• You will have to set up a system to process what may be a large response to your advert.
• Advertising costs can be high.
Friends and colleagues can provide contacts with potential candidates.
• Colleagues or acquaintances may have several contacts in the market, providing a good, informal source.
• Rejecting an unsuitable person could be problematic.
Local government agencies and colleges can be a source of recruits.
• For entry-level jobs not requiring work experience, colleges can be a good source of candidates.
• Government schemes may involve extensive paperwork.
Agencies will shortlist numerous high-calibre candidates for you.
• Agencies have access to a wide range of candidates and can weed out unsuitable ones.
• There is a cost factor attached to using agencies.

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