Recruitment for beginners – where do I start?

recruitment for beginners
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Recruitment of new staff can seem a complicated business. For a small business, getting it wrong can be expensive. The subject of recruitment is a large one, and the aim of this article is to give you some pointers on where to start. Planning and preparation are key to trouble-free recruitment. However, the amount of time and effort you need to put in up-front should not be underestimated.

Job specification

A clear, well-defined job description forms the basis of any successful recruitment campaign. A decent specification can be tricky to get right. It needs to be detailed enough to give potential candidates a clear indication of the key activities and duties they will be responsible for, and where the job will be located.

You will also need to consider pay rates – this is usually a delicate balance between local market rates, and how much money your business can afford to pay.

The more effort you put into getting the job specification right, the higher proportion of suitable job applicants you should attract.

Recruitment advertisements

Having established the job spec, it is time to consider advertising the role. If you are writing the advert yourself, you need to be aware of equal opportunities requirements. Avoid making prejudicial comments in your advertisement, such as referencing age, ethnicity or gender, as this can get you into real trouble.

Recruitment agencies

If you can’t face sifting through CVs and interviewing candidates, you can pass the task over to a recruitment agency. These people are professionals at recruitment. They have all the connections and expertise to come up with one or more ideal candidates quickly. However, many agencies charge a significant percentage of starting salary for sourcing a candidate. This option is probably more suited to larger businesses.

Online recruitment tools

You can advertise jobs to a target audience using a variety of online tools, such as LinkedIn. This method of recruitment can prove expensive in time and effort. These resources are in short supply in a start-up.

There are more cost-effective online tools available. These tools can advertise your job on multiple job boards at the same time, and monitor all the responses. If you are not actively recruiting, then you can leave an open invite on the job boards, and people matching your ideal general candidate will be passed through to you.

Some online tools for small businesses also become a ‘virtual recruiter’. Responses can be pre-vetted, and only promising candidates are passed through to you, a great example being RECRUiiT by CiiVSOFT which can save you considerable time and effort. These systems can start small, and grow with you as you gain more budget. Eventually, they can become part of the mix along with LinkedIn and recruitment agencies.

To find more information on the formal aspects of employment, the ‘employing staff for the first time’ section on is a useful place to start.

For more information on recruitment for beginners, email us at or complete the form below, and we will help you through those tricky first steps.


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