The Foundations of Recruitment

When you think of recruitment, you might think that its a race to get someone onboard as quickly as possible and with as little effort as possible. However, this approach is, in many cases, a surefire way to attract the wrong candidates and wind up making a bad hire.

There is No Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free Card

You might be tempted to think that this approach is perfectly fine because the probationary period gives you a safety net (aka get out of jail free card) but when you consider the cost to hire (currently about $24,000 per hire) and the cost to fire and then do another hiring process this soon starts to add up both financially and in terms of the cost on your energy and time. Not to mention the disruption to the work place and the potential to destabilise an otherwise harmonious working environment.

Essential Steps in the Recruitment Process

The following steps are those that I believe are the minimum required for best practice and for ensuring that you’ve done all you can to make a great hire.

  1. Define the role that is required and develop an accurate and realistic position description OR review and revise the current position description. Do think about whether or not the role is capable of being performed effectively in the time available each week. If it isn’t then you will need to re-think the design of the role. Avoid being tempted to write the position description in such a way as to make it sound better than it actually is. No false advertising!
  2. Classify the position fairly and ensure that there is budget to cover the wages and the oncosts.
  3. Advertise the position. Think about where you will advertise your position to ensure maximum exposure to potential applicants.
  4. Carefully shortlist your applicants against a pre-determined set of criteria taking into consideration the qualities the applicant must bring to the role and those that you can train them in.
  5. Conduct interviews with the shortlisted applicants, ensuring that the interview process is fair and consistent and non-discriminatory.
  6. Conduct all relevant and necessary background checks including reference checks, pre-employment medicals, police checks, traffic checks. If assessments, other than reference checks, are a mandatory part of the selection process be sure to include this in your advertising and be clear about why they are required and how the information will be used. Again, be sure to avoid bias and discrimination.
  7. Onboard like a boss. The selection process is your candidate’s first impression of your organisation but the onboarding process is the most important impression they will get of your organisation. Start how you intend to carry on. Many employees who leave an employer in the first three months report that it was largely because of the employer’s lack lustre approach to onboarding them when they first joined the organisation.


There are no guarantees that recruitment efforts will turn up a good hire however employers who implement robust practices such as the one outlined above have a far higher success rate than those who simply wing it.

If you are an employer looking for help with your recruitment, please don’t hesitate to get in touch via the contact form or by email




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