News/Articles 
See below for recruitment news as well as some useful tips and insights from the founder of The Job Guru, Steve Ackroyd and the team, an acknowledged industry expert and trusted advisor, which you will hopefully find useful. 
Podcast 
 
Steve was recently invited to be interviewed by Angela Jones and Dave Harries on their podcast, The Communication Paradox. 
 
You can listen here: 
Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber Expo 
 
We had a great time at the Chamber expo held at the 3 Counties Show Ground in Malvern. We met a range of local businesses and got to eat lots of tasty treats and chocolates! It's always good to get out and about letting SMEs know about our range of fixed price Recruitment Services, they are always suprised to find out there's an alternative to using Recruitment Agencies or trying to recruit new staff without any support. 
Attracting Candidates 
When you are writing a job advert, remember, it’s an ADVERT! The UK job market is very competitive at the moment and your job needs to stand out from the rest to get the most applicants from a small pool. In a study by Glassdoor (www.glassdoor.com) 76% of hiring decision makers say attracting quality candidates is their #1 challenge and Indeed (www.indeed.co.uk) researchers who polled SMB owners found the vast majority (81%) believe recruitment is more difficult for them than it is for larger, more established companies. 
 
1. It’s not only about you 
Candidates have a lot more choice in the current climate and they can afford to be choosy about the company they work for. Therefore it’s more important than ever to remember the candidate’s needs and wants as well as yours. Tell them why this job is better than the other ones they are looking at on the job boards and why working at your company is a really great opportunity for them. 
 
2. Be clear about who you are looking for (but don’t ask for the impossible) 
Don’t put a great candidate off by making them think you only want to see Unicorns apply. Think about your needs first not your wants. If you need a full stack PHP Developer who enjoys both front and backend work that’s great but do you really need them to have had experience working for a not for profit shoe design company and have travelled extensively in Mongolia? 
 
3. Day to day responsibilities 
Be clear about what the job entails, if the responsibilities of the role are vague how can anyone decide they want to do it? 
 
4. Don’t hide the salary 
Although candidates are becoming more interested in benefits such as flexible working, pension, healthcare and working environment (according to a number of surveys), salary is still a vital factor. After all, it doesn’t matter how great the benefits are, if you can’t pay your bills you can’t take the job! According to Reed (www.reed.co.uk) two in three of jobseekers are more likely to apply when a salary is displayed on a job advert – making it even more important to make salary range clear in any role you advertise. 
 
5. Location and Commute 
Being able to get to work easily is important to any candidate and it can be key in an employee staying with you. Putting a location on your advert will help candidates to research their commute before applying and avoid any time wasting if the commute is too difficult. It’s a great idea if you can mention any public transport links as well as car parking facilities near by. 
 
6. Your company's online presence 
We can all research companies at the click of a button nowadays, so if your website is out of date and your social media is a mess, unless the advert is for someone to fix them, it’s not going to make your company look attractive. According to Glassdoor, 4 out of 5 job seekers (i.e.- 80%) research the company's reviews and ratings before deciding whether to apply for a job. 
 
Job Description 
One of the first tasks when hiring a new member of staff is writing a job description and it’s vital to get it right. A job description should form the foundation of any advertising you undertake, it should be your determinator when reviewing applications and your tool to create an effective interview. Unfortunately the job description is rarely given the care it requires and ends up becoming an unfocused wish list, a vague document that tells no one anything about the requirements of the position or, even worse, an inaccurate description that discourages the right applicants and attracts only unsuitable candidates. 
 
Here are some simple tips to help create that perfect job description which will enable you to hire the right person for the job. 
 
1. Focus on need first; what do you need the new person to do, what do they need to know? These are your “Requirements”. 
 
It’s important that you decide what you can’t do without because these Requirements will be how you can quickly decide if someone is likely to be suitable or not. Thinking about what you need will also help you to make sure that you are hiring for the correct position, it’s amazing how often a company will go through the recruitment process and then decide that they have been recruiting for the wrong job! The test for this is to ask if you could compromise on anything you include in your list of needs, if you can then it’s not a need, it’s a Desirable. 
 
2. Your wish list, what would you like the new person to do, what would you like them to know? These are your “Desirables”. 
 
Once you’ve decided on what you need you can think about what you’d like, this helps you to compare one applicant’s suitability against another. They both satisfy the needs so how they score against your wish list will help to separate them. It’s important not to just create a long list of Desirables, they need to be a) realistic and b) relevant. Consider how these desirables will benefit the business, the team or the successful candidate in fulfilling their new role. For example; if they are going to be working on their own, in a remote site it probably doesn’t matter if they are a fun, outgoing person with great people skills, but self-motivation would be really useful! Ask yourself is it relevant to performing the role and is it realistic to expect candidates to have these desirable skills, knowledge or qualities? 
 
3. Job title, does it match the job
According to Indeed (www.indeed.co.uk), Candidates are much more likely to search for “receptionist” than a clever title like “vice president of first impressions.”. 
 
Think about the job title, does it accurately describe the job in the way a potential applicant would search for it on a job board? You may need to use a different job title on your description than the job title you’d use internally. Don’t make the job look more senior or junior than it actually is by using the wrong job title, you will attract the wrong candidates and discourage the right ones if they misunderstand the level of the role. Think, is the job title an accurate representation of the position you are looking to fill? 
 
4. Salary, is it too low (or too high)? 
An important part of any job description is the salary, if you get the salary wrong you’ll attract the wrong candidates and may put off the right ones. 
 
Take a look at the job market, see what other companies are offering for similar jobs or ask an expert to do some benchmarking for you. If you can’t afford to pay the market rate but you really need to fill the position, what other benefits are there for candidates if they take this job? 
 
5. The benefits of the job. 
What benefits will a prospective employee get from taking this job? In a competitive job market candidates are now looking at more than just salary from a job. 
 
In a poll conducted by YouGov on behalf of Indeed, (https://www.themeaningofwork.co.uk/), UK workers who prioritise work/life balance would be happy earning £6,000 less annually than those who are not as concerned with work/life balance. In the same survey 43% of respondents didn’t think that salary was the most important factor in their work so, if you don’t have another reason for them working for you, you’ll have to either pay more than anyone else or lose candidates to a business that does offer more. Consider what’s great about working for your company and show off about the benefits a new employee will get from working for you. 
 
The job market is more competitive than ever so it’s important to take the time to make sure you know what you are looking for and for prospective employees to see and be attracted to, your vacancy. 
More articles. 
Interviewing 
 
Interviews are often the scariest part of the hiring process for both the candidate and the manager looking to hire a new member of staff. 
It’s important to remember that you both have the same goal - the person being interviewed wants to get the job, if it’s right for them, and the person doing the interviewing wants to hire the candidate, if they are right for the job. If you are both comfortable then you will communicate better and find out much more about what each other needs and can offer, therefore you are able to make more informed decisions. 
 
The first thing to do is to make sure you are prepared properly: 
1. Know the job specification, you expect the candidate to know their CV, you should know your job spec just as well. How can you decide how well a candidate matches the job spec if you don’t know it? 
 
2. Prepare standard questions in advance that you will ask every candidate, you will use these to help differentiate between them in a fair and consistent manner. 
 
3. Prepare questions specific to the candidate’s CV based on gaps in their employment, education, or anything else that caught your eye when reviewing it. 
 
4. Make sure that you have a quiet, private location to conduct the interview and that you won’t be interrupted. If necessary book a room in a nearby shared office, hotel or library. 
 
5. If the interview is scheduled to last 1 hour make sure you allow an extra half an hour for over runs (you might find you have lots to talk about) and make sure your diary is clear for half an hour beforehand so you aren’t rushing to the interview. 
 
6. Make sure you have all the paperwork (such as candidate’s CV), information and tools required for the interview in one place and ready in plenty of time so you’re not rushing around looking for them and getting stressed. 
 
 
Now you are properly prepared it’s time to conduct the interview itself! 
1. Start with introductions, make sure the candidate knows who everyone interviewing them is and what their role in the interview will be and explain the structure of the interview. This will help relax them and help them to open up in the interview. 
 
2. Tell them a bit about the company, how the role fits into the organisational structure and how the role fits into the companies aims. 
 
3. Start with simple questions aimed at putting the candidate at ease and starting to see their real character. Ask questions such as: 
a. Tell me a bit about yourself 
b. What do you like doing outside of work? 
c. How was your journey to the office? 
 
4. Now you are both in the swing, move on to more in depth questions to find out where their competencies lie. Use behavioural questions (how they dealt with real life scenarios) and situational questions (how they might deal with hypothetical scenarios). These questions are structured as: 
a. Give me an example of when xxxxxx happened? 
b. Give me an example of how you deal with ………….? 
c. Tell me about a time you ………..? 
d. What would you do if xxxxx happens? 
e. Imagine that xxxx happens, what would you do? 
 
5. Now you know a bit more about the candidate’s competencies and it’s time to find out a bit more about them and their ambitions: 
a. Why are you looking for a new job? 
b. What do you want from your new job? 
c. What do you like about your current job? 
d. What don’t you like doing? 
 
6. Give them an opportunity to ask you questions and then answer those questions honestly, don’t avoid answering unless it would compromise client relationships, security or something similar. 
 
7. Finish off by explaining the next stages and timescales for feedback, thank the candidate for their time and see them off. If this is a final stage interview and it’s gone well you might want to give them a little tour and let them meet other members of staff to see how they interact. 
Making an offer 
 
You’ve interviewed the candidates and one of them has really impressed you and you’d like to make them an offer but how do you go about it? 
 
1. What salary will you offer? 
When you wrote the job specification you should have looked at the market and benchmarked the salary for the position you are filling. Measuring this against any benefits that you offer above or below the norm should give you a fair figure. 
Consider what the candidate has told you they want, in terms of salary and benefits, is your offer comparable? If it isn’t then you are likely to enter a difficult negotiation and look as if you don’t value them before they even start (if you are not turned down out right, it’s a candidate’s market nowadays). 
 
2. What is the benefit to the candidate of accepting your offer? 
The days of people being grateful for being offered any job have gone, there are more job vacancies than candidates at the moment, in Birmingham there are 2 vacancies for every jobseeker and in Swindon there are 25 vacancies per jobseeker! (Adzuna Job Market Report December 2019) 
You need to be confident of why someone would want to accept your offer and come and work for you. This is not about salary and could be because of the career prospects, interesting work, working conditions, location/commute, benefits package. 
 
3. Make the offer 
Now you know what you are offering and why the candidate should accept the offer it’s time to put it to them. Always put the offer to them verbally and don’t send it in writing until you have told the candidate personally. 
Start by briefly going back over the role and what they are being hired to do, remind them of anything they’ve said about what they are looking for and how the job delivers on that. 
 
Once you have confirmed that the candidate is keen on the role and would be happy to accept subject to the correct offer you can tell them what you are offering. You don’t need to go into minute detail, just go over the salary, the benefits package and working hours. The candidate’s response should tell you all you need to know but make sure you ask directly, “Are you happy to accept the offer and join us?”. If you’ve prepared properly the answer should be yes and you can then thank them and let them know you’ll put it in writing and the next stages. 
 
If they turn down the offer make sure you know exactly why and what you need to offer for them to accept. It needs to be black and white, there is no point negotiating if the candidate still can’t commit if you offered them what they ask for. It’s then up to you to decide if their request is something you can accede to, if you can only meet them half way or if you’ve already offered them everything you can and that’s it. 
More news to come 
More articles to come 
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