Employee Life Cycle: Step 1 Recruitment

The Employee Life Cycle refers to the various stages of the employment process. It starts from the recruitment phase and does not end until termination. Over the next following weeks we will be taking you through the following steps of the Employee Life Cycle and giving you top tips for each step of the way. 

1.Defining the role

If you do not know the specific ins and outs of the role, then how will you be able to find the best candidate?

The first stage of the process is to define the role that you will be recruiting for. In order to do this, you should complete a job analysis. This will help you to then write a job description and person specification or job profile, which are also important processes.

By defining the role, you will fully understand exactly what the job entails and what skills the potential candidate should have. If you have never done the role yourself, you may not have a complete knowledge of what the role entails on a day to day basis. It may be useful to have someone who has a similar role, or understands the role better, to help you complete a job analysis.

Not only does defining the job role help you as an employer, it will also help potential candidates to understand what the job entails, what skills are required, and therefore whether the job is a suitable position for them. 

2.Job analysis

It is important to invest time at the beginning of the recruitment process to fully understand the new or existing position. By putting time in at the beginning of the process this will save you time in the long run shuffling through numerous inappropriate candidate application forms, interviewing candidates who are wholly unsuitable for the position, and having candidates withdraw their applications after understanding what the role truly involves.

An effective job analysis should:

  • Identify the purpose of the role
  • Why does the Company need the position filled?
  • Will they be supporting other job roles?
  • Will they be managing a team?
  • Identify the tasks that make up the role
  • What will the successful candidate be required to do?
  • What are the day to day tasks?
  • What are the weekly tasks?
  • Highlight any key skills needed to complete the role
  • What skills are needed in order to complete the tasks?
  • What general skills are needed, i.e. team work?
  • Are there any specialist skills that are needed?
  • Consider how the role fits within the organisation
  • Will the role be managerial?
  • Who will the position report to?

3.Job description

 The information found in the job analysis can help to write the job description. The purpose of the job description is to explain to the potential candidates what the role will entail, this can be as in-depth as you feel is necessary. It can also help those involved in the recruitment process by providing a clear goal on what the candidate needs to be able to do to be successful in the role. This can help form objective selection criteria later on.

The job description should focus primarily on the job. It should include details of the purpose of the role, what tasks will the role consist of, and any relevant information in regards to the role. Detailing necessary and preferable skills and experience should be put in the person specification.

The information you should include in a job description is as follows:

  • A bit about the organisation and its activities;
  • Job location;
  • Job tenure (contract length, work hours, etc);
  • Details of how to apply and if there is a deadline; and
  • Remuneration/reward package.

4.Person specification/Job profile

The person specification should detail the experience, know-how and qualifications, skills, abilities, and behavioural attributes necessary for the job in question.

The requirements can be split between those which are ‘essential’ for the job and those which are merely ‘desirable’.

It is imperative that:

  • All requirements can be objectively justified by reference to the job in question; and
  • You do not indirectly discriminate against any groups of employees.

5.Attracting the applicants

There are a variety of different ways in which you can generate interest from potential candidates. These are:

  • Internal methods

When recruiting for a role it is important not to forgot the internal talent pool that you already have. Providing existing employees with opportunities to develop and progress within their careers increases employee engagement and retention.

There are instances where it is also vital that you advertise positions to your existing staff. For examples, when making redundancies, when an employee is on maternity leave or shared parental leave, or during long-term sickness absence.

  • Employee referral scheme

An employee referral scheme is where an incentive is given to existing employees for the successful recruitment of a family member, friend or associate.

  • External methods

There are many different ways in which you can generate interest for a position outside of your organisation. The most popular external methods are:

– A corporate website;                                                                                                                     -Commercial job boards; and                                                                                                       -Professional networking sites (e.g. LinkedIn).

  • External recruitment services

Some organisations decide to use external providers to assist with the recruitment process. Recruitment agencies or consultants can offer a range of services during the recruitment process.

  • Headhunting

Organisations are now using LinkedIn and other business orientated social networking sites to headhunt.

Headhunting may be useful to help fill a role with a specific skill set, or one that you have been struggling to fill.

Headhunting is not about offering someone a job but expressing your interest for them to apply for the role.

Regardless of the method of recruitment you decide to use you need to ensure that your advertisements do not discriminate against anyone.

6.Managing the application process

Before a job is advertised a decision should have been made on how candidates should apply for the role. There are two main formats that can be used: a curriculum vita (“CV”); or an application form.

These can either be submitted via post, email, or on an online portal.

Some organisations may decide to have candidates complete an application form and send in a CV.

7.Dealing with applications

It is vital that all applications are treated confidentially and in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. Applications should only be circulated to those involved in the recruitment process.

All applications should be acknowledged. If you are unable to contact every candidate to let them know whether they have been successful at the application stage, then you should make applicants aware of this when acknowledging the application.

8.Medical questionnaires

Be careful about asking for medical information. Section 60 of the Equality Act 2010 prohibits employers from asking potential recruits questions about health, other than for prescribed reasons.

The purpose of Section 60 is to prevent disability or health information being used to sift out job applicants without first giving them the opportunity to show they have the skills to do the job.

Section 60 prohibits:

  • Enquiries by, or on behalf of, an employer about a job applicant’s disability and health during the recruitment process up to the point when a job offer is made; and
  • Written and verbal questions put to job applicants and to any third party, for example, a current or ex-employer.

Pre-employment health and disability questions are banned at the application stage as they can place candidates with a disability at a disadvantage. The exception to this rule is where it is necessary to establish whether an applicant can carry out a function intrinsic to the work concerned, or where reasonable adjustments need to be made in order to enable disabled candidate to attend for interview.

9.The Equality Act 2010

 A well-considered recruitment process can not only help in recruiting the most appropriate person for the job with regard to skills, experience and potential, it can also minimise the risk of discrimination claims.

The Equality Act 2010 prohibits discrimination, harassment, and victimisation in relation to nine ‘protected characteristics’:

  • Age;
  • Disability;
  • Gender re-assignment;
  • Marriage and civil partnership;
  • Pregnancy and maternity;
  • Race;
  • Religion or belief;
  • Sex; and
  • Sexual orientation.

It is important to note that an individual does not need to be an employee with 2 years’ service in order to bring a discrimination claim against you. A current employee with less than 2 years’ service or a job seeker can also bring a discrimination claim against you. This is why it is so important to ensure that the recruitment process is a fair, unbiased process, that does not discriminate against any particular group of employees.

10.Vicarious liability

Employers are liable for the actions of their employees during the course of their employment.

Employees can also be individually liable and could potentially face an Employment Tribunal claim if they are discriminatory towards a potential candidate during the recruitment process.

Employers can only escape liability if they can show they took all reasonable steps to prevent the discrimination occurring. For example, by having in place an equal opportunities policy and training staff in good recruitment practices.


Are you or your managers confident in handling the recruitment process? We can provide training on how to conduct the recruitment process. If you are interested, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01527 571611 or alternatively on info@agilityrac.com

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