Recruiting in the digital age

Businesses that employ up to ten people, often known as micro businesses, are now hailed as the dominant recruitment force in the private sector, according to new research by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC).

The future is looking bright for these microbusinesses, as 76% of employers are preparing to recruit in the next quarter, while 81% say they plan to employ new recruits within the next 4-12 months.

Strike while the iron is hot

If your business is ready to take on new people, then it looks like now is the perfect time to do so. Recruitment is easier and more dynamic than ever, due to the uptake of social media, across smaller businesses in particular. It has never been simpler to let people know that you’re hiring, and you can target the people you’re after better than ever before.

However, it’s still essential that you follow the rules to make sure that you not only get the best candidates, but you do so without falling foul of the law too.

Take a look at our practical guide for recruiting in the digital age:

Get your sums right

Firstly, are you sure that you can afford to take someone new on? Make sure that you’ve calculated how much it will cost to bring someone new into your team. As well as wages, you should take into account the costs involved in the recruitment process.

Find the right recruitment channel

The new methods of advertising jobs through social media, including LinkedIn and Twitter may be cheap fresh and exciting, but to get the right candidates for your particular business, you may need to go through channels that are more traditional, including:

  • Local press
  • Trade magazines
  • Employment agencies.

These methods can cost more, but you might find that you can target your audience more effectively and reach the best-qualified candidates.

Follow a fair and reasonable recruitment process

However you decide to find your applicants, the most important thing to remember is to follow a fair recruitment process and not to discriminate on the grounds of:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender reassignment
  • Marriage and civil partnership
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Race
  • Religion or belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation

Some companies have made unintentional mistakes when writing their job adverts; make sure that you steer clear from any potentially damaging phrases. For example, avoid using job titles that are specific to men or women, such as “barman” or “waitress” and don’t state that applicants should be from a particular age range, as this may discriminate against younger and older applicants.

To prepare a legally compliant job specification, use objective, non-discriminatory phrases to give yourself a sensible and defensible method for selecting applicants during your recruitment procedure.

Keep it real

Make sure that you give clear and honest expectations about the role and your company in your recruitment ads and interview conversations; and that anything said about the role, promotion opportunities, on-target earnings and the business in general, are a true reflection of what to expect.

Focus on the positive aspects of your business, for instance:

  • Your unique culture
  • A flexible approach to working hours
  • Career progression
  • Training and personal development.

Getting the fit right

After the recruitment and interview processes, you may want to invite some candidates into your business to see if they’re a good fit for each other. Potential new starters can spend some time with your existing workforce to see how they get along in the new environment.

Increasing your headcount can be an exciting time, so make sure that you get the basics right to find the perfect match.

For more advice and information on policies and people, go to Sage HR advice.

Samantha Bell

Samantha Bell

HR Consultant

Samantha is a HR consultant, specialising in giving HR advice to small businesses in the UK.