People: you can't live with them, but you can't run a business without them. Good staff literally transform weak organisations into strong, healthy and vibrant operations.

But it can often feel as though these saints of the workplace are like pixie dust: legendary, but impossible to locate. And as the UK faces a much-publicised skills gap, attracting and retaining talented staff has never been more important for business owners.

Why is it so important?

Get the recruitment process right, and you virtually eliminate the risk of hiring the wrong person for the job. Get it wrong, and you won't even attract applications from suitable candidates, much less be able to spot them during the selection process. What’s more, you will have wasted big money in time and advertising.
Recruitment should not just be carried out to meet immediate staffing needs, but rather seen as part of an overall organisational strategy for resourcing personnel. Once you fill one vacancy, you should be left with a list of candidates you would consider for the same or other positions in the future. This makes the process much easier the next time round.  

But it's not just about filling vacancies, either. The process exposes your company to a wide section of the public. These people could be current or potential clients, customers or suppliers. And people talk. If a job applicant has had an unfavourable experience with your company, you can be sure that they will tell others about it. Hence it's vital that the recruitment process creates a positive impression of your company.

How to find the right candidates

The first step is to draw up a job profile that you will use in the vacancy advertisement. This can be wrought with employment law; for guidance, see our article on ‘Writing a recruitment advertisement’. 

Next you need to place your ad somewhere. There are a number of different routes you can take depending on the type of position and the money you want to spend. We look at some of the most popular recruitment techniques in our ‘Advertising a vacancy’ section.