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Is it difficult to recruit good employees?

interview to recruit a new employee between two people Your People Partners interview to recruit a new employee between two people
interview to recruit a new employee between two people Your People Partners interview to recruit a new employee between two people

Last updated: 27th October 22

Applies to: Business Owners and Hiring Managers


Building a business and deciding to recruit employees is rewarding, but can be fraught with danger, and the costs of getting it wrong are considerable. 

Recruiting employees is risky and it makes good sense to stack the odds in your favour. 

UK businesses are failing to recruit the right person for two out of five roles despite the significant financial costs of making mistakes, according to a report from the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC). 

Perfect match: Making the right hire and the cost of getting it wrong explains the common mistakes employers make, defines the real cost of poor hiring, and offers practical advice to businesses seeking to avoid financial risks at every stage in the hiring process. The report shows:

  • 85 per cent of HR decision-makers admit their organisation has made a bad hire, and a third (33 per cent) believe that these mistakes cost their business nothing
  • a poor hire at mid-manager level with a salary of £42,000 can cost a business more than £132,000
  • the hidden costs involved in bad recruitment include money wasted on training, lost productivity, and increased staff turnover
  • four in ten employers (39 per cent) admit that the interviewing and assessment skills of their staff should be improved. 


“Getting recruitment right is even more important during a time of economic uncertainty because businesses need to ensure they’re not wasting money. Our calculations show that UK businesses are wasting billions every year because of the volume of hiring mistakes being made. “Shockingly, we discovered that employers are completely underestimating the financial impact of getting recruitment wrong, and not learning how to improve. “This report outlines the hidden costs of making hiring mistakes, and outlines how employers can implement a robust selection process to minimise this risk and improve performance.”

REC chief executive Kevin Green Tweet

“Hiring is one of the most important aspects of business growth, but one of the most costly if done wrong. In today’s tight labour market there is a full-blown battle for talent, and employers need help navigating the terrain. “The good news is that when it comes to connecting candidates to open positions, search engines like Indeed have emerged as a powerful tool for employers. Our mission is to help people find the right job, and the insights raised in this report will help hirers source and retain candidates to meet their business needs.” Seems scary!! However there are steps you can take to mitigate some of these risks.

Bill Richards, UK Managing Director, Indeed Tweet

1. Define the role and ideal person profile  

Move beyond listing the scope and responsibilities of the job. 

A detailed job description is important for you, but it is essential to define the skills, knowledge and personal qualities that the person will need. 

Think about the personality traits you require the person to have. 

It is often said that people tend to recruit based on skills but then fire based on attitudes and behaviours. It makes much more sense to try and get these aligned in the beginning


2. Attract the applicants you need

Be aware of how candidates conduct their job search; assess platforms being used to reach and attract candidates including digital platforms.

Embrace a flexible workforce; offer flexible working arrangements and adaptive working practices, wherever possible, as a way of boosting inclusion and attracting talent. This can potentially separate you from the competition and may help you secure the ideal candidate.

Try to make your job ad appealing. DO NOT just advertise a version of the job description. You need to make the role sound interesting to potential candidates. 

Don’t be too generic in your descriptions of who you are and what you are looking for. You want the right candidates, not just lots of them. We always try to write ads that attract who we want but detract those we don’t. This saves everyone a lot of time and effort.

Make sure you are offering a competitive salary/benefits package.


3. Select the best candidate 

Take your time over hiring decisions – most regretted decisions are a result of filling the position too quickly. 

Look beyond the candidates’ skills and look for traits that match the company values and vision. Many hiring managers/business owners will look at the CV and then whether they like them. This is where it often goes wrong. Try to get behind the CV and find out what makes that person tick. We use questionnaires and video/audio answers to give us a greater feel for who would be the best fit for a particular role.

Determine your selection criteria in advance. You can gauge candidates’ abilities by giving them a task or test designed to show how they would perform in the role.

Think about implementing soft skills assessment tools  

Deliver a high standard of candidate experience with ongoing communication during the recruitment process, including two-way feedback for all those interviewed. This will help ensure that you don’t lose ideal candidates to other companies.

In some senses that is the easy part! Now you have to make sure your new recruit is able to thrive and becomes a valued member of the team.


4. Onboarding and beyond

To keep your new team member happy and productive you need to continue to serve their needs.

Ensure you train new recruits and provide them with a solid understanding of job requirements and team dynamics. There will be a learning curve so don’t expect them to be great from day 1.

Provide regular feedback reiterating the ‘onboarding’ goals and vision of the company, this can help them understand and feel a part of things and embed the company culture.  

Offer career development opportunities to motivate employees and maximise their potential  

Request regular feedback from employees and conduct exit interviews where possible.


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Still need help?

Remember, you don’t have to take on the recruitment process alone. Need some help? The team at Your People Partners are always happy to help.

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