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The first step of recruitment is to draw up a job description and a person specification. Consider carefully what the role will entail and what kind of person would be best suited to it, for example, the qualifications required. This will enable you to keep in focus the kind of person you are looking for when you are reading though CVs and application forms.
Although application forms vary from employer to employer and between job positions, most employers use a standard application form asking for details such as previous positions and employers, education and relevant training courses and contact information. You should only ask for information relevant to the position you are offering.
There are no rules in employment law which state that an employer must advertise internally before they try external sources to fill a vacant post. This is purely a management decision and if you feel that there are good reasons to use external recruitment as a first route then there is nothing directly stopping you.
However, it may be a good idea to look internally first. You might think that you do not have the right person internally, but your current staff may not have made their full complement of skills known to you in the role that they currently undertake. It might take the awareness of a promotion to give them the kick they need to show you their full potential and ambition. This means that you could have the prime candidate already on your doorstep who could save you the time, effort and money it takes to advertise outside of the organisation.
Add that to the fact that they already know the organisation, its practices, processes, staff and so on, an existing staff member would avoid the first few weeks of uncertainty with new staff, where they are trying to find their feet and are unsure of their surroundings.
Using online networking for recruitment is quite different to recruiting internally and each have positive and negative points to consider. When recruiting, it is beneficial to use a variety of methods as appropriate for the job, company and finances available; this will ensure that the right people are targeted and reached.
Using online networking would initially be quite a simple and cheap way to headhunt certain individuals who might not be explicitly looking for a new job, but the results of this method may be quite mixed. Advertising for job vacancies internally is an easy, cost free way to advertise jobs to those who are reliable and familiar with the company, but this method may be quite restrictive in terms of the candidates targeted. Other methods to consider include using a recruitment agency, advertising in a newspaper or industry magazine, and advertising on the company website.
During the recruitment process, individuals are generally not under an obligation to give information about their spent convictions and if they do employers should not discriminate against them on those grounds. However, you can ask candidates about unspent convictions and it may be appropriate to conduct background checks on the candidates to ensure that any criminal conviction history they have does not make them unsuitable for the role.
There are also several things to consider during the recruitment process regarding equal opportunities. It is important to acknowledge this because anti-discrimination law extends to job applicants; it is possible for someone to take you to tribunal on the basis that you did not offer them a job because of one of the protected characteristics, including because of their gender, a disability, their age or their religion.
For example, in relation to disability, employers should not as a matter of course ask any questions about any disabilities the job applicant may have, or information about previous absence record unless one of the specific exemptions in the Equality Act 2010 apply, for example, that a good level of health or physical condition is intrinsic to the performance of the role. Whilst it is not technically unlawful to ask health-related questions, it may raise suspicions with the unsuccessful applicant if you did ask such questions and then offered the job to someone else.
It is not unlawful to ask about age in an application form, but some employers choose to omit this question.
Refusing to employ someone on grounds related to trade union membership is also unlawful.
You must make sure the job applicant provides the necessary documentation to prove that they have the right to work in the UK before they commence employment with you. If someone cannot provide evidence that they can legally work in the UK you should not employ them otherwise you will be breaking the law and be subject to large fines.