How to avoid Recruiting nightmares..

A few helpful tips to ensure you hire the very best candidates.

Hey, I’m Karen and I’m the Director/Owner of Recruit123. I have just over 20 years’ experience working in the wonderful world of recruitment, 9 of which were spent running a recruitment agency. In January last year I broke away from that business partnership, to venture out on my own with Recruit123. I still deal with recruitment, but now I only write the adverts for clients needing to recruit – I really love what I do now.

When you get to the stage where you need to take on staff, I understand the importance of finding the right candidate for your business. A successful offer to a potential new employee can not only strengthen your existing team, but also help you to become more successful as a business.

There are lots of tips and useful guides around this subject and some of you may feel that recruiting is a bit of a minefield, especially if you have never done it before. I have provided below a few tips that I feel will help you along the way.

Really long job descriptions. (yawn)

You want to give yourself the very best chance to find the perfect candidate, so why do so many companies still write chapter and verse for their job adverts? You know how you feel when you are presented with a 10-page document to read, so try to eliminate as many hurdles as you can.

Make it easy for the person you seek to click ‘Apply’. Separate out the main duties of the job role from the nice to haves’ – everything else you can go through with a candidate when you meet them face to face.

One of the job boards I use to advertise my client’s vacancies is Totaljobs. Here is a link to a useful article about writing the perfect job advert:

Give yourself plenty of time.

You’d be amazed at how many people don’t think about when they would like the person to start. Some companies when they have a vacancy to recruit for will either want to fill the position immediately or will tend to drag the recruitment process out for as long as possible.

Giving yourself the right amount of time will ensure you find the right candidate – recruiters are not magicians, sometimes to find the perfect candidate takes time – so all this needs to be factored in. It can also have the reverse effect if you drag your feet – candidates will not wait around for you to get back to them, so give some serious thought to your recruitment pipeline – TIME is a precious word people!

Culture Club

No, not the band! I want to spend a few minutes talking to you about the importance of cultural fit. So many people get this bit wrong OR miss it out. The candidate’s CV doesn’t tell you what makes them tick, the what’s important to them bit (yes, candidates are just as important as you). You are looking at making a big investment taking on someone new. You want the person you take on to stay with you for more than a week!

Cultural fit is in the Top 5 most useful things for a candidate to hear about – so tell them about it! They need to be a good fit for your company’s culture. Get your staff involved, have them talk to them to find out what they are really like, after all, they have to work with them!

So how many interviews will I need to do to find Mr or Mrs Right?

Now, there are lots of answers to this one, so here are my thoughts.

It might be your business, or you are recruiting for the company that you work for and you want to get it right. If you have already shortlisted your advert response and weeded out the ones that haven’t got the right experience – it doesn’t matter how many you have on this list, it could be 10, 20 or more. When you start to call around them, you will soon learn that some of them have since changed their minds OR just don’t answer their phones OR get back to you.

For each role, once the shortlisting has been completed, I would aim for about 5-6 candidates to invite in for interview. If you don’t find what you are looking for from these first initial interviews you may need to tweak the job advert OR the screening process to generate more candidates. I used to start with a brief telephone interview and then from that, if you like the sound of the person on the other end of the phone, invite them in for a face to face meeting – don’t hang around getting them in to see you, they might get snapped up by someone else!

After the first face to face interview, if you are not sure OR maybe it’s a close tie between 2 people and you just don’t know which one to pick, too close to tell – we’ve all been there. Hold a 2nd face to face interview, but maybe mix it up this time by inviting a colleague into the interview to see what they think. You could even look at giving them a task to do, or a test relevant to the job they are being interviewed for.

Here is a link to a series of basic questions to use in an interview:

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.

Believe it or not, this bit is true. It is not just the responsibility of the candidate to prepare for your amazing interview. You also need to prepare yourself and your team, especially if you are holding a panel interview. You need to showcase the job on offer to make sure the candidate understands what an amazing opportunity it would be to work for you – so please take some time to prepare.

If you are getting other people involved in the interview process, I would advise you to divide the questions you want to ask between the interview panel before the interview, that way, the same question won’t get asked twice! If, however the colleague being involved in the interview process is there to just take notes – let the interviewee know this before you start the interview.

You don’t want your interviewee to feel like they are facing a firing squad, so try to make it as pleasant an experience as possible – then you will see the best in them and vice versa.

Help is at hand on the recruitment process if you need it or if you have a vacancy you need some help with. Please visit for more information on the services we provide.

Happy Recruiting!

2 Responses to “How to avoid Recruiting nightmares..”

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  1. nicola hasprey says:

    Why is it we the public, apply for jobs, via Indeed etc, our details then get sent on to someone else. We do not even get an email from them. We cannot chase them up as no contact details are given. I work part time, my job is finishing soon, as the company now want someone full time. How do I get another suitable jobs. The agencies don’t have much.

    • karen123-18-KE says:

      Hi Nicola,

      Sorry about the delay in getting back to you. I have recently had some work done on my website and I thought it would send me an email when I received a message.

      I can understand your frustration. We are an advertising agency, specialising in writing job adverts – not a recruitment agency.
      We are able to get you feedback, all you had to do was call us or send an email and we would have helped you as much as possible.
      Even recruitment agencies won’t let you contact the company direct – they get the feedback for you – it’s the same with us :)

      Feedback is very important, so I personally would have done as much as possible for you, to get you answers.

      Advice on finding other jobs: Register with as many agencies as you can, keep an eye on Indeed and other job boards. If you haven’t already, I would upload your CV to a few of them as you may then start to get enquiries.

      We like to help here at Recruit123. If you are still out of work, please give me a call and maybe I can offer you some advice.

      Kindest Regards,


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