Hiring a new team member into your carefully built and nurtured team can seem daunting at first especially for small and medium sized businesses, where they often cannot afford to make a wrong hire. The recruitment process plays a pivotal role in shaping the future of your company, and therefore it is crucial to approach with strategic planning and consideration so you find the right fit to compliment your team and drive your business forward.

There are a few things to consider when you think you might need to hire someone.

Do I really need someone?

People can often fall into the trap of replacing like for like. But when someone leaves, it is a great opportunity to review the role to see whether it is necessary, or whether you could make some internal changes.

Creating the job description

A job description captures the tasks, responsibilities, skills, and qualifications necessary to do the role. After considering if you can make some internal changes, you may need to make amendments to the job description used for your last hire. Make sure to keep on top of ever-changing employment law updates, and avoid unintended discrimination, such as including terms like ‘recent graduate’ or ‘highly experienced.’ Both of which could be seen as age discrimination.

Benchmarking the salary

Salary benchmarking is essential for comparing the pay and benefits on offer against those offered by competitors. It is a great way to ensure that you attract and retain top talent. The process can prevent the loss of new employees to competitors with better packages. It also allows businesses to see how competitive they are within the marketplace.


It’s always a good idea to try to pinpoint what market you want to reach and determine where you should advertise. This can be done yourself, or via your recruitment partner. If you are putting an advert out there – remember that it needs to be legally compliant and not discriminatory. Avoid saying things like ‘handy man’ or ‘would suit a new mum looking to get back to work.’


Shortlisting should ideally involve at least two people and includes reviewing CV’s and covering letters or application forms, against a set of job-related criteria and identifying a suitable pool of candidates for further assessment. You may consider using an online application system to automate shortlisting, which can save time, but this might not make allowances for an applicant with a disability. If they were to miss key words from their application, they would likely be disregarded, which could result in disability discrimination.


There are many types of assessment, such as: telephone interviews; face to face interviews; testing and DISC behavioural profiling.

By law you must ask anyone coming to an interview to tell you if they need reasonable adjustments, so they can attend. For example, making sure your office is accessible for a disabled applicant.

Be wary of asking questions about disability, race or other protected characteristics, as questions should be objective, and job related.

Making a job offer

A job offer letter should include several terms, such as: job title; start date; salary; holiday entitlement; benefits etc. It is a good idea to ask the applicant to confirm in writing they’ve accepted the job.

You cannot ask a job applicant to complete a medical questionnaire, and to do so could result in disability discrimination. You can ask after a job offer has been made, but the offer cannot be conditional upon this.

You are also required to check employee’s eligibility to work in the UK and carry out DBS checks if relevant to the role.

Employees are entitled by law to receive a contract of employment on day one.

Withdrawing an offer

If the employee does not meet the requirements of the job offer e.g. failure to provide right to work documents, then the offer can be withdrawn. You would need to give statutory notice or if a contract of employment has been issued, you would be required to give the employee contractual notice.

This is obviously a complex area, but one that is essential to get right. If you’d rather leave it to the experts, then get in touch and we can talk through our recruitment services.

    How Hallidays HR can help:

    If you would like to discuss any of the above in more detail, then please do not hesitate to contact us on 0161 476 8276 or email hr@hallidayshr.co.uk. And of course, visit our LinkedIn page.