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Help for small firms

Recruiting an employee: A step-by-step guide

Recruiting an employee - Step 2

Who do you want?

  • Pinpoint the key tasks and aims of the role in a job description. This should include the:
    • main purpose of the job. Try and do this in one sentence. For example: 'To increase revenue from advertising on the company's website by 25%.'
    • job's main tasks. Try to be precise. For example: 'Taking shorthand notes and typing company letters' is clearer than 'general office duties'.
    • scope of the job. Say a little more about how important the job is and how it fits into the overall purpose of your business, and briefly explain other duties and responsibilities.
  • Profile the person who would be best suited to it in the person specification. This is a pen portrait of the ideal person you would like. In order not to discriminate against anyone, focus on:
    • skills and knowledge - for example, managing current sales accounts
    • experience - for example, a minimum of one year in website advertising sales
    • aptitudes - for example, a head for figures
    • personal qualities - for example, self motivated and who judges performance by results.

You should spell out which attributes are essential for the job and which are desirable.

Legal check

  • You must not discriminate on grounds of sex, race, disability, age, sexual orientation or religion throughout the entire recruitment process -  going through job applications, selecting candidates for interview, offering a candidate the job, and agreeing their terms and conditions - and, of course, once you've employed them. For example, if a job candidate you have selected for interview has said they have a disability, you must make any reasonable adjustments so they are not at a disadvantage.
  • It is a criminal offence to employ a person with no immigration authorisation to work in the UK.

You can download sample job descriptions from our Hiring staff useful forms section.

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