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Acas publishes new advice to help employers brush up on recruitment and induction

Thursday 03 September 2015

Workplace experts, Acas, have launched two new free practical guides today to help employers and managers recruit and settle in staff.

Over the past year, the most common recruitment-related issues dealt with by Acas Helpline were around disclosing information (such as a disability or criminal records), probation periods, and how to construct a job advert. And research by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) found that over three-quarters of businesses face challenges retaining staff.

The new guides give employers and managers practical advice on how to successfully run a recruitment or induction programme, and include free tools, templates and check lists. They are:

  • Recruiting new staff: covers a range of issues from hiring options to what essential documents are needed, as well as top tips about the process itself, from advertising a job to considerations when choosing the right candidate.
  • Starting staff, induction: provides practical advice on steps to take before the new employee starts and throughout the first year that the new employee is taken on board. It also gives specific guidance around recruiting young people, including school, college, and university leavers.

Acas Chief Executive Officer, Anne Sharp, said:

"Our free online guides will help employers understand how to get recruitment and induction right. If the process isn't managed properly employers could face a costly employment tribunal.

"And with average costs to employers around £5,000 every time they recruit a new member of staff, it can be particularly hard hitting for smaller businesses. So it's worth investing the time and resources to help businesses grow.

"As workplace experts, we know that recruiting and settling in staff effectively and fairly brings long term benefits to the team, managers and the business as a whole."

Acas' two new free online guides outline the main points that employers should be aware of when recruiting and settling in new staff. Top tips include.

When recruiting new staff

  • Work out what is really needed: think about your hiring options and weigh up what the business needs and make sure the employment terms and conditions on offer are attractive in the current labour market.
  • Know the essentials: there are essential documents you need for any recruitment campaign, such as a job description, job application form, and job offer letter template.
  • Advertising the job: consider the range of media and advertise opportunities in at least two places to get best possible exposure to candidates.

When settling in new staff

  • Plan the induction properly: it doesn't need to be a formal process but it does need to be properly planned and consistently delivered to ensure that all new employees are treated fairly and receive the same information.
  • Have an induction check list: this can ensure that all areas are covered.  The process needs to impart all the information that new employees need in a way that doesn't overwhelm them, or distract them from getting to grips with their job.
  • Have a 'buddy' system for a new employee's first week: this can help answer practical questions and deal with any problems in an informal way.

The guides are also useful for more experienced HR professionals who may simply need a refresher on the latest legislation changes and employment practices.

The full Acas guides on Recruitment and Induction are available at Recruitment.

Notes to editors

  1. Acas has launched two new guides: 1) pdf  Recruiting staff guide [384kb] and 2) pdf  Starting staff: induction guide [317kb].
  2. The Acas Helpline answered 903,679 calls in 2014/15 and these calls included recruitment and induction issues. A breakdown of Acas Helpline calls by topic is available on page 42 of the latest Acas Annual Report.
  3. Acas offer training courses, which specifically covers Recruitment, selection and induction.
  4. Acas animated video captures different experiences of starting a new job and points young people in the direction of our helpful tips https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALXdCQ61-go.
  5. The CIPD report is available from CIPD - Resourcing and talent planning 2015, which reports that more than three-quarters of organisations had challenges retaining staff - similar to findings from the 2013 survey but showing an increase on previous years.
  6. The CIPD report on, which highlights that recruitment costs an average of £5k, is available at www.cipd.co.uk/NR/rdonlyres/746F1183-3941-4E6A-9EF6-135C29AE22C9/0/recruitretntsurv07.pdf 
  7. Acas stands for Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service. Acas provides free and impartial information and advice to employers and employees on all aspects of workplace relations and employment law. We support good relationships between employers and employees which underpin business success. We also provide good value, high quality training and tailored advice to employers. Our expertise is based on millions of contacts with employers and employees each year. Acas is an independent and impartial statutory body governed by a Council made up of members from business, trade unions, academia and the law.
  8. For media enquiries please contact Sophia Said, Media and Internal Communications Manager on 0207 210 3680 or ssaid@acas.org.uk. For out of hours media enquiries please call the out of hours duty press officer on 020 7210 3600.