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Hard to Fill Vacancies: Recruitment Processes

ViewHR is on a mission in assisting employers in filling their challenging vacancies. In our three-part blog series, we have already delved into the benefits of data-driven decision-making. This week’s blog post will address the crucial topic of recruitment processes. As the recruitment process can be extensive and complicated, adopting ineffective procedures can not only pose a risk to your organisation but also deter potential candidates. To optimise your recruitment process, we will examine five areas that, if implemented correctly, can facilitate successful candidate onboarding.

Job Description and Person Specification

The purpose of a job description is to provide an overview of the role’s duties, responsibilities, and requirements. To ensure you attract the right candidates you should include: an outline of the primary functions of the job and set the expectations for the role’s scope, level of seniority, reporting lines, and location. The document should be clear, concise, and accurately reflect the role’s purpose to enable potential candidates to understand the position’s requirements and responsibilities fully.

The purpose of a person specification is to outline the desired and essential skills, knowledge, experience, and personal qualities that an ideal candidate should possess to perform the job successfully. When creating the document, keep in mind the Equality Act and the nine protected characteristics to avoid discrimination.

Once the initial draft is complete, have the document reviewed by colleagues who work in the department; do the documents accurately reflect what is required? If the vacancy has arisen due to a leaver, ask them to review the document, if amenable to do so. Review your job title. Potentially the title has evolved internally over the years but does not match the external market; ensure the chosen title is something candidates will search for.


The next crucial step in the recruitment process is creating an eye-catching job advert. Companies such as Indeed, CV Library, and Personio provide a list of items that should be included in your advert:

  • company background
  • job type
  • Hours of work
  • Location and details of any remote/flexible working options
  • job description and responsibilities
  • who they report to
  • qualifications and experience needed
  • rewards and benefits including salary details.
  • information about the application process
  • contact information
  • deadline for applications

Once you have written your advert, place it in more than one location to ensure you achieve better reach. There are numerous places adverts could be placed; job boards, social media platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn, TikTok), industry magazines, local colleges or universities, recruitment agencies, internally and on your website. By casting a wide net, you are likely to find more candidates. Our first blog reviewed making decisions based on data; review data from previous campaigns and determine what channels attract the best candidates and the optimum length of time to leave the advert open for.

Application Process

Excellent communication and speed are the keys to a successful application process. One recruitment expert notes: ‘give everyone that touches candidates 24 hours to get back to them. Ideally you get back to candidates within a few hours’. By speeding up the process you are reducing delays, showing that you value candidates, and beating the competition.

Communication could include, thanking the candidate for their application, answering questions, confirmation of interview dates with good notice, unsuccessful at shortlisting, and if there are any delays or issues freely communicate with candidates.

Employers should determine whether they will use application forms or CV’s. From a risk perspective an application form will provide better levels of protection for the organisation and at shortlisting will afford a uniform method of comparing your person specification to – also speeding up the process.


There are different trains of thought on the interview process; either to batch interviews or to conduct them on a rolling basis following successful shortlisting. Both arguments have advantages and disadvantages; for instance, rolling interviews allows you to speed up the process however, you might not easily be able to compare candidates. Batch interviews are more traditional and could be seen as fairer, whereas in rolling interviews you may be reluctant to extend an offer when you are still interviewing promising candidates.

Ultimately, batch interviews are more suitable for high-volume roles, where efficiency and consistency are critical, while rolling interviews are more suitable for roles that require a more individualised approach and a fast time-to-hire. We suggest trailing each style and reviewing the data analysing what works best for your company.

Whichever style of interview you choose, you will need to be well prepared and create a meeting plan ideally consisting of the below:

  • Welcome candidates and make them feel at ease.
  • Introduce yourself and fellow interviewers.
  • Begin with basic interview questions and continue with more involved ones.
  • Discuss the role and answer candidates’ questions.
  • Pitch your company by describing its values, benefits and why the candidate should consider working for you.
  • Give candidates a tour of your workplace or introduce them to your team, if appropriate.

Hiring managers should be well trained and have a good understanding of legislation surrounding recruitment to ensure a smooth and well presented interview. The company pitch is vital, candidates should want to work for your company following an interview.


The last step in the recruitment process is onboarding. Here are some statistics around onboarding:

  • A negative onboarding experience can make new hires twice as likely to look out for other jobs in the future. (digitate)
  • Great employee onboarding can improve employee retention by 82% – Brandon Hall group.
  • Organisations with structured onboarding saw a 60% year-over-year improvement in revenue – northpass.

The statistics show how vital it is to have an effective onboarding process. The induction process is a whole blog on its own, if you need any help planning or refining your onboarding processes contact ViewHR for further information.

The recruitment process is a crucial step in filling hard-to-fill vacancies. To optimise the recruitment process, organisations should ensure they adopt or refine the discussed five areas of the recruitment process, by doing so they increase their chances of successfully filling the hard-to-fill vacancies.

Remember though, once an employee arrives, the pressure is really on to make them want to stay! Inductions are vital…. Watch out for the next blog series…

In the final part of our three-part series, ViewHR will explore creating an employer brand.