Prepared for Employment Law Changes? Part One: Clear Needs

Loss of the 90-day trial period makes it crucial that you get the right people for the right roles, first time!

We applaud the government’s desire to provide greater protection to workers from unscrupulous employers.  Sadly, we recognise the inevitability of this is less protection for vulnerable employers from employees with an overdeveloped sense of entitlement. This will make it more difficult to come back from a poor recruiting decision.

A bad employment experience could arise for a range of reasons even with goodwill and honesty on behalf of both the employer and the applicant.  A bad experience could be as simple as getting a good person in the wrong role or the wrong organisation.

The only protection good employers have against the fallout from a bad employment experience is to select the right people to fit with the role and the culture, make them feel welcome from day one, and support them with fair policies as well as robust training.

Are you too nice?

I’ve said it before (e.g. here) and will say it again – in my experience, it is the nicest employers who are often the most exposed when recruiting.  Being too trusting or inclined to like everyone leaves them open to being misled or to choosing a candidate they would like for a friend but who will struggle with the role and/or organisation.

Do you know what you need?

So let’s talk about that all-important first step in recruitment: The needs analysis.

Always, always, begin with a thorough consideration of what skills are required to do the job well.  Next consider what ethics and/or personality traits would make a good fit for your culture.

A simple custom-made tool that will help you get clear would be a matrix like the one shown here:

Recruitment Needs Analysis Template


I see recruitment needs broken into ‘required’ and ‘desired’, this approach might be OK too.  However, by assigning a weighting to each of your needs, you are being that bit clearer on what matters, as well as how much.

For many roles it is important to involve more than just the hiring manager in this process.  Who are the important internal customers for the role and what are their needs?  This simple tool will help you understand where you and your colleagues are in agreement (and not) on the needs of a role, at a very specific level of detail.  These conversations alone can dramatically improve your recruitment outcomes.

This matrix can be used during shortlisting and then updated at interviewing, profiling, and reference checking – as you get more information about each candidate.

The more accurate you are at the front end – identifying what skills are important and what is the hierarchy of importance – the greater your chance of successful recruitment outcomes.  So, don’t skimp on this stage!

What’s next?

Over the coming weeks I will cover the remaining key steps in a good recruitment process, namely:

Note from the future: I later provided two bonus blogs (free of charge) on:

Yours as ever,

Claire, The Barefoot (SME) Recruiter.

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