Recruitment process advice for employers

The recruitment process refers to advertising a role, reviewing the applications, selecting a pool of candidates and interviewing them and making a job offer to the candidate of choice.

Employers should ensure that the recruitment process is non-discriminatory. There should be policies are in place to ensure a fair and effective employee selection process.

In this article, we look at what the employee selection process should look like, what l issues can occur and what is classed as discrimination in recruitment. Read on to find out more.

Click on a link to that section:

The correct procedure for a recruitment process.

Find out what checks you need to carry out when selecting a future employee.

Requesting references and the importance of this step.

Read what classes as discrimination in recruitment and how to avoid a potential discrimination claim.

Find out how Giambrone & Partners can help you with your recruitment process.

We answer common queries on recruiting employees.

What steps should be taken during the recruitment process?

There are several crucial steps involved in the recruitment process:

  • The vacancy is advertised and those interested are encouraged to apply.
  • Once enough applications have been received, they are reviewed 
  • Shortlisted candidates may be asked to complete a test or attend an interview at this stage.
  • Reference checks are completed on the chosen candidate.
  • Provided all employability checks are passed, a job offer can be made.

What checks should be carried out during the employment process?

During the employee selection process, managers must carry out certain checks to ensure potential candidates are legally able to work in the UK. These checks include:

Right to Work

The candidate's right to work in the UK must be ascertained. Failure establish an employee's right to work in the UK can result in a £20,000 fine. The following can be accepted as proof of a candidate's right to work:

  • Passport
  • Document featuring name & national insurance number, plus birth/adoption certificate or certificate of registration
  • Biometric residence permit number
  • Biometric residence card number


Female Candidate Interview with Managers

Criminal record checks

For some roles, criminal record checks may be required. An employer can request a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check for an applicant. Detailed checks are often required for roles in childcare or healthcare settings, where the candidate is required to work with vulnerable individuals.

If a candidate has a spent conviction they may not be discriminated against on the basis of their previous conviction.

Health check

Employers can only request candidates complete a health check before hiring them if it is a legal requirement or the role requires it, for example, for insurance reasons. Information about any required health checks should be included in the offer letter, with written consent from the candidate received before requesting a doctor’s report.

When carrying out pre-employment checks, it is important to follow data protection laws. 

Asking for references

References can be useful tools for finding out more about a candidate from their previous employees. They can provide key insights into a person's work ethic, as well as how well they work as a team, receive instruction and use their initiative. Speaking to more than one previous employer is a good way to consolidate evidence of a candidate's skills, talents and behaviour.

Before requesting references, it is important to ask the candidate to inform previous or current employers that the request is being made. .

References provided should be fair and accurate. It can include details about the individual's performance and salary, as well as whether they were sacked or disciplined within their previous role. An employer must provide a reference if there was a formal agreement to do so, or the new role is in a regulated industry such as financial services or childcare. However, a previous employee may choose not to provide a reference if there is no legal requirement to do so.

Once the candidate is hired, they can ask to see a copy of their references.

Are you unsure how to carry out checks during the recruitment process? Find out how we can help.

CV screening

CVs can be screened by several different methods. 

Employers must also be alert to unconscious bias. This could be based on name, gender, race, age, class or even academic background.

Once the pool of candidates has been narrowed down the remaining applicants can be invited to interview.

Alternatively, companies can conduct open job interviews and accept job applications when all applicants who are interested in applying can attend and the company conducts on-the-spot interviews rather than scheduling individual interview appointments with candidates.

Telling HMRC about a new employee

Informing HMRC about a new employee is a necessary step in setting up payroll and the appropriate tax codes. The business must be registered as an employer with HM Revenue and Customs, and the new employee documented.

Before the new starter is paid, the employer must:

  1. Check whether the employee is eligible for PAYE.
  2. Work out the new employee's tax code, or request further information from HMRC.
  3. Find out if the new starter needs to repay a student loan.
  4. Set up the new employee in the employer’s payroll software.
  5. Register the employee with HMRC using a Full Payment Submission (FPS).

What is classed as discrimination in recruitment?

Discrimination refers to the prejudicial treatment of an individual or group of people, particularly on the grounds of ethnicity, sex, sexuality, age or disability. According to The Equality Act 2010, it is illegal for an employer to discriminate against a candidate during the recruitment and selection process. Every candidate should be treated fairly, with equal respect and dignity.

Rejecting and progressing applicants should be based on the essential and desirable criteria outlined in the job role. However, rejecting a candidate based on any of the following is discrimination:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender reassignment
  • Marriage and civil partnership
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Race
  • Religion and belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation

Getting help with conducting your recruitment process

All employers must have robust policies in place to ensure a fair and effective hiring process. This is vital for building a high-quality workforce based on equality and mutual respect. Implementing a robust employment selection process also helps to reduce the risk of issues arising in the future, and increases the likelihood of finding the perfect candidate for a role.

At Giambrone & Partners, employment lawyers are experts in employment law and are available to support you to help streamline your recruitment process. Our experienced team of lawyers has years of experience in employment law and can keep you up-to-date with current and new employment law that may affect your business. For help conducting your recruitment process, get in touch with Giambone & Partners today. We operate across London, Milan, Rome, Naples, Sardinia, Tunis, Barcelona and Palermo.

Frequently asked questions

What makes a good recruitment process?

A good recruitment process should screen candidates' applications for the necessary skills, qualifications and qualities required for the position. Your recruitment process should be designed to be unbiased and objective in order to eliminate discrimination and prejudice.

What are the benefits of having an effective recruitment and selection process?

An effective recruitment and selection process increases the likelihood of a company hiring a candidate that will be successful and progress through the organisation. This ultimately saves the business money as the need to recruit and train a new candidates decreases. An effective recruitment process also provides new employees with a good first impression of the business.

What steps are involved in the recruitment process?

Typically, a recruitment process involves the following steps:

  • Advertising the vacancy for potential applicants.
  • Candidate CVs will be screened and a shortlist of applicants invited to interview.
  • At interview the candidates may be asked to complete a practical or paper test, depending on the role they are applying for.
  • An interview will take place between the candidate and hiring manager/HR team.
  • Pre-employment checks will be carried out, for example, health checks, right to work checks and DBS checks.
  • The successful candidate will begin work as a new employee.