The goal of any recruitment campaign is to attract a pool of suitably qualified candidates from which to select the best person for the job. Here are our tips for planning and executing a successful campaign:

Planning your campaign

Careful preparation always pays dividends, and we can’t emphasise enough the importance of planning your recruitment campaign well in advance of the expected start date. It’s useful to begin by drawing up a timetable and working backwards from that date. This should specify when the job ad(s) will be placed, who will be on the selection panel and their availability, and any holidays, conferences or other events that might affect the process. You may also need to allow time to establish that the necessary funding and approvals for the role are in place.

Preparing your job description

A detailed and accurate job description is the cornerstone of your campaign. It will form the basis of your job ad and the benchmark against which candidates’ skills and experience will be measured – and therefore be the key to avoiding a bad hire.

A job description should provide at least the following information:

•    Overall purpose of the job
•    Key accountabilities of the role
•    Typical working conditions (location, client interaction)
•    Supervision and reporting responsibilities

If there is an existing job description, it will need to be reviewed. If the role is new, you will need to draw up a job description from scratch. Involve all the relevant staff members in this process, and have the final version approved by the appropriate manager.

As recruitment is governed by laws designed to prevent discrimination, it’s important to be aware, throughout the process, of inadvertently favouring a certain ‘type’ of person. To avoid this, focus on the skills, experience and qualifications necessary for the job.

Advertising the role

At the very least, your job ad should contain the following information:

•    Job description
•    Minimum qualifications and number of years of experience
•    Benefits
•    How to apply
•    Deadline for applications
•    Contact person and details for further information

When it comes to placing the ad, consider the audience you want to reach and where they are likely to be looking – in the local newspaper, or at online job boards such as Seek, to ensure that your ad is seen by as many as possible.


A detailed job description will be your most useful tool when you are inundated with applications. Measure each candidate’s skills and experience against those required for the job and narrow it down to a minimum of five.

If possible, include all members of the interview panel in this process, to provide the broadest view possible. From this point until a final selection is made, be sure to carefully document the reasons for any decisions, in order to ensure transparency.


The panel interview is the usual method of assessing the suitability of candidates for a role. Standard interview panels usually comprise three to five members and often include a board member. Ensure that there is at least one person on the panel with in-depth knowledge of the role, especially if it’s technical, and that men as well as women are represented. Make sure that your panel members are well prepared by providing each of them with a copy of the advertisement, the job description, the interview questions and all the candidates’ applications. When it comes to the interview itself, these techniques will help you to elicit, gather and analyse all the information you need.

Checking references

The information provided by a candidate’s résumé and at the interview forms only part of the picture. Speaking to your preferred candidate’s referees over the phone and asking them the right questions will provide invaluable insight into the performance and behaviour of the candidate in the workplace.

Making an offer

Once the panel has made its decision, a verbal offer should be made to the preferred candidate. If they accept, agree on a start date and then make a formal offer in writing. After the successful candidate has accepted the offer in writing, the unsuccessful candidates should be notified as soon as possible. We all know how agonising that wait can be!

Consult the professionals

Many employers simply don’t have the time to run their own recruitment campaigns, so choose to entrust this important process to the professionals. The Proven Group can assist with every aspect of recruitment or just part of it – for example, the advertising and shortlisting – eliminating some or all of the administrative legwork. We not only spend time with employers in order to understand their business and workplace culture, but also read every résumé and speak with every candidate personally before putting them forward. In addition, we understand the regulations and know how to ensure that the process is fair, equitable and unbiased.

If you’d like help with any aspect of recruitment, feel free to get in touch for a confidential and no-obligation discussion.

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