Tips to ensure an inclusive recruitment process
It is an amazing feeling to witness your business growing as well as the addition of new staff to the team. At Thrive, we work with our clients throughout their recruitment process through to the induction of a successful applicant, continuingthroughout their employment. We ensure a smooth and seamless process so your new hire will get off to the best possible start.
What are the most important things to consider when taking on a new hire?
1. Recruitment process
There are several steps involved in the recruitment process from preparing a job description and person specification, advertising the vacancy, carrying out an interview process and finally, making an offer of employment.
Some of the most important points to consider at this stage are:
- Ensure all staff involved in the recruitment process have had equal opportunities training and that the equal opportunities policy is available for all staff to refer to throughout the process. This should be in your staff handbook.
- Consider offering disability-specific training to all hiring managers.
- When advertising the role ensure inclusivity, you can achieve this by using plain English in any advertisement as well as focusing on essential skills and experience. Avoid unnecessary information and using lots of ‘industry jargon’ as this will make the process easier for any neurodiverse candidates.
- Compile a job description and a person specification. The requirements can be split between those which are “essential” for the job and those which are merely “desirable”.
- Ensure that all requirements can be objectively justified by reference to the job in question and do not indirectly discriminate against any groups of employees, for example, a requirement for a job to be full time may indirectly discriminate against women.
- Ensure your application form is as easy to complete as possible. Provide clear instructions for filling out the form and make sure it asks candidates if they need any reasonable adjustments to attend an interview or during the application process in order to ensure they can access these.
You should also consider the following to ensure your recruitment process is accommodating for a neurodivergent candidate:
- Offering more time during assessments
- Providing interview questions in advance
- Adapting interview questions so that they cover specific examples rather than complex concepts
- Swapping the traditional interview for extended interviews or a work trial
- Making sure the interview environment takes account of any sensory needs
- Acknowledging the use of assistive technology for an interview
- Consider a trial period rather than an interview
- Allow a coach to support
Ideally, all shortlisted candidates should be asked the same questions and their answers should be scored consistently by all members of the interview panel. Notes of candidates’ answers and interview panel impressions should be taken and retained. Supplementary questions can be asked to clarify or explore the candidate’s answers.
Care should be taken not to ask any questions concerning details of the candidates’ personal life unless they are directly relevant to the requirements of the job. Even then, no assumptions should be made about the candidates’ personal life or preferences on any discriminatory grounds and open questions should be used where possible. If a member of the interview panel asks an inappropriate question, the chair should intervene and tell the candidate that they do not need to answer it. Keep a paper trail throughout the process.
Ideally, to avoid disadvantaging any particular groups, the interviewing panel should have unconscious bias training prior to avoid making any assumptions or conclusions unconsciously.
3. Making an offer
Make a written offer to the successful candidate. You should consider whether to set a time limit for acceptance of the offer and specify that acceptance must be in writing.
You may wish to make the offer of employment conditional on the candidate providing:
- Right to work checks
- satisfactory references (from current employer or passed)
- Barring Service (DBS) check (if required)
- satisfactory medical examination
- alcohol or drugs testing
- proof of relevant qualifications required for the job
Send the contract of employment with the offer letter and consider whether to also provide the staff handbook at this point (if you don’t have a staff handbook get in touch on email@example.com, we can help with this)
4. Prepare contractual documentation
Before the employee starts, make sure you have the contract ready for the employee and the handbook available to provide or tell them where they can access this. Under s1 Employment Rights Act 1996, an employee must have their section 1 statement (which in most cases is all contained within the contract of employment) on or before their first day, so be prepared!
Consider what type of contract will be offered, for example, is it an employment contract or a zero-hours contract? Is it permanent or fixed term? Did the successful candidate have any specific requirements about working hours, start date, location or anything else which might need to be reflected in the contract?
Here at Thrive, we can provide you with a bespoke template employment contract which you can adapt for all new starters and roll out to existing staff too, either on a fixed fee basis or as part of our full HR package.
5. Before the new employee’s first day.
It is likely a new employee will be feeling nervous about their first day, therefore, sending the employee useful information about the organisation beforehand and the plan for their induction, including who will meet them on their first day, who will mentor them and get their workspace ready, this will ensure they arrive prepared.
At Thrive we send out a pack that sets out who everyone is with a photo and contact details (especially when onboarding someone remotely) and we talk about the company and plan the first week in a structured manner, so they know what to expect. We ensure they have one to one time with the people they will be working alongside as well as a full team meeting to do introductions
A good induction programme should give a structure to help your new starter absorb the large amounts of information that they will receive when they arrive and meet their future colleagues.
It should also provide a structured assessment process to allow the new starter to raise queries and concerns, and for you to both measures their progress.
Here are some key points to consider to ensure a successful induction;
- Notify the team of the new starter, their role in the team and their start date
- Ensure there is an allocated workstation, that it has been appropriately cleaned, has been personalised to them (if possible) and that any other adjustments needed are made known and clear(if they are working from home then getting their kit to them in advance and getting it all set up)
- Assign a mentor; you may want to have a member of the team act as buddy or mentor to your recruit
- Ensure mandatory training is diarised, completed and out of the way before they become busy.
- Meeting with people who they will be reporting to or going to for support
- Provide a detailed handover if they are replacing someone else
- Explain the probationary period and performance reviews and the length of these
- Set 30, 60, 90 day reviews
- Ensure all health and safety is covered and risk assessments
- Ensure there is time for the new starter to raise any issues or concerns throughout the day
You can use feedback from your new joiners (and others) to adapt aspects of your induction programme
Did you know we provide outsourced HR services to businesses?
As an owner-run company, we know the pains of having to wear many hats and how time is precious. As qualified employment and HR lawyers, we know the consequences of getting HR decisions wrong. We work with you to let you focus on what you need to be doing in the business with the peace of mind that all letters and decisions are run past a qualified lawyer before you implement them.
When you partner with Thrive for outsourced HR support, we can reduce your stress and free you up to work on the business and to make HR decisions with confidence.
With people at the core of every successful business, keeping on top of the ever-changing legislation and making the most out of your people can be challenging, but we are here to help.
We can also support your business in the event an employee approaches ACAS or the employment tribunal
Get in touch today to invest in your business and make your HR stress free. Email Jodie.firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note this blog is for reference purposes only and is only accurate at the date it was published. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Specific legal advice about your specific circumstances should always be sought separately before taking or deciding not to take any action. Please contact us if you have any questions on email@example.com