Is your business prepared for the UK hiring process?

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Finding and selecting a candidate for a job isn’t as straightforward as it may seem.  


Whether you want to hire an intern for your company, fill the first position in your start-up or build out your sales team, recruiting mistakes (like a poorly crafted job description or lack of employment law knowledge) could make or break your hiring process. 


Luckily, we’ve compiled a step-by-step guide to help you find and hire the best candidates in the UK… 


Write an accurate job description for your desired candidate


A job description is one of the first interactions a job applicant has with your business. So, it’s essential that you write good job ads that accurately reflect the role you’re hiring for.  


But a word of caution: make sure the job criteria doesn’t favour or discriminate. For example, there’s nothing wrong with requiring a degree or two years of experience in the relevant industry. However, requesting qualifications from a certain type of establishment automatically limits who can apply for a role. 


It also helps to clarify from the get-go what you need from your candidates — weeding out the prospects who aren’t the right fit to leave you with a more focused group of applicants to evaluate. 


Working hours and bonuses are potential dealbreakers for your new hire, so you’ll want to ensure you’re on the same page early on in the selection process.  


But most importantly, you should disclose the job salary right away… 


Being open about salary can showcase that your company is trustworthy, considerate and inclusive.  


According to a study by Reed, 40% of candidates think salary is the biggest motivator when job hunting — and businesses that share their salary bands see a 27% increase in the number of applications.  


The study also shows that being transparent about your job salary can attract more diverse candidates and help to close the gender pay gap (as women tend to feel more uncomfortable about negotiating their wages than men). 



Once you’ve crafted the perfect job description, it’s time to spread the word. There are many places to post about the position — from LinkedIn and Instagram to your website’s careers page or sites like Indeed, Jobsite or Reed. Publishing your ad across various platforms will help to attract a broader range of applicants. 


Be thoughtful with your interview questions


The CVs have flooded in; now it’s time to narrow down the talent pool. 


A common tactic used in interviews is the STAR method… 


  • Situation. Ask the candidate to describe a professional situation they’ve been in — have they had to deal with a tricky customer or manage a big project? 


  • Task. What goal was the candidate working towards? 


  • Action. What actions did they take to improve the situation and complete the task? 


  • Result. What was the outcome, and what did the candidate learn from it? 


This method helps to see how applicants work under pressure, how well they communicate and how they may handle similar situations relevant to your open position.  


It’s also good to use this approach alongside a set of standard questions, focusing on skills the job requires rather than specific characteristics that could lead to unconscious bias. Your workplace should reflect the society around you and it’s no longer enough for equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) to be just a box-ticking exercise. EDI must be built into your company’s values — and that starts at the hiring stage.  


Run a background check and look at references


A background check ensures the candidate is legally fit for the position. 


It’s an integral part of the hiring process — but be careful not to discriminate against candidates based on their results. For example, refusing to hire a candidate with multiple traffic violations would be valid for a sales position that involves driving around the country in a company car — but irrelevant to an in-office marketing position. 


Make a hiring decision and extend a job offer


Congratulations! After a series of interviews, you’ve found your perfect hire, and it’s time to let them know you’re offering them a position at your company.  


But first, there are a few hoops to jump through… 


<h3> Confirm their employment terms </h3> 


Employers can get into hot water if they’re not educated on the UK laws surrounding employment terms. For example, there are laws regarding minimum wage, the minimum amount of paid leave employees are entitled to, maximum working time and the right to statutory sick pay and flexible working in the UK, so it’s a good idea to get to grips with these regulations. 


Once you’ve covered those, confirm the finer details of the job ad (in line with the protocols) and get it all in writing.  


What are their working hours — and can they be flexible? Will they work in the office or from home, or is it a hybrid position? How many days of holiday are they entitled to, and can they carry days over? It’s important to make sure these terms are clear to save any complications further down the line.  


Negotiate their benefits package


With so many businesses currently recruiting, job seekers are in a position of power; they know what they want and if you can’t offer it to them, they can find someone else who will. 


So, for your business to have an edge, it needs to offer more than the option of remote working and a day off for birthdays. Now, companies are reimbursing gym memberships, providing childcare options, offering relocation bonuses and supplying teams with career-advancing courses and workshops.  


What can you offer to ensure this applicant signs on the dotted line and, more importantly, you retain your new employee? 


Make it official 


You’re almost at the finish line! To complete the process, send the job details (including terms and conditions) in writing to your new employee.  


If this is your first hire, it’s important to get employers’ liability insurance as soon as they’ve accepted your offer (you’ll also need to let HM Revenue and Customs know your team’s expanding by registering as an employer).  


Then, it’s time to start gearing up for the onboarding process — but that’s a whole other story for a different day… 


At The Brew, we do our best to keep our finger on the pulse (and you in the know), so you can stay one step ahead and focus on what makes your business great. Check out our other blog posts for insightful tips and tricks — and if you’re looking for a creative space to base your thriving business, visit our private offices in London