Five steps to successful recruitment

Knowing how to recruit the best talent is key to a company’s future success. When recruitment is done well you attract the best candidates so you can hire the right person who is excited and motivated to do great work. Recruitment is efficient, with minimal disruption to your team.

On the other hand, if done badly the recruitment process can be detrimental to your team’s productivity and resources. It can cause a lot of disruption, and you might end up hiring a person who is not the right fit or someone who will leave your company for a new job in six-months’ time.

As a Production, Post-Production and VFX recruitment agency we have worked on recruitment strategy for leading advertising agencies, production companies and broadcasters to help them hire the best video production talent in the industry. We would love to share some of our knowledge with you so you can get the most out of recruiting talent in the future. Here are five simple steps which we encourage you to follow the next time you are hiring.

1. Create and stick to a timeline

Good planning at the beginning of the process will save you time and money by ensuring that everyone involved is working to the same vision and deadlines.

As a team decide when you need to hire by. Avoid saying “ASAP”; be specific and realistic about when someone could start, bearing in mind most people have a one month notice period. Consider the implications on the current team, any upcoming holidays or projects that are being delivered.

Work backwards from the ideal start date to create a timeline for recruitment. Block out stages of the recruitment process and mark important milestones for example when interviews need to take place and when you need to review applications by.

Decide who will be involved in the process and using the timeline above put important dates in those people’s diaries to ensure they dedicate enough time to contribute to each stage. For example, you can pre-arrange a meeting to discuss CV feedback and agree interview slots ahead of time and add these to the interviewer’s diary.

2. Decide if you should work with a Recruiter

If your hire is urgent, requires important skills, or is fundamental to the success of your team you might decide to work with a recruiter.

A recruiter can save your company resources because they do the time-consuming work; they search all avenues for the best talent, screen the applications, and present you with a shortlist to pick from, which means you just need to be involved in key decisions.

Having a recruiter who specialises in your section of the industry is beneficial as you get to tap into their networks. Recruiters who are specialists in Post-Production for example will have excellent networks of talent in that area as well as tools to be able to head hunt from the passive market of candidates who would not normally apply for your job. Recruiters will meet candidates before you interview them, so the people you meet have already been fully vetted saving you even more time.

Working with a recruiter might not be essential for every hire you make, but it is an efficient way to hire the best talent with minimal disruption to your team.

3. Write an effective job advert which attracts the right applications

The three most important aspects of your advert are:

  • Responsibilities   These should be detailed and accurate, so applicants know what to expect in the job. A good way to do this is to mention measurable outcomes, explaining what success looks like in the role. 
  • Requirements   Should be a short list and should only include the essential experience you require. Leave the not so important points off the job spec so that you do not deter potentially suitable candidates from applying.
  • Salary   Advertise the salary to attract applicants with an appropriate level of experience. This also makes the offer negotiation stage a lot easier as the candidate’s expectations should be in line with what you can offer. If you need guidance on bench marking salaries, speak to a recruiter who specialises in your industry.

This job spec should be concise, because a lot of people view job ads on their phone shorter ads are more convenient (as they require less scrolling) and therefore get a better rate of applications. We recommend around 300-400 words.

Do not waste valuable space writing in detail about your company; potential applicants can easily find your website or Linked In profile to get more information.

Be clear on how candidates should apply for the role and what information they should include. Specify if you want to see a showreel or portfolio of work. If you want to make sure people who apply are genuinely passionate, ask them to include a cover letter explaining why they are interested.

4. Review CVs to create a strong shortlist

When you review applications, you should refer to the essential requirements on your job spec and compare these with the CV.

Some red flags to look out for on CVs include vague wording about skills and experience, lack of objective language when talking about themselves, a CV which is focused on duties and doesn’t mention achievements, attempts to hide employment gaps, or the person has moved jobs very frequently, and of course spelling / formatting errors.

If you are fortunate to have a long shortlist of people who match your essential requirements who have good CVs, then you can then go back through the shortlist to pick out the strongest CVs / people who have experience that is most relevant to your company who you would like to interview first.

5. Conduct successful interviews and keep talent engaged

Make sure your candidate is prepared for the interview by sending them an interview confirmation email with full details of the interview and who they will be meeting. Give everyone the same clear instructions.

Attitude and enthusiasm are so important when hiring and should be evaluated alongside skills and experience. Having the right attitude and personality fit does not have to mean coming from a similar background or having a bold outgoing personality. A good culture or personality fit comes down to if someone’s values are in line with those of the company culture.

Having multiple interviewers can be beneficial as they have different perspectives which will give you well rounded feedback. For example, one may be the direct line manager of the potential hire, and the other may be a member of senior management, or even the person who is leaving the role.

Make sure you maintain good communication by providing honest feedback and regular updates to keep people engaged throughout the interview process. Although we appreciate hiring involves making important decisions, it is important to be able to move quickly when you find the right candidate in such a competitive market. A long waiting period after the interview can alienate applicants and you may miss out on hiring the perfect person if they get snapped up by another company.

We hope our five steps to successful recruitment are helpful to you when making your next hire.

To discuss recruiting talent for your company, or to enquire about creating a tailored recruitment plan please get in touch.  

Tripod Brixton,
Lambeth Town Hall,
1 Brixton Hill, London,

Hours: Monday to Friday, 8am – 7pm
Phone: 020 7580 7333