Top tips for employers when recruiting

Howes Percival's employment law experts provide some top tips to help ensure that your recruitment process does not fall foul of employment law.

Author Graham Irons

Graham Irons, Partner, writes:

Employers are facing a challenging time at the moment in recruitment, with a UK-wide labour shortage. If you are lucky enough to find some good candidates, it’s important to ensure that your recruitment process does not fall foul of employment law.


Selecting the best person for the job is critical but you do need a process that is objective, consistent and non-discriminatory. An employer should identify the specific behaviours, skills, knowledge and characteristics that are essential for the role.

Selection criteria must be as objective as possible and interview questions should be applied consistently for all candidates. Scores and answers to questions should be recorded so that if a decision is challenged you have the evidence to justify selection. In making arrangements for interview or assessment, employers must remember their duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled employees.

Ideally, those involved in the hiring process should be trained in equal opportunities and consideration should be given to training in avoiding unconscious bias.

Applicants should also be provided with a privacy notice explaining how you will process their personal data. Such data should only be retained if it could relate to any claims arising out of the recruitment process or the candidate asks you to retain their information for future vacancies.


In a rush to snaffle their chosen candidate, employers often forget that the job offer is a golden opportunity to set out all of the terms and conditions upon which the employee is being recruited. For this reason, we would always recommend you send out the employment contract with the written job offer. The job offer may set out some of the key terms but the contract then provides the important detail to manage the employment relationship and ensure compliance with employment law.


Always make a job offer conditional upon receiving satisfactory references and right to work checks and then make sure you promptly follow them up. Whilst the majority of references these days just confirm job role and employment dates they may still flush out any gaps in employment and a failure to respond to a reference request may be a red flag you need to explore further.

Vetting does not stop with recruitment! Always include a probation clause which usually has a shorter notice period so if it does not work out you can part company with your employee more quickly. It is essential that you monitor performance and conduct and provide feedback during the probation period. You should then carry out a final review on or before the period ends. This is often missed which makes dismissal more difficult and more expensive!

If you do need help with equality and diversity training or producing robust employment contracts then our team of experts can assist. Please call Graham Irons, Partner on 01604 258003 or by email to

The information on this site about legal matters is provided as a general guide only. Although we try to ensure that all of the information on this site is accurate and up to date, this cannot be guaranteed. The information on this site should not be relied upon or construed as constituting legal advice and Howes Percival LLP disclaims liability in relation to its use. You should seek appropriate legal advice before taking or refraining from taking any action.

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