Chemistry, Life Science & Engineering Recruitment

Where to start?

So you need to expand your team, but what’s the best way to do it?

Unless you work for a recruitment agency or company’s talent acquisition team, recruitment is not your day job!

It can be a pretty big task, after all there’s entire industry dedicated to it; back in 2019 it was estimated that the UK’s recruitment industry contributed £42.3 billion to the economy

How not to let recruitment replace your day job

Before you advertise anything, post on social media or speak to a recruitment company, have a plan. Yes, you need extra hands but what has driven this; to replace someone who has moved on, to expand the

team, or maybe you have a skills gap?

To really manage your time effectively and give the best impression to your potential future employee, we suggest:

        • Ensure all the interview panel (decision makers) agree on what the ideal candidate looks like
        • Decide the essential minimum technical & personal competencies required
        • What attributes are ‘nice-to-have’ but not essential
        • What kind of personality suits this position & your business best?

Be realistic...

You may have a requirement for 2 different skill sets but budget for only 1 opening. Consider how likely it is that someone would possess both – you don’t want to fall into the trap of looking for someone who doesn’t exist.

We often get asked for or receive job specifications containing multiple/contrasting skills, where the company is asking for one skill but would also like candidates to bring expertise in other areas. The resulting recruitment process can be being time consuming, lengthy, disheartening and frustrating, not to mention the cost impact of diverting key personnel from their day jobs. It is important to appreciate that recruitment itself is a complex process; finding the right person at the right time who aligns with your location, benefits, salary expectations, company culture etc. isn’t easy.

To add additional requirements to this list only complicates things further. So, the key advice here is be prepared to prioritise and compromise.

Then ensure:

      • Your requirements and corresponding salary/package are competitive within your market
      • Your headcount has been signed off – there’s nothing worse than having the rug pulled under you at the eleventh hour
      • You set a time frame, block out slots for interviews and decide how many interview stages there will be, to avoid drawing out the process and losing potential candidates

Be flexible & commit to it:

In regard to point 3 above, if done right (and when the needs aren’t too niche) recruitment shouldn’t take too long or much time away from your day job.

If this is your first time hiring, we understand it can be daunting, high pressure, time consuming and tempting to keep reviewing CVs; maybe someone even better is yet to come, or you feel you need someone to compare against? Time is of the essence in securing the best staff – it is very much a candidate led market right now and your competition will be recruiting too. Be confident in your decision making!

Please do keep in mind that once your job advert is out there, you are representing your business. This is another reason time is of essence. Feeding back to a CV submittal in timely fashion (ideally max 3 days) shows that this is a real and active vacancy and demonstrates business integrity. (Side note – if you are engaging with a recruitment company, it also ensures your role remains their top priority)

Phone Interview – be the first contact!

To best utilise your time, we strongly encourage an initial phone interview or video call. These are great and valuable tools which will save you time (and therefore money) through the process.

An initial phone call allows you to connect with your potential future employee faster, as they can typically be accommodated around their working day.

It’s a candidate-led market currently, meaning job seekers are in high-demand. Offering this flexibility of a first stage phone/video interview could make you really stand out!

For our Top 8 questions to ask candidates during a phone interview, check our blog.

Decision Making

There can be a lot of time between the inception of the recruitment process and the end result of an actual hire. Ensure you stay on track:

              • Review candidates together as a cohesive interview panel – quick CV feedback
              • Stay focussed on securing the priority skills over the ‘nice-to-haves’
              • Ensure timely communications between candidate/recruiter – don’t leave people hanging
              • Be prepared to compromise
              • Trust your gut!

For more information or a free confidential chat call 0161 976 4000 or contact You can also follow ups on LinkedIn for regular hiring tips.

Happy hiring!

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