With Gloucester Docks, being transformed into a winter wonderland with an ice rink and Christmas market due to open later this week, the shops are getting stocked up with novelty brussel sprout themed gifts and there’s even more delivery drivers on the roads making the M4/M5 busier than ever. It can mean only one thing, Christmas is officially around the corner (well kind of November still feels early to me!).

For many industries, especially retail, Christmas is a particularly busy time of year, where temporary working contracts and extended hours come into play.  As HR Consultants local to Bristol, we are aware large firms such as; Argos, Royal Mail and The Entertainer all have vacancies for extra staff to support the busy season.

Recruiting in the South West is often a tricky for some of our customers, so here are our top tips for recruitment:

Plan, plan and plan: forecasting your requirements early on puts you ahead of the game and allows time for the recruitment procedure to take place.

Job Description perfection: Ensuring your Job Description is easy to read and not full of jargon, and clearly indicates any essential qualifications and experience. Be sure that the content doesn’t unfairly eliminate any people with a protected characteristic such as a disability or age.  There have been plenty of cases in HR legal world where Job Descriptions have unfairly discriminated, be careful this is not the case. We can support you with drafting a Job Description.

Advertise wisely: choosing where to promote your vacancies is dependent on many factors, online, via recruitment agencies, local newspapers, bill boards or via social media. Again, ensure your recruitment advertisement doesn’t pose any risk of discrimination and use this opportunity to promote what a great employer and company you are!

Don’t forget to look internally: Don’t forget that you may have some talent sitting underutilised within your team, so don’t dismiss internal recruitment. Your staff know what a great place it is to work so you can also consider recruitment initiatives for referring a friend in- this is a great morale booster and saves on agency fee’s.

Don’t cut corners: when it’s busy, it’s easy to recruit on a whim and shorten your recruitment process. Where possible don’t cut these corners. We spoke to Tricia Hay, who is the Director at local Gloucestershire recruitment firm; First Base Employment: “Don’t rush into a hire; take time to really drill down on what you need from a new employee and do the groundwork up front.  Recruitment is a key investment, in fact, I would say THE key investment in your business. If you hire the wrong people or don’t look after the right people, they won’t look after your clients and hence your business.”

Psychometric Profiling:  This is particularly valuable for senior roles, and when you are seeking someone who will be an ideal ‘fit’ for your team.  Someone could have excellent technical expertise, but cause a few headaches with the way they work and impact on colleagues.  We have a great deal of experience in seeing the huge value that can be added at recruitment stages from applying a short 10 minute profiling test. Our consultants Sherry and George are both trained to carry out these tests through our partner Thomas International.

Reference checks: don’t forget vital items like conducting reference checks to check eligibility to work in the UK and the individual claims on their CV/Application are true. Recently in the Gloucestershire news, an employee made false allegations on their CV but managed to secure the role as reference checks weren’t conducted. Resulting in a loss of time and money, incurring legal costs.

Employee Contracts: employees that come on-board, even if just for 6 weeks, legally require a contract. Contact us if you would like support drafting a contract, we can advise what type of contract is most suited (Zero hours, Fixed or Temporary) and support with drafting this for you.

Induction and Training: allocate time and resource to ensuring those new starters are trained and directed to the Employee Handbook, this manages their expectations. The time invested will reduce mistakes, and provide a more productive workforce in the long run.

With all of the above recruitment stages, we are happy to support your business along the way.  If you have any questions or would like any further information, please do get in touch with us here at CitrusHR Consulting, call us on 0844 854 6704 or email us at info@citrushrconsulting.com.