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Human resources: recruitment and selection
Human resources: recruitment and selection

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4.9 Further particulars, application forms and dealing with paperwork

One way of offering more information than can be put into an advertisement is to send further particulars to people who respond. These could explain, for example, current and future developments within the organisation. If your organisation already has a standard application form, you will almost certainly use that. Otherwise, you could ask applicants to write a letter of application, possibly accompanied by a CV. It is also useful to ask for details of referees at this stage, but bear in mind that candidates might have objections to them being contacted before the job is offered.

Handling the administration of the recruitment process is largely a clerical activity – but that does not mean you can ignore it. Here are a few points you should bear in mind:

  • Candidates will be particularly anxious to know what is happening, so you will probably need to brief the switchboard and your colleagues or secretary to handle expected calls.

  • Application forms and further particulars should be ready to go out immediately after a candidate contacts the organisation. Keep records of the people to whom they are sent.

  • Keep a record of returned application forms, and acknowledge these by return of post, preferably with some indication of what the next step will be. If costs prevent this, invite applicants to include a stamped addressed envelope if they require acknowledgement of receipt.

  • Give as much notice as possible to those whom you intend to interview, giving them some choice of date and time if that is feasible, and ask them if they have any special needs. They should also be given a name and telephone number to contact if they have any queries. Make sure they know where and when to attend for the interview.

  • Send a courteous letter to those who are not shortlisted as soon as you are certain they will not be required.

  • If you intend to take up references, you should send out letters as soon as possible, allowing plenty of time for the references to arrive before the date of the interviews. But make sure candidates are happy for you to ask for references from their current employer before you send out the letters.

  • Keep detailed records of all correspondence at every stage.