OP3 Recruit people for your business


Why this is important

You may be about to recruit your first member of staff or you may have had problems recruiting staff in the past. You may simply want to explore how to recruit staff suitable for your business. Whatever the size of your business, recruiting staff can be expensive and time-consuming. It is important that at the end of the process you have recruited a member of staff who can do what you need them to do.

Who might do this

You might need to do this if you:

  • are considering recruiting staff; or
  • want to review your current recruitment process.

What it involves

Recruiting people involves:

  • working out exactly what you need the new member of staff to do;
  • identifying how you will judge all applicants’ abilities;
  • deciding how you will get the right type of applicant interested in the job;
  • choosing the right person for the job; and
  • making sure you can improve the way you recruit staff in the future.

Other units that link closely with this

OP1 Review the skills your business needs
OP2 Plan what people your business needs
OP5 Make sure people in your business can do their work

Links to other standards

If your business grows and develops a management team it may be appropriate to consider the following units from the Management and Leadership Standards.

D3 Recruit, select and keep colleagues

What you need to do

  1. Identify the main tasks that the new recruit will need to carry out.
  2. Identify the skills, knowledge, abilities and experience the new recruit must have and how to judge these.
  3. Decide the stages you will have in the recruitment process and the timings of these.
  4. Decide who will help you in the recruitment process and what they will do.
  5. Make sure the recruitment process you will follow is legal and fair to all.
  6. Decide what terms and conditions of employment you will offer the new recruit.
  7. Make sure everyone who needs to knows you are recruiting staff.
  8. Advertise for staff in ways that will give you the widest choice of suitable applicants.
  9. Make sure the advertisement, and any information you give to applicants, is clear and accurate.
  10. Make sure the applicants fully understand what the job involves.
  11. Carry out all interviews in the same way and don’t ask questions you are not legally allowed to ask.
  12. Make sure you feel confident that the applicant you choose will be able to do the job.
  13. Consistently and accurately record how the skills, abilities, knowledge and experience of each applicant match those you are looking for.
  14. Make sure you keep any personal information about applicants confidential.
  15. Make sure you choose a particular applicant because of their skills, abilities, knowledge and experience and not for other reasons.
  16. Make sure you ask for and check references.
  17. Decide how you will judge whether or not the recruitment process has been successful.

What you need to know and understand


  1. How to identify which skills, knowledge, abilities and experience are needed to carry out the main tasks of the job and those that are not essential but that you would like them to have.
  2. How to judge applicants’ knowledge, skills, abilities and experience against those needed for the job.
  3. Which people should be involved in the recruitment process.
  4. How to find out about laws which apply to recruiting staff. (For example employment law, contract law, health and safety law and equal opportunities law.)
  5. What terms and conditions of employment you should offer recruits. (For example the rights and responsibilities you and they will have under their contract of employment, pay scales or discipline and grievance procedures.)
  6. What information you may need to prepare to explain the job to applicants.
  7. What records to keep.
  8. What information you need to keep confidential.
  9. How to check references.
  10. How to judge whether the process you followed to choose a recruit has been successful and whether you would change it next time you recruit.


  1. The costs and advantages of the different ways of advertising vacancies. (For example placing an advert in the ‘situations vacant’ section of local and national newspapers and magazines, hiring a consultancy firm or employment agency, advertising the position to current staff and through links with schools, colleges and universities.)
  2. How to choose an appropriate way of advertising the job.
  3. How to negotiate terms with a chosen provider of advertising.
  4. How to present information about the job and make sure your advertisements are accurate.
  5. What the terms and conditions of the job are and how to present these.


  1. How to decide who should be interviewed.
  2. How to judge the skills, abilities, knowledge and experience of the applicants you interview.
  3. How to interview applicants.
  4. What you are legally allowed to ask applicants and what you are not allowed to ask.
  5. How to test applicants, and the benefits and disadvantages of this.
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