10 Tips to Minimise Recruitment Risk

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Minimising risk is a key part of any hiring decision. In our whitepaper with the Corporate Research Forum, we looked into how companies can strike the right balance between creating a great candidate experience and still minimise risk to the business.

These two goals don’t often sit hand in hand, making achieving a balance difficult. With help from the Corporate Research Forum we came up with 10 top tips for creating such a balance.

  1. Define the recruitment process clearly, and establish accountability

Every business operation needs a clear process to operate effectively, and recruitment is no exception. It is crucial that everyone in the process knows their own role and function. Even if recruitment decisions are made by a committee, ultimately there must be someone responsible for ensuring that the timelines and processes are adhered to.

  1. Think global, act local

Once again with recruitment, this theme crops up. For a global business, guidelines that cross borders are necessary to keep the core standards of an organisation consistent, in both the recruitment process and new hires. But every country is different, with varying legislation that must be followed; therefore a degree of local flexibility is vital to minimise recruitment risk in each area.

  1. Get the brief right

Any time a role arises the position should be reviewed by the hiring manager. Does the job description still cover the roles requirements? Are there additional skills needed? It is important to get this right from the beginning as it will minimise the risk of a bad hire, and could save time in the recruitment process, as there is less chance for poor quality applicants.

  1. Explain and communicate

To help create a great experience, keep candidates informed and be clear about timelines. Let them know when they can expect to hear from you and the potential next steps of the process. Be sure to explain the whole process upfront, explaining whether any outsourced companies will contact them, what they ask for and why. Candidates who feel ignored or unwanted are likely to lose interest in the company and could potentially damage the employer brand if they publicise their experience.

  1. Train your interviewers

Not many managers always probe candidates effectively in interviews. Training in the skill of interviewing should be part of management development programmes to ensure that they get the most out of potential candidates. At the very least hiring and recruitment managers should discuss the line of questioning that will be used in the interview.

  1. Beware gut feel – test thoroughly

Obviously impressions and personal endorsements have a place in selection decisions, providing helpful clues as to whether the candidate may fit the culture and environment of the business, but they only provide part of the overall picture of a candidate. Testing is another important part of the process which can help to identify strengths and weaknesses of candidates that may not have been apparent otherwise.

  1. Work on the new hire’s weaknesses

No candidate is ever perfect, so just because a strong candidate has a weakness, they should not instantly be disqualified. It is worth considering that weak areas can be worked on in the candidate’s development plan post-hire. It is a balancing exercise for the hiring team, do the candidates strengths outweigh the weaknesses that need to be worked on?

  1. Good, ethical behaviour counts just as much as skills

In terms of risk, the behaviour and personality of a candidate can have a large bearing for a company. Through probing, through testing, reference checks and background checks, is vital to ensure the candidate will not pose a risk should they get the job. Skills can be developed in the job; changing behaviour is a lot harder to achieve.

  1. Talk with your corporate risk manager

Keeping the risk manager in the loop will create a fuller picture for senior management of the company’s risk exposure. Much can also be learned from the risk function about mitigation.

  1. Make rigour in recruitment your organisation’s selling point

Rigorous interviews, testing, and screening should help to convince candidates that your company is serious about doing things in the correct manner, helping to strengthen the employer brand and adding another persuasive factor should they be offered the role.


You can download this checklist in the full whitepaper, and find out more about how to balance the candidate experience and minimise recruitment risk.


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HireRight is here to help guide you through the biggest screening challenges so you can focus on what’s important to you; attracting top talent. HireRight provides employment background screening services to organisations of any size, in every industry, and nearly anywhere.

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