Noelle MurphyEditor's message: Its employees are any organisation's most valuable asset. With the availability of workers to fill vacancies in decline, finding candidates with the right skill set is often difficult, and good candidates are increasingly able to pick and choose between job offers. An effective recruitment process, providing a positive recruitment experience for candidates, is likely to have a substantial impact on their perception of your organisation as an employer - helping you to fill vacancies more quickly and effectively, and, most importantly, with the right person for the role.

With line managers increasingly participating in the recruitment process, it is vital that everyone involved has the relevant skills and knowledge. In particular, anyone taking part in activities such as shortlisting and interviewing should be aware of the relevant discrimination legislation. Equal opportunities and diversity need to be considered at each point in the process, with regular reviews carried out to ensure that there is no hidden bias and that candidates are being judged fairly on their merits.

Noelle Murphy, senior HR practice editor

Sarah McCarthyEditor's message: Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and its impact on businesses and the wider economy, staff recruitment may no longer be an immediate priority for your organisation, and you may be facing a recruitment freeze. In addition, you may find yourself in a position where you have made job offers but are unsure whether or not you are able to proceed with the appointments.

If there are new recruits due to join the business, who have not yet started, you may need to consider withdrawing the job offers. The withdrawal of an unconditional job offer will be a breach of contract and the individual could bring a claim against you. Alternatively, a new recruit may be prepared to accept a delay to their start date if you explain the situation to them.

Sarah Byrne, HR practice editor

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