How to hire the right person: Hiring plan strategy and example

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Knowing how to recruit the right person for the job is not an easy task.

What the ‘right person’ looks like varies from industry to industry, so it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what you’re looking for when recruiting new staff.

A solution to this is to build a strategic hiring plan that encompasses what type of hire you’re looking to make, how much experience they need and how you will support their development.

It also helps you look at how many new hires your business can (and should) budget for.

By using our expert recruitment advice, we’ll be able to help you devise a recruitment strategy plan and assist you in recruiting the right person for the job.

Why is hiring the right person important?

Regardless of whether you have a team of 5 or 5000, one of the most important parts of growing a business is employing the right person for each job.

New hires can add value and help improve your company’s culture.

Graduates can be a great addition when hiring for startups and large corporates alike. But how do you hire the right person for the job?

Here are some key tips on hiring the right person…

How to create a hiring plan video

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How to create a hiring plan

If your company is planning to hire graduate talent, you need to know how to hire the right employee for your business.

Here are some questions your business should ask when looking to create a hiring plan:


  • What are your targets? – in terms of revenue and wider business goals
  • What is your budget? – including both internal and external hiring costs
  • How are you going to make sure your new hires stay? – will you create an effective onboarding plan, and focus on how to retain graduates?
  • Why is it important to hire the right person? – do they mesh with the company culture? What is the role specification?


Here’s an expert recruitment plan example:

  • An effective hiring strategy needs to be both time-efficient and comprehensive.

    Recruiting the right person starts with deciding what kind of hire you need to make:


    • Multiple hires – if your business is growing quickly, to support your growth you might be looking to make multiple hires
    • One-off hires – hiring a fresh graduate means you could train and mould them, catering to your business needs, or someone with a little more experience
    • Graduate placements – if you are entering a busy period, you might be looking to hire graduates on a placement-to-perm basis


    Is finding the right staff for your business confined to a certain time frame? Or is placing the right person in the right job more important? If you’re looking for strategic recruitment, you’ll need to devise a hiring plan that is tailored to your hiring goals.

    Once you have your end goal in place, decide on your time frame and work out how long the hiring process takes.

    Are you expecting rapid growth? A startup hiring plan may be helpful in structuring your hiring around fast growth in your business. A hiring plan for startups is especially vital if your business is fairly new and looking to invest in graduate talent.

    Identify how many hires you will need to make, as well as your ideal start date.

    Researching the industry standard should clarify how long it takes to hire graduates as well as the industry’s hiring strategy plan template.

    The purpose of a recruitment plan is to ensure that you are attracting and hiring the right candidates from the start.


  • To ensure optimal strategic hiring, you need to define the ideal employee’s remit.

    Start by meticulously detailing a list of duties and responsibilities the job required.

    A clear job specification ensures that the person you eventually hire has the experience and skill set that your business needs.

    This is especially important as writing a generalised job description will be unlikely to find you the right match for the job. And where very specific skills or experience are required, like when hiring developers and hiring accountants, it’s vital to include these to find the right employee for the job.

    Then, make a checklist of must-haves and good-to-haves.

    These will relate to both the job role itself and the ideal candidate’s character, working synergistically with the team.

    This could include things like ‘Must have – 1 years’ experience in a sales role’, ‘Preferred – experience working in a startup environment.

    Setting these in place will allow you to easily communicate what you are looking for and what will make a standout candidate.

    This ensures that you are making the right hire for your business quickly and efficiently.

  • Once you have thought about what will make the right hire, it’s important to reflect on this when learning how to write job description.

    Start by ensuring that the necessary skills and requirements are clear on the job description.

    If you are working with a graduate recruitment agency, they will handle all the job posting and advertising on your behalf.

    It’s still important to make sure that all the key information you want is on the description you send them.

    This will help to streamline the hiring process and ensure that you are able to make the right hire for your business.

    A job description is also an opportunity to sell your company to the potential hire. This should be a part of your employer branding strategy, which should always be linked to your hiring plan.

  • In order to hire the right candidate, it is also about making sure your package is competitive.

    Specifying a very low salary will limit both the quality and the quantity of applicants.

    Equally, offering a salary that is far higher than the industry average is risky.

    You risk not finding the right candidate to fit with your company culture.

    Research how much you should pay candidates, depending on whether they are a graduate hire or a senior hire.

    This is a key part of your hiring strategy and will help you to hire the right people for your business.

    Look at the market in order to work out the salary bracket you should be offering. Also, research which other perks will help you stand out from your competitors.

  • A key part of hiring candidates is considering your company culture.

    You’ll have already discussed the qualities that your ideal hire will possess.

    But there are ways to measure these throughout the assessment day and interview stages, such as:

    • Having several team members interview a candidate, in order to gain a more rounded view of how well they will fit into your team.
    • Taking them out for a drink or coffee with members of the team after the interview to gauge their cultural fit.
    • Asking the right interview questions, including those pertaining to their life outside of work – What else are they interested in? What other skills can they bring to the table?
  • If you’re working with a recruitment agency, they will do much of the hiring process for you.

    They will sift through the CVs and vet the top candidates.

    The CVs you receive will match what you have said you are looking for in terms of skills, experiences, and knowledge.

    Alternatively, you could advertise a job on a recruitment agency’s job board, giving you more control over CV selection and shortlisting.

    What is ultimately down to you, though, is understanding what else they have done beyond their CV.

    In your interview with a candidate, focus on learning about intangible skills and qualities that may not be visible on their CV.

    For example, you may find from speaking to a candidate that they show a real sense of drive and ambition that you weren’t aware of from reading their CV.

    As important as a CV is, you’ll gauge a real sense of whether they are the right hire through interviewing.

  • If you’re unsure about whether a candidate fits the bill, a short test or task can be a good way to decide.

    This could include a problem-solving simulation, a role-play or a written test.

    Challenging potential employees can often reveal aspects of their personality or skill set that will sway your opinion.

    It can reveal qualities that you weren’t previously aware of in your hiring process. This helps you to ensure you are hiring the right candidate.

  • The hiring process doesn’t end once you have made a new hire.

    Onboarding is essential to making sure that these hires remain engaged, motivated, and prepared to succeed in their new role.

    One of the many advantages of hiring the right person is that they are more likely to stay at your business if you create a thorough graduate onboarding plan.

    If you hire graduates who are then left feeling lost and unsupported, you’re likely to lose them just as soon as you hired them.

    So, if you’ve spent the time planning how to make the right graduate hire, onboarding and retention should also be a key part of your hiring strategy.

How to make sure you hire the right person at cover letter stage


When you have open positions to fill, it means hours of pouring over cover letters, contacting applicants, and conducting interviews to hire the right person for the role.

If you don’t know what to look for in a cover letter, it can take a lot longer to make a decision about a candidate.

Below are some questions you should ask yourself while reviewing cover letters, in turn making sure you’re recruiting the right talent!

1. Is it tailored to the company and position?

The first thing to notice is whether the letter is generic or customised.

If the cover letter contains specifics about the job, the company, and how the candidate would be a perfect fit, then you know they put in the time and effort to research the role.

Conversely, generic cover letters are addressed to all potential employers, so they lack any particular details about the job and company.

This clearly indicates that the candidate is not wholly invested in the position and that they’re probably casting a wide net by sending mass applications.

Here’s an example of an introductory paragraph that is tailored to the position:

I have been an admirer of [COMPANY]. for a long time, so it’s a great honour to apply for the Junior Accountant position posted on LinkedIn. I believe my Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from the University of Winchester, coupled with my 2+ years of experience working as a junior accountant at [COMPANY], make me the ideal candidate for the position.

2. Does it provide context for the candidate’s CV?

You don’t have time to read the same information twice.

Rather than reiterating everything on a CV, the cover letter should provide additional information about a candidate.

For example, their career goals, why they want to apply for the job, or how their experience has made them uniquely qualified for the role.

According to a recent study, hiring managers agree that this is the top purpose of a cover letter.

Cover letters should also address any gaps or inconsistencies in a candidate’s CV.

Ideally, the cover letter should answer any questions that might be raised by the CV.

Note how the candidate below provides context for their application:

As a Senior Project Manager with over 5 years of experience, I am excited to apply for the project management position at your company. I have a strong track record of successfully leading and delivering projects on time and within budget, and I am confident in my ability to contribute to the success of your team. Although my recent position ended in a layoff, I’m eager to find a new position that’s the right fit. In my next role, I’m seeking new complex projects that will challenge me professionally, and I believe this position at your company would provide that opportunity.

The candidate clearly explains their experience, why they’re looking for a new job, and what they hope for in the role. This additional context can give you insight into a candidate’s motives and what kind of employee they’ll be.

3. Does the candidate express interest in the role?

A candidate’s cover letter should reflect genuine interest. If it doesn’t, it’s probably not worth your time.

Look for candidates who have clearly articulated how they came across the job opening and explain why they’re interested.

Paying close attention to how a candidate expresses their interest can help you separate the motivated individuals from those who aren’t invested in your vision.

The candidate can include the following as part of their introduction:

As a member of a student organization at my university, I’ve had the opportunity to learn about your company and the innovative work you do. From the moment I learned about your team, it has been my dream to join and contribute to your mission. With a strong academic background in marketing and analytics, I am confident that my skills and experience can help drive the company towards even greater success.

4. Does the candidate have the skills needed for the job?

The cover letter complements the CV by elaborating on the candidate’s most relevant skills.

When you put out the advert for the job, you list important skills needed for the job.

The candidate should use their cover letter to demonstrate these skills.

It’s important to review the unique, job-related, hard and soft skills of every candidate.

A strong candidate will possess both the hard and soft skills required for the role.

Here’s an example from a cover letter that effectively highlights both the candidate’s relevant hard and soft skills:

My skills and experience make me a strong fit for this role. I have a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and have completed coursework in data analysis, statistical modelling, and project management. I have also gained valuable experience through internships and part-time positions in which I have applied these skills to real-world business problems.

I have a strong analytical mind and am able to take complex data and distil it into actionable insights. I also have excellent communication and problem-solving skills, which allow me to effectively collaborate with cross-functional teams and find creative solutions to business challenges. I am confident that my skills and experience make me uniquely qualified for this position and I am excited to bring my expertise to your team.

5. Do the candidate’s professional goals align with the company’s?

When recruiting staff, you want to hire people who will be dedicated employees.

One way to determine whether a candidate will stay with the company long-term is to check whether their goals align with the company’s.

If the candidate seems to be headed in another direction, they probably won’t be best for the position.

Here’s an example of a paragraph that describes how a candidate’s values align with the company’s:

As a recent graduate with a degree in social work, I am passionate about helping others and making a positive impact in my community. I am drawn to the Community Outreach Manager position and your company’s mission to promote social and environmental responsibility, and I believe that my professional goals align with the company’s values. I am eager to use my skills and experience to help further the company’s efforts to create a better world.

When employees feel connected to the company’s goals, they are more likely to contribute to the company’s success and be engaged in their roles.

By finding candidates who share the company’s values, you can help to create a positive and cohesive team culture and make sure you’re employing the right person.

6. Does it show some personality?

You’ll come across dozens, if not hundreds, of cover letters starting with “I’m writing to apply for…”

A generic cover letter full of buzzwords lacks personality and doesn’t give you any sense of who the candidate is as a person.

It’s important to understand a candidate’s personality as it can provide insight into how they’ll fit with the company culture.

A cover letter can give you a sense of the candidate’s writing style, communication skills, and enthusiasm for the role.

Consider the following paragraph from a cover letter:

I am beyond thrilled to apply for the Marketing Coordinator position at your company. As a recent graduate with a degree in marketing, I have been itching to use my skills and knowledge to make a difference in the world. I am passionate about sustainability and believe that companies have a responsibility to make a positive impact on the environment and their communities. When I saw that your company shares these values, I knew I had to apply. I am confident that my skills and values align with those of your company, and I am excited to bring my enthusiasm and dedication to your team. I can’t wait to see how we can make a positive impact together!

The candidate conveys their excitement and passion for sustainability, which gives readers a sense of their motivation and commitment.

They also effectively demonstrate how their values align with those of the company, which can be an important factor in determining fit for the company culture.

7. Is it formatted correctly?

How well or poorly a cover letter is formatted can provide insight into a candidate’s level of attention to detail and professionalism.

A cover letter with incorrect formatting may indicate that the candidate is careless or lacks attention to detail.

Identifying careless mistakes in cover letters, such as informalities, improper capitalisation and punctuation, or lack of paragraph breaks, is a simple and easy way to screen candidates in the application process.

What are the best books for hiring employees?

Hiring graduates is a tricky and time-consuming balancing act.

You have to find the perfect candidate, beat the competition, and then hope that they are right for your company.

There are lots of factors at play, and a bad (or rushed) decision is costly in the long term.

However, there are some great books that can help your hiring strategy straight away.

  • Hiring for attitude, by Mark Murphy
  • High-Impact Interview Questions, by Victoria A. Hoevemeyer
  • Punk Rock People Management, by Peter Cook
  • Topgrading, by Bradford D. Smart
  • Hiring a Superstar, by Adam Butler


Situation 1: you keep hiring the wrong people


Hiring for attitude: A Revolutionary Approach to Recruiting and Selecting People with Both Tremendous Skills and Superb Attitude, by Mark Murphy

If you put skills first when hiring, and are quick to throw away a CV, this book might change your hiring plan.

It puts attitude above skills (while promising to help you hire candidates with both) in the list of hiring criteria.

By looking at factors such as emotional intelligence, coachability, and motivation, the book stresses the importance of matching company and employee attitudes.

Situation 2: you’re new to conducting interviews (or hopeless at it)

High-Impact Interview Questions: 701 Behavior-Based Questions to Find the Right Person for Every Job, by Victoria A. Hoevemeyer

Not sure which interview questions you should be asking, or looking for something beyond the usual “So, tell me about yourself?”

Then this book is the one – a comprehensive treasure trove of questions that you can tailor to any candidate and role.

Brilliant if you’re looking for inspiration or if you how  want to learn how to interview and hire the right employee

Situation 3: you need to learn quickly

Punk Rock People Management, by Peter Cook

Rushed for time? Need something snappy to teach you how to make the right hire fast? Or simply fancy yourself as a bit anti-establishment?

Corporate hiring doesn’t have to mean a corporate hiring process (necessarily) – this book provides techniques learnt from, um, punk rock!

It’s snappy and no-nonsense, and the chapters are named after songs!

Situation 4: you want to hire the best (and make them better)

Topgrading: How Leading Companies Win by Hiring, Coaching and Keeping the Best People, by Bradford D. Smart

This classic HR book talks about not only how you can hire the best candidates, but how you can turn your ‘B-grade’ employees into ‘A-grade’ employees.

It focuses on coaching, training and encouragement.

The hiring process doesn’t end at signing the contract, after all.

If you want the best staff, it’s your responsibility to keep looking after them!

Situation 5: you’re new to hiring and you’re terrified

Hiring a Superstar – the ULTIMATE Talent Finder Toolkit, by Adam Butler

This modern guide is a great starting point for your hiring strategy.

This is more recent, so you won’t fall prey to outdated information!

The comprehensive approach goes over all the aspects of hiring that you might be anxious about. This includes from advertising, interviewing, and retaining your key staff.

Give a Grad a Go is the leading London recruitment agency. Working across a range of sectors, we specialise in graduate recruitment – helping those with up to 3 years work experience land jobs at some of the UK’s most exciting companies.

Paperwork slowing down hiring? Visit Juro to learn about employee contract management.

Looking to hire graduates for your business? Check out our recruitment services and online job advertising options.

Get in touch

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Let us know your requirements and we’ll build a plan tailored to your needs.


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