When it comes to recruitment, there is clearly a right and a wrong way to make a placement. Success comes down to control of the process, together with open, honest communication and understanding. It needs a relationship of trust and commitment between all parties: employer, candidate and recruiter. This sounds really straight forward, so why do so many recruitment exercises fail?
The following are a few key tips as to how to keep a recruitment exercise on track!
Point 1: Understanding and agreeing upon the right job brief
It’s all about getting to the very essence of what is really required to get the job done well and committing to that. Having a clear Position Description is a start but it’s a little more than that. Being clear and agreeing which skills and behaviours are essential to the role is critically important. You also need to consider the soft skill requirements and understand the culture of the organisation in order to get the right person fit.
Both parties (Client and Recruiter) should understand and agree upon which high-performance behaviours are required for the role. This is essential as it effectively eliminates any of the generalisations that have been assumed about what an ideal candidate looks like, as a part of that process.
For example, often there is an assumption that a candidate with more years of experience will be a better choice than a candidate with a better attitude and transferable skills. This will avoid missing out on an ideal candidate just because they don’t have the arbitrary number of years of experience that is deemed to be ideal, right down to agreeing the proposed salary range, ironing out any problems if the salary on offer does not match the expectation of the candidate’s experience.
If all the above is clear and agreed upon, it will make for a solid foundation to build upon.
Recruiter Tip: Don’t walk away with mission impossible because you haven’t challenged the views of what makes an ideal candidate. You need to make sure you have agreed upon a realistic brief and a salary that matches.
Point 2: Agreeing a time frame & commitment to specific milestones
Agreeing a timeframe and locking in interview times is key. This will focus everyone’s attention and bed down a timeframe with a commitment to some key milestones ie first and second interview times. This will ensure that all parties commit to a time schedule and will therefore reduce the risk of losing good candidates unnecessarily because somebody’s diary is full.
Recruiter Tip: It is important to have a minimal amount of time between first and second interview to minimise the risk of losing your candidate of choice. Remember if you have identified them as a high performance candidate, chances are others have too. Keep everyone, including your candidate, informed, focused and stick to the schedule.
Point 3: Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
Keep all stakeholders informed, every step of the way, even if you do not have much new information to share, it not only keeps all parties focused on the role but it will also be the opportunity for any party to give you an update on any of their other activity outside of your recruitment exercise. This information however insignificant may give you some useful insights into the candidate’s job preference, enthusiasm for your job or if a better opportunity has become available to them and if you are at risk of losing them to it. If you are aware of a potential issue before it happens then you have a chance to do something about it.
Recruiter Tip: People appreciate being kept up to date, even if you do not have much new information to share. This communication allows you to develop a better relationship and build trust. This is invaluable and will keep your candidates focused.
Point 4: Don’t leave things to chance
If there is a stone to turn over, do it. Make sure that you investigate everything. Ask all the questions including the difficult ones of the employer and of the candidate. Be thorough, because if you avoid asking that difficult to ask question, it will come back to haunt you. Remember any loose ends have the potential to trip you up before your reach the finish line.
Recruiter Tip: If you are not getting the definitive answer that you need, ask the same question in another way until you receive a clear response. You can never afford to assume anything.
Point 5: Tie up all your loose ends
Have a check list, for example:
- Have I verified the candidate’s qualifications?
- Has the candidate completed satisfactory testing?
- Have the references been verified and completed?
- Have I asked the candidate if they have any leave booked?
- Have I confirmed the candidate’s notice period?
- Have I verified the candidate’s right to work?
- Have I asked the candidate if they would accept the job, if offered?
- Have I got permission to share the candidate’s personal contact details with the client?
- Has the employment contract been received and accepted?
Remember the devil is in the detail and something that you’ve overlooked can trip you up. This goes for everything right down to managing the job offer, which includes the candidate’s salary expectation and the employer’s offer. You will play a critical role between the two (candidate and client) in order to negotiate a successful outcome. If not managed well it can be misleading and fall apart very quickly.
Recruiter Tip: The conversation around salary needs to be clear and agreed between all parties. There cannot be any grey areas.
By Susie Rogers
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