Recruiting well


You’ve got a job role to fill and you want the best person for the job. You also have, oh, at least fifty other urgent and equally important tasks that you need to juggle (with apparent ease). And now you’ve got to add talking with and choosing amongst various recruitment agencies, working your way through many dozens of CVs, and adding numerous interviews to your diary. But recruiting doesn’t have to feel like a trip to the dentist. Here are our seven tips to making recruiting for your next post a joy:

Bring the most senior person into the first-round interview and involve them in the process from the outset. There is nothing more frustrating for line managers, candidates, and recruiters when we have all been through a really long hiring process and everyone has agreed that the candidate is right for the team, only for the ‘Head of’ to then want to see comparative candidates (even more so in a candidate-short area such as performance analysts or RFP writers). We often see excellent candidates removing themselves from the process when clients keep searching for comparisons just because the great candidate is the first they’ve seen, so losing the very person they should have hired. If they tick all the boxes, hire them; they may well be the best person for the job. Besides, if you don’t, someone else will!

Educate the head of department on the reality of your recruitment market. If the market is candidate-short, don’t expect ten CVs (unless you are using the wrong recruiters…).

Consider a telephone interview for stage one. This can save all of our time and will avoid any long, unnecessary meetings due to politeness. Your gut instinct will tell you if someone is worth bringing in for a face-to-face interview.

Use testing or case studies to your advantage. If there are any technical aspects to a role that require a certain level of competence (i.e. Excel, or proven writing skills) then get these clarified and tested/proven at stage one. There is no point going through four rounds of interviewing only to find that, at the final hurdle, the candidate’s Excel, maths, or writing skills aren’t up to scratch.

Use one or two recruiters that you trust. If you open your role up to more than a couple of recruiters then you are going to get a lot of rubbish CVs. Recruitment is a competitive industry and recruiters get paid nothing at all unless they place the role (this is true most of the time). If a recruiter is up against, for example, five or more competitors, they are much more likely to spend less time focused on narrowing candidates down to suit your role and instead send you lots of CVs that are fairly close to the mark, just in case another agency might have (which wastes everyone’s time).

Avoid recruiters that promise the earth on a role that you are struggling to fill, especially in a candidate-short market. Ask for an example anon CV before you sign with them. This can save you a lot of time and effort.

This is the most important one: If a recruiter is working a role, communicate with them as transparently and continuously as possible. Give them feedback on CVs and listen to them if they are telling you that you are unicorn hunting. If a recruiter is doing their job properly, they will know the market and have properly sourced the role. They should be able to tell you how many potential candidates they have sourced, what they are looking for, and be able to consult on feasibility from spec requirements to salary requirement.

Hopefully now you have some useful tools to go and find the right person for your next role. If you would like to talk in detail about how you can improve your recruitment experience, don’t hesitate to speak with us.