Leadership Blog

Posted By: Chris O'Sullivan | on January 21 2019

How urgent is that hire?

One of a recruiter’s greatest challenges is when a client calls about an ‘urgent’ role that they need filled.  They need resumes yesterday and the candidates must tick all the boxes.  The recruiter then scrambles to search, advertise, interview and shortlist great candidates, advising them in the process that they need to be prepared for an almost-immediate interview as the role is as close to an immediate start as can be arranged.

They follow up a day or two later … no answer.  A few days more … no answer; telephone messages, emails but nothing; a black hole.  Nothing.

Then out of nowhere a week or two later the client calls to organise interviews but two out of the three candidates have already accepted roles elsewhere.  It’s back to the drawing board for the recruiter and the client.  Not only do recruiters face this kind of situation but internal HR has this dilemma as well.  If there is a previous relationship with a hiring partner, they will have a better understanding of their true expectations but not always.

A report from a large Australian recruitment firm revealed that up to 67% of companies have missed out on qualified candidates due to a lengthy recruitment process.  They also stated that 79% of HR Managers and recruiters are concerned about losing top candidates to competing job offers and other companies who are aggressively targeting talent with key skills.

In a market where top candidates are being offered multiple roles and know their market worth, it’s the companies that move fast once they have found a match who have a definite advantage over competing employers.  One thing that both recruiters and HR managers have noticed is that the hiring process itself is taking longer mainly due to a number of factors, such as:

  • Too many internal stakeholders involved
  • Candidate expectations have increased
  • Finding qualified candidates is becoming more and more challenging

Employers can set high requirements for the recruitment of new employees – top level performers who have all the need-to-have as well as the nice-to-have skills.  This is all well and good but finding that ‘perfect’ candidate is like looking for a needle in a haystack.

I recommend the following tips to help make your hiring process more efficient:

  • Remuneration package – Agree on the package before you start interviewing so that you can sign off on an offer without having to consult other internal stakeholders.
  • Job Description – Know exactly what you are looking for, define the competencies that are absolutely necessary and skills that can be further developed or trained down the line. Then agree on a key selection criteria of no more than six criteria.
  • Set a time limit – This is essential. Advertising, closing date, initial interviews and second interviews.  Ensuring all stakeholders block out time in their diaries for the interviews.  Any delay can result in the loss of that ideal candidate.
  • Team work – Identify all the relevant stakeholders in advance and ensure that expectations are aligned, consider working with a specialised recruitment consultancyto find the best candidates.
  • Consider an interim person – Is your team juggling a number of projects whilst you are conducting the recruitment process? Consider relieving the pressure by hiring a temporary/contract person to ease the burden or even offer temporary contracts to assess the skills and fit of a candidate before offering them a permanent position.

The only thing worse than not being able to attract the right calibre of candidate for a role is attracting an excellent candidate and then missing out on them because your recruitment process was too long or too disorganised. Don’t be that company.

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