Context for a great recruiting process

The company must recognise that the recruitment process is a partnership with the head-hunter and opening a shop window to the company; therefore:

1. Be clear internally on what attributes are essential – but be open minded as to the rest, you will be surprised what options may present themselves as a result

2. The company should consider its reputation for professionalism (whether that be current or aspirational) which it will be communicating by its choices and actions in structuring the process, therefore:

· Carefully consider its choice of recruitment partner (and be prepared to be assessed by them for ‘fit’); with this in mind, be informed by them as to what your ‘needs’ might be, as distinct from your stated ‘wants

· Strongly consider awarding exclusivity to a single recruitment partner for senior roles to ensure there is no unseemly behaviour in a rush for results. No everyone in the sector is an angel

· It is critical that trust is established from the start and maintained with all parties. Information should be shared with clarity but with consideration to legal and moral confidentiality

· Carefully consider what steps are appropriate and necessary for a full and incisive process including interviewers, interview stages and manner of assessment. Remember economy of effort – there is no merit in prolonging for the sake of it, if you feel inclined to do so, it may be that you need to examine weak points in the process

· Ensure that there are no conflicts of interest i.e. incumbents or managers who may favour a choice incompatible with the company’s goals

· Interviewers should be trained – your recruitment partner will normally provide this service gratis

· Conduct interviews brilliantly

· All measurements, tests, techniques and interviewers should be appropriate to the level of candidate to be interviewed and the role to be interviewed for

· Be clear in writing what interview expenses will be covered by the company and ensure that this is circulated to each candidate

3. There should be a clearly identified client lead (they must be empowered and motivated to make decisions) to deal with the head-hunter, preferably the recruiting manager

4. The company should consider clarity and openness to be key reputation management issues. It should therefore:

· Clearly definite process timescales; make best efforts to keep to them; let all process stakeholders know as soon as it is clear that it is not possible to keep to them. Clearly define the process, filtering tools, measurements and feedback; let people know what they are committing to

· Have some clearly stated skills and behavioural attributes which you are seeking and share them with your candidates so they know what you are looking for and can provide appropriate evidence – guessing and surprises are for children’s birthday parties

· Be scrupulously and conspicuously fair

5. It is always useful to have an administrator, like a PA, as an administrative liaison for interview slots etc, with access to all the client interviewers’ diaries – and the mandate to commit the time!

6. Unsuccessful candidates should have feedback given to them verbally by an individual of appropriate seniority and involvement to discuss in detail – that may be a commercial manager or recruitment partner

7. Always thank a candidate for investing their time

8. Don’t relax when an offer has been made; consider and cover off: buy-backs from current employers; alternative offers a candidate has received; remember to induct properly and consistently with the recruitment process, ensuring that your senior new starter has appropriate communications, IT, office equipment and briefing without having to ask

9. There should always be follow ups as part of the recruitment process to at least six months after the start date by the company and its recruitment partner to resolve teething issues

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