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Fortune will favour the brave.

03 August 2020

While we all strive to return to ‘normal’, many innovative and ambitious companies are looking to steal a march on their competitors by attracting some of the 409,000 skilled candidates currently looking for employment in the regions (correct as of Mar 2020). Companies burying their heads in the sand may well survive, but they will find a very different landscape awaiting them when they eventually start to look around again.

Time is of the essence

Candidates have, almost certainly applied for more than one job. When you receive a CV from your recruitment partner, or in-house recruiting team, you must request an interview within 48 hours. Once the interview process has begun, the hiring manager must be as flexible as possible to ensure candidates can been seen quickly. The first interview should take place within a few working days of interview request, and second interview should be within 5 working days of first interview. This is to ensure retain the candidate’s commitment to your role and make them feel valued. Too often candidates can develop a frustrating feeling of worthlessness. An employer who makes them feel valued again, will always be at an advantage and will see top quality candidates choosing you when they have a big decision to make.

Make sure that everyone within your organisation is ‘on the same page’ when it comes to attracting the very best talent to your company. Everyone from the Receptionist to the HR Team to potential co-workers should make sure that the recruitment process as seamless, professional and friendly as possible. Timely responses at all stages are essential to a successful outcome.

Work your Recruitment Company…

‘Value for money’ is important in the recruitment process but it is important not to confuse that VFM with the lowest price quoted. The best recruiters will be debriefing candidates at each stage, and drawing valuable information from them to assist you in your decision making. Recruiting is a two-way process and, when the best applicant has been identified, it is important to establish if they have any reservations about the employer or the role being offered - an important potential stumbling block so often overlooked, yet so easily addressed. Question the candidate’s motivation. Your recruitment partner should know the answer or, if the question is more specific, they will be able to pursue the issue with the candidate.

Salary negotiation is another important area where a good recruitment partner can help. The really good one can sometimes even save their own fee during such negotiations! The starting salary has to be pitched just right. It has to be in line with current employees, not too low as to be potentially and irrevocably rejected, not too high as to create issues in the future, not too low as to disappoint and leave the new employee accepting the offer but remaining ‘in the job market’. The salary and terms and conditions need to produce a win-win situation with everyone happy to begin their new working relationship in a spirit of mutual satisfaction.

Don’t wait to see if there are better candidates around the corner…

Despite the increased number of available people at the moment, a 100% perfect match remains the Holy Grail. You may be lucky and find the perfect person for your role who can ‘hit the ground running’ producing outstanding performances from day one. Equally, you may still find areas of expertise that can be brought more in line with your current needs.  Compromise may still be required and one should not assume that because the number of candidates has increased that the perfect person is any more likely to present themselves. In general, to be the perfect fit for your company, they would need to already be working for you. 

Sean Bolger - August 2020