Landing your ideal candidate is as important as finding them.
You might have identified or piqued the interest of a great candidate but can you actually hire them? In order to make sure they actually join your firm it’s important to prepare and to optimise all aspects of the recruitment proposition before you start looking. Otherwise you risk failing to engage your ideal candidate or losing them any stage in the process.
A great recruitment process
The recruitment process is potentially the candidate’s first direct interaction with your company: if it is sloppy it creates a bad impression, too difficult or time consuming and it’s off putting, slow and you may lose the perfect candidate to a more efficient competitor. How easy is it for candidates to apply for jobs or otherwise approach your business?
An efficient recruitment process is vital. When reviewing your recruitment process thinking about the candidate experience is key. Meghan Biro of Forbes, suggests walking in the job seeker’s shoes, personalising the experience:
“As you design or improve your hiring process, keep the applicant experience front and centre at all times. Yes, this is about fulfilling your organisation’s needs, but the more you understand and design the process from the applicant’s point of view, the more successful you will be.”
Pay attention to your company brand from the perspective of hiring and talent attraction. In this digital age, information regarding your company is easily accessible. It is important companies regularly update information in the public domain:
- What do your website and social media accounts including LinkedIn say about the company?
- What are employees/ex-employees saying about your company, especially on Glassdoor and equivalent sites? If negative what are you doing to limit the damage?
- How can your business be more attractive to potential employees?
- Does the process and interviewers support the brand and values you are presenting?
Brand isn’t the same as scale and being well known and it’s vitally important for smaller and less recognised employers to invest in their brand as an employer. Indeed by doing so they can become an attractive option to the many candidates who are less keen on the major firms.
Highlight company vision
High calibre applicants are looking for visionary companies so share your firm’s goals with candidates to provide them with insights into the big picture. Promote the aims and ambitions of your company to the candidate in the same manner you expect them to sell themselves to you!
Values and culture
One of the main reasons why candidates start on their job search is when they feel that their employer’s values and culture doesn’t suit them: either it never really did or, more commonly, it’s changed as the company has grown or changed owner ship or changed management.
A candidate seeking a new role and employer will have a number of key boxes they want to tick and this comes high on the list for many. So, assuming that “values and culture” is indeed an aspect of the firm that everyone is clear on and “front of mind” ensure that this is communicated in the selection process.
Emphasise career development
Almost all candidates seek personal and career growth opportunities. The job you are seeking to fill is clearly front of mind but you must be able to paint a convincing picture of further career growth. Taking time to discover the candidate’s broader motivations gives you the opportunity to discuss your company and the role in a bespoke manner emphasising key aspects of the job, applicable career growth and learning opportunities for each individual.
Make an acceptable offer
Making the right offer is the key factor in securing your ideal candidate. If possible early in the process have a detailed discussion with the applicant about their current package and expectations. If the candidate seems to be over optimistic there may be a reason (e.g not had a salary rise in years) so it’s worth doing a bit of gentle probing. Also do your research, know the benchmarks in management consultancy and don’t neglect non-salary related benefits (i.e. bonuses, sign on packages, healthcare, pension, equity and travel/expenses policy). To ensure salary expectations are met it is important to thoroughly explain the package you offer.
Finally don’t be tempted to get the candidate as cheaply as possible: go in with your BEST offer and hope to impress. Don’t go for the minimum you think they might accept and end up souring the trust and potentially losing the candidate. Some employers think that a bit of negotiation is all “part of the game” but few candidates think that way. Keeping a lid on costs is vital but some employers focus more on the opportunity to save on salaries than to attract great talent, with all the value that can bring.
An advantage of using a specialist and experienced recruitment firm is that they can play a vital role with the negotiation process. Prism Executive Recruitment is happy to provide advice on the current market.
Dealing with counter offers
In times of talent shortage it is highly likely that your ideal candidate will receive a counter offer from their current employer. This might be a surprise to them so pre-empt this by discussing this possibility in advance with them. A competitive package will reduce the risk and a good third party recruiter will be experienced in handling such a situation. There are a number of reasons why your candidate shouldn’t accept a counter-offer, but ideally try to avoid the situation arising in the first place.
Communication, communication, communication
A recurring theme with candidates is dissatisfaction with the information received during the course of their applications. Any perusal of career related blogs and fora will confirm that in many cases it’s a dismal picture.
Ensure your competitive advantage by making the recruitment process as swift as possible and communicating regularly, accurately and honestly with candidates about what’s happening with their application and likely timescales.
The majority of employers are very poor at this. Perhaps they don’t realise the importance of timely and warm communication. They mean well but client commitments crowd out everything else. Or possibly due to embarrassment about any delay or because of a reluctance to over commit: but the result is unfortunately employers can end up saying nothing which is far worse.
If you would like to discuss how Prism could help you to find and secure your ideal candidate please contact Chris Sale, Managing Director, Prism Executive Recruitment on 0203 143 5926 or [email protected]
For more information on our services please visit www.prismrecruitment.co.uk