Top Tips on Recruitment from both sides of the Fence
Apart from a brief spell in recruitment many moons ago, my career for the last 18+ years has been 100% Human Resources, so when I made the decision to return to recruitment and join Bluetree, I was looking forward to finding out more. I think it’s fair to say that there are some misconceptions out there about the recruitment industry and since I was last working in recruitment real progress has been made in terms of best practices and all that goes into supporting both clients and candidates - the last few months have been a bit of a revelation.
Many HR professionals can be guilty of thinking that paying a recruitment agency to source candidates is ‘money for old rope’; however, having tried all approaches to recruitment over the years, I have developed a great deal of respect for the role of the recruitment agency and a real appreciation of how much hard work, skill, patience and resilience it takes!
I’ve given some thought to the obstacles I used to come up against as an HR professional during the recruitment process, versus the ones I encounter now as a recruitment consultant and have come up with some tips for HR and for Recruiters.
Tips to HR (from a recruiter’s perspective)
- An agency is only as good as the information you give them, the more detail you give them the better, a clear job description, person specification and details of benefits all help find the right match.
- Be clear on what is essential and what is desirable – you could be missing out on good candidates if the agency thinks something is a deal breaker when it isn’t.
- Client visits – if you can spare 20 - 30 minutes to meet your recruitment consultant on-site you will benefit from a much improved service; you wouldn’t believe the difference it makes in matching candidates who will best fit into an organisation.
- Give feedback on the CV’s you reject – this not only allows the recruiter to give meaningful feedback to their candidate but they will be able to adjust their search accordingly by gaining a better understanding of what you are looking for.
- Try and get back on CV’s in a timely way; in the current market conditions good candidates get snapped up quickly and delaying for 2 weeks may see you losing a candidate to another job offer.
- Have a plan - recruitment is so time consuming and it can be hard to get all the relevant people together for interviews and to make decisions; if you forward plan and have dates in mind for when you want CV’s in and when you plan to carry out interviews it will avoid you hitting any stumbling blocks midway through the process. It’s also easier to keep candidates engaged if they know what time frame you are working to.
Tips to recruiters (from an HR perspective)
- Phone calls – for me, this was my biggest bugbear and whilst I appreciate it is an essential part of recruitment my biggest piece of advice would be - keep it short! If someone is good enough to give you time on the phone, be prepared, listen to what they need and leave the call with a plan of action on how you will help them.
- Get to know your clients, plan a client visit, find out how they like to be communicated with so if they don't like being interrupted on the phone, stick to emails.
- Quality over quantity – send your best short list of candidates – they don’t want to trawl through 8/9 cv’s that are of varying quality.
- BE HONEST! This is the most important factor for me – if you don’t have anyone for a vacancy, be honest, keep them in the loop of how you are working to find someone for their company.
- Don’t try and shoehorn an unsuitable candidate into a role – if you’re having to talk them into it then it’s not the right role for them. There’s nothing more frustrating for an HR professional than wasting time interviewing a candidate who you’ve been talked into seeing when they simply aren’t suitable for the role.
- Treat your candidates with honesty and respect and they will return the favour – Give timely and honest feedback and don’t avoid their calls.
- The same applies to your clients, it’s a cliché but in my experience people really do buy from people; I have stopped using agencies on a number of occasions when my allocated consultant left the business and I didn’t warm to their replacement.
And remember to get the best out of someone "A person who feels appreciated will always do more than what is expected" - Amy Reed Anderson
Article by Sophie Irvine, Recruitment Manager at Bluetree