As your business grows, inevitably your IT team will grow. As a manager you’ll know the scenario that often arises whereby the extra workload that comes from business growth can leave you with little time to devote to recruiting new team members, even though getting new staff in place is the one thing that would really take the pressure off the rest of the team. This sometimes means that when you finally get round to recruiting, you are under pressure to get someone in place, even if they are not the right person for the job.
Improve recruitment process
Recruitment doesn’t have to take up all of your time though – a good agency can vastly reduce the burden on busy hiring managers by assisting them throughout the process, and most importantly making sure that you don’t waste time interviewing candidates that are not suitable. Taking the following steps will enable you to deal with recruitment smoothly and efficiently, and ensure that the person you employ will be the right person.
- Have a clear goal in mind. What are the skills and personal qualities of the person that will add value to your team? If you don’t have time to write a job specification, ask the agency to do it based on what you’ve discussed, but be clear on what skills are a “must have” and what you are prepared to be flexible on. Remember too that a job spec is just a piece of paper – talk to the recruiter about your company culture and team dynamic and the kind of people that tend to thrive.
- Administer technical assessments ahead of interview. Don’t waste hours of your time speaking to candidates that are not able to deliver technically – your recruitment agency can set up a bespoke technical test for your role, and test candidates ahead of CV submission. This means the only CVs that you receive will be those that have already proved that they have sufficient technical ability to do the job. You can also benchmark the test within your existing team.
- Ask the agency to do first round interviews for you. This can save hours of your time and doesn’t compromise your interview process at all – a good agency will know your business inside out and will get to know the kind of people that will fit into your team. At this stage they can supply you with notes on each candidate, and eliminate anyone that is clearly unsuitable. The benefit of using a local agency is that they can meet candidates face to face, although tools like Skype are increasingly being used for remote interviewing with great success.
- Commit to interview dates. Clear your diary for a day or two and make sure any team members that are also involved in interviews do the same. Once you are committed to dates for interview you can get a clearer picture of when you are likely to get a new team member on board, and your team will be able to manage their work around it. And remember that the candidates you meet will already have already got through a technical assessment and a first interview – you can anticipate a high calibre of candidates and with the shortlist whittled down, you won’t have to interview that many people.
- Get a guarantee! Having the right person on board will benefit your team for the long term, but the wrong person might mean you find yourself looking again within a matter of months. Is your recruitment agency committed to getting the right person on board rather than just a short term solution and a fee? They should be.
- Develop a strategic partnership with your recruitment agency. That means you go to them when you need to recruit, and they will make it go smoothly for you. This level of service can’t be delivered by multiple agencies in competition with each other, but rather by a business that you trust and that knows your business well and is committed to getting it right every time so that both of you can benefit from the relationship in the long term.
Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Many companies think that working with multiple agencies is going to maximise their chances of finding the right candidate when in fact putting agencies in competition can massively dilute the quality of CVs that you receive, and over-complicate a process that ought to be straightforward.
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