Be honest… Does your (flawed) recruitment strategy look anything like this?

Step 1

Oh no!  Someone has handed their notice in.  He’s only on a month’s notice so we’ve got to find someone FAST.  Contact HR.  Get it out to all the agencies, there are about 6 of them on our preferred supplier list, aren’t there?  Stick an advert out as well.  Make sure they understand it is urgent.

Step 2

So… the agencies have sent some CVs over, although I’ve received the same one several times over, that one looks ok, but the rest are pretty awful.  Tell HR to find out which agency sent the decent one first, and get them to set up an interview.  Tell them to get another few agencies on it as well, and make sure they understand it’s urgent, because it seems to be taking ages.

Step 3

Interviewed that guy – he was pretty good but we really need someone to compare him to… bit busy to look at the rest of the CVs though so I’ve asked HR to schedule interviews with whichever candidates look the best.  Will have to keep that fellow waiting a few weeks while we do this.

Step 4

Damn it… the 2nd candidate didn’t show up for his interview, and the 3rd one was rubbish, and now HR are telling me the half-decent guy is off the market!  What’s wrong with these agencies?  Get another few agencies onto it, and make sure they understand it is an urgent role.  URGENT!

Step 5

I wonder why we’re not getting any CVs for this role?  Stupid agencies.  Maybe we should give that fellow that is leaving a hefty counter-offer.  Maybe he will change his mind and decide to stay.

Step 6

He left.  Said it was ‘too little too late’, and he’s looking forward to starting his new role next week.  Better get those flipping agencies back on the case…

Step 7

Repeat steps 1-4.  Continue as required, until either you strike it lucky with a direct applicant, fill the role internally, or it just sort of disappears into the ether.

Why this is a flawed recruitment strategy

Whether they admit it or not, a lot of big and well-known companies use this strategy every time they need to recruit.  It doesn’t really work, and it dents their reputation in the marketplace as so many candidates will know nothing about them except that their application didn’t go anywhere and no one bothered telling them why.

You might think that the more agencies you have working on a role, the more likely you are to make a placement, sadly this could not be further from the truth.  It forces the agencies to prioritise speed over thoroughness, which is why you’ll find there is usually a race to submit the CV of the ‘best’ candidate on the market, whose CV you’ll probably receive from several agencies, although you can guarantee that he probably knows very little about the job and the organisation, and may not even be that interested.

Because you see, the ‘best’ candidate for the role is probably not even on the market.  He’s probably happy in his job, but could be tempted away for the right opportunity, but it is a gentle seduction process – it takes much longer than simply flinging a CV to the client from a job board.  But it is inevitably worth the wait.

Here’s another little secret – the agencies that will agree to work in the way described above, where they are in competition with countless others, are not very good.  They agree to work in this way because it is the only work they can get.  Every now and then they will make a placement in this way, so they persevere with it because they can’t be bothered to do things properly, or to review their own rubbish strategy.

 


FYI, here’s what your recruitment strategy could look like…

Step 1

Someone has handed his notice in.  He’s not interested in a counter-offer, so he’s definitely going.  We’re going to need a replacement.  We put in a quick call to our recruitment partner.  They advise us it is a tricky requirement, but they give us a realistic time frame and offer us a candidate shortlist within 3 weeks, with a view to doing interviews by week 4.

Step 2

A shortlist of candidates arrives.  There are 3 candidates on it.  They all look pretty good to be honest, and their CVs are accompanied by interview notes.  I advise HR that I want to meet all of them.

Step 3

I have interviewed all 3 candidates.  The standard was high, but one particularly stood out.  Ask the agency to put all 3 through various assessments including Thomas International’s Personality Profiling, General Intelligence and also an IKM technical test.  Based on the results, I want to schedule a 2nd interview with 2 of the candidates, so I instruct the agency to get them both in as soon as possible.

Step 4

Without hesitation, I make an offer to candidate that did well at the second interview and whose profile makes him a great fit for the team.  I have consulted with the agency to make sure we’re making a fair offer.  They’ve already covered off the counter-offer with him so we know he is definitely committed to leaving.   I advise HR to get the contract out to him as soon as he verbally accepts, so he can start working his notice period of 4 weeks.

Step 5

The candidate starts, and we are ready for him.  This was easy.  The agency did all the legwork, and I haven’t wasted any time interviewing rubbish candidates or looking at bad CVs.  We may have paid slightly more for the service but we’re confident that our new recruit will stick around, and we’ve even got the agency’s 100% money back guarantee if he leaves within 6 months, so I guess they are pretty confident too.  Plus we’ve used all the reports we received during the interview process so that we know how to manage and motivate him; he’s responding really well and I think that he’ll add real value to the business in the long term.  Problem solved!

It’s never too late to start doing things properly – download our report ‘Why your next IT recruit will leave in 6 months… and how to stop them.’