If recruitment is working so well, why are multiple agencies hired to do the same job? It’s time to own up to the failures of the industry.
Ending bad candidate and client experiences is what Solutions Driven was born to do. Our founders worked in corporate recruitment and saw the worst of the industry; we wanted to do and be better. We’ve learned a thing or two over the past 20 years and are proud to be industry leaders in first-time hire success rates. It’s possible to do recruitment better. Here’s how.
Recruitment: Quality hiring
It’s no secret that many recruitment agencies consider a quick search on an existing database to be ‘sourcing’. That, or a rifle through their LinkedIn connections. The reason for the typically half-hearted effort most agencies deliver is that recruiters are performing a dual function. They’re continually trying to win new business while attempting to fill the roles they already have; it’s little wonder that easy, quick wins are the go-to option. A ‘quality hire’ has come to mean someone who ticks the superficial boxes in terms of skills and experience, and who will stay in-role for at least 12 months.
This isn’t the way hiring should be. Especially not when professional recruiters are hired to find the talent that a client can’t; businesses should expect more. A 12-month guarantee should be in place for all hires – it’s time recruiters put their money where their mouth is.
No two businesses are alike in their internal culture or specific job responsibilities, and so it’s logical that a tailored, fresh search should be conducted for every hire, for every client. This sourcing exercise should be followed by a thorough vetting of the identified candidates; from emotional and behavioural intelligence to future goals, ethos alignment and character. Scorecarding is one way to approach this task, as it provides a visual breakdown of why one candidate is more suitable than the next, and outlines each of the assessments made in the decision-making process. Clients are then assured that every effort has been made to find not just a suitable candidate, but the very best candidate for the role.
Reinventing: Client relations
Clients have mixed opinions when it comes to recruiters. Sure, some may have a strong, years-long relationships, but most clients are dissatisfied with their recruiters’ performance. Why else would clients engage multiple agencies to fill the same role? Pitting recruiters against each other in this way highlights the lack of trust and an expectation of failure. The scarcity of exclusive relationships serves to hammer home the reality that client-recruiter relations are no better than they were a decade ago. Why the reluctance to commit to a single agency? The fault now lies with both parties but began with recruiters.
Having experienced a deluge of unsuitable CVs and time wasted sifting through them, clients chose to increase their chances of success by opening up the floor to numerous agencies at once. Rectifying the mistakes of years gone by is straightforward; a thorough scoping exercise and frequent check-ins ensure that the recruiter is on the right track and that solid progress is being made. Arranging a post-hire call with clients can also help to learn lessons for the future about what worked well and what didn’t and reassures clients that their satisfaction with the end result really does matter. Unfortunately, changing clients’ long-held impression of recruiters may not be so easy.
Reinventing: Candidate engagement
Candidate engagement is the final element in the recruitment triumvirate, and one that badly needs to improve. An improvement in sourcing, as mentioned earlier, will help to ensure that the right candidates are being contacted, but as passive candidates they need more persuasion and support than an active jobseeker. The best recruiters are able to select the right candidate and secure them using the client’s employer and candidate value propositions while also fine-tuning the offer to the candidate’s own needs and wants.
Many factors, such as goals and aspirations, compensation, family and other commitments, play a part in a candidate’s decision to accept or reject an offer. Any recruiter who tries to either ignore these or mislead candidates into accepting an offer they know won’t work out long term ought to be ashamed of themselves. Ultimately, the client, candidate and the recruiter themselves suffers from poor candidate engagement – the client loses money, time, and a potential employee, the candidate is left to pick up the pieces of their career, and the recruiter’s reputation is blackened.
Seeing candidates as targets rather than real people with real lives contributes to poor candidate engagement but isn’t the only issue. Clients can sometimes be overly concerned with getting ‘bums on seats’, driving recruiters to push harder than normal to secure a ‘good enough’ candidate who isn’t an ideal fit. Both sides of the hiring process have to step back and think longer-term before making any hiring decisions. There are no winners in a process which does otherwise.
Solutions Driven’s 6F approach forms part of our 6S process and is specifically designed to engage passive candidates and ensure great results for clients. We’re committed to the 6F approach as a framework for success, and our CEO Gavin Speirs is letting everyone in on the secret during our upcoming webinar: Why Candidates Love the 6F Approach.
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Gavin has spent over a decade in the recruitment industry, and is passionate about helping organisations to improve their quality of hire. He's an experienced international recruiter and has also founded hiring quality software platform Talenytics.