This may be over simplified but I believe two key words summarise how to have a rewarding experience using recruiters. These two words apply to both employers and candidates alike and also explain why the experience is sometimes more frustrating than rewarding for all parties.
1. Commitment 2. Communication
Some background… Recruiting is a ‘noisy’ profession. By this I mean it’s very high demand on consultants in terms of managing the expectations of both employers and candidates and it’s a high volume of activity task. Furthermore, all three parties (candidate, recruiter, employer) often engage in a process that is destined to frustrate due to its lack of appreciation of all the factors that need to be aligned for a successful outcome. GUILTY all parties!
For employers consider some key factors in a successful recruitment assignment and then ask yourself how often we mutually manage these effectively:
1. A well defined job and person specification
2. An agreed candidate sourcing plan
3. A signed off selection methodology
4. Pre and Post interview briefings
5. Controlled negotiation for offer and acceptance
For candidates consider these factors:
1. A clear brief on what you want
2. Immediate communication once anything changes
3. Total commitment to a decision once the brief is met (including ignoring any counter offer temptations)
4. Full communication on why you are seeking a change and your critera for acceptance
5. Clear examples of what you have done to add value to a previous employer
Layer these factors with the conflicts of Time, Change, Human Behaviours, Cost and Capability and we can appreciate where things can go astray. Yet we continue to put up barriers to successful experiences.
Example: Employers throw out poorly defined job specs to recruiters on a contingent basis, sometimes via an in-house recruiter who hasn’t had time to fully understand what is really wanted, recruiters then run off and have a quick go at it because speed is more important than quality. Candidates receive a quick call and very vague job brief and the process has begun… often all parties get what they committed to… a frustrating experience!
Two things can change this whole cycle for the better. (Employer, Recruiter, Candidate)
1. Commitment. Make a mutual commitment to each other. Work exclusively with one recruiter. The recruiter can then make a commitment to all parties to do their job properly because they know they will be rewarded for their efforts. Considerations of Time, Cost and Quality can then be managed in a controlled and professional manner which is surely a better result.
2. Communication. We are dealing with people. Everyday life intervenes and something changes which will have a bearing on the outcome. Candidates must keep recruiters fully informed, employers must de-brief candidly, recruiters must keep both parties fully informed and engaged at each milestone. If this happens then the experience can be a good one regardless of final outcome but if not then it’s rarely so.