Recruitment is a fast paced game. Time is of the essence in any recruitment process from the first contact to the final signature on an employment contract. Some people may think that the services offered by agencies are an expensive commodity but the truth is, time is the most precious, and most valued commodity, any business can afford.

Clients must ensure that they have chosen wisely when partnering with an agency. They need to research the company; assess the quality of candidates they submit, through their track record of candidate placements made with other business partners. It’s ok to ask agencies for testimonials from their other partners.

More recently we have found that partnering with clients who need specific resources, does not necessarily mean that the client knows exactly what they want! Most HR departments and line managers agree on the exact requirements of the resource (however in some cases there seems to be little to no alignment between those departments) This means that the timelines between the submission of CVs and possible interviews can be very lengthy. In this case we always run the risk of losing the skilled candidate as they are active on the job market and some companies have the ability to make decisions faster than others.

Here are a few things to take into account when growing your team:

1. Meet with the recruitment agency to answer any questions that they may have about the soft skills required for the role. These are the attributes of the candidate that are not mentioned on the job description.

2. Determine the exact budget for the role in order to understand exactly what resource you can afford to hire.

3. Ensure that the direct manager, who would be supervising or overseeing the new resource, is consulted with when drafting the job description. If this is left to the HR Team, they may forget some vital duties that only the line manager is aware of.

4. Ensure that all of the documentation from the recruitment agency is up to date and the CV is 100% accurate.

5. Clients should ensure that upon receipt of the CV from the agency, that the right people are free to conduct interviews as soon as possible. Remember time kills all deals and we do not want to ‘lose’ the candidate to another company.

6. Remember the candidate is actively on the market, hence they will not limit their applications and will not sit back and wait on one company to get started on the interview process.

7. Feedback is of the utmost importance! You do not want a candidate who could possibly be your next employee, to start off believing that they are simply a number and not important to the business.

8. If the feedback pertaining to a candidate after the first or second interview is negative, give detailed feedback to the agency who can then relay the information to the unsuccessful candidate and give them some guidance going forward. Adhere to the saying “don’t burn your bridges”, you never know when you might come across the resource again and need their skill set. Taking the time to offer detailed feedback is a good way to ensure that both parties enjoyed the interview process.

9. Cancellations to appointments are unavoidable but before relaying information surrounding rescheduling, ensure that all parties involved are available, to avoid mishaps and back and forth changes which may reflect poorly on professional reputations.

10. Finally, should the interviewing process lead to an offer, ensure that the offer is completed in a timely fashion and documentation is clear and concise. Candidates still need to give notice at their current employers and this means that they require the necessary securities in place so that they are able to do so with confidence.

11. Try to include a mock payslip when you are sending an offer to a candidate, this shortens the final process and limits the questions asked by the potential new employee.

As a guideline, we feel that 48 hours is a reasonable timeline to be able to give feedback upon receiving a candidate’s CV, and to possibly set up an interview. Feedback pertaining to the interview should be given as soon as possible, and never longer than 3 days, in order to best reflect your thoughts and feelings about the candidate. Should a second interview be required, try to do so as soon as possible to ensure that the candidate stays keen on the role.

Happy hiring!

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