First published Saturday, February 22, 2014
When you are looking to take on new staff, what does the thought process look like? If the vacancy has been created as a result of someone leaving, there’s possibly an element of panic, feeling up against it to fill the gap as soon as possible to stem the possible disruption to workflow and other team members.
If the vacancy is a new role resulting from expansion in the company workload and output, there may well be a similar feeling of panic, wanting to get staff in and operational as quickly as possible in order to meet client expectations elsewhere.
In both scenarios, taking a moment to pause, step back and consider the bigger long term picture can be extremely valuable. Whilst getting people on the ground is clearly a priority, what should be more of a priority is getting the right people in post.
This is where engaging the services of a specialist can result in long term savings, both in terms of time and money.
A quick Google search, or a thumb through the Yellow Pages if you still have one can bring up long lists of businesses offering recruitment services, and the choice can be overwhelming. This is where word of mouth comes in to its own. Almost certainly, you will know someone, or know someone who knows someone who has worked with a recruitment firm. Ask them for their recommendations, and ask them why they are recommending them.
Next, pick up the phone and call the company they recommend. Ask them to provide testimonials, and better still ask them if they have any clients (and maybe even candidates) who would be prepared to talk to you about their experiences of that firm. A good recruitment specialist will have testimonials, written and published in their literature or on their website, and they’ll be able to provide you with details of clients happy to share their impressions.
But how does this help you fill your vacancy more effectively?
A great recruitment consultancy will have an in-depth conversation with you about the structure and ethos of your organisation, the details of the role, how that role fits in to the broader company picture, and help you ensure that the role you think you need is actually the one you do need. A great recruitment consultancy will advertise the vacancy in a range of carefully selected locations, targeting appropriately to ensure maximum return on investment. They will be meticulous in their sifting and handling of candidates, looking not only at the skills fit, but also the personality fit. A great recruitment consultancy will conduct interviews on your behalf, or with you, or provide a ‘marking scheme’ to enable you to conduct final interviews on your own but with a consistent approaching to questioning and assessment. A great recruitment consultancy will take care of the paperwork, the references, the checking of qualifications and so on, and should you require it, go above and beyond that to create the personnel files for you completing the whole package. A great recruitment consultancy will follow up with both you and the candidate a number of times during the first three to six months, and beyond if you require it to ensure that placement has been successful and meets, if not exceeds the requirements of the initial brief.
What may come as a surprise is how cost effective engaging a recruitment consultancy can be. If you were to handle the whole process yourself (writing the job ad, placing it, dealing with the enquiries and applications, shortlisting, interviewing, shortlisting again, interviewing again, following up on references etc etc) you could easily be spending hours and hours of your time (and time is money!) trying to manage the vacancy in addition to the long list of other tasks requiring your attention. Additionally if the placement wasn’t then successful, you would end up going through the whole process again.
By bringing in a carefully chosen recruitment partner you will save money and time, and you will fill your vacancy, the right vacancy with the right person. Time is money, and money is a crucial part of your business success. Mix that with having the right people on board and you will see a great return on your investment.