By Gemma Morris
10th July 2012

Where to start

Before you start the recruitment process it is important that you have clear goals and timescales in place, so take some time to plan this with colleagues who will be involved.  Initial planning should ensure everyone has a good understanding of the type of skills, experience, qualifications and personality fit that are required for the job along with a full job description, salary/package information, and the procedure for interviews.

Do your research

Ideally, you should put some thought into the types of candidates you want to attract and what sort of work history and experience they are likely to have, as well as companies they could already be working for.  Look at current employees and their background as well as research the external market.

There are a host of resources available for you to do this, for instance word of mouth, your own general market knowledge, trade press and social media, with the likes of LinkedIn and Twitter playing a more important part almost daily.

Some ways you could research the market include:-

  • Search similar jobs advertised online to gain an idea of market rates - use relevant job boards and also the job search function on LinkedIn to see what jobs have been advertised.
  • Check average salaries - your recruitment partner should be happy to help.
  • Keep up to date with market information and industry news.
  • Keep an eye on your competitors and what they are offering in terms of salaries, benefits and working conditions - by following companies on LinkedIn you’ll see updates to their company profile and jobs they are advertising.
  • Speak to new or recent hires to find out what the job market was like when they were job hunting and what attracted them to your organisation compared to other places who were interviewing.

Show what a great place it is to work

It is also important that you present and market your organisation effectively.  Potential employees will look at your web presence, so it is important that what you have online is carefully managed and that your organisation is visible in all the right places.

So how can you raise your online profile? 

  • LinkedIn has become a vital weapon in the recruitment process. Ensure that your personal and company profiles are up to date, and that you are in any relevant industry groups.
  • Encourage current employees to write a testimonial or put a career update on your website, consider multiple formats such as a podcast  on your website and/or YouTube channel
  • Identify employees who could write a regular blog for your website, post in suitable groups on LinkedIn or on a company twitter feed.

Reputation matters

It is also essential to think about your reputation as an employer and what the experience is like for a candidate who applies for a job at your company.  Getting back to candidates with feedback as soon as possible makes all the difference, even if they have not been suitable, and helps to avoid losing great candidates!  Try to ensure all applicants have a positive experience throughout the recruitment process.

You can read more on this in our next newsletter where we will be writing about “How to attract the best talent.”

Working with recruitment agencies

If you are planning on working with recruitment agencies it is well worth doing your research and finding a specialist agency/recruiter in the relevant market. They should have a good understanding of the role you are recruiting for as well as a good network and database of candidates in that area, enabling you to keep the number of agencies you are working with to a minimum.

Any recruiters you work with should take the time to understand your immediate business needs as well as your long term goals. The more information you can give them the better! They will need to have a good understanding of the type of person you are looking for to be able to find candidates that are a good fit, both technically and culturally, so it is worth investing the time at the outset.  It is also vital to give as much feedback as possible on CVs submitted and candidates interviewed so your recruiter can ensure they are gaining a thorough understanding of your requirements.

So what should you expect from a professional recruiter? 

  • Terms should be agreed with you before they start work on any assignment.
  • All candidates should be thoroughly interviewed by the consultant before they send the CV to you.
  • The role should have been discussed with any potential candidates  in great detail, ensuring that not only are their skills relevant to the position, but also that they have a genuine interest in being put forward for the role.
  • They should check candidates’ references at the earliest opportunity to identify any career history discrepancies
  • Work closely with candidates through the process, keeping you fully informed of the candidate’s situation in terms of other interviews, salary requirements and other offers.
  • Be open and honest in all of their dealings with you

A good recruiter would rather submit three good CVs than 10 poor ones.  Their job is to save you time...

All in all, working with a recruiter who is a specialist in your market should mean that you receive a handful of relevant, pre-screened CVs to review, making the hiring process a pain free experience.

It takes us an average of 32 hours to shortlist and submit three CVs for a role saving you a lot of valuable time.

If you are planning on recruiting directly or want to know more about how we manage the hundreds of applications we get, read our article “Spotlight on Shortlisting” to see how we ensure only the best make the final cut.

Recruitment process

Over the coming months we will be writing about other related topics such as interviewing techniques and making job offers.  Please get in touch or leave a comment to let us know what you think or what you’d like to learn more about.

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