Preparing for a perfect recruiting storm - March 2018

Why it’s time for a rethink - Tara LescottThe recruitment sector is still in desperate need for additional talent to deliver its business plans, yet many firms fall into the trap of interviewing 2018’s candidate with a 1998 strategy.

Here are some examples:

  • Failing to confirm interviews swiftly and with enticing material
  • Keeping candidates waiting past the interview start time
  • Changing the interviewer at short notice to a more junior member of staff
  • Grilling them in interview • Interviewing in a messy office or without a meeting room booked
  • Allowing the meeting to be interrupted
  • Not having read and reviewed their CV before interview
  • Not giving structured feedback
  • Not introducing them to potential peers
  • Not making offers quickly and in person
  • Not keeping them engaged in the process
  • Failing to onboard well

In the 1990s, you may have been able to get away with all of the above – not today. But ask yourself this – are you finding more or fewer good people? Are you converting more or fewer of the people you do want to hire?

Today’s candidates expect a lot more, rightly or wrongly, and you have to get into that candidate’s mindset early on.

If we want to really connect with and attract today’s talent, then we have to accept that times have changed. The market is strong, and candidates have many options available. Grilling them to the point of exhaustion or making them prove to you that recruitment is their only calling and that yours is the only firm that excites them just doesn’t feel authentic to them – such an approach repels rather than attracts.

Instead, your attraction strategy should be strong and well defined, your seduction smooth in an interview, with a big investment in rapport building, and your assessment should be hidden underneath – still there but not so obvious.

The digital world means even graduates can have their own businesses on their own terms, so can you define any real benefits to joining your firm? Do you know what they are? Do they compare well? Do you promote them in interview? To future-proof your business by recruiting the best people, you have to decide what ‘best’ looks like to you, and develop a really impressive offering. Then – and only then – can it be underpinned with high entry-level standards. Having just completed this exercise with a couple of recruitment firms, I know how enlightening a secret review process can be.

Ask a bright graduate that you know – the child of a friend, perhaps – to act as a mystery shopper. Ask them to grade the experience – from how they were initially made to feel after applying, how well they were prepared for interview, first impressions of the building, office and people, how the interview made them feel, why they would or wouldn’t want to work there, and how that compares with other interviews. The feedback might shock you.

If it does – take action. 

Your future success depends upon it.

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