In a candidate short market how can companies get ahead of the competition when hiring.

    Many companies are facing unprecedented skill shortages, whilst at the same time becoming more discerning about who they should hire. This is resulting in multiple companies chasing the same potential candidates. So how can an organisation maximise their chances of hiring?

    Speed of process

    The number one factor is how quickly the whole process is expedited. When a CV comes into the organisation an interview should be requested within 24 hours. Once interview arrangements are underway managers should try to be as flexible as possible, and as quick as possible to see the candidate. The first interview should be taking place within 5 working days of interview request, and second interview should be within 5 working days of first interview.
    Ideally a verbal job offer should be extended and negotiated within 24 hours of the second interview, and paperwork should be sent out within 24 hours of the verbal offer.
    If these can’t be adhered to, (ie. other candidates in the process) then it is prudent to inform the candidate of the reasons why this is not possible, and a definitive date that it can be completed by. Bear in mind that some your competitors will be acting quickly.

    Fluidity between stakeholders

    Ensuring all of the people involved in the process are kept abreast at all times is crucial including stakeholders playing their part in the process as quickly as possible. We often see blockages occurring around candidate offer due to waiting for a board meeting to occur; it would have been better to sign off the budget and leave it to the line manager to make that decision. The other issue is waiting until an unfeasibly high ranking officer in the company signs it off. We have heard of one organisation client with 2000 employees where the CEO has to sign off on every hire!

    Use your agent

    Many companies see recruitment agencies as CV shifters, but given the high price they charge it’s worth getting the best value from them. Most good agents will be debriefing candidates at each stage, and valuable information can be gleaned from this process. It’s worth finding out if the candidate has any reservations about your company or the role via the agent so these issues can be discussed and addressed at the next interview. Question your agent carefully on the candidate’s motivations, if they don’t know when you ask them, they will certainly go back to the candidate and obtain this information for you. Additionally in job offer negotiations an external agent can prove invaluable as they can find out, with a degree of certainty, what salary the candidate would accept. If an offer was slightly below that figure, they can often get acceptance by re-selling your organisation and the role to the candidate. Usually recruiters earn nothing if an offer is turned down, so they will be highly invested into your hiring process.

    A two stage interview process is sufficient.

    For all, but the most senior hires, two interviews should be sufficient and it is important that any ultimate decision maker is involved in that second meeting. We have seen some clients bringing candidates in for a third to meet the senior director, which is usually unnecessary.

    Don’t wait around to see if there is something better around the corner.

    It would be nice to have 100% matches to your job specifications, but the reality is that this rarely occurs. We have seen companies conducting multiple interviews and never seeming to find the right person to hire, which can prove costly.
    If an organisation could consider a more junior candidate for the position, or could hire from a pool of candidates with complimentary skills for the role this can all be helpful. If it does need to be close to a 100% match, companies should consider paying a well above average salary to attract a candidate.