To source quality candidates for your client vacancies, recruiters must ask a number of essential questions. In the first of a two part series, we present ten of the most important:-
How long has this vacancy been open? Ideally you want to be top of your client’s list following a resignation or creation of a new position. Vacancies that remain open for several months should raise a big red flag. Either recruiting hasn’t been a priority for this company or your client has failed to fill this role. Ask probing questions to discover the reasons. Barriers to hiring include low salary, unrealistic expectations of the candidate, lengthy time to process applications.
Why did the last postholder leave? An internal promotion is ideal, company expansion is fantastic and leaving for a better offer elsewhere is inevitable. If the employee left because of the pressure of the job you need to evaluate whether or not their reasons were justifiable.
How many interviews have you carried out so far? If your client has received over 50 applications for this job and disregarded them all, the issue lies in their ineffective job posts, or an ‘over-selective’ employer.
How many job offers have been made? Likewise if the client has made a number of job offers that have been rejected, the problem may lie in employer expectations, salary or company culture.
What are the consequences for your organisation of not filling this vacancy? A ‘we can make do’ is not the answer you want. It indicates the client doesn’t consider the job important and it's likely they'll pay little or no attention to your shortlist. ‘It’s affecting staff morale and company performance’ guarantees a quick response to your candidates.
Why do your employees stay with your company? Responses which incorporate company values, vision, career development opportunities and a positive culture (with evidence of how they recognise their staff) are encouraging signs. Follow up by asking about staff turnover levels which will help you to bridge the gap between the employer’s claims and the reality of their working environment. NB : This response is not about how well they pay their people.
When can I schedule interviews? A lengthy recruitment process will lose your client credibility – and risks jeopardising your relationship with your candidates. Aim to schedule the first interviews within a week of you presenting a shortlist, with the provision to slot in high achievers at short notice.
Where do your most successful hires come from? Tapping into the sources which have worked well for your client in the past makes sense. If this is a crucial role for your client, speak to some of their best people to find out what attracted them to the brand, whether the job met (or exceeded) their initial expectations and why they stay there.
Talk me through your recruitment process : A sporadic interview schedule is yet another red flag. You may want to walk away from employers who give CVs nothing more than a ‘quick review’ as they’re not serious about hiring. Companies with a detailed hiring process who rely on recruitment metrics and screen candidates effectively are worth your time.
Who makes the final decision on this hire? You need to be dealing with the decision maker or the process will grind to a halt at (or before) the job offer stage. If final candidate selection is a joint decision between HR and the department head or director invite them to be involved in the process from the outset. Explain that delays in hiring result in loss of talent. Employers committed to the process will co-operate. If you're met with a lacklustre response, consider investing your time and effort in a more worthwhile vacancy.
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