In a previous article we looked at 10 essential questions recruiters need to ask their clients before agreeing to fill a vacancy. Part two covers ten more questions to build a more in-depth picture of the employer’s overall approach to hiring and assess their long-term needs.
Which parts of the hiring process cause you the biggest headaches? Solve the employer’s pain points and you have a client for life! Are enough qualified candidates applying to their vacancies? Do they understand how to screen and evaluate job applicants effectively? Are they successful in negotiating the final offer? Whatever the problem show how you will solve it.
Who is involved in your hiring process? The more people are involved, the more complicated it becomes, the longer a decision will take and the less likely you are to place a candidate.
Do you measure your key hiring metrics? You may be surprised to discover that some employers still rely on manual recruitment systems. Companies who don’t know their key hiring metrics are a problem. If they don’t understand the difference between quantity of applicants and quality of hire, expect a perplexed response when your shortlist consists of three or four CVs.
What’s your average time to hire? Expect another baffled stare if metrics are an issue. The only way around this is to gain agreement to swift responses once your shortlist is in place. For contingent recruiters, a lengthy time to hire often results in a lot of hard work for no return.
How many interviews do you typically carry out? Top talent is only on the market for 10 days – blink and you’ll miss the best people. Companies who prolong the hiring process with repetitive, unnecessary interviews mean lost candidates and a disappearing fee. Reinforce the importance of moving quickly when high achievers are identified.
Talk me through your onboarding process : Walk away from employers who believe onboarding comprises an offer letter and a manual to read through on the first day. Structured onboarding must be part of their overall recruitment process. If they don’t take it seriously, your candidate is likely to quit leaving you faced with a choice between finding a replacement or repaying part (or all) of your fee. Neither is a welcome option.
How many employees left your company in the last year? If the hiring manager reels off an endless list of names, this assignment isn’t worth your time. If the response is that they promote internally and enjoy a low staff turnover, they're likely to be a positive client, providing you’re satisfied with answers to your key criteria.
What salary are you prepared to pay to attract the right person? Forget what the parameters of the job suggest they’ll pay. If you find a star candidate, can they afford to pay an additional £5k or £10k to bring them into the business? Confirm the employer’s response back to them. For example, if their top line is £45k, your response is ‘So if I find an outstanding candidate who requires a salary of £50k I should offer them to another client?’ Their response will tell you if £45k is really their limit.
What is your hiring plan for the next 6-12 months? If this vacancy is a knee-jerk reaction to the departure of an employee it's probable that the employer doesn’t have a clear talent acquisition strategy. With a widespread skills shortage, your aim is to partner with companies who take recruitment seriously and encourage them to anticipate hiring needs.
How powerful is your employer brand? A realistic perception of their brand will make your life much easier. If they had four job offers turned down in the past month, their top performer just quit and they still can’t see a problem, it’s time to cut your losses.
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