Recently I’ve been approached by candidates who need some guidance on their next steps. I ask what they have done in the way of looking for opportunities and what was their experience and I can’t say I’m surprised at the answers.
It does matter how candidates perceive the client’s hiring process. The view that a candidate, while wanting to work for an organisation, will tolerate a poor experience is simply not true. Most candidates apply for and pursue more than one opportunity at a time and if the experience is poor, they will withdraw and tell everyone they know how awful it was. This directly affects a client’s bottom line and their ability to attract the right talent.
A long drawn out process reflects badly on the company.
• We have no idea what we want
• We don’t have the authority to pull the trigger
• If this is how the hiring process goes then how is the overall company run?
As an experienced recruiter this presents a real challenge.
How do I add value to the client and the candidate?
Adding this to the trend for in-house recruitment as a way to cut costs and we have a definite conundrum. While there are definitely some benefits to be had with in-house teams, the deficits can outweigh them and be costly in the process by way of long delays, lost opportunity to the business, cost of a bad hire, etc.
In the era of social media, putting a call out to the world through Linkedin or other “pull” ads seems like a quick and easy way to see what comes.
But is this the best way to attract the right talent?
From a candidate’s perspective it’s a big NO! Why?
Because it is a “cattle call”, frustrating, time consuming and reaps little in the way of reward. OK, not all is bad. Let’s look at the plus side – with in-house recruitment, interaction is direct, may provide a less filtered opportunity to be put in the “yes” pile and may give an applicant the perception that they are closer to the process.
On the flip side, there is no one to deal with at arms-length to get feedback, talk the situation over with or get some insight or perspective from. Additionally, the candidate has less opportunity to put pressure on the process.
In the final stages where the package comes into play there is no one to help negotiate without prejudice. From the company’s perspective there are perceived cost savings. Sure, they save on consultant fees, but do they really get value for money?
In my experience, good candidates aren’t necessarily looking for a new opportunity. They will not in the main answer an ad nor will they necessarily respond to a reach out on Linkedin. They want to be represented to a client and not be pigeonholed nor dealt with as a commodity. While in-house recruitment is great and cost-effective solution for some things it isn’t for all things. A good Search consultant will have the maturity and knowledge of the market to guide and challenge a client on what they are really after in a candidate. They will know what actual skill sets are needed and how transferrable skills really are. They will know their client and be able to advocate for them to attract people.
Most candidates want someone to see their value and guide them to mutually beneficial outcome. I don’t know one senior person who would leave their career to chance, do you?