So – you’ve decided that you’re not an expert recruiter for the role you’re trying to fill. And frankly – you’re too busy generating revenue or managing other aspects of your business. Your time is best spent doing what you do best.
Naturally you should utilise your networks to source candidates. But you need to make sure you select the right candidate from that shortlist.
Time to appoint a specialist recruitment consultant to do the job for you. This could be an internal recruitment specialist (from your career centre), or an external consultant from a specialist recruitment consultancy.
Whatever you do – do your due diligence. It’s all very well that the recruitment consultant has the backing of a well known recruitment brand or specialist practice behind them – but remember you will be working with the consultant – not the company. Sure, the ‘well known brand’ generally has significant resource, but it’s not much good to you if this ‘well known brand’ is not enabled to support YOUR needs or the consultant is not a specialist in YOUR field.
Think about these points:
- It’s about adding value. If the consultant is merely shoving CV’s from their desk to yours – they are wasting your time. Quiz the consultant on the value they deliver for their fee.
- Ask the consultant to detail their services. Every stage of the process from taking the role briefing, the attraction strategy, right through to the negotiation, appointment and follow-up.
- Do they unbundle services?
- What is the consultants’ attraction strategy – and how will they recruit and retain the right person for you?
- What will they do differently that you couldn’t do yourself – or can they do it better?
- Will the consultant advertise on your behalf and if so, will they charge you? Read their previous ads. Do they write compelling copy? Are they creative?
- Do they have an active database? How do they measure this? What is their candidate contact process? How many ‘active’ candidates do they have that would be of interest to YOU? What is the frequency of their candidate contact?
- Ask the consultant to demonstrate the breadth and depth of their networks. How well known are they in the area you’re interested in (Linked In could be a good test for this)?
- The consultant must demonstrate a successful track record recruiting into the space YOU require. Do not hire a ‘generalist’ consultant unless you’re filling a ‘generalist’ role.
- Your brand must be protected throughout the recruitment process. Remember – there will be disappointed candidates. How well will your candidates be looked after throughout the process? Ask for candidate and customer satisfaction survey data. Remember – candidates could be your customers.
- Ask for ‘bad news’ stories. It’s as much about how the consultant deals with ‘issue resolution’ as it is about showcasing ‘good news’ stories.
- The consultant should discuss your employee value proposition – what makes your organisation attractive to the best candidates, and how will the consultant communicate this to the market?
- What systems and processes do they have in place?
- What milestones do they recommend? What does success look like?
- Partner with the consultant. You need to engage early and you definitely need to be involved in the process.
- Do they work ‘exclusive retained’? A good recruitment consultant will be busy so you may need to pay a retainer. Generally 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 at specific milestones.
- Partnering with one retained consultant will deliver great results. But – put some performance criteria around the engagement. Set timelines and milestone achievements. Enforce strongly what you have agreed they will deliver. If they don’t perform – certainly engage an alternative.
- Include key stake holders in your business throughout the process.
- Remember – good things take time. Be patient. Great candidates will be out there, but they will be choosy about who they work with too.
So there are many points to consider. Choose wisely! Using an experienced and well-regarded recruitment consultant can save you many thousands of dollars and add real value to the process.
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