As the market becomes more and more candidate driven, especially at mid to senior management level, using a recruitment consultant is no longer being seen as an optional extra. But if you are truly going to get your money's worth, there's more to it than just waiting for the CVs to land in your inbox.
Here’s my advice for maximising the value of the contract:
- Engage with the process and move quickly: the more the recruiter knows and understands about your company, the faster they can identify the right candidates. What is your company culture and value proposition? What makes you stand out from the competition? Don’t put replying to emails and calls from the consultant at the bottom of the ‘to do’ list. A lack of communication will mean that the consultant will present high calibre candidates in favour of a customer that does communicate.
- Get structured: treat this as you would any other project: draw up deadlines and responsibilities and review them regularly so you don’t end up drifting: as much for you as them.
- Be prepared for a counter offer: if you do, sit tight. If you have offered a great package and your company brand value is strong, most good candidates will realise a counter offer is usually a knee jerk reaction from their current employer, who knows a few extra £’s in the short term will be cheaper than having to hire straight away. It’s not called the career kiss of death for nothing: word soon gets around about candidates who accept counter offers.
- The job starts as soon as the offer is made: good candidates will probably have long notice periods, during which time other potential employers are still on the scene. Make sure the on boarding process is immediate with activities such as a ‘meet the team’ lunch, visit to the office or site or just sending out the company fleece.
- Know the market: don’t cut corners on remuneration. Yes, there’s a fair salary for a fair job, but do you really know what’s going on in terms of remuneration both financially and in benefits? Don’t ignore your consultant if they advise you that it’s no longer enough to offer up to 25 days holiday. If adding an extra four days is a deal breaker for you, it’s probably a deal breaker for the candidate too.
- What’s the strategic long term recruitment process? Don’t view this as a one off. This new candidate will hopefully be staying with you, your business will grow and you will need to recruit again. You will get better value for money if your recruitment consultant becomes a trusted partner that understand your business rather than shopping around every time you need to hire. Think about the cost benefits of a retained arrangement rather than one-offs.