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Most recruitment processes run smoothly and a happy outcome is achieved for both the client and successful job seeker. However, recruitment processes do have the odd hiccup and can go wrong. Many of these issues can be ironed out but in the current recruitment market, where the demand for lawyers with a certain skill set (predominantly non-contentious/transactional disciplines) is out stripping the supply, recruiting clients in particular need to ensure that their recruitment process runs smoothly or risk losing out on the lawyer of their choice.
Unless you have interviewed for a job in recent years, it is easy to forget what it is like to be a job seeker going through a recruitment process. Thankfully most recruiting clients appreciate what it is like to be the interviewee. However, sometimes that is either not the case or the recruitment process is out of their hands. When this happens it is easy for any of the points below to play a part in losing the best person for the job to another company or firm. You have been warned!
1. If you receive the details of a strong individual, arrange for them to attend interview ASAP. Don’t wait for other CVs before short listing. The current market is fast moving and credible individuals have options meaning it’s more than likely that they are interviewing elsewhere.
2. It’s a two way street. Employers and potential employees are both selling to each other, no one party should feel they are more important than the other.
3. The client should be clear on the role they are recruiting for and be able to sell it appropriately. Mixed messages on the role and a lack of energy in communicating the role will turn the interviewee off.
4. Use the recruiter; ask for feedback on how the job seekers are feeling about the process, role and people they have met. Don’t assume everyone is as keen as you would expect them to be! Communication throughout the process can resolve issues at an early stage, stopping them coming to light at the very end of a process.
5. The interview process should be clear, concise and timely. No one likes an over engineered process, too many interviews and delays between interviews, feedback and potential offers. Time delays always make interviewees think the worst and get cold feet.
6. Employers need to make the right first offer. I never suggest a client puts in a low ball offer to see if they get away with it being accepted. We are currently operating in a candidate lawyer short market and often if you lose your preferred individual there often isn’t a strong second choice.
7. Get paperwork/ contracts out ASAP. Until your potential recruit receives something in writing they don’t believe it is a done deal leaving candidates open to other recruiters or companies, convincing your star choice to look at another option.
8. After an offer has been accepted, communicate directly and often with your new recruit as they work their notice. Making someone feel part of the team through a 3 month notice period is essential.
Having successfully placed hundreds of in-house lawyers we are never truly surprised when a potential recruit rejects an offer or gives back word when one of the points above occurs in the recruitment process. Hopefully, recruiting clients will take some of this on board before it plays out in their own recruitment campaign.