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It is only when a recruitment process doesn’t go to plan that a client sees the error of their ways!
Why do I say this?? Unless you have interviewed for a new job in recent years it is easy to forget what it is like to be a candidate going through a recruitment process. Thankfully most clients that we work with 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 making a candidate turn down a job and go elsewhere. You have been warned!!
1. It’s a two way street. Client and candidate are both ‘selling’ to each other, no one party should feel they are more important than the other.
2. 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 candidate off.
3. Use the recruiter; ask for feedback on how the candidates feel. 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.
4. The interview process should be clear, concise and timely. No one likes an over engineered process, too many interviews and delays/ long periods between interviews, feedback and potential offers. Time delays always make candidates think the worst and get cold feet.
5. Clients 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. In the market that I work, in-house legal recruitment, it is a candidate short pool. If you lose your preferred candidate their often isn’t a strong second choice!
6. Get paperwork/ contracts out ASAP. Until candidates receive something in writing they don’t believe it is a ‘done deal’ – leaving yourself open to other recruiters convincing your star choice to look at another option…
7. Once at offer stage communicate directly and fairly often with your new recruit as they work their notice. Making someone feel part of the team though a 3 month notice period is essential!
Having successfully placed hundreds of in-house lawyers we are never truly surprised when a candidate 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.
Mark Levine (Director – In-house)