Articles From the Team

Dealing with clients can be tough

Earlier this month I was instructed on a new role by a well known Law firm. It was a very hard to fill vacancy and almost every commercial law firm across the North West is actively looking for a candidate with this skill set. We all understand the concept of recruitment and when broken down it all seems fairly straightforward:-

As an employer / prospective employer, if you are in a competitive situation you need to differentiate your offering, you have to get candidates excited about it, give them a good candidate experience along with a sense of professionalism and opportunity that makes them want your vacancy above all others.

Of course you have to do all the components well; Respond in a timely manner to initial applications, take time to understand what a candidate is looking for, why they are leaving, arranging interviews, providing interview feedback, interview preparation, through the offer process and sometimes more importantly taking the time to explain to a candidate why they are not being progressed.

So having been instructed on the above role, I spoke to the small number of relevant candidates available and submitted one CV. A little time went by and the candidate dropped me a line asking for feedback. It was quite an interestingly timed email as we had just received an instruction from the client which meant that we did not have any news and was unlikely to know at what point we would received any news, if at all. Essentially this client had decided to streamline their recruitment process and directed that for all future recruitment they would - provide feedback if they chose to, that no one was to ask for further details on new vacancies and no one was to ask for cv or interview feedback. I appreciate that a process needs to work for both parties, however, offering limited or zero information makes managing the candidate experience exceptionally difficult, for example;

• If we cannot ask any questions, how do we know we have fully understood the brief? • What do we say if a candidate is rejected on their CV and doesn’t know why? • If a candidate attends an interview is rejected, how do we handle this if we are unsure as to why (and how do we help that candidate improve for future meetings)? • What steps can we take to streamline the process & offer relevant candidates if we don’t know why candidates are being rejected? • How do we improve the quality of our service delivery without a steer on what is/ is not working?

As recruiters our biggest issue is a simple one – Time Management, what are we doing and why? We need to understand why you the client are looking, so we can connect you with a candidate who is looking for reasons which compliment the opportunity you have on offer.

Without this “why” there is no opportunity to guide a process and to offer constructive advice to both parties. It doesn’t matter what industry you are in, you need to communicate the why. I wonder how much of this can be attributed to Lawyers not necessarily seeing themselves as sales people? Selling yourself is often seen as doing a great job for your client, it’s difficult to do a great job if the client doesn’t communicate with you. More than ever recruitment is a two way process. It’s not enough to have a vacancy any more; candidates want to know why you should be their employer of choice. You have to sell your company. With more and more prospective candidates coming from Generation Y that is exactly what any new employer has to do – sell their firm and job vacancy.

There are countless articles across the web, e.g. on LinkedIn, Hiscox or Business insider that talk about the ability to attract talent being the single biggest bar to a company’s growth. With that in mind how can anyone afford to do anything other than make the recruitment process a smooth, informative and enjoyable one. It is after all a candidate’s first experience of your business, Make It Count!

For more information contact BCL Legal.

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