Mark Levine
Mark Levine
Managing Director: In-house

Articles From the Team

You have 45 days to recruit or lose your hiring budget!

I saw an idea from an HR contact that stated in their organisation the following: If a manager asks for the budget to recruit an additional team member but in 45 days the role has not progressed to offer the budget is taken away for 6 months. The rational being, if you want the business to fork out additional money for your team you had better need this new recruit and if you don’t put all your efforts in to recruiting and therefore can ‘manage’ without that extra person, maybe you didn’t need the budget after all!

I think this is a great idea! In a past blog I highlighted the process a leading PLC ran when looking to recruit. It took 18 days to get to the offer stage, 27 days shorter than the ‘45’ required.

It amazes me that time and time again in a busy recruitment market how some clients run a process that means they are likely to still be looking post ’45 days’.

Below are a range of ‘situations’ and ‘implications’ of a poor recruitment process:

Multi-agency recruitment: Sometimes the adage of less is more is SO true! BCL Legal was instructed on a piece of recruitment in 2015. Based in a very unique location the business instructed a number of agencies to seek prospective candidates. 9 months on they have no one in the process. Where we work best is when our clients put their trust in us to complete an assignment. Working on a one-to one basis makes us put everything into a successful outcome. We know that working on this basis means that our hard work is likely to result in being paid for the work that we do. Multi-agency means it can be a bit of a bun-fight with lots of agencies firing over CVs on the hope that one of theirs ‘sticks’. It therefore makes no sense for us to spend more time than required on working on an assignment that we have no control over and a fairly low chance of filling.

Solely using a recruitment team or even worse an outsourced recruitment model to brief a specialist recruiter. Anybody can read a job description and understand the basic requirements of a job. But that is NOT what makes us successful in a) finding the right person and b) making the right long term match. In my early years as a recruiter I remember getting a job description and off I would go searching for a lawyer that matched the words on the role profile. I would then be shocked at who the client would end up recruiting as they often had different skills and experience to what I was told to look for. Many years on I have learnt that it is more than likely that personality, culture and overall team fit plays a much greater part than simply being able to do the job. It is very hard for any 3rd party who is not doing the role to convey these important requirements and therefore direct contact with the line manager is so important.

Not coming back on information quick enough. Whether that be CVs once they have been sent, interview feedback or offer! The implications at CV review stage is that candidates are likely to be progressing with more than one vacancy and therefore the slower off the mark you are the more chance they will have progressed another opportunity. By the time you call them for interview they will have lost interest or accepted another job! Much the same goes for interview feedback with the added negative that they end up thinking you are either plain rude or not interested in them. This just makes the recruiters job harder when it is positive and we need to get them interested in the opportunity/ you again!

Making the right offer first time. A very simple illustration.. Having been looking for a month through there own methods without success BCL Legal is briefed on a role. Our view was that the budget was at least £5K below market rate. We told the client this. They wouldn’t budge. All we could do was show them candidates that would be right for the role but at a higher salary range. We showed them 2 CVs but explicitly highlighted that they would only be interested if the budget was £5K higher than the figure they had briefed us on. They liked the 2 CVs we sent them and called them for interview but on the proviso they would accept the original figure. Both candidates said “no thanks” and pulled out of the process. HR came back and agreed to see them in the knowledge that if they liked them they would need to seek higher budget. One of the individuals was offered the role…at £3K BELOW what they said they would accept. On receiving the offer I told the client the individual WILL NOT accept this offer. Nonetheless I was instructed to offer at this figure. Surprise, surprise it was rejected!! The revised offer (at the £5K above the original briefing) was subsequently accepted!

My belief is not to make the offer stage a negotiation. Our role is to manage everyone’s expectations throughout a process so that by the tim e it gets to offer stage the first offer should be the right offer. There is nothing more damaging to what has hopefully been a positive recruitment experience when an offer is below expectations. It takes all the excitement out in an instant and has the chance of scuppering the recruitment process with your first choice candidate.

Everyone will tell you that finding good people right now is the primary recruitment challenge. Avoid these pitfalls and a plenty others and you could still find the new recruit of your dreams!

For more information, please contact Mark Levine at BCL Legal.

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