February is the month of love, well according to Cupid and the world of retail. Most relationships need to be nurtured, both in our personal and professional lives. At Greybridge, we have a lot of love for our candidates! Maximising The Recruiter – Candidate Relationship is something we spend a great a deal of time focusing on. This is why, for many of our candidates, they return to Greybridge throughout their career; either when looking for a new role, or as a client, to use our services to help build their own teams.
There are a number of ways we find suitable candidates. The first is through recommendations. Referrals are really important to us and we follow up every lead we receive. (We also reward the referee generously with every successfully placed referral).
Other ways we reach prospective candidates is through headhunting. Using tools including Linked-In, we search and select for suitable professionals. We then shortlist them for roles we receive from clients. Lastly, job seekers actively reach out to us, by sending in their CV, contacting us via our website or calling our office in Leamington Spa.
Over the years, we have polished our methods of managing candidates in order to ensure a mutually beneficial partnership can flourish. Here’s our top 5 tips on how we maximise the recruiter – candidate relationships:
1) Be Honest
Upon first speaking or meeting with a candidate, we’re always honest about whether or not we can help them. As a company who operates in the niche recruitment area of Strategy, Change and Transformation, not everyone we come across has the required skill set. However, if this is a business area you’re keen to enter, we can provide advice and guidance on what qualifications or experience you’ll need to acquire, to start being considered for the type of roles our clients are looking to fill.
For candidates, if you don’t like the sound of a proposed role or company, you need to voice this. We find candidates sometimes feign interest as they are worried they won’t be considered for future roles. This is not how a reputable consultancy operates. We would much rather be aware from the start of the process, rather than waste time. Likewise, post interview, if the connection isn’t there, this needs to be fed back to us, even if the client is glowing about you. Job interviews need to be viewed as a two-way process. You’re there to also ‘interview’ a prospective employer and ascertain if the company’s culture, values and ethos is aligned with your own. Far better that the process halts at this stage, rather than leaving the company three months after commencing a new role.
2) Build Trust – Get to Know Each other
Rapport is so important in business. Let’s face it, we’d all rather spend time with people we get on with than with those we don’t. We make a point of speaking to candidates over the phone to assess suitability for roles and to get to know you. Ahead of shortlisting candidates, we always try and meet face to face. If geographical distances makes this challenging, a video call is the next best option. The key is to ask lots of questions, from both sides of the fence. The more candidates can get to know and trust us (and vice versa) the more likely the process will result in a positive outcome.
Going beyond a CV and understanding the softer skills behind a candidate is vital. When we provide a shortlist of applicants to a client, we’re able to discuss each one in depth and why we believe they are such a good fit for the company. A lot of this information cannot simply be found on a CV.
3) Respect Each Others Time
People often talk about having a lack of time, adding to personal and business daily stress. We increasingly seem to be living and operating in a time-poor, fast-moving world. Therefore, it’s really important to acknowledge this and not time-waste. We make a point of never putting candidates forward for a role if we’re not convinced it’s at least ticking most of your boxes. We will keep you in the loop, contact you as soon as we receive a role that could be of interest or when we receive feedback from a client following an interview. At the same time, we give candidates the space required to consider a role or to accept an offer.
This can be reciprocated by candidates by not calling their consultant on a daily basis. Trust they will get in touch as soon as they have any news. A better approach is to agree to speak once a week or fortnight to keep the momentum and conversation going.
4) Two-Way Communication
Changed your mind about attending an interview? Don’t just not turn up. It really is extremely bad etiquette. Call and explain what’s going on. Give enough notice to your recruiter, so the client can be informed ahead of time, not five minutes before the interview. We’re all allowed to change our minds but you could also be experiencing a case of cold feet. By having the discussion and voicing any concerns you might have prior to interview, your fears may well be allayed.
Some of our candidates, particularly at CEO level might not have had an interview in the last ten years. It’s important we understand this so we can provide the coaching and guidance required. It can feel a little intimidating, communicating to a CEO that their interview technique needs improving but ultimately, nobody will benefit, if we allow that candidate to walk into their interview unprepared. It’s our responsibility to make sure candidates have done their research on the company. We’ll also make sure you know who is on the interview panel and what to expect, so there’s no surprises on the day.
There are many reasons people decide to leave a company. Lack of promotional opportunities, not getting on with your boss, uncertainty about the longevity of a role, feeling undervalued and so forth. If we can understand what is motivating you to leave your current role, then we have a better chance of finding something better for you.
A word to the wise though, if the reason for wanting to leave is purely monetary, going down the counter offers route is not always advisable.
Job offers can fall through when a candidate decides to use the new offer to negotiate a better deal with their existing employer. For some, they never really planned to leave. Not only does this mean that a lot of time and resource has been wasted but also that someone who really wanted the role has missed out. In these circumstances, we would always encourage the candidate to try speaking to their current employer in the first instance. Voice your dissatisfaction and try and negotiate a better remuneration package rather than getting a new offer on the table first. We would also urge you to consider whether it’s more than just money that’s making you unhappy. We unfortunately find that candidates who are tempted to stay, with the promise of a payrise, are back knocking on our door six-twelve months down the line.
With any relationship, trust, openness and communication is key to its success and longevity. Working on all these areas to maximise our recruiter-candidate relationship is something we focus on and work at on a daily basis. Perhaps being a smaller, independent consultancy enables us to still offer the personal touch. AI, Algorithms and keywords search are not ‘improvements’ we plan to introduce into our search and selection business. We know too many fantastic candidates will slip through the net if we do.
We’re proud of the feedback we get from our candidates and clients. Making it work has to be two-way and we are always willing to flex our style to ensure this happens.
Are you a professional working within Strategy, Change or Transformation and looking for your next career move or promotion? If so, get in touch and speak to one of our consultants about how we can help you make this happen.