“How quickly can you find me someone?” – this is the question most often asked by new clients when they get in touch. The latest figures from Cobalt Recruitment can now answer this: an average of 4 weeks in the legal sector, and 7.5 weeks in the construction & engineering and property sectors*.
Why does it matter?
It's important to work closely with your recruitment partner to reduce your “days to recruit”. A major problem is that as the process begins to drag, candidates either lose interest or secure other roles, losing you opportunities for top talent and time if the whole process has to start again.
Where candidates are receiving multiple offers, they often cite the interview process as an influencing factor in making their decision. To a new employee, a smooth and efficient interview process is a good reflection of a potential employer, but if it has been disjointed, lengthy, indecisive or disorganised it can negatively affect your reputation.
How can you reduce your “days to recruit”?
Parkinson’s Law does apply – recruitment will take as much time as you give it! This needs to be caveated with a requirement to be thorough when looking, but somewhere between the two is a happy balance. There are some good practical steps to ensure a smooth, thorough and quick result.
- Be clear about what you need. Most clients do come to us armed with a job description, but are also open to taking time to discuss this and benefit from the value created through the process of defining their needs with a trusted recruitment partner. As a specialist recruiter our deep marketing knowledge means we can advise on salary and compensation level, but also the requirements and scope of the role in context with your goals, organisation and the market. After all, if you start off with unrealistic expectations, then every candidate you meet will be a disappointment. Consulting on all your requirements at the outset will ensure we’re talking to the right candidates and shortlisting the most appropriate to meet. An initial investment of time at the outset can save you hours in the long run.
- Be clear on the process and the people you need involved. So if you need 3 hours of a colleague’s time to conduct interviews, block that time out one afternoon at the outset. This is a great way to counter Parkinson’s Law and keep the process moving. It also gives your recruitment consultant a very definite deadline to work to! Indeed, we often have clients interviewing in our offices so they are focused on the job in hand and afterwards they can discuss feedback face to face.
- Go digital. Where tests are conducted, nowadays we’re seeing the majority of these being conducted online in the candidate’s own time rather than having them come into your office first, so if you’re not yet doing this online, it is worth exploring.
- Evaluate simply and effectively. Ensure that the interview process is relevant for that particular role – can it be shortened or stages combined for more certain positions? Is testing necessary for more senior ones? Another benefit of working with a recruitment partner on the design of this process is that they have first-hand knowledge of the expectations of your ideal candidate.
- Focus. Finally, don’t set off too many processes at once – if you are using recruitment agencies, then ideally select one trusted partner that will do the best job for you. If you are looking internally or advertising directly then make sure these compliment rather than duplicate what the agency is doing for you. Make sure that one person in your company has ownership for that piece of recruitment so that there aren’t conflicting processes following different timescales.
Following all of the above will undoubtedly reduce your days taken to recruit and help you secure your preferred candidate in a competitive market.
If you’re looking to hire professionals in the built environment or beyond, we can help you design what skills, roles and people you need to achieve your vision for 2020. Contact our team to organise a ‘2020 planning session’ with one of the team.