Blog: The Silverback

Perspectives on recruitment – what the hirers need to consider

Following on my recent notes for prospective candidates on crafting a compelling cv, here are a few pertinent thoughts for employers looking to hire.

I think the most important thing any employer must avoid is complacency, or to put it another way, the arrogance of brand. In many cases, particularly where you are hiring for a skilled role, you will be drawing from a fairly small candidate pool, all of whom have a choice and all of whom can be expected to exercise it. If your proposition is not clear, compelling, honest, transparent and above all competitive, they won’t be interested, no matter how strong you think your brand may be.

Secondly, candidates don’t typically move sideways. There is simply no logic in expecting someone to move to a job paying less than they are earning now, unless there are very good reasons for doing so. Again, brand is unlikely to be one of them.

Thirdly, don’t delay or go to ground – inertia is the biggest single reason I know for losing good candidates, and it can so easily be avoided if interview processes are properly planned, progress is communicated, necessary hold-ups are explained and everyone is kept in the loop.

Fourthly, don’t fall into the trap of treating recruitment as an administrative process – it isn’t, it is absolutely mission-critical to your organisation. Of course hiring managers are busy, but so are candidates, and many candidates have told me they feel it is a very poor advertisement for the employer to be kept at arm’s length from the person who would be their ultimate boss when they are trying to get information.

Last, but by no means least, don’t hire in a vacuum – get good, up to date, reliable information on which to base your hiring decisions. Bear in mind that what you currently pay in-house may not be the same as what you may need to pay to attract from outside, and unless you are prepared to live with a revolving door at some level within your organisation and factor that cost into your P&L, then paying consistently below market rate is actually a false economy.

Hiring good people is a two-way process – it requires open dialogue, transparency, a degree of humility at times and a recognition that both sides have something to gain and, potentially, something to lose.

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