An assignment begins its life for many different reasons such as resignation, re-structuring, new ownership, expansion, or when a demand to find a specific skill sets appears. I am usually contacted or I am in dialog with the line manager of the company when the need is identified.
The search assignment is then discussed and a way forward is agreed. A proposal is drawn up and both parties sign an agreement. To be as effective and to represent the company as professionally as possible the company needs to disclose facts that can be shared with candidates. Demographics and other issues are also included.
I always aim to have a personal meeting with the line manager and if necessary with other team members to gain a clear understanding not only of the structure of the company but also of the culture within the company. We will then cover the job description, performance expectations and discuss what experience is vital for the new recruit. We also agree if the search should be confidential. Confidential would mean that I would not disclose the name of the client until candidates are identified to have the relevant competencies and can be short listed and invited for an interview.
Should the client wish to advertise, I will assist with the booking of advertisements on behalf of the company as soon as possible to coincide with the start of the search. Please note that in my experience advertising does not always attract the best candidates as they do not tend to read job advertisements on a regular basis.
Depending on the role that is to be filled the time it takes to identify target companies that have people with the relevant skill sets will vary, but is usually within a few days. This list is then shared with the client so they can remove companies that might be off limits for some reason, for example suppliers, customers, business partners etc. My off limit companies are usually those for whom I am recruiting and companies that I have ongoing contracts with. This list will be shared on a case by case basis.
When the company target list is agreed, the name gathering commences, this can take up to two weeks depending on how many companies are targeted, the geographical time zones involved and which roles potential candidates hold. The list is then shared with the client so that names already known or those who are not suitable for the role can be removed. This will save time and can help to avoid uncomfortable situations further along in the process.
With an agreed long list, screening of candidates will commence in a confidential manner without disclosing my client. In this process some people will be eliminated for various reasons, but those who match the criteria will be included on the list and will be asked to submit a CV and current salary level. The candidates who are not interested in the role will be asked to recommend people from their network.
At this stage applicants who have responded to any advertising will be included and replied to. If the client has received direct applications they will also be included and professionally responded to.
Potential candidates will be interviewed in person and at this stage, advised of the identity of the client and given a thorough presentation of the company and the challenge. The candidate and I will go through their work history, education and other related information. In this process I will also identify the type of person and what career aspirations and expectations they have. It will also be ensured that the candidate has as good understanding of the client’s company and the role that is being recruited for. Should the candidate not be suitable I will justify this with constructive feedback. The objective is always that the candidate, successful or not, should come out with a positive experience from the process.
Three to four weeks into the search I will present a short list of candidates who I have personally interviewed and have evaluated as being suitable for the role. The client will then receive a detailed CV for each candidate; all candidates will meet the criteria discussed at the initial stage of the search.
From these candidates the client usually selects three or more to take forward for a first interview. I will manage the communication, set up the meetings and liaise between the client and candidates to save time for the client. The candidates who are selected to go further for a second interview will be subject to reference taking with which I will assist. The candidates who are not successful will be advised accordingly and professionally with clear reasons as to why they have not been selected for the role.
I can provide testing and assessments for final candidates that I will outsource to selected specialists in this field, however, most commonly the client will have established testing methods which we tend to use to maintain continuity for company records.
I am also happy to support all parties with negotiations regarding the remuneration package with selected candidates if required.
I will of course follow up the whole process until the candidate commences employment. I always aim to have a follow up meeting with the line manager and relevant contacts to ensure the assignment has been delivered to expectations and to find out if anything could be improved upon for future assignments.