How to Successfully Recruit Senior Staff
A company’s success is determined by how good its people are and the more senior the people the greater the effect – good or bad –they can have on a company’s success. So how do you ensure that your next high flyer will be exactly that?
Planning is of the utmost importance. Recruitment shouldn’t be done in a rush. Rather it should be carefully considered with a full person and a job specification being written down and agreed upon by all involved parties. Decide exactly on the decision making process. Will there be two interviews or three? Who will be involved and will there be any psychometric, or other, tests?
Next consider the urgency of the matter. How quickly do you need someone? The more urgent the recruitment the more apt it is to turn to an external recruitment consultancy. If you have time to wait then an advert in the trade press might be the way to go. Bear in mind that recruiting through the trade press will take approximately a month and require you to sift through CVs and candidates.
When should you use a recruitment consultancy? Broadly speaking the more specific and urgent the appointment the more appropriate it is to use an external consultancy. First be aware that, like tyres, not all recruitment consultancies are the same. It is best to go with one that specialises in the types of roles you are looking to fill and ideally one that has a track record in your industry.
Good quality recruitment consultancies charge between 20 and 40 per cent of the first year’s guaranteed salary. However the range of fees is often (although not always) a barometer for the level of service you will receive. You wouldn’t walk into a BMW showroom and complain about the price because you know the quality of the vehicle you are buying. Similarly with a solid recruitment consultancy they will provide well screened, interested and often exclusive candidates, who are all fully briefed on your role and company. Furthermore they will assist at each stage generally smoothing the wheels of the process and ensuring that the candidates stay interested in your role.
Whether your candidates come through an advert, networking or a consultancy there comes a day when you must interview. Do accept that interviewees (and some interviewers) are nervous and try to ensure that the interview room is clean and free from clutter and ensure that you will not be interrupted. Just as they should do, switch off your mobile.
Best practice dictates that there is a structure to each interview that is repeated for each candidate and it is worth having a written set of core questions that you are going to ask each applicant.
After the interviews you need to make a decision as to whom to bring back for the second stage. If a consultancy is involved they will call you with the candidate’s feedback after the first interview, which you can also consider when making your choice.
At the second stage, have the candidate meet more of the team and ideally give them a tour of the offices or factory. This is potentially going to be their working environment and they should get to see it for themselves.
Once you have decided who to hire consider carefully the offer you are going to make. From the interviews you should have a good understanding of what they are expecting and it is unprofessional to offer a significantly lower sum just to ‘get them cheap’. Where a consultancy is involved the offer should be communicated to them. They will then act as arbitrators to ensure that both parties are happy with the details of the offer. It is important when making an offer to include details of the entire package including all benefits. Side benefits such as health care and pension can be every important to people and can offset a slightly lower basic in some instances.
Remember the recruitment doesn’t stop when the offer is accepted however. It is advisable to take up references and to consider what induction training the candidate will have. Also do ensure that you notify unsuccessful candidates in writing. You might want to hire them in the future!