Companies hold your recruiter to account! Part 3 – Candidate shortlisting and the interview process

Part 3 – Candidate shortlisting and the interview process

As recruiters we should be doing more than just presenting a list of CVs and expecting you to do the rest. Again, at this stage we would be saving you time and adding value beyond what you can achieve yourself.

Do they know your story?

When a recruiter goes out to market you need to know they are not just trying to find the best candidate, but you also want to be sure they are presenting a positive and pro-active campaign to sell you, your company and what you do.

Challenge us to talk through what we know about your business before you let us loose. Do we understand your values, what they look like as behaviours and their reason for existing?

Can we talk about any projects you have delivered, any technology you use? The structure of your organisation on a local and broader basis? We may talk to someone who is not right for the business now, but you want to know they are left with a positive impression of your organisation. Who knows who they may become or speak to that could be a customer or even a good hire in the future!

How do they get into every corner?

With an estimated world population of 7.8 billion it is not realistic for any recruitment business to have reached every corner, but you should have comfort that the one you partner with has more than one route to market to try and find you the best talent.

Hold them to account on what is their personal network of this talent currently? How do they plan on accessing new networks? What platforms will your role be advertised on (I am a firm believer that although the value of advertising is diminishing, it is still a route to market which some will use who are not already on databases or networking platforms) and what is the advert like?

You don’t want to miss out of the best hire because your partner didn’t look wide enough.

More than just a CV?

You will hire on more than just the words you find on a CV so make sure your recruitment partner is providing you with this additional insight. When we present the shortlist, you want to be provided with detail that isn’t on the CV. What are their soft skills like, what are their values and how do these align with those of your own business? What are their personal circumstances and motivations?

Do we do anything different to help you screen the candidates and save you wasted interviews? Video screening, external testing of skills or personality profiling. None of these essential but look for some innovation in how we work.

Although at an interview stage it is inevitable that the process becomes more led by yourselves and your approach to recruitment, I still believe you should expect to hold your recruitment partner to account to play their part.

Do we offer you expertise

We are involved in recruitment every day and should not only be experts at interviewing ourselves, but we also have exposure to lots of other organisations approach. Use us for input. What methods of interviewing are effective for different requirements? What have we seen other organisations do that is different? Do we have example questions or scoring matrix? How do we advise avoiding unconscious bias?

If maybe you have a very good structure but why not check in on us and avoid complacency. We want the process to be effective, so it is in our interests to support.

Have we prepped effectively?

Your candidate should walk into the interview relaxed, confident and ready to have a valuable and enjoyable interview with you. As recruiters we have an important part to play in this by making sure they are prepared. Have we worked with them to do enough research about the role, the company and the individuals interviewing them? Do they know the format of the interview and what will be expected of them?

Ask the candidate what their experience been like? Were they prepped? How would they rate their experience with your recruiter?

Feedback is a two-way process, it is important that your recruiter is actively pushing you for feedback on all candidates. You want to know they continue to look after those who are unsuccessful as they may be wrong this time but make sure they still go out to the market talking of your business in a positive light.

Why decide before you know what the candidate thinks? You should expect your agency to come to you quickly following the interview with thorough feedback on their experience and views on the role. It helps you to reinforce or challenge your own thoughts, also informs your next steps and what they need to look like to get the outcome you want. What went well for them, what didn’t? What are their impressions of the company, role and people? Do they want to take it further and how positive are they about it?

The process of finding, applying and being successful in securing a new role can be stressful and unique for both company and candidate. As recruiters you need to hold us to account that we give equal focus to all when delivering a service.

Read more in my next blog about how I believe companies should continue to hold their recruiter to account at the offer and on-boarding stage.

Jon Martin
Jon Martin
Having spent most of his working life in the world of technology recruitment, Jon is passionate about building a company and sector which adds real value to the people and companies it supports.
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