Jobs have become complex and recruitment is more and more a strategic issue. The impact of not recruiting well could be enormous for a company. If you lower your standards the company suffers from low performance, high staff turnover and poor customer service. We estimate that an error in recruiting an executive could cost you up to fifteen times his or her salary. So if it takes too long or if it turns out to be a bad hire, it will always be more expensive than a recruiter’s fee.
A recruitment consultant will prevent you making three classic mistakes:
• Lowering your standards
• Recruiting by “reaction”: to be on the safe side, many companies recruit exactly the same profile they are supposed to be replacing. It is a big mistake in this fast changing world: your company should adapt and not automatically recruit exactly the same profile as the one who used to do the job.
• Have a job description which only a super hero can occupy, who doesn’t exist on the market or will never be interested in the job in your unknown company.
Importance of back up A recruitment consultant will always keep one or two back-ups warm, should you first choice not accept your offer. Going back to square one could be all the more painful for your company given the pace of the business nowadays. You can’t take six months to replace someone.
Fees I hear from time to time companies claiming that recruiters will always try to maximize their fees by demanding the highest possible offer. It is untrue as a good consultant will always go for repeat business and referrals so it is in his interest to secure the most suitable candidate on conditions that leave both parties happy.
Methodology The consultant will organize and manage the whole process from A (define your needs) to Z (the offer and the integration of the candidate into the company). All this is time consuming, time you will use to do what you are paid for. During each recruitment process a middle man is essential for many reasons:
• When you recruit directly, it is proven, you who will project your feelings, needs and desire on the candidate you are interviewing and thus potentially make mistakes. You will avoid this by having an outside advisor who will select candidates objectively.
• Candidates will always prefer speaking to a consultant rather than directly to the company. They want someone who can show them the market, give them advice and tell them things about the company or the client.
• Candidates will always prefer dealing with a recruiter as it is free for them and they can have different opportunities with different type of companies. They can get a clear idea of what they want. A consultant will be creative with the candidate and the client and present options they may never have thought of.
• A good recruiter will prepare the information on the company for the candidate and information on the candidate for the company so the quality of their meeting is enhanced.
• A good recruiter will negotiate the best salary without putting either party out of the market. This is a lot harder to achieve for a company or a candidate.
• A good recruiter will warn you that the candidate has multiple offers and try to give you the choice of different candidates. To my knowledge, very rarely will a candidate being interviewed in a company disclose the fact that he is pursuing other leads.
Judgement errors Recruitment is one of the most difficult acts of management because it can have so many bad consequences. A good consultant who knows your company well will prevent you making the following errors A summary of the most frequent:
• Love at first sight Be careful – the recruitment process should not leave too much space for feelings. Only one thing counts: the candidate should have the technical skills, the personality and the culture to join the company successfully. Of course as you are going to spend a lot of time with the candidate, it is better if you feel at ease with him or her but don’t forget you are not getting married!
• He is so nice Be careful with charming candidates who lose their charm when they become useless in your company. Their pleasant manner makes you forget their weaknesses. A consultant with his experience will help you avoid this trap.
• It’s “his turn” Often companies promote someone because it is his turn. His tenure makes him the right candidate. If you can recruit someone better outside, do it!
• The “yes man” It is so much easier to recruit someone who is not going to criticize anything in your company. Always hire the best even though he is not easy to manage.
• Clones Standard product, this is what pleases many clients: somebody with the same background as other people in the company. Same school, same experience: he can’t be that bad! A bit of new blood is always good in a company.
Talent is not an e-commerce product A product you can buy online has no feelings, it will always show up if you have paid the appropriate price. Talents are unpredictable, they will seek advice, talk to their family; they will like your company values if an outside consultant explains them well to him. Talents needs convincing.
Sourcing is essential Top companies will use top multichannel strategies to source their talents. Recruiters will give you a huge amount of information on the market and on candidates. It is not because you can see talents and a lot of them on the web or on the social network that you will necessarily attract and recruit the best.
Compare! A good recruitment is when you can compare, when you have the choice. A good recruitment is a comparison, not only a judgement on one person. A good recruiter will present you multiple candidates and also advise you on their hot buttons so you can sell the role effectively.
Contingency recruitment vs retained recruitment A good contingent recruiter will fill approximately one in six of the roles they work on, but they will still provide the same service to all. They won’t place every candidate with whom they interact but they will still provide the same service simply because every person they deal with could well become a candidate again or a client. Similarly a client may become a candidate. You get so much service for free. It doesn’t make sense not to engage.
Contingency vs retained assignment It is true that with a contingency contract you can work with multiple recruiters and only pay when a recruitment firm successfully places candidates. But this system has its downsides too, including:
• You have no guarantee that the recruitment agency will give you priority on its top talents.
• These types of recruiters will give you less insight regarding the job market as they act more as CV Brokers and less as consultants.
• This type of head hunter can leave the agreement as easily as you can.
• Sometimes their guaranty is short; as short as 90 days which is very short time to assess your new recruit.
Conclusion No digital strategy will make talent hop and skip from one company to another. The ability to attract, extract and deliver the best talent worldwide is and always will be a mix of high tech sourcing strategy and a high touch (consulting) service which will continue to put consultants at the very epicentre of the corporate future. This is what we achieve at Morgan Philips To find out more contact us!
Charles-Henri Dumon , CEO & Founder of Morgan Philips Group