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Four things every manager should keep in mind when recruiting

Kate Allen, Managing Director, Allen Associates

In such a competitive landscape, sourcing and securing the best Candidates from the talent pool is key in gaining the edge over sector rivals. Of course, finding the right person to plug the skills gap in your team is easier said than done.

While the first few days may provide a sense of excitement as fresh meat finds its way to your inbox, the hiring process can quickly become tiresome when no applicants have ticked the right boxes and the pressure is on to fill the empty desk in your department.

In truth, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to the recruitment process. Every role comes with its own unique requirements and every employer will have a unique idea about what makes the perfect Candidate. However, regardless of your needs, the path ahead is littered with pitfalls and managers must steer clear of the common mistakes if they are to bag the best people before their competitors get a chance.

Before you launch into the recruitment process, you may want to bear the following key points in mind:

1. There is no silver-bullet recruitment technology

New tools in the HR tech sphere pop up with every passing day, each promising to simplify and streamline the recruitment process to save time, costs and fuss. While many of these tools can prove useful additions to a manager’s arsenal, there’s no escaping the fact that recruitment is all about people.

Advancements in technology may certainly enable businesses to aggregate sourcing efforts across job boards and social media; they can even aid in matching CVs with specified skills gaps. However, no software can truly replace the need for human contact when it comes to screening Candidates for attitude, behavioural traits and soft skills. What’s more, your HR tech is unlikely to flag an applicant who has exaggerated most of their experience.

2. The interview process is a two-way street

Eager to get under the skin and find out what makes a Candidate tick, managers tend to put their shortlisted applicants in the hot seat when the day of their interview rolls around. Rather than a conversation, the experience becomes more of an intense grilling session whereby the Candidate is under significant pressure to impress. What many managers tend to forget, however, is how crucial this interaction is to Candidates in determining whether or not a particular company is right for them.

From the moment the interview gets underway, managers must bear in mind that they are painting a picture of life under their employ. Deliberately put them on edge or rush through responses to their questions on culture and you may find the perfect Candidate slipping through your fingers at the very last minute.

From application through to offer, the Candidate experience should leave a hopeful individual feeling nothing but positive about your company.

3. Skills can be taught, attitude can not

Having narrowed your search down to a final few, your natural instinct may be to choose the Candidate who boasts the most relevant skills or the highest level of expertise. Depending on the individuals in question, this could be the right decision – however, while talented Employees may come equipped with the abilities necessary to hit the ground running, it doesn’t necessarily mean they will always make the effort.

Individuals possessing less hard skills but a willingness to work hard and a passion to learn can quickly acquire outstanding skills through their sheer determination. The difference between the two is attitude, and while this can theoretically be taught over time, no Employer should have to train their staff to be committed, motivated and eager to impress.

4. You’re not alone

Talent sourcing can be a tricky business. Just when you thought you were onto a winner, an offer is turned down in favour of a competitor. Having already dedicated so much of your time to finding the right Candidate, it can be easy to lose hope when you feel like you’re going around in circles.

If the pressure is mounting to fill a vacancy, keep in mind that you aren’t alone. Specialist talent sourcing agencies exist to take the weight off your shoulders by attracting high calibre Candidates to your business and taking care of the screening process. Working with an expert recruiter often proves particularly useful to managers short on time as it allows them to focus on defining the job specification and preparing for the interview.

Over the last 20 years, we have grown as a business to become one of the leading independent Recruitment agencies in Oxfordshire, and in 2018 have opened our first London office, to service Clients in the capital.    

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