How to avoid a recruitment disaster!


Last week I had a telephone call from Simon. He is a successful Finance Director from a growing manufacturing organisation in the East Midlands. Having found our details online, he gave me a call as he was suffering from “a recruitment disaster!” (His words, not mine!).

Unfortunately I had to agree. Simon had been recruiting for 3 months, during which time he had made offers to four candidates, increased the salary on offer twice, and even changed the job description to entice more applicants. But now he was back to square one with his 6th batch of CVs to review over the weekend and he wasn’t feeling all that confident. This wasn’t looking good in the market place – potential candidates were constantly hearing that his organisation were recruiting for themselves, so they worried about the stability of the business.

As for Simon, nobody really likes rejection and it seemed that Simon was getting more than his fair share…so what was wrong? The company had a good work environment, the team seemed friendly, the salary was competitive and Simon was a nice chap! So why was he in this situation? I sat down with Simon for coffee later that day. Upon discussing his recruitment experience, I found one factor that seemed to be the issue; timing Simon was required to carry out two face to face interviews with perspective candidates; some of which were testing and arranging for successful candidates to have a conference call with senior Managers in the US before a formal offer could be made. On average his recruitment process for each candidate had been around 4 weeks!

So why do you need to act fast to avoid a recruitment disaster?

  • Reducing the time from interview to offer – your candidates will have less time to reconsider your position and (critically) less time to interview elsewhere or listen to counter offers from their current employer.

  • Make fast, informed decisions to maintain candidate enthusiasm – candidates are at their most passionate about a role in the minutes just after their interview. The longer the amount of time between an interview and the decision, the more this level of enthusiasm naturally drops. This means that even if a candidate hasn’t been snapped up by another employer, you may find that your role has fallen in their ranks of preference by the time you come to make an offer.

  • Moving quickly will make your candidate feel good – they will feel empowered and wanted and therefore motivated to join you. Candidates are ecstatic to hear that they are perfect for your role so if you make your offer quickly, the successful candidate is likely to repay your commitment by dropping out of everything else they were interviewing for.

  • You will save time and money – Moving quickly will keep down the cost of recruitment as well as saving your precious time (and of course, the sooner you can fill an empty position, the better…

  • Moving promptly will create a better image for candidates – candidates were hearing about Simon’s role over and over and so they started to wonder what was wrong with the place! Acting quickly will demonstrate to candidates that you are a business who knows what you want and that you go out there and get it!

  • You will look good in your business – Acting decisively will show your colleagues and direct reporters that when they need help in the team, they get it promptly. Having gaps can create strain and frustration within teams and the last thing you want is for someone else to leave!

Over the last 3 months we have seen the recruitment market change significantly. Good candidates are: being snapped up quickly, offered straight start roles and accepting jobs on the same day as interviews! Some candidates I am working with have even had their 2nd interviews cancelled because the right candidate has been found and made an offer immediately. As a result, the top candidates are leaving the market very quickly. The truth is, Simon’s recruitment model just didn’t fit the candidates of today – so he was almost guaranteed a disaster from the start.

I have now been able to put Simon back on the right track and reduce his recruitment process (he is hoping to make an offer any day now), and I wanted to share this with you in the hope that it may be of help the next time you are recruiting!

For any recruitment questions please call me or a member of the team at BTG Recruitment on 01159607000.

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