By Laura Holcombe

Companies will use the services of a Recruitment Agency for a variety of reasons. It may be because they do not have the manpower themselves to manage the heavy workload generated: rifling through CVs, shortlisting, interviewing, providing feedback, not to mention all of the related administrative tasks that, in themselves, can take an age, and that’s before all of the work generated onboarding a new staff member! Alternatively, they may already have their eye on someone at another company who has produced impressive work whom a professional head-hunter can approach and gauge their interest in changing positions.

Whatever reason you outsource your recruitment, it is crucially important that the relationship between you and your recruitment consultant has, at least, this one key characteristic: clarity. The best scenario for a company utilising the services of a recruitment agency is for their vacant role to be filled quickly by someone who has the necessary experience, qualifications and temperament to be able to perform the advertised role to a high standard, as well as fit in with the company culture, hopefully staying with the company for a significant period of time.

It is, then, shocking that recent research conducted in November 2017 by NGA Human Resources, an international HR and Payroll provider, state that almost half of candidates (45%) are rejecting positions because they were not happy with the recruitment process. A further 44% stated that the actual role differed from what was originally advertised or described. 27% felt that they wouldn’t fit in with new colleagues.

Anna Dickson, Talent Management Specialist at NGA Human Resources, states: “In today’s job market the power lies firmly in the hands of the job seeker … firms must react by investing in the recruitment and onboarding process.” She goes on to state that companies must implement a recruitment process, whether in house or outsourced, that is efficient, honest and professional. Onboarding, too, must be of high concern, with “a tailored, thorough and structured onboarding programme … boost[ing] productivity and job satisfaction … increas[ing] the chances that they’ll stay at the company for the longer term.”

So what does this all mean for both recruiters their clients in 2018? It is crucial that the relationship between recruiter and client be clear, honest and open. Companies hiring should present a thorough and accurate job description to their recruiter explaining, in as much detail as possible, the daily responsibilities of the role advertised. This will enable the recruitment consultant to have honest conversations with potential candidates about what the job will involve, and help quickly weed out those for whom the daily tasks of the job are not appealing. There is nothing worse than starting a job and realising the picture painted for you by either recruiter or your new employer was dishonest. Clients must play their part too in this, ensuring that during the interview process they outline clearly what will be expected of the candidate on a daily basis. This will greatly reduce the chances of a candidate turning up for their first day and being astonished at how greatly the role they’re being asked to perform differs from that advertised and, thus, ending up part of the 45% mentioned above.

It is advisable for recruitment consultants to visit their clients to get a sense of the working atmosphere from a first-hand perspective so they can get an idea of the kind of personalities the company typically employs. A candidate who is more of a serious, quiet person will not enjoy working in a loud, raucous, ‘work hard, play hard’ type of environment whereas someone more outgoing and vivacious might find it difficult to fit in in a small, quiet team. I, personally, have been dismissed from a job on my second day due to the fact that they did not think my personality suited the team– something that surely should have been clear much earlier if the recruitment process had been well executed!

It is also crucial to treat all potential candidates with respect, even if they don’t make the shortlist. Recent statistics have shown that the likelihood of a candidate reapplying to work for a company drastically declines if they receive no feedback on their initial job application. Candidates can spend hours filling in job application forms, writing cover letters, putting together portfolios… the list is endless. Part of improving the recruitment journey for applicants is providing honest, detailed feedback as to why they were unsuccessful. It doesn’t need to be any longer than a simple email, but it ensures that if another, more suitable position becomes available, they are significantly more likely to apply and you as a company haven’t lost access to potential future talent for the company.

While all of this advice may sound like a lot of extra work, it is exactly the kind of investment that Anna Dickinson is talking about. Investment of time in building a great relationship with your recruitment consultant will mean that both parties understand each other. This will be passed on to candidates through truthful, detailed job information. A recruiter taking the time to visit their client will significantly improve their ability to gauge whether a candidate will fit in. Taking the time during the interview process to give candidates a tour of their potential working environment enables the candidate to decide whether its right for them or not, before accepting the position, if offered. Investing time in providing feedback will keep potential talent interested in working for your company in the future. It could also improve your reputation among job seekers as a company that truly cares about the time candidates invest in the job application process.

To summarise, building a great relationship with your recruitment consultant, investing more time into making the process honest, clear and keeping delays to a minimum, thanking those that have applied and providing feedback and making integrating new staff a high priority will no doubt improve the speed at which you find new staff, the success of your onboarding process and make the retention rate for new staff skyrocket.

i4 Recruitment pride ourselves on providing outstanding service, which is why 98% of our clients would recommend us. But it’s not just our clients that are happy – 94% of jobseekers that we place would recommend us as well.

If you’re in need of new staff in 2018, contact i4 Recruitment where our experienced, industry specific consultants will talk you through our bespoke recruitment services.

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