4 Steps to finding the Perfect Recruit

Have you been let down by job applicants? Have you found trying to recruit has taken up an enormous amount of time and yet you still feel no closer to finding what you are looking for?

If the answer is yes to either of those questions, you will want to read on...

Our 180 collective years of recruitment experience means we have seen some good, some not so good and some bad recruitment processes along the way.

We believe from this experience that we are well placed to share with you the 4 easy steps for all organisations to adopt to ensure a trouble free and ultimately successful recruitment process.


STEP 1- Engage the Right Consultancy




As you know, the need to find the perfect person for your role is critical. We truly believe that any brand is only as good as the people that represent it, so this is the challenge you face. The bad impression, time and money that can be wasted in hiring a "bad" recruit means that no stone should be left unturned to try and ensure the right person is found.

So, we believe partnering with a consultancy and individuals in that consultancy that understands you, your company visions, aims, objectives and processes. They should work in a manner that tailors to your own style and beliefs, as this is fundamental to finding the right employees for your organisation.

I'm sure the cynical amongst you will be thinking 'you would say that wouldn’t you'. Well, you can endeavour to do it yourself and many do indeed try, however we find and fully believe from our experience that the best use of your time and the best applicant for your role, is ultimately found by using a consultancy.

Engaging professionals who will have access to additional databases, methods, information and experience, is ultimately going to improve your chances of finding the right person considerably.

As for the cost argument, it's worth noting and taking a look at the much published stats of the physical time it actually takes to recruit. Can you afford to use your valuable time in this way with no guarantee of success compared with using an expert in the field?

Once you've decided to partner with a consultancy, highlight what your other key requirements (eg: national coverage, specialist, cost) of the consultancy you want to work with are and then talk to a few, using personal recommendations where you have them.

Although cost is important within every organisation, don’t be swayed unduly by a low cost offering. As with any purchase there are reasons why costs vary and offerings are different. I mean, if someone offered you a car would you expect to pay the same price for a Fiat as you would for a Mercedes?

Do your research. Check them out online, meet them face to face. You will know what is right from this.


STEP 2 - Clearly Define the Role and What Constitutes a Successful Applicant 


Know Your Role


It is essential that you formulate a thorough and accurate job specification for the role, and provide the consultancy with time frames and key criteria.

Make sure you meet the consultancy and give them a complete "nuts and bolts" job specification, a summary of 'must haves', desirables and definite "No-No's" so they can advertise, head-hunt and search for the ideal applicant with confidence.

Define the successful applicant. Do you want a replica of Sarah in Accounts or Peter in Buying? If so let your consultancy know so they can understand these individuals and their qualities fully to build such skills into their screening and shortlisting process. The importance of this should not be underestimated.


STEP 3 - Define and Follow a Clear Interview Process


Clear Interview Process


It is imperative to answer the following questions before you begin interviewing:
  • How many people do you ideally wish to interview at first stage?

  • When do you intend to review CV's?

  • When and how do you want to conduct first interviews?

  • When will you feedback on these?

  • How many people do you ideally wish to interview at second stage?

  • When and how do you want to conduct second interviews?

  • When will you feedback on these?

  • and finally... When do you ideally want the successful applicant to start?


Being clear on all of this will enable you and your consultancy to manage the process with applicants successfully, and hopefully reduce chances of losing any along the way in this increasingly candidate-driven market. Uncertainty and unexplained delays in the process inevitably causes candidates to look elsewhere.

You then need to decide:

  • Who is going to interview?
  • How are you going to interview?
  • The successful criteria for "passing" the interview
  • How you will measure the successful skills and traits during interviews for the role. 

Consider whether you are prepared to compromise if you don't find exactly what you want, or if you will restart the process. Is anything less than your ideal applicant going to work for your organisation in the long run?

If you intend for the first interview to be a more informal chat to establish soft skills, you may wish to make the second interview based on assessing hard skills critical for the role, via competency-based interview techniques. Your consultancy will be able to assist you in this regard but applicants will ask about what format the interviews take so have the process decided in advance.

We also recommend recording soft skill requirements on a checklist, and scoring the applicants privately so that you can objectively compare applicants after the entire round of interviews are complete. Be objective at this point and not necessarily swayed by the personality you liked the most. This is a common interview mistake. Look at the full package the various applicants offer you.


STEP 4 - Make the Offer Promptly


Job Offer-1


Now you have hopefully found the applicant you want, its imperative you don't lose them. So, it’s important to make a full written offer as soon as possible, and to open up a dialogue swiftly and enthusiastically to resolve any issues that may arise. You need to try and eliminate the prospect of alternative offers which create the risk of losing the applicant, or you risk your hunt going back to square 1.

Don't forget, at this stage its important you continue to sell the role to the candidate. In a candidate-driven market, your preferred candidate could be another company's preferred candidate, so its vital you highlight the merits of why this role and your company is the one for them.


If you follow these steps, fingers crossed, you will find your perfect recruit!


Can we help? We have placed and filled over 100,000 temp and permanent assignments over the last 30 years so have a range of techniques, ideas and platforms which could help you. Why not call us on 0113 367 2880 to have a conversation with one of our team. Alternatively drop us an email here or check out our Testimonials and Case Studies.

About the Author: Mark Woffenden

Mark Woffenden is a Director at Lucy Walker Recruitment and has an extensive knowledge of the issues and workings of the West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester Commercial markets developed over the last 20 years in the Industry