To fill or find?

Recruitment is an interesting business and I honestly think one of the few modern business areas that can have such a dramatic impact on the success of a business. As a topic, it is one I could write and debate about for way too long. However this week for the Eden Ritchie Recruitment blog I wanted to focus on just a small part of this idea.SueT

As a recruiter I have often been faced with the dilemma of am I just filling the role or am I finding the right candidate for the role and organisation. Sometimes this is driven by the client themselves with their need to just have a ‘bum on seat’, a topic that really deserves a whole blog to itself. The other part of the dilemma is finding the right candidate and what do they look like?

An article I recently read really hit home on this topic and I thought I would give my spin on it all, check out the story here – http://www.fordyceletter.com/2013/04/25/30-client-questions-that-will-save-you-time-and-make-you-money/

The articles lead idea matches my thoughts exactly – preparation is the key to not only understanding what the ideal candidate looks like but also developing the ‘business partner’ relationship with the client.

I realise in our industry time is a massive factor in how we do our job, and I know this can be an issue, however I think there is always time to make a plan of attack before we run that magical search.

My ideal way to find out what a client wants in a candidate is, at the basic level asks these key questions. From the clients response to these questions I will drill down my search criteria.

The candidate profile questions:

  • Why is the position vacant,
  • When do you need someone,
  • How does the role impact on you and/or the business,
  • Forget the position description, what are YOU looking for,
  • What makes this role attractive to people in this field,
  • What does success look like for this person,
  • Is there any absolute or mandatory requirements,
  • What is on offer,
  • When are you free to interview and can we lock it in now.

I would love to hear your thoughts on the questions you ask to find out what a client really wants in a candidate and if you have found this useful.

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Stand out from the pack

It’s not the most positive way to start this weeks blog, however with an increase in unemployment rates, it has become extremely competitive in the employment market. The more people looking for employment, means organisations, including recruitment agencies, are being overwhelmed with candidates keen to find a new opportunity.

With the urgency people are feeling to find employment and the sheer numbers in the market, you do need to ensure you stand out from the crowd. Now the question is, what will make the employer or recruiter take interest in your application over any of the others?

Now the positive part, here are some of my simple tips to ensure you stand out from the crowd.Mel1

The job

So you have just searched some job boards or social media and found what looks like an ideal role. Reading over the description, you are thinking, I could do this job. You read the requirements they want and in your mind you are ticking off each point, yes Yes YES!  Now what do you do?

Contact them first

Make contact with the recruiter or employer. Ask questions, find out more information that may not be in the position description or advertisement and show a genuine interest in the position. This also ensures they might keep an eye out for YOUR application when it comes through or at least have a connection to your name over candidates who do not call.

Follow up

I cannot emphasise this enough. Follow up and check on your application’s progress. As a general guide, leave it a couple of days before you first follow up, and chase up unanswered messages – but not too often. You want to show an interest in the position without getting in the road of recruiters doing their day-to-day work.

Get the person’s or company name right

Its important to take the time to get the basics right. It’s hard to make a good impression if you haven’t taken the time or effort to double-check who you’re speaking with or how to pronounce the company name. This includes ensuring your cover letter is addressed correctly.

Tailor your resume

Your resume is the most critical part of the application process.  It will determine whether or not you get an interview. Tailor your previous history around responsibilities and achievements to highlight what the organization is looking for in their position description. Listing specific industry related information like projects, methodologies, technologies, frameworks, functions, qualifications and trainings do make a different.

Make your resume catchy

Remember this is your pitch, your glossy sales brochure, selling you to the client. You want to spark an interest in your skills and experience. Focus on achievements and use short but sharp summaries for each position that draw the reader in.

Prioritise information

You need to engage the reader in the first couple of pages so a strong executive summary at the beginning of your resume and cleverly thinking about the layout will ensure they continue reading. Make sure everything in your resume is relevant to the job you’re applying for.

Apply early

Getting your application in early shows a number of positive traits, and if you beat the pack of applicants who leave it to the last minute, your application will be one of the first they see.

If you need more information about resume preparation we have more information available on our website.  http://www.edenritchie.com.au/contracting/resumes_coverletters.php

 

Successful Hiring

Is near enough, good enough? I have noticed that there is a reasonably good candidate market out there at the moment with some real talent on offer. This I believe, has come about for several reasons, including the job cuts in government and the desire of candidates to relocate from other states and abroad to Queensland, for what they consider a positive lifestyle change. Whatever the reason, now is the time to take advantage of the available talent.

With a rich source of potential candidates, is near enough, good enough? When you’re hiring, you’re growing. That means business is good? The last thing you want to do is take on people who could be wrong for the job, or your organisation. Some important points to take into consideration when hiring, whether you’re running the process yourself or using the services of a specialised recruitment agency.

In my experience the following points are not only useful but essential when running a recruitment process to find the right people for your organisation:

Provide a detailed Position description: One that is accurate – this needs to outline the duties, responsibilities, and necessary skills, but also mention “how” the work is to be done, and timely expectations. An article I read recently put it appropriately for the Healthcare Sector “If patient care is critical, don’t assume that a candidate’s empathy is a given”. Outline how you see this is to be carried out. Don’t be afraid to put down the sometimes unmeasurable, otherwise you run the risk of having to settle for second best.

Recognise the talent you already have within your organisation: Is there any potential internal applicants that can do the job? Don’t be afraid to hire from outside if you believe that “fresh” would work better. But also recognise existing talent that could step up.

Utilise a professional firm: If you need assistance. Common problems can be looked at from an outside point of view, which offers a non-biased and hopefully a realistic view. With so many different theories on interviewing techniques and lengthy processes, specialists in this field can often expedite the process and match the well-prepared position description to the right type of talent. Be committed to the process.

Don’t oversell your organisation: Don’t run the risk of not being able to deliver, the old cliché of “under promise, over deliver” works well for retaining good talent. The last thing you want when you have put in so much time and effort into your recruitment process or paid for results, is that the expectations on both sides is unfulfilled.

Without trying to sound overly optimistic at the state of the job market in Queensland, now is the time to be securing good people for your organisation, engage them now for future gains.

How’s Your Morale?

It’s easy to stand out in the current climate as a smart employer.  Ok the GFC has ripped the market around from candidate short to being job short, and businesses are cost cutting and shedding staff, but there is an opportunity to critically look at how happy (or not!) your team are.

Know who your best performers are, mentor, train and develop them, communicate and keep them informed of broader business strategies, get their feedback and input.  None of this costs a lot, but the pay back is guaranteed.

Employees are nervous about job security, they need to know how the business is tracking, they value hearing about the future plans and how that impacts on them.  If you want to keep your best people when the market turns, you need to invest in them NOW.

How you approach the market when you recruit new people is also a key aspect to building favourable impressions with employees.  With social networks booming, the world is getting better connected and information flows abundantly.  People readily share their impressions and gripes, with poor recruitment processes at the top of their list of complaints.

When you take a job to market – be READY.  This sounds silly, but we are seeing so many poor approaches to the current market.  Yes it’s an employers market, but your reputation is still important in any market!  Have the go ahead to actually recruit, update the PD, be able to put time aside to interview, be prepared to make a selection – don’t stall.  And induct!

All simple stuff, we know, but you’d be surprised at how many employers aren’t doing this!