Each recruitment process is unique, but there are some normal things that occur in the majority of cases. From a headhunter’s perspective, being aware of what’s happening can help you deal with the process and ensure you have the best chance of success. The top 10 things you should be aware of are:
- The best recruiters will have exclusivity on a project, meaning they are the only recruiter working on the job. At worst they are one of 2 or max 3 recruiters being used by the client. The more exclusivity a recruiter has, the more control and hence the better the visibility the recruiter has of the process.
- The recruitment decision-making process involves a lot of people, primarily at the clients’ end. This takes time and organisation – which is why things tend to move slower than you would like.
- Even if you are the absolute ideal candidate for the job, around 90% of clients want to “benchmark” candidates, so will not recruit the first candidates they see (even if it is you). Similar to you buying a car or a house, the hirer doesn’t recruit every day; so they don’t have an intimate knowledge of the market and they want to gauge the market. Don’t get offended or stressed by this. Many do.
- Recruiters only have a finite amount of influence in the process. We are the experts, but ultimately the hirer is the one writing the cheques, so they are in ultimate control. If the hirer delays the process for a week because a big tender needs to be delivered, then that’s the way it is.
- Hiring Managers have a full-time, 9-5 job to do in addition to recruiting people; which causes delays. It’s quite normal for us to not receive feedback for 2-3 days following an interview. Whilst the hirer is interviewing you, their e-mails are stacking up, calls are going to voicemail, etc –so once they finish interviewing it’s back to dealing with day-to-day issues. This takes time, so patience is the key. We’ve known candidates pull themselves out of the process because they’ve received no feedback in 48 hours. Don’t fall into this trap.
- It’s a fine balance how we follow up an interview. Too keen and we could make the candidate look desperate; too relaxed and the hirer may feel there is no interest. Sending a brief e-mail to a hiring manager following an interview is a great idea, but as a rule we leave it 24hrs before contacting a client for feedback. As mentioned previously – managers are busy and after an interview they are usually dealing with their normal duties so we find it can produce a negative response if we as seen to be “pestering” for feedback.
- If you’re going away on holiday or work, please please let the recruiter (or a company if you are going direct) know your plans. It may seem obvious, but we have seen countless situations where candidates have “disappeared” during the recruitment process. As long as we know what the plans are we can work around them.
- To many hirers, discussions about salary are taboo at the first interview. Our advice is do not bring the question up unless you are asked. Ask your recruiter (As a 3rd party) if you want information. In our experience – asking salary questions at the first interview will be taken as negative in 80% of cases.
- The process can take 2 days, or 4 months. We appreciate that it’s difficult but just stick with it. This is more of an issue over the summer months, where hiring managers & decision-makers are away on holiday. Every company is the same, so learn to deal with it.
- If you are rejected – move on graciously and don’t worry about it. Make sure you obtain some feedback that can help you improve. Don’t ever burn any bridges. In around 15% of circumstances, candidates will be approached again by the company within 12 months; whether it be for a new role or the original recruit hasn’t worked out.
Good luck wherever you are in the process – and if you need any help or advice call us on 08707 52 00 25.
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