Candidate Search and Interview Process

Managing Critical Recruitment – Candidate Search and Interview

In this article we look at the ongoing management of the Candidate Search and Interview process for your critical recruitment.

candidate Search and InterviewIt is important to understand that there are many types of recruiter in the market and their process is designed to suit the style of recruitment their business is aimed at. In this series I am looking at critical recruitment, this is when you are hiring for a position that simply must be filled with a high quality and capable individual in a reliable and predictable manner.

The Initial Engagement.

Your recruitment partner is acting on your behalf to identify top performers who are qualified for your role. Once they have found someone then they will sell your company and the opportunity. In order to do this effectively they need much more than just a job description.

The first part of their process will be to get to know and understand as much as they can about; the role, the company and the people involved. This will take two meetings, the first on the phone talking through the details of the requirement. The second will be to visit the place of work in order to meet some of the key people involved and gain an insight into the culture of your team and company.

A crucial part of these meetings is to establish the best practice for working the role to a successful conclusion. You now start the Candidate Search and Interview Process.

The Search Process.

Your recruitment partner will outline their search process. They will discuss the timescales required to provide your shortlist as well as explain in detail how they engage and qualify candidates. It is important at this point that they agree with you the qualification criteria for a successful candidate.

Understanding your interview process and how you arrive at a decision is vital for your recruitment partner. Will there be a technical assessment, a presentation or some other form of testing involved. How many stages will there be to your interview process and with whom? Are there specific question you will want the recruiter to ask on your behalf? 

Consider getting your recruitment partner to carry out a recorded online video interviewing  for each candidate. This can save you so much time and money.

At this point pencil in dates for initial interviews, doing this now prevents slipping the recruitment process time line.

Your recruitment partner will also want to make appointments with you to provide you regular updates on progress and to present the candidate profiles. This will be done initially on the phone or at a meeting and then followed up with a written report with the CV. (The recorded interview forms part of this presentation).

As the search gets underway the first one or two candidates qualified can be used to benchmark the search. This is to assess that we are working in the right direction.

The final shortlist will normally be 3 or at most 4 qualified candidate if that is possible. Occasional the search will demonstrate that there are simply no candidates with the required skills or experience. If this is the case it will be flagged early so that search criteria can be re-examined.

The Interview Process.

At each interview in the process the consultant will provide a full brief to both the client and the candidate. The client brief is a reminded of why each candidate has been put forward and their relevance to the role. The brief will also cover candidate motivation and what the client will need to sell about the opportunity.

The candidate brief will remind the candidate what the role is about, what the company is looking for as well as about the company, the team and who they are meeting.

After the interview an equally detailed debrief will be undertaken. This can be invaluable to both client and candidate and has often identified areas of misunderstanding in the interview. Perfectly good candidates have slipped through the net simply because something was mis-communicated, or not understood. It also helps the recruiter to understand the role the client and the company better so helping them focus their efforts for this and future searches.

As the candidates are going through for second interview the search consultant will take references. This will usually be from previous employers, customers, and / or peer level colleagues from previous employment.

Following the interviews and you have made your decision as to which candidate you would like to make an offer to, we reach the final part of the process. The offer stage is the part where it can all go so badly wrong because it’s totally mis-managed. The result of getting it wrong can actually ensure you don’t get the person you want or need for your business.

So important is it that I have a whole post just dedicated to The End Game. The candidate Search and Interview process is complete, but you can’t relax yet.