What’s the name of your company and what’s your role?
House Recruitment Ltd
Direct Hire Specialist/Director
House Recruitment was established in 2009 and the service line offering has evolved during that time and now offers a popular direct hire model as well as traditional contingency recruitment.
How has recruitment of talent changed in recent years?
Since I started in recruitment over 15 years ago the landscape has changed beyond recognition. Social media platforms, job boards, LinkedIn, an ever-increasing review culture (Glassdoor) and a shift in what is important to candidates has played a big part in this.
Candidates understandably want to know more about culture of firms, work life balance, support, progression etc. Most of the time it’s not about moving for more money, and the up and coming generations have a different outlook on jobs and communication styles – utilising WhatsApp, text messages, Snapchat etc, a concept a lot of businesses still can’t get their heads around.
What are the advantages of using an agency rather than managing recruitment yourself?
When weighing up the advantages of utilising an agency or outsourcing partner you need to take into account a variety of different factors:- The size of the business, resources available, the urgency of the piece of recruitment, man hours and budget.
Now recruitment utopia for most businesses is to not have to use an agency or pay a fee at all. I hate to be the bearer of unwelcome news but to get to that point takes a lot of blood sweat and tears. It takes more than simply posting an ad on a job board.
Utilising job boards and advertising might look like a relatively low outlay, £300-500 to advertise a job and much cheaper than paying out 15-25% of salary. If only it was as simple as that.
To recruit effectively yourself takes time, patience, planning and did I say patience! If it’s a senior team member responsible for the process the cost of taking the person out of their job soon adds up! Putting together a creative, appealing and legal job advertisement, dealing with applicants, rejecting each unsuccessful applicant at each stage in the selection process, (remember candidates can blog and/or detail their experience with your firm anonymously on review sites such a Glassdoor), coordinating interviews, interviewing, ensuring the right (honest) message about the job role and culture of the firm is conveyed, delivering feedback and managing a ‘talent pool’ …………. that’s a whole different article!
If you use an agency on a traditional basis and work in partnership with that recruiter they should get to know your business, your values and the culture so the message delivered to potential applicants is correct from the start and means you will end up with the right applicants on all levels.
A external recruitment will do all the initial work and present a shortlist of applicants for interview, you aren’t obliged to pay a penny until the candidate commences employment, and if they leave within the first 8-12 weeks you normally get some money back.
You use a direct hire model, can you tell us what it is?
A few years ago, I noticed that more and more businesses were looking at increasing their % of direct hires and cutting out the middle man. At seminars and conferences I would attend it would be global recruitment directors of huge firms on a panel who either utilised RPOs (Recruitment Process Outsourcing businesses) or were smugly talking about the fact they haven’t used a recruitment agency in the last 2 years and how they had improved their EBP (employer brand proposition), bravely embraced review culture and changed the way they communicate and treat candidates.
The HR managers and directors of the SMEs/OMBs I was surrounded by wanted to know how they managed it, what were the benefits of outsourcing, how did they reduce their recruitment spend by so much and what was an EBP?!?!
This was my ‘light bulb’ moment, I could use my HR background, recruitment sector knowledge, passion for providing a positive candidate experience and total geekiness for all things social media and marketing focused to provide a service offering to SMEs that would reduce their recruitment spend, whilst increasing their employer brand profile and get under the skin of the clients I support to ultimately pave the way to a recruiter free process.
The Direct Hire model was born.
Essentially, I work as an outsourced recruitment partner, this takes trust from both sides and I asked one of my longstanding clients to be my guinea pig almost 3 years ago and they haven’t looked back!
I get more involved with your internal processes than a recruitment consultancy, I am privy to your succession planning so I can support you developing a talent pool and a pipeline of potential candidates. I establish a social media presence for you if you haven’t got one, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Glassdoor etc.
When you have a recruitment need I allocate a set number of days on that piece of recruitment which can be worked onsite or remotely, all advertisements are company branded, you have no outlay when it comes to CV databases or up-scaled LinkedIn recruiter accounts as those subscriptions are all included. As far as the candidates are concerned they are talking to the business, I have access to your recruitment/careers inbox (we get one set up if you don’t have one), and you get to retain all the candidate information for your ‘talent pool’.
This way of recruiting typically presents a cost saving of 50-60% against a contingency fee whilst conveying a uniform message on the company and job role and raising your EBP.
I get as involved in the process as a firm needs I can present a shortlist of CVs and step out of the process, coordinate interviews, attend face to face interview onsite and support new managers with interviewing, negotiate offers, reject candidate etc.
What top tips do you have for companies wanting to recruit talent?
Be honest with yourself – look internally and really get a good understanding of your firms culture, your website might state you are open, dynamic and offer flexible working hours. But do you? Really?
When a potential candidate researches you, do they get a true reflection of your business? A lot of the time firms do a lot of social activities, CSR work and have tons of positive things to talk about that make them a great employer but no one knows it unless you work there already.
My top tips are: –
– Before you go to market be clear on the process: Agree on a job description, salary and benefits package with those involved in the hiring process, agree a set of questions to ask at interview to ensure the process is fair, decide who is going to be involved in interviewing, number of stages, any testing, a presentation etc
– If the final stage in the process is tying 2 or 3 senior execs down to the same place at the same time, set this date first and work backwards so not to lose candidates
– Don’t leave candidates in the dark, give them the bulk of this information too! How many stages, how long the process expected to take, key dates they need to be available for etc. The biggest complaint from candidates is lack of communication and feedback.
– Consider the way you communicate with candidates, for example we get text message reminders for everything these days, parcel deliveries, dentist appointments etc so using this way to communicate is often very effective
– When interviewing try to resist telling candidates what you think they want to hear, yes you want to promote the business in a positive light but if the job role has a 2 year life span, tell them. If they are a senior manager and the office politics are challenging, tell them. If the working from home policy is still work in progress, tell them. Otherwise you could be doing the entire process again for the same role in 6 months’ time after you have written a report on their exit interview with the main reason being ‘mis-sold the opportunity’.
– Ask recent hires what they thought of the selection process, could you improve on it?
– If a candidate has gone through 3 rounds of interviews, taken time out of work and they aren’t successful don’t deliver the feedback by email, pick up the phone.