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Avoiding Recruitment Mistakes

Well here is a novelty we are giving prominence to a piece of research by a competitor to which we have added our own experiences to complete the picture because the hidden costs to business is huge but should we feel sorry for employers or is it another case of penny wise pound foolish?

Employers are suffering as a result of hiring weak candidates who come recommended by recruitment agencies, according to the study, by talent management company SHL. Of the companies surveyed, 88% said they regretted hiring someone in the last 12 months; 47% said their regrettable recruit turned out to lack the appropriate skills, while 35% said they had failed to perform to the requisite standard. This is ridiculous if the recruiter and the company know what they are doing and smacks of total incompetence by all concerned. Given the cost of the recruitment process – and the additional cost of attempting to train someone who isn’t up to the job – that adds up to an expensive problem. And expensive problems are not what any employer needs just at the moment.

However, this needs to be balanced against another statistic that is equally astonishing. Our sister company European Recruitment Agency determined in 2010 that no less than two out of three companies did not have a job description and of the third that did slightly more than half were too weak to use in recruitment without major rewrites the actual figure being 86%. This lead us to create a job description website were Employers can go and create a job description but this is used more by international companies than British ones.Says it all, doesn’t it.

Now the recruitment industry is adept at shooting itself in the foot and many are more concerned with making a quick buck than establishing a long term relationship with a repeatable income stream but you have to have a bit of sympathy of those that are so hungry they’ll take on an incomplete brief. Europe has been lean pickings for recruitment companies since 2008 and recruitment rates have be slashed in a buyer’s market but this is short termism by both the Hirer and the recruitment company.

We are a bit surprised that 62% of employers intend to continue using recruitment agencies at some point this year but hope they shop around on the basis of service rather than price. It is encouraging that up to 50% had no problem with fees of up to £4,000 per hire, equal to around 15% of the average UK salary of £25,900. Indeed many of us charge more than this for headhunting services but supporting clients measure the value we deliver rather than the outright costs. Here is where we differ, if we can’t work with the client to get absolute clarity on a job description, which we convert to a marketing document how on earth can we be confident in recruiting the right person for the right job? If this happens, as it does occasionally we step aside. Interestingly we have many more problems with intransigent HR people than we do with company bosses but strident articles are probably not the best way to win over the jobs worth’s but we are in the market not to fan egos but to deliver results.

International recruitments have been flat out in 2011 with working in Australia being the shining star in sector. Northern Europe is beginning to stir, especially the offshore oil and gas sector and the Middle East is waking up and the world is heading towards a talent crunch in many sectors like engineering.

The UK after a brisk January has been quiet but enquiries have perked up this month and the report reflects this in that 2 out of every three companies expect to recruit in the next 12 months but the failure rate won’t reduce without better preparation and choosing the right business partner.

SHL is obviously peddling its own services and why not trial anything that reduces failure but in our humble opinion you are attacking the problem from the wrong end. Plan ahead, work out exactly what you want, get line and other internal buy in then talk to your chosen recruitment partner well in advance. Please note the use of the word partner because recruitment should be a three way partnership to yield the best results.

We don’t want to let employers, candidates or ourselves down and filling skills shortage takes time.


Author: Chris Slay

Skills Provision will allow our articles/quotes to be reproduced on other formats as long as full accreditation is given.