When is it time to bring in an expert?

When is it time to bring in an expert?

 Sometimes a hiring manager will know someone from a previous job who is perfect for the senior role they are looking to fill. They will call their target individual for a chat, reminisce about old times, catch up on news and agree to meet for a further discussion about the job. This will eventually translate into a formal and successful long-term working relationship. Great stuff – if you know the perfect candidate and they’re interested.

At all other times there are experts to help.

Recruitment is business critical, and it’s a specialist field. Just as you wouldn’t expect an engineer to file your accounts, or an accountant to direct construction traffic on a busy site, you are advised against thinking just any line manager can attract the best talent for your business all the time.

A first point of call for many companies in the infrastructure and transport sectors is an in-house recruitment team. These often sit within the HR function, and can do a great job finding candidates for standardised, frequently occurring roles across your core business. If you are looking for 30 junior engineers from Newquay to Aberdeen then your in-house team could well be the place to look for a sparkling job ad campaign, career open days and efficient processing of candidates.

Where in-house recruitment teams can struggle is with senior and specialised roles, where candidates need to be proactively identified and enticed to join you. They can often be a small group of people dealing with vacancies across a number of departments and locations simultaneously, and they can lack the time, resources and specialist knowledge to tackle one-off critical senior vacancies effectively.

It is similar with external recruitment agencies. They will have a database of potential candidates but are likely to focus on junior to mid-level roles. At the same time they may be passing these people around a number of clients. They tend to focus on screening candidates in – selling them the opportunity – rather than also effectively screening them out by working out whether they are really suitable in all aspects for your company. Agencies could be forgiven for working towards their commission for recruiting a job and for not spending much time on hard-to-fill senior positions.

Executive search companies, such as ourselves, work in a very different way. We take a payment to begin the process, another on presentation of a shortlist, and a final fee when you’re position is successfully filled. Which it will be.

Here are five reasons to use executive search to find the best possible person for your senior vacancy:

1. You have run out of alternatives

I’m a realist. I know no business person wakes up desperate to spend thousands of pounds to begin a recruitment process. But if you haven’t succeeded using personal contacts, in-house recruiters, adverts or agencies, how else are you going to get the right person into your critical role so the business can move forward?

2. Confidentiality

Perhaps you do have some people in mind but it’s awkward to approach them. They may work for a client or competitor, or you may not want to be seen as poaching former colleagues. You may also want to consider comparisons in the market to some well-known potential candidates. Perhaps your need is sensitive and you don’t want the market to know you are recruiting. We can handle the process professionally and discretely, giving just enough information to attract a select few people while keeping others off the scent.

3. Genuine matches

Just like the advert for a popular dating site, we can find people you really connect with. We won’t recommend someone just because they are doing a similar role at a competitor, we will make sure potential candidates are properly briefed on your culture and expectations and hold our own face to face interviews with carefully selected candidates before we recommend a shortlist to you.

4. Market knowledge

I left university in 1998 with a civil engineering degree and started working in infrastructure and transport recruitment. In the last 19 years our team has successfully placed more than 600 experienced industry executives, from board-level appointments and executive leaders through to senior technical experts. We have built up extensive networks of senior contacts and understand the importance of learning a client company’s culture and history. You can trust us to go out and sell your company’s opportunity effectively to the right people.

5. Expertise

Not only do we know transport and infrastructure, we know how to source the best talent. As I’ve tried to show through this series of articles, we can help you shape your recruitment process from the job description through to the interview process. We will challenge you to make sure you get the best possible result. If we think you need to increase salary, refine your must-have candidate requirements list or modify your assessment process, we’ll tell you. With a 96% completion rate, our record speaks for itself.

**This is the seventh and final blog post based on Newsom Consulting’s eBook The Ultimate Guide to Hiring Senior Managers in Transport and Infrastructure.**

To get your free copy of the e-book of “The Ultimate Guide to Hiring Senior Managers in Transport & Infrastructure” click HERE

Author: Jim Newsom

Jim Newsom

Managing Director