Here’s a worrying statistic.
80% of recruiters believe they have a good understanding of the roles they’re recruiting for. Yet a staggering 61% of hiring managers don’t agree with this*.
That means that many internal and external recruiters aren’t looking for the candidates that managers want to hire. What a waste of time and resources on both sides.
Its common sense that successful hires, particularly at senior levels, are dependent on the relationship between those searching for the roles and the hiring managers. If the vision of those two parties aren’t aligned, then you will undoubtedly run in to problems.
So how do we overcome this staggering disconnect?
1. Establish a clearly defined brief
This is something that comes up time and time again and it can’t be stressed highly enough.
Whether you are using an internal recruitment team or an external search firm, you must get the brief right.
This can only be done by the recruiter and the direct line manager sitting down face to face and discussing what is needed to succeed in the role. A phone call or email can lead to ambiguous, vague points and not a clear, structured brief on what is required and where this can be sourced from.
If you are choosing to use an executive search firm to source candidates, then the same applies. If the search firm are briefed by HR, who has in turn been briefed by the line managers then you are starting a game of Chinese whispers where details will get lost or misinterpreted along the way.
All too frequently, we are given job descriptions that don’t truly reflect what’s required. This could easily have been avoided with an initial meeting involving all parties.
2. Time to get real
Once the brief has been defined, it’s time to pick it apart a bit. There needs to be a clear split on what requirements are essential and what’s desirable. In an ideal world, your candidate would have all the skills, knowledge and personality traits you desire; in reality there’s always got to be a bit of a compromise.
Any good headhunter will push back on unrealistic aspirations based on their experience of the market. They will be able to offer advice on how many candidates you are likely to find that meet your criteria, salary budget and are in the right location.
Even then, it’s important to bear in mind that approximately 95% of candidates for executive roles and 75% for non-management roles are considered to be passive and are not actively seeking a move. While it varies from role to role, we have found that on average, 62% of the candidates we approach are not interested.
3. Talk money
There is a critical trade-off between the required experience and the salary on offer. Companies wishing to recruit left-handed astronauts but are paying peanuts are going to be disappointed. The more requirements you ask for, the more the talent pool narrows.
Companies have budgets that they have to work within, so it’s understandable that you’re going to come up against resistance when suggesting salary bands are flexed. But to secure the right candidate, you have to at the very least pay the market rate. Sometimes for particularly hard to fill roles, this may mean being an upper quartile payer and really offering candidates an incentive to make a move.
This can be a significant point of disconnect between recruiter and hiring manager, there is no point in agreeing you can flex the salary upwards and when it comes to making an offer, you realise you don’t have sign off on this higher price tag. Undertaking accurate salary benchmarking early and having the necessary approvals in place can avoid disappointment at offer stage.
80% of all offers we put to candidates are accepted, however 20% of the time the first choice candidate hasn’t been placed because the offer wasn’t quite right. Money isn’t always the root of the problem, but before offers are put to candidates, it is critical that headhunters and hiring managers have a serious discussion about what it will take to secure them.
If you are looking to recruit senior members of the team, then make sure that you’re all on the same page before you start the search.
We offer complimentary salary benchmarking advice to help ensure you get the best possible candidates in the market. Feel free to get in touch HERE to discuss requirements further.