It’s also the time when smart recruiters forensically analyse their successes, and failures, from the previous 12 months and look for ways to improve their performance in the coming year.
We asked experienced leader and recruiter Mark Nielsen, Chief Executive Officer (Asia-Pacific) of Talent to provide some shortcuts to help recruiters put their best foot forward in 2018.
Use your intelligence wisely
Information is power when you want to stay ahead of the pack. Nielsen describes how his agency cultivates a culture of sustained market intelligence – and uses that information to create a razor sharp competitive edge.
“At Talent we have more than 200,000 candidates and we have mapped most of our clients by industry,” says Nielsen. “All of our account managers are aware of who is in the market, who is in posts, and exactly who to approach. This enables us to quickly put a shortlist together and target those candidates directly.”
Apply reality checks regularly
Not finding the candidate you want is a recruiter’s greatest disappointment, yet many continue to make this outcome inevitable by including requirements in their job ads that are virtually impossible to meet. Nielsen’s advice for them is simple – it’s time to get real.
“Make sure your job ad is realistic,” he says. “If it includes 25 ‘requirements’ when only four or five of those are essential, you need to be clear about that, otherwise you’re setting yourself up to fail.”
Simpler is usually smarter
It’s basic human nature to measure the effort required to complete any task against the potential reward, and to opt out if we don’t like the odds. If a candidate has to write a new CV for every interview then your system is too hard - and this means you’re losing good people before you even start.
“Your processes must be as simple as possible,” says Nielsen. “A click-through to the candidate data saved on your system should be enough for initial shortlisting. You can go for an updated CV for the second round.”
Match make like you mean it
In many ways, matching clients and candidates is like setting up blind dates. If it’s going to work out, both parties need to have more in common than just sharing some of the same hobbies. According to Nielsen, ensuring personality and cultural fit should be top priorities for all recruiters.
“Get to know your candidates well, don’t just rely on CVs,” he says. “If a role requires a lot of independent decision making and for the candidate to choose their own priorities, yet your candidate is very structured and likes direction, then it’s probably not going to work out, and you need to know these things.”
Experience is everything
In this case, Nielsen isn’t referring to work experience, but the experience recruiters provide to their candidates. It should be excellent at every point, he says, from the moment their CV lands on your desk, until the moment you place them. If you’re lucky, you’ll even get to provide excellent experiences after that, when they come to you for candidates of their own.
“This commences from when they send in their CV or approach you,” he says.
“Their experience should be fast, slick and professional. We judge candidates all the time based upon things like how they present themselves, their CVs and their timing for interviews. We should apply the same standards to ourselves. Everything we promise we should deliver – meetings, contracts, when and how much they get paid. The entire experience should be seamless.”
Talent International was the 2017 winner of the SEEK Annual Recruitment Awards (SARA) Large Recruitment Agency of the Year category.