Your Recruitment Consultant’s Interview

Your Recruitment Consultant’s Interview

Have you considered your Recruitment Consultant to be part of your candidate interview process?

This is the first stage of the interview process.

When you outsource your recruitment to Langley James IT Recruitment, you are outsourcing the early stages of your usual recruitment process which generally includes your 1st Stage Interview. 

Our Recruitment Consultants will act on your behalf, to meet, interview and qualify candidates that may be employed by your competitors in line with the job description you provide, we will make recruitment decisions based on the knowledge we have of for your requirements.  Our Recruitment Consultant will represent you and your company.

With that in mind, let us clarify how you can optimise this stage of recruitment to ensure your company is properly represented and your shortlist thoroughly vetted before you meet a single candidate.  

Share your company knowledge!

 If you attempted to recruit directly you might buy some recruitment advertising, sift through the applicants, and select a shortlist using your qualification information. Then, you would invite them to attend an interview where you would explore their suitability against your job description with key questions and explain to them what the job is. If you like them, you will probably enthusiastically describe the business and all the reasons why they should join you, you have that knowledge.

Using Langley James IT Recruitment, you will save time as we will be responsible for most of the process allowing you to focus on other business challenges. The information you provide us with at this early stage is crucial to conduct your 1st stage interview, to a standard that meets your own.  

checklist

Qualification 

Pass on all your early-stage qualification questions to your Recruitment Consultant. Provide examples of the best possible answers so they can match candidate responses accordingly. Context is important here as you might want specific experience and skill application. For example, when you say Advanced Excel skills, what does that really mean? 

Describe examples of how the desired skill might be exercised so our Recruitment Consultants can explore a candidate’s experience with more confidence.  Be very clear on what is essential and what is desirable so we can prioritise.

 

We are part of your team!

By giving us as much information as possible it will help Our Recruitment Consultants to feel included and will ensure they represent you and your company in the best possible way. The more information we have the more efficiently we can find you the right people.

 Interview Feedback

Do ensure that you gain feedback from our Recruitment Consultants, before setting up your own interview, part of our process is to produce a report when we shortlist, ask for our interview report detailing the reasons why they feel a candidate is suitable. Review the evidence gained from the qualification questions you gave them and build their findings into your own interview plan.

Our Recruitment Partnership

At Langley James IT Recruitment we aim to keep in touch with you throughout the recruitment process, we send out a standard weekly report to update you on our progress, however do feel free to contact us at any time. We understand that things can change, and you may need to refine or change your recruitment priorities and regularly ask for feedback.

Sometimes roles are harder to fill if the salary is not sufficient, the location is non-traditional, or the specification does not sell the benefits of the role. Whatever the problem, do not wait to find out weeks later. Do whatever you can to influence the recruiter interview process and identify changes early. 

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How to Achieve Recruitment Stakeholder Unison

How to Achieve Recruitment Stakeholder Unison

Successful recruitment relies on consistent and concise communication, speed, and decisive action from all stakeholders. The more people involved in a recruitment project, the more complicated it becomes to avoid conflicts of interest that may delay or halt the recruitment process. 

The challenge at this time is to act with speed. Having overly cautious organisations with multi-signature-signoff in a highly competitive and fast-moving talent market may result in missed opportunities. 

While it is impossible to control everything, stakeholder management can be controlled to avoid losing the best candidate to a competitor when a ‘stakeholder stalemate’ occurs. 

Here is are some tips from Langley James 

Who is a Stakeholder?

To clarify a stakeholder in terms of recruitment will probably be a mixture of Department Managers, Directors, and HR, on occasion it may involve a supplier or client.

The primary stakeholders will likely be the Line Manager, the Recruiter, and the Candidate. Secondary stakeholders may include senior management or directors, senior team members, HR, key client or customer contacts, or anyone who needs to be considered or consulted with before offering a job. 

Stakeholder

Motivations, Perspective, and Impact

Disagreement, indecision, and delay, can result in the best candidate for your IT Recruitment role accepting another position. “If only the HR manager and Directors could agree!”. If it were your decision, you would have offered the candidate the job weeks ago. All those hours, all that effort, means repeating the process again.

This scenario may sound familiar to you and is a situation we are often exposed to at Langley James IT Recruitment. Stakeholders often believe and tell us “Candidates who really want to work here will wait”, which doesn’t always end in the best result for an organisation.

To minimise the impact of delay, we recommend that when you have written your amazing job description, ask yourself, who will be impacted by this recruit? Who will benefit? Who will risk failure? Who will make the final decision? Why? 

Questioning the recruitment process and the stakeholder’s motivations behind their recruitment decision making will greatly improve your understanding and your ability to manage expectations. 

Talk with each stakeholder early in the process, especially the decision-makers and those in the interviewing team, to discover what they believe makes a good candidate. Explore the reasons why and try to guide them away from emotive, personal beliefs, and, instead, towards the actual needs of the business. Importantly, seek clarity on what they believe separates truly essential and desirable skills, experiences, and traits. In our experience at Langley James IT Recruitment, this is at the core of most disagreements and recruitment failures.  

Next, we recommend getting them all together in a meeting. Present your findings to the group and share a discussion with the aim of forming a unified, aligned, and realistic candidate profile. The idea here is simple. Pre-empt conflict by seeking agreement early on. You will not regret it. 

Too Many Chefs

Multiple stakeholders are commonplace, however, when some or all of them believe their opinion is final, your recruitment plans are destined for problems. 

Senior people naturally assume a decision-making role, so to avoid conflicting opinions, we would recommend the best approach is to tackle decision making power and process early on with the backing of a senior-level colleague. Establish ‘roles’ for each stakeholder and make it clear what is expected of them before any interviews take place. 

Ideally, the Line Manager should have the final decision, supported by the advice and views of those around and above them. However, in many instances, the final decision tends to lie with the most senior member of the recruitment process. If that is the case, try to drill down to fully uncover the decision maker’s recruiting style, system, and, critically, what they believe will make a good candidate. 

Remember, your goal here is to achieve a system of decisions, not endless debate. 

Same Page Communication 

Unity and agreement are aimed squarely at a solid communication strategy. By getting it right, everyone involved will describe the job opportunity to prospective candidates in the same way, it will reduce the chances of underselling, over-promising, and misunderstanding. Internally, you will feel confident being aware of each stakeholders’ opinions. 

Nothing disappoints candidates more than a well-pitched job with an underwhelming reality. Instead, with a strong, well thought out brief, Langley James IT Recruitment can go out to market pitching your job opportunity with accuracy. This means those shortlisted will be well-matched, committed, and more likely to last the distance as they satisfy the considered stakeholders.  

Stakeholder Management requires preparation, time, patience, and a lot of listening. Ask the right questions and you will soon be well on the way to achieving a solid recruitment process culture.

Matrix

Langley James IT recruitment recommends that the business produces a recruitment Matrix that lists the required skills and experience from each stakeholder, many of these will overlap and it can be reduced to a shortlist, each skill and attribute should then be given priority status and also weighted as to which skill or attribute is the most important. This Matrix can be then used when interviewing to avoid any bias.

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How to Write a High-Performance IT Recruitment Job Description

1st Class Interviewing: Part 1 of 12

How to Write a High-Performance IT Recruitment Job Description

The Job Description is the cornerstone of every effective recruitment process. It serves as a blueprint for every role in your business and collectively, they form a complete operational architecture of your entire organisation. It is that important and an IT Recruitment Job Description requires more detail than others with technical objectives as well as broader commercial role objectives.

It is common for historic job descriptions to be passed on and reused resulting in something that is out of date from the start of the process.

The value to your business of having properly defined job descriptions is huge; by offering comprehensive, organised, and easily understood parameters in the form of a job description to guide the candidate and their line managers clarity for the candidate’s responsibilities and accountabilities. To improve on this, a ‘High Performance’ job description will in addition help to inspire a potential candidate to want the role and to understand how they can enjoy it by mapping out career progression and opportunities

In this blog by Langley James IT Recruitment we will present the essentials required to create a “high-performance job description” designed to increase recruitment results and help with the interview process and employee achievement.

What is a Job Description and What Value Does it Offer?

Put simply, the Job Description, or JD, is the foundation upon which your entire recruitment and subsequent management process is built. It is an extremely important document and well worth significant investment from you in both time and resources to get right. 

Recruitment

A properly written JD clearly describes the role’s purpose, context, core and secondary role responsibilities, and the skills, experiences and attributes required. IT Recruitment requires more specific technical skill and experience requirement. 

A good JD will help Langley James to write an advert and it will attract far more relevant candidates. 

 

Interviewing

A quality JD gives a clear structure for your candidate interviews and will keep the process honest, it will assist in structuring the questions to help you and Langley James to recruit the best people for your role and  help you to focus on what is important giving you a ready made script to how present the job and opportunity. 

 

Management

When a new recruit starts the JD will form the backbone of your management plan. Appraisals, KPIs, objectives, goals, training, and progression all stem from an accurate JD to match your expectations with their performance. Getting it right will ensure it serves as a reminder to help you deliver on the promises made during the interview. 

 

Purpose & Goals

The JD should be designed to attract candidates, the initial purpose of the JD is to pitch the opportunity to prospective candidates in a way that clearly communicates your needs while inspiring them to commit to an application, interview or job offer with a compelling and interesting presentation.

The goal is to create as much candidate interest as possible to ensure your vacancy is high on their wish list of applications.

Knowing that, do you think a job title, a list of responsibilities, and skill requirements is enough to compete with other companies fighting to secure the same talent?  

 

The Opportunity

The best way to achieve candidate interest is to sell them the benefits of joining your business focusing on what they will get out of the deal. This is what ‘The Opportunity’ really is. The trick is to focus on the likely motivators of your ideal candidate and speak to them directly, matching their needs to your offering, reinforcing it all with your brand values, culture and company story to convince them of your sincerity and authenticity.

Most candidates are looking for the following from their role

 

  • Life and Career Fulfilment
  • Power, Advancement, and Responsibility 
  • Respect (friends, family, colleagues, management, other professionals)
  • Good Health (reasonable stress, positive experience, regular/quality breaks)
  • Personal Development (new skills and experiences)
  • Family (to look after or to start one)
  • Wealth (salary, bonus, benefits)
  • Social Interactions (learning opportunities, friends, career advancement, etc)

 

This is the “what’s in it for me” piece, ensure you review your company and departmental culture and work out how you can deliver on each of these points. 

 

Tone & Style

Getting the tone right is fundamental when you speak to the candidate you want, in the first person, and appeal to their nature. You will be interested in what happen, rather than passive applications, it is more likely to attract applicants who want the job for the right reasons. Global taxi giant Uber absolutely nail this approach:

Uber Needs Partners like you. 

Drive with Uber and earn great money as an independent contractor. Get paid weekly just for helping our community of riders get rides around town. Be your own boss and get pad in fares for driving on your own schedule. 

 

Nowhere does the initial JD statement mention anything about Uber as a business or attempts to offer a list of requirements. Instead, it speaks directly to the people they want and clearly tells them what the basic life benefits are in taking the job. 

 

 

Key Role Responsibilities & Objectives

This section is simple but very important to get right. Accuracy and concise language it essential, focusing on the core objectives and tasks only. Be sure not to go off on tangents detailing the skills and requirements.

Start with the key objective(s). For example, The IT Support Engineer will deliver first class IT services to all users in the business ensuring BAU continuity, reliability, and fast action.  

Then list the most important, day to day tasks that will add up to meet the objectives. Outline the most important responsibilities of the job first. 

 

Qualification 

With the opportunity piece completed and a well-described vacancy, your interested candidate should be keen to read on and find out if they have the ‘right stuff’ to get the job that they are attracted to. To ensure maximum interest, clarity is key. 

Understand the difference between what you want and what you need and stick to the latter. The easiest way to get this right is to write a list and split it into two, detailing what is truly essential (needs) and what is desirable (wants). Then, split the list again into the following categories:

 

  • Skills
  • Experience
  • Qualifications
  • Attributes

 

This action is key to ensure candidates can accurately self-assess their suitability while also giving you valuable insight into specific candidate strengths and development areas. 

 

Other Parts of the Job Description Process to Get Right

Job Titles

 

Use the most common, universally recognised job title possible and keep it short. Anything less and you run the risk of confusion at the first hurdle. Avoid unique, playful job titles at all costs. Not only are they often judged negatively, but they completely fail to perform online. Data is searched with common keywords, not your own invention. 

 

Location

We advise that you are very clear on where the role is based, what flexibility exists for remote working, and, if appropriate, where else the candidate may need to travel and if those expenses will be covered by the company.

Eg. IT Managers will be based in our Head Office in Manchester but can work from home up to 3 days per week, expenses are not paid by the company for attending meetings at Head Office as this is not a home-based role.

 

 

Remuneration 

We advise that companies are completely open about the salary. Believing vague detail will somehow broaden the number of applicants is a common and costly mistake. In reality, candidates are likely to assume the salary to be low. Further, list every single benefit on offer. If you are unsure on details, find out. These details really do and will make a huge difference and form a key part of “The Opportunity” piece. (Follow our IT salary guides for more information)

 

Organisation

Describe where the role features in the company organisational structure, who the role reports to, and other key interactions or stakeholders. This helps the candidate imagine being in the role and suggests the job’s importance. 

 

A Few Final Tips…

  • Ensure all stakeholders have some input into your JD, especially if they are part of the interview process and management setup. Failing to do so may result in conflicts of interest and disagreements that will hinder your recruiting process. 
  • For obvious reasons – Do not use internal terminology or acronyms. 
  • Be realistic in your people expectations think what you need and be specific on IT skills and experience but some things will need to be compromised Langley James will always aim to find you the best person available at the time you are recruiting.  Being inflexible will reduce your options and delay your recruitment success. 
  •  Where possible get a colleague to assess the JD before using it to ensure it is compliant with the law. Check for discrimination, gender biases, prejudice, employee rights and employment law and remember this is continually changing. Use a reputable source such as The Chartered Institute of Personnel Development CIPD for up to date advice.
  • Reduce the language complexity to make it fast and easy to read. 
  • Be clear, open and honest 
  •  A powerful, multi-functional job description will help you at every stage of your talent attraction, recruitment and management processes. Langley James IT Recruitment can help you form your Job description, give Langley James a call today to help you find someone worth recruiting for your next IT vacancy.

Once completed, it will pave the way towards the next step: The Agency Vacancy Briefing

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