How to Achieve Recruitment Stakeholder Unison
Jan 8, 2021
How to Achieve Recruitment Stakeholder Unison
Jan 8, 2021

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. 


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.


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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