It’s no secret that the recruitment process can be time-consuming. Apart from interviewing candidates and vetting their references, you have to narrow down a pool of applicants and determine who best suits the role. Many businesses choose to work with recruiters as doing so relieves the burden and allows them to focus on more important tasks. This is especially true when you’re hiring for middle to senior management or C-suite positions. Searching for the perfect candidate can be tedious as they are rarely the ones filling out online job applications.

While working with a professional recruiter or headhunter will take a load off of your shoulders, it can be ineffectual if you don’t provide them with the right brief. The burden will fall on you to filter through applicants who may not fit, after all. Headhunters are trained to identify the right candidate for your position—but they can only do so if you provide them with the information they need.

Luckily, there are a few things you can do to get the highest quality candidates from a headhunter. To save both you and the recruiters time and energy, remember these four tips:

1 – Create a specific job description

One of the most crucial steps to obtain high-quality candidates from your recruiter is to write a concise and specific job description that outlines the particular skills, years of experience, and education requirement your ideal candidates need to have. Vague descriptions may get you a few quality candidates, but your headhunter won’t be able to hone in on that perfect match as easily. In the job description that you create, be sure to lay out the long-term goals the eventual hire will need to accomplish once they have landed the job. That way, qualified professionals will be able to better gauge the expectations for the role and the challenges that come with it.

2 – Outline your “non-negotiables”

It’s a good idea to provide your recruiters with non-negotiable skills or qualifications that candidates need to possess as doing so will ensure that you don’t receive candidates that don’t meet your basic expectations. Your recruiters can then include them qualifying skills during their pre-screening process. Your non-negotiables don’t have to (and shouldn’t) be overly specific. It could be as simple as ensuring candidates possess a particular skill or are competent with certain software. Knowing the skills and qualifications that you can’t compromise on will ensure that your headhunter only delivers candidates that have what you need.

3 – Inquire about salary requirements early on

Salary requirements are a deal breaker to both the applicant and the recruiter. To save you both time and energy in the recruitment process, ensure that your headhunters inquire about the candidate’s salary expectations early on. Ask them about their desired compensation so you can gauge if you can afford them or not. You can even choose to include the salary banding from the get-go so only those who you can afford hiring will be able to apply.

4 – Invite applicants for phone screening

In-person interviews require precious time and resources, so before you even invite the candidate to the office, ask them to hop on a call. Although your headhunter will pre-qualify each applicant, there are times when you can tell that the candidate just won’t be a fit. Rather than learn this after an hour-long interview, schedule a phone call first. When conversing with the applicant, you can give them a rundown of the requirements for the job and discuss their skills and work experience in more detail. Doing so will provide you with the opportunity to learn their personality and their enthusiasm for the job. If they tick all the right boxes and seem thrilled to be shortlisted, then you’ll know that they’re worthy of a formal interview.

Optimising the hiring process will save your organisation time and money. If you’re looking for a bespoke executive search service in the UK, get in touch with us today! We’re happy to help.

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