Lady luck rarely delivers….

For that simple reason, I am hired as an executive search practitioner.

I am paid by Companies to find the right, quality hire. It’s not something that happens within the blink of an eye. There’s a process to follow, attraction and selection to go through. No organisation wants to feel the cost of a bad hire, both financially and culturally.

You may be wondering what determines a quality hire, so, from my experience…

“Someone who is aligned with your values and culture. Who immediately gets on with building effective internal relationships in order to understand not only their role, but that of their colleagues. They bring the company’s strategy to life and are focused on the achievement of targets, deliverables and service-level agreements. This attitude means they get paid their in-year and beyond bonuses, they are busy, happy and above all else are ready to be promoted again within a two to three year timescale. Most importantly they will stay within your organisation for up to, and including, a five-year anniversary, giving a clear return on your investment.”

Whether or not the employing company has a ‘next role’ for this individual is immaterial. However, having employees of this calibre is what we should all aspire to.

So, how as an organisation are you planning to secure this quality hire that ticks all your important boxes?

Coming from the Midlands, I often find myself drawn to firstly describing what you don’t do in order to succeed; and so here goes with that:

  • Do not rely on any form of social media to carpet bomb an audience of candidates with job descriptions – the candidates you want are busy, will not have time or inclination to read your impersonal approach and this may well dilute your brand appeal
  • Do not enter any dialogue with a seemingly qualified candidate until you are sure of what you are offering, who they are, and how they map to your opportunity
  • Do not entrust your initial approach to anyone that is not able to engage with candidates on an equal footing in answering their questions on your business strategy, futures, perceived issues, marketplace, and indeed the over-arching benefit to them and their career in joining you

Now you know what not to do, here’s a few pointers on what you should be doing:

  • Approach candidates personally and ask permission to bring to life verbally, why you have contacted them
  • Do follow up exactly when and however is agreed
  • Do advise immediately as you decide whether candidates will be able to proceed and be able to describe why this is happening in every situation
    • Bad news lands better in a timely fashion and protects brand
    • Good news as soon as possible, secures continued interest and builds commitment and trust

From the ‘do’s’ above the casual reader might assume the focus needs to be on speed. It doesn’t! 

The focus needs to be on doing the right things in the time it takes to do them properly.

To explore competencies, skills, outcomes, needs, desires, drivers, and candidate questions, before rushing to send an offer out.  

On the handful of occasions that I’ve kept quiet whilst a Customer shortened mutual assessments, the outcome has always been a candidate fail to either complete their probation or do a middling job in-role.

If whatever route you take to ‘talent acquisition’ cannot commit to:

– Quality deliverables within a measured timescale

– Follow clear processes within a plan 

– Utilise tools that candidates respond well to

Then the hire you seek, the candidate that will knock their deliverables out of the park and get paid their bonus, will either allude you or be of higher unknown risk.

Beware the party that says it’s a few days to do something.  

You cannot conduct a two-way assessment in the blink of an eye and all you are doing is introducing risk into your process. 

As I said at the start of this article, lady luck rarely delivers….