As sometimes happens, we receive requests from clients wanting to mandate multiple recruitment/search firms for the same position – and even brief multiple firms at the same time/same room/same VC – thinking that this helps cover more bases, wider scan of the market, even competitive tension. In some ways it can/does have the reverse effect.
Let’s look at this in another way in terms of respecting the process to ensure a mutually favourable outcome for client, candidate and recruiter. Some simple ideas to achieve this:
Ideally have the Hiring Manager and HR/Recruitment in attendance to ensure the mandate, understanding, messaging, timing and expectations are consistent – no surprises. Have a Position Description prepared – even if draft form – to discuss and agree the ‘must haves’ and the ‘nice to haves’. Managing expectations from the start regarding duties and responsibilities, skills and experience, and compensation are critical to managing a smooth hiring process.
Alignment & Focus
Exclusive and retained mandates focus both parties – having both the hiring firm and recruiter aligned. A retainer fee is merely an advance on the total placement fee – a commitment fee if you will – to demonstrate commitment to the process and outcome – it doesn’t have to be 1/3 of the fee – just signalling that both parties are engaged for the outcome. This definitely aligns and focuses the recruiter in terms of the confidence shown through the retainer fee, ownership of the mandate, and knowing they have to complete the hire – and be accountable. Not to mention that you (client) have exclusivity of the candidates sourced for the mandate. If you (client) are concerned at ‘being on the hook’ with no foreseeable result – then discuss/agree an exclusivity period. Nothing like a deadline to focus a recruiter.
Have a clear timeline set out and agreed upfront - regular updates, feedback, brand/position/compensation issues should all be tabled along the way to ensure no surprises at the end. If there are any queries/issues, they can be covered and dealt with along the way. Questions and answers from the hiring firm and target candidate pool assist all parties in achieving the best result for all. Communication and expectations are key to a successful hiring process.
Celebrate the Outcome
Once the hiring process is complete – offer/acceptance/resignation – it’s a great opportunity to catch up to debrief/provide feedback – what has been learned by everyone that can be used on the next hiring process.
And it is important to celebrate the wins, be it over a coffee, lunch or dinner - no matter how junior or senior.
Patrick Everest, Partner
To discuss your recruitment needs, contact our specialist JMES team.