Keeping the message clear

I’ve been working with a number of SME’s in Berlin and London over the last few months who are blowing up, with hiring and recruitment at the top of the agenda, specifically how do they keep a competitive advantage and how do they attract the best people with so much competition on their doorsteps. Obviously internal strategies are talked about, how they can attract more people through increasing their exposure on OS communities, hold conferences, hackathons etc. The discussions move to recruitment companies and how they will need to be engaged to speed up the delivery of talent. What was interesting was the lack of time taken to decide which recruitment companies to use for this work. Now I’ve been known to make some snap decisions, but should recruitment be one of them? Especially as who you have working on this  is a lot to say about picking the right recruitment partner which extends beyond just being able to find you the right talent!

One of the most challenging parts of working with recruitment consultancies is making sure that when they’re out in the market with your brand in hand, they are conveying a message to the market that you want to go out to the market! It’s not something that’s always considered, but your recruitment partner should also be a brand ambassador as they will regularly (especially if you recruit from international markets) be the first interaction you have with a new candidate population!

We’ve probably all had phone calls from recruiters (yes, even I get calls from recruiters) that leave a lasting impression for all the wrong reasons, but this also reflects badly on the brand of your company.

Working with the right recruitment partner can do wonders for your brand and hiring strategy, when the message you want to send out to the market is consistent and this spreads like wildfire. This can be the most effective way of getting out your brand to the market (just think about how quickly and how many people recruiters speak with) and more often than not, this increases the interest and levels of direct applicants as a bi-product of all the hard work being put in by your recruitment partner.

It’s an investment of time, but a worthwhile investment of time. As with most partnerships, the more you put in together, the better the rewards for everyone involved.  Assuming the recruitment company who’s just called in with “the perfect candidate” is the partner you should work based on one profile with can be costly, remember,  more often than not the recruitment business will be your first interaction with new talent and you want this message to be right every time.

Good Recruitment Partners work with their clients closely and try to exclusively work with them to enable us to spend time understanding their brand, culture, environment and goals. With this understanding they’re able to “sell” their clients in the way they want to be portrayed in the marketplace, weather that be Developer First, Customer First, “Cool” culture or a “Corporate” environment (sometimes all of them!), in turn keeping the message clear and the candidate experience consistent and to a high level all the way through the recruitment campaign.

Many of us have our favourites, but a bit of due-diligence is worthwhile when looking for the right recruitment partner (especially if you’re setting up a PSL or MSP), a few things to look for are here;

  • Look for industry specialists – makes sense, but a lot of companies will say they’re specialists. You want to make sure they know their markets and industry. If you can use technical terms freely without taking time out to explain everything you say, always a good start.
  • Ask for references – you wouldn’t take an employee into your team without taking references, same should apply with your recruitment partners
  • Previous Successes – What have they done for other people, a successful recruitment business will have success stories in similar industries or placing similar tech specialists, ask about the other clients they’ve helped out, how they’ve done it and ideally see if some of the other business they’ve worked with will offer up testimonials.