We recently talked to Client Manager Louise Shorrock about how important it is to offer feedback on candidate profiles in a timely manner when working with a recruiter. Here are her thoughts on the time-sensitive nature of recruitment and how hiring managers can make this work to their advantage.
How can time become an issue in the recruitment process?
As recruiters we often find ourselves in a catch-22 situation: the hiring manager is overwhelmed with work and desperately needs to hire another team member in order to be able to focus on their own role, but because they are so busy, they are unable to invest the time needed to play their part in the recruitment process.
What kind of difficulties can this lead to?
Candidates can become frustrated with a slow hiring process to the extent that they disengage completely. Conversely, the faster you are able to provide feedback on candidate profiles, the more likely it is that you will hire a top candidate, as those candidates know their worth and will simultaneously be looking for roles in different companies. The most sought-after candidates are more likely to be snapped up quickly, so time is of the essence.
Are there any other consequences that hiring managers should be aware of?
Yes. Any delays in the early stages of a search can and do multiply: waiting several days after the agreed timeframe to send feedback on an initial presentation of candidate profiles could easily lead to a delay of weeks or more, as some or all of the candidates presented may no longer be available, which means your recruiter will have to begin their search again and find new candidates.
It’s also important to note that delays in the review process have an impact on candidates’ perceptions of both the hiring company and the recruiter involved. As your recruiter will be communicating regularly with candidates and keeping them informed of their progress, when a delay occurs, their correspondence with candidates effectively becomes a series of ‘no-update updates’. This creates a bad impression for both parties and ultimately this could cause a candidate to question whether they would want to work for you as an employer.
Can all of this be avoided? How?
The key is in the communication between the recruiter and the hiring manager. I personally will discuss and agree on expectations at the beginning of a search campaign, including an agreed-upon time limit for profile reviews. Once that time has elapsed, I then know to follow up with the hiring manager to remind them to give feedback. This works as a kind of unofficial Service Level Agreement between both parties to make sure the process keeps moving forward. I would also always make sure that I have the contact details of more than one person who is involved in the hiring process in case delays occur as a result of unexpected absences.
Is there any other advice you would offer to hiring managers?
From our perspective, any feedback on potential candidates is good feedback. Even if the feedback is negative, this can help your recruiter home in on what’s important to you, and it can shape discussions on whether the salary offered is going to match the skillset needed, for example. I will always aim to find and present one or two candidates relatively early in the search process, as the feedback helps me to gauge the parameters and allows me to find better suited candidates.