The sorry saga of Brexit rages on. But so do skills shortages (and that’s before the dreaded B-word.) So is your Brexit recruitment strategy solid?  

You may not have a recruitment agency on speed dial. However, most businesses use them for difficult-to-fill roles.  And the REC’s annual Recruitment Industry Trends report for 2017/18 predicts that Brexit will see agencies without access to scarcer candidates struggle – or even cease trading. 

So with a widening skills shortage, here are the five questions you should ask your agency NOW (along with the follow-up questions to prove it.

1. What tools do they use to improve the recruitment process for candidates?

Yes, a reduced time-to-hire may be great news as a line manager if you’re left knee-deep in a mountain of ‘urgent AND important’ tasks.

But the recruitment process is also fundamental to attracting and snaring scarce candidates.

A bad interview process can turn 83% of candidates off your organisation

For example;

  • What CRM system does your recruitment consultancy use?
  • What processes do they have in place to ensure that candidates are kept informed?
  • What is their average time-to-hire?
  • Do they offer tools such as video interviewing software?
    (This can make the process much less hassle for candidates, making active and passive candidates more likely to pursue an initial conversation.)

PROVE IT: Request a trial or ask them to show you screenshots of how their tools work.  What is their average time-to-hire?

2. What does their passive talent pool look like?

Access to the passive market will become much more integral post-Brexit. Everyone has access to LinkedIn. But if an agency is relying on LinkedIn for passive candidates then that ISN’T the same as a passive talent pool.

Passive candidates need to be nurtured. You need to know what opportunities would make them leave their current safety net and risk a new challenge.

Passive candidates are a little like those picky buyers on Location, Location, Location. It’s only by presenting a few options that you get to the real gist of what would make them jump ship  [TWEET THIS]

PROVE IT – Ask them to provide a case study of when they have recruited a passive candidate. Ask for names. A decent recruiter should be happy to provide references.

Make sure your recruitment & retention strategy is on track with our Brexit Recruitment Checklist. It covers all the steps to take to turn Brexit from a threat to a top-talent magnet.

3. What are the chances I can get what I’m looking for? And what tactics shall we use if not?

We often say to clients that it’s unlikely that they’ll find their “Perfect 10”. Usually, something has to give – either salary, qualifications or sector experience.

Your recruitment agency should be honest with you about your expectations and push back if required. And if your expectations aren’t realistic, they should be able to suggest tactics to find your best-fit candidate.

“Employers can often reject candidates because they don’t tick all of the boxes. However, the ‘necessary’ boxes can often seem less so when you have met the candidate and can see their full potential. Aim for 8/10, not 10/10.”
Gary Robinson – Sales Director

PROVE IT – Ask for salary benchmarking criteria for the role in question. (Online tools are only a general guide, which can lead to uninformed hiring strategies.)

Request examples of successful tactics similar companies have used in your situation (and references to back it up).

4. What are their CANDIDATE testimonials like?

Remember when we mentioned earlier that a bad interview process has the power to turn off 83% of candidates?

You will probably be able to guess the biggest bugbear from candidates…

It’s a lack of feedback and communication. If your recruitment agency treats your candidates poorly, then it reflects badly on your role and employer brand.

PROVE IT – Check out their LinkedIn recommendations. What do CANDIDATES say about them? In this market, it’s equally as important as what clients have to say.

“Aimee…is efficient, honest and reliable to deal with. She is kind and the best recruiter I have ever dealt without a doubt. No false promises like the other recruiters…”
Toshif Vally

“Tessa is the most professional and more crucially, the most ‘on it’ recruitment consultant I have been lucky enough to encounter.”
Rhoen Nicholson

“Gary takes the time to listen to what you are looking for and then looks for roles that will suit you, rather than the blanket approach adopted by others…as an individual, looking for a new role, you do not feel like ‘just another candidate’…”
Phil Bradley

“Ensuring I was in the loop, giving updates no matter how small, and giving excellent advice, Annabel has been a pleasure to work with.”
Sharon Fox

5. The trick ‘question that’s not a question’ 

If a recruiter doesn’t dig deeper to find out what your ideal talent looks like, there can be painful repercussions. Like wasting your time (and candidates’). Or increasing time-to-hire – meaning that sought-after candidate has probably been snatched up.

PROVE IT – You can test a recruitment consultant when providing a job brief. A professional will not accept a job brief full of buzz words without substance such as “innovative” or “dynamic”. They’ll want to know what that means to your company and team.

Get a Brexit bulletproof hiring strategy in place with our Brexit Recruitment Checklist. It covers all the employment and recruitment areas you need to consider – and the steps to take to turn Brexit from a threat to a top-talent magnet.

Download your Brexit Checklist