Friday 5’s – Timescales
Managing timescales is crucial to effective recruitment at anytime and as we approach the summer holiday period we potentially hit the perfect storm of obstacles.
There can be no doubt that delays in arranging interviews, feedback and offers run the risk of candidates losing interest and dropping out. Having to return to market to repeat the recruitment process is costly in time and resource and can affect your reputation.
Rather like a house that has been on the market for a long time if a company is perceived to be struggling to recruit it will raise questions about the desirability of the employer.
The following are 5 timescale points to consider in any recruit!
1) Is the recruit a priority?
It sounds obvious but recruitment can be the first thing to push down the ‘to do’ list, especially when holidays leave you short staffed. Understand the importance and urgency of filling the role. If it is not urgent postpone your recruitment campaign and start when the timing is right. As with any project focus and commitment improve results.
2) Do you have the resources in place before starting your recruit?
You may be free to start meeting a shortlist of potential candidates but if you need other colleagues to be part of the process then it is important to gain their commitment and availability.
If they are not available for weeks due to holidays or a busy diary the process will stall and you will lose candidates. Plan the format and agenda for the later interview stages so that you can move quickly when identifying an outstanding individual.
3) Set the right expectations.
From the outset plan and communicate your timescales, format and desired outcome. When using a recruitment consultancy they should be managing the process so it pays to give them to tools to do that effectively.
Candidates will remain at ease even with a slightly longer process if they know what to expect.
Timescales, meeting times or the format can change at short notice. It’s almost inevitable, disruptive, inconvenient and can be unsettling for a candidate so it is important to manage the situation in a considerate and punctual manner.
Take the time to call or message the candidates directly acknowledging the impact of a last minute change. Most importantly, work as quickly as possible to have alternative arrangements in place.
5) Keep in touch!
Secured the perfect candidate? Great, but the work is not over.
Once they resign they instantly become the outsider at their current employer and do not yet have the benefits and good feeling from their new employer. Most people have a notice period and whether it’s a few weeks or 6 months it is an unsettling and sometimes lonely period and can, on occasion, make people susceptible to potential counter offers.
Don’t leave them in limbo! Call them from time to time, suggest meeting for a coffee, and take the time to chat through interesting things currently happening within the organisation.
Make them feel part of the team already!
So many factors impact on your ability to fill a role; candidate availability, skills, competition and not least the fickleness of human nature. Badly managed timescales affect all of these negatively and is an area where employers can exert control so whilst it may only be one aspect of recruitment its implications are far reaching.