How to avoid losing your next top hire

10 November 2015

Picture the scene: you’re looking to make a hire and have met the perfect candidate for the job. They tick all the boxes in terms of experience and team fit, and you’ve got that gut feeling that they would be a fantastic addition to your team. You’re in the process of putting them through your company’s interview stages, but before you can get to offer stage they tell you they’ve accepted a role somewhere else. They’re gone, and you’re back to the start of the process.

JFL are seeing this on a regular basis. One of the most important pieces of advice we are currently offering to clients who are looking to hire is to move quickly if you interview a candidate you are impressed by. Too many times we have witnessed clients lose out on their next top hire because they have not acted swiftly enough when it comes to making a decision about a candidate.

This time last year, the market was very different. Companies were still reluctant to hire, particularly at the junior end, and there were a lot of communications professionals looking for their next challenge. Our clients were in the driving seat. If they liked an applicant, they could take their time with the interview process, and weigh up every option available to them.

Jump back to the present, and candidates are more in demand. Having survived the recession, companies are making the decision to build up their teams and putting money into retaining their staff, and this has slowly left a dearth of talent actively looking for a new position. The tables have turned, leaving our clients on the back foot.

Edwina Goldman, MD of JFL, says “the current market is definitely in favour of candidates. Clients need to be savvier when it comes to recruiting, in order to avoid losing out on those star candidates.”

So how can you avoid missing out on the best candidates the market has to offer?

Firstly, speed – or rather efficiency – is the key. It’s important to fully assess a candidate’s fit, but try to keep the interview process as quick as you can. If the first interview went well, get them back in as soon as possible. Think about inviting as many relevant people as you can into the first interview, so that you can avoid unnecessary further interviews. It’s also really important to have the structure of individual interviews mapped out; if you don’t know what you’re asking at the first stage, the candidate is going to be put off and you won’t get the answers you need from the meeting. Don’t be tempted to make a decision after one interview, as this often gives candidates the feeling that they’ve won the role too easily, but do try to keep the process succinct.

Secondly, think about using a specialist recruitment agency. They can save you time by doing the initial CV screening, and can keep you updated as to the candidate’s other activity. If you rate a candidate and they have a 2nd interview on the cards somewhere else, move quicker than you might normally. Candidates are often put off by companies who meet them but then don’t feed back or progress for weeks on end. A recruiter can help by acting as the middle man, saving you time and speeding up the process.

And finally, make sure that all the materials you need to attract a candidate are readily available. Job specifications and company credentials will both encourage candidates to persist with a role, and give you a better chance of catching and keeping their attention. It’s also important to know exactly what the role is going to entail, and the sort of experience you need the person to have. Recruitment requires dedicated planning and attention – if you put in the groundwork, you’ll have no trouble attracting and securing the top talent.



For any further advice or recruitment assistance, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us!