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If you’ve never previously engaged a (good) recruitment consultancy to help you find a job then you will likely have a myriad of questions. Some are easy to answer, such as “How much will a recruiter cost me?” (they won’t – it’s illegal in the UK for recruitment agencies to charge a candidate a fee to find a job); while others like “How often should I speak with my recruiter?” aren’t so black and white. In this blog I’ll try to answer some of the most common and most interesting questions as well as the most important ones...

Why use a recruitment consultant? I can search the jobs boards myself

If you choose a reputable recruiter who specialises in your niche e.g. procurement and supply chain roles in the construction sector, then a) they will probably be aware of more opportunities than you would be able to find yourself without considerable effort; and b) they will have more detail about those opportunities than you would get from the job descriptions. As a result they will be able to help you understand the pros and cons of each opportunity and so reduce not only the time you spend identifying potential roles but also the time you spend applying for unsuitable ones. 

How does a recruiter get paid? 

The first thing to note is that it is always the client who pays the recruiter and it is illegal for a recruiter to charge a candidate to find them a job. The terms between recruiter and client vary, the most common fee structures are:

1. Contingent recruitment: where the client only pays the recruiter if a candidate they find is appointed to a role. This means that if several recruitment companies are working on the same role only one of them will get paid;

2. Executive Search recruitment: where the client retains a sole agency, further payments are due when specific targets in a process are achieved.

In either case, the recruiter will only get to keep the fee if the candidate stays in place past their probation and long term relationships with clients are necessary to run a successful business so recruiters will only put forward candidates who they feel could succeed in the role.

Will a recruiter put me forward for a role without asking? 

No reputable recruiter will put you forward for a role without your permission, in fact it is against the law. However, when you sign up to jobs boards or register on recruitment company websites read what you are agreeing to in the T&Cs.

What makes a candidate attractive to a recruiter? 

A couple of things. The better the chance the recruiter has of placing a candidate the harder they will work for that candidate as the recruiter has a greater chance of gaining a fee. If you offer to work with one recruiter exclusively for a period of time then they will likely make finding you a role a priority. A second big factor is how easy a candidate is to work with and in particular trust and responsiveness. Trust in the recruiter-candidate relationship is critical and recruiters go the extra yard for people who are straightforward, realistic, polite and recognise the value a recruiter can add to their job hunt. The third thing is candidates with a scarce or in demand skillset and a proven record of achievement.

Will a recruiter push me towards a certain role? 

A recruiter’s most valuable asset is their reputation. If they misrepresent a role to a candidate or misrepresent a candidate to a recruiter there is every chance that they will be found out and word will get around. As a result, good recruiters will always look to accurately represent a role and your suitability for it. The best recruiters will however help a candidate understand opportunities from various angles – listen with an open mind but make your own decision.

Are recruiters career counsellors? 

Choose an experienced recruiter who specialises in your sector/role and they will likely want to ensure you have a good understanding of your career goals and how you might best achieve them. Every good recruitment consultant will also be attuned to cultural fit i.e. ensuring that your personality is what is required for the role the client is recruiting for and so will be able to give you a feel for whether you will fit in. 

Will a recruiter put me forward for every role I am suitable for? 

A recruiter will consider you for every role you are suitable for, however should they have twenty candidates for a role and the client only wants to consider four, the recruiter will select the strongest four candidates to put forward – hopefully including you. Would you have done better going direct if the hiring company is accepting direct applications? Probably not because the recruiter will likely be right about some of those four candidates being better suited for that particular role than you are.

Why do clients use recruitment consultants? 

There are a number of reasons including: 

1. The client doesn’t have the expertise or network to recruit candidates with the specific experience or skillset required for this role and so it wouldn’t be efficient for them to do so. This is the most common reason clients choose us – we are niche recruiters for procurement and commercial related roles within the construction sector; 

2. The company doesn’t have the capacity internally to run the recruitment process; 

3. The client wants to challenge themselves to understand whether they are finding the best candidates.  

    What aspects of the recruitment process will the recruitment agency fulfil? 

    Typically the recruitment agency may:

    How often should I call my recruiter? 

    The answer to this is situation dependent and largely a case of common sense. If you have applied speculatively for a job then follow up a few days later or around the deadline date indicated if you’ve heard nothing. If you have registered with a recruitment consultancy discuss with your recruiter how often you should be in touch. If a recruiter asks to put you forward for a role then ask when you should expect to hear more and follow up after that. If you are in a process and want to speak with the recruiter as a priority then leave a message for them and send them an email (but say you are doing both otherwise it can appear impatient) highlighting why you need to speak with them and when you are available. If you’ve not heard about any opportunities in a few weeks then email to ask for a catch up about the market and what candidates like you should be doing.

    Why does a recruiter keep chasing me? 

    There are two reasons a recruiter is likely chasing you.

    1. There is a time pressure, either because applicants need to be put forward by a certain time or because the client is working with multiple recruiters and the first person to get your CV (assuming you get the role) will be the recruiter who gets the success fee.

    2. The client is pressuring the recruiter for information from you.

    Why does my recruiter not get back to me? 

    Sometimes the recruiter will be waiting for more information from the client before speaking with you. However more often than not, the reason will be that they are out of the office, for example visiting clients, or that they have a pile of priorities they are working through systematically. Depending on the briefs, for junior to mid-level roles a recruiter will be working on between 12 and 30 roles at any one time, with clients expecting to see between 3 and 6 CVs per role… That’s a lot of juggling research, calls, interview arranging etc.

    Will my employer find out I am looking for a job? 

    The answer is the same whether you apply direct or use a recruitment consultant: they shouldn’t do but exercise caution if the idea worries you. By caution I mean don’t use your current work email or your work phone as your contact details for applications and be careful what you leave up on screen at work. Also, putting “Jane Smith – Recruiter” as the contact name in your personal phone could lead to raised eyebrows if you use that phone around colleagues. At some stage the recruiter or hiring manager will need to check references and do some background qualification which can leave a trail. It does no harm to think at each stage of a process what you would say if a colleague found out and asked you about it.

    Throughout your career the 1-2 sheets of paper that constitute your CV will form the spine of any job application you make.

    They will be used to determine whether you are worth considering for a role, to help companies to vet you and as the framework for interview questions. As such your CV needs to be accurate, informative, easy to understand and concise if it is to be effective. 

    As recruitment consultants we look at dozens of resumés and LinkedIn profiles every day so I thought it would be useful to highlight the most common shortcomings as well as making some suggestions about how to make your CV stand out in the right way… 

    From Assistant Buyer to Supply Chain Director the basics matter!

    The fastest way to get your CV (or LinkedIn profile) dropped to the bottom of the pile is by simple carelessness and/or laziness. You would be amazed by the number of CVs we look at (from all levels of applicant!) that have typos, poor grammar and/or inconsistent formatting. To the author, who is often sick of looking at and tinkering with their CV, typos may seem a trivial thing, but they do make a CV harder to read and more importantly they scream “I don’t really care about this job application.” If you’ve become blind to the page as a result of reading and rereading your CV then ask a friend or colleague to look at it with fresh eyes.

    Part of making information easy to absorb is about layout and structure. For example, using bullets and bold font but trying to avoid underlining makes CVs easy to digest. Similarly employing a formula for presenting achievements (such as “objective” or “challenge” followed by “impact”) for each role or task on the CV makes it very easy for the reader to understand what you did and the impact you made. 

    A third-party review can also be helpful to identify sections of the CV that could be improved. For example, what may appear clear to us as authors of our own CVs, may lack context or make little sense to the reader. Similarly, an independent review can help finesse the amount of detail to share for various achievements. 

    Less is more – tailor your CV to make relevant achievements stand out:

    It is always tempting to include all the achievements you can think of on your CV, however the more information there is on the page, the harder it is for the reader to identify achievements or sections that are particularly relevant to the role you are applying for. 

    For more experienced candidates this may mean omitting achievements from the CV altogether but irrespective you want to tailor your CV for each application so that the experience that is most closely linked to the job description stands out. This means that keeping a master CV with all your achievements that you can tailor for each new application is often the most efficient way of applying for roles as it is then easy to remove sections that are less relevant and potentially move others towards the top of the page while remaining confident that nothing has been left out. 

    Getting flagged by automated applicant tracking systems (ATS):

    The recruitment industry (both in-house and consultancies) is increasingly sophisticated in its use of technology. One development that many candidates are unaware of is automated applicant tracking systems (ATS). This software searches through candidates resumés (or online profiles) to identify and prioritise CVs that most closely match the job description. In other words, it is more important than ever to include key industry terminology, relevant acronyms and the language used in the job description to maximise the chances that the ATS will shortlist your CV for the recruiter or hiring manager to review.

    What you should include:

    A significant proportion of candidates conflate responsibilities, experience and achievements. Being able to articulate the impact that you made in a role, or ideally to quantify your achievements, will give the person reviewing the CV something to focus on. The leadership aspect of more senior roles means that candidates at this level can credibly take ownership of their teams’ achievements, at a more junior level mentioning the overall success of a project can be good but focus on spelling out your personal contribution. 

    Achievements need not be exclusively cost savings, efficiencies and growth. Evidence of effective interpersonal, communication and other soft skills, especially in managerial and leadership roles is critical. Similarly, membership of trade bodies and a commitment to training and professional development will further reinforce the candidate’s commitment to their chosen discipline.

    Don’t forget your online presence:

    Having invested the time and effort necessary to get your CV onto the shortlist, remember to also review your online presence. Not only are an increasing number of prospective candidates identified online but recruiters, hiring managers and reviewers are increasingly conscious that the discrepancies between social media accounts, a public LinkedIn profile and a confidential CV can provide telling insights. 

    The transition into a management role is both exciting and challenging, marked by increased responsibilities and fresh opportunities for professional growth. 

    Then of course there are some of the other enticing benefits as highlighted in our January 2024 Salary Survey… higher salaries, larger bonuses and better benefits. 

    Assuming that all sounds tempting, how do you know if you are ready to move into a management position? how should you approach it? and what challenges should you expect as you take up your new role?

    Core challenges of transitioning in management

    The step up to management is a big one. In an ideal world, before fully embracing a managerial role, individuals would get the chance to dip their toes in the water and take on elements of their future responsibilities, for example mentoring new starters and managing small projects or budgets. 

    Then, once appointed they would benefit from a seamless handover and robust reporting structure to help them through the first months of the role. Of course, all too often situations aren’t perfect, so what are the common challenges new managers face? and how should they approach them?

    1. Understanding the full scope of the role: the objectives and responsibilities listed on a manager’s job description may, on paper, all appear of equal importance and potentially even complexity but a key part of the managerial step up is learning to prioritise them and understand how best to use resources to achieve the team’s objectives. That means understanding each objective, why it matters, how it will be delivered and the challenges associated with delivering it. 

    2. Micro-management temptation: a little insecurity is common among new managers as they strive to build their credibility, however, a natural desire to demonstrate control and competence can result in micro-management. Open and honest communication, upward and downward, designed to empower those around you is generally a more effective way both to manage expectations and optimise use of resources.

    3. Dynamic To-Do List prioritization: while junior managerial roles typically involve technical work they also involve other, often more time consuming,  responsibilities. Balancing people management, budget oversight, planning, issues that require immediate action and the long-term team objectives make solid time management skills, effective communication and a keen understanding of team dynamics a necessity.

    4. Letting go of the past: holding onto previous responsibilities generally provides a false sense of value. Delegating or redirecting requests that relate to the newly promoted manager’s previous role is essential to allow them to focus on their new responsibilities.

    5. Effective delegation: clearly defining expectations (objectives, desired outcomes, guidelines and timeframes) is fundamental to successful delegation, while understanding a team’s skills and preferences will further improve the efficiency with which objectives are delivered. Having delegated responsibilities, the manager’s balancing act lies in successfully encouraging autonomy, ensuring those responsible for delivery have the right support and simultaneously putting in place checkpoints to ensure everything is on track.

    6. Identifying and addressing weaknesses: the ability to recognise gaps in one’s own experience or expertise and to address them is crucial to good management. Although good self-awareness can help identify weaknesses, a willingness to seek out and listen to constructive criticism is often a skill that separates good managers from their peers.

    “Am I ready to manage?”

    Nobody goes into management as the complete package – it is a constant learning process. However, reading this blog suggests you have a willingness to learn, as well as an ambition and a self-awareness that all successful managers need. For candidates who are unsure whether they are ready for the step up, studying their recent performance reviews as well as to ask friends’ and colleagues’ advice about areas they should work on to be ready to manage can help clarify their thinking.

    The reality is however that you won’t know if you’re ready to manage until you try it. So, unless others are giving you good reasons not to try to make the step up yet, then why not back yourself? 

    Securing your first management role

    If you believe you are ready to move into a management role, then consider whether you want to apply for vacancies internally, externally or both. 

    If you are applying internally then speak with your manager as their support is likely to be important. If applying externally then a good recruitment consultant should be able to give you feedback on how your skills, experience and even personality measure up.

    Assuming there are good opportunities for progression internally, the decision makers are likely to have a good idea of your capabilities, strengths and weaknesses. However, these internal perceptions of your capabilities can also be blinkered by your past roles and behaviours. Should that be the case, or if internal opportunities are limited, then seeking promotion externally provides an opportunity to start afresh.

    Good luck!

    We have just finalised our salary survey of 326 assistant buyers; buyers; senior buyers; procurement managers; supply chain managers; senior procurement / supply chain managers; and Heads of Procurement / Supply Chain within the construction, infrastructure, house building or building services sectors in the UK and some of the trends make for an interesting read.

    Respondents’ future plans and primary motivations

    The percentage of candidates actively looking for a new role has increased 7% since last year to 27%, however their priorities are shifting. Responding to this January’s survey, 83% of candidates identified ‘commute, travel and flexible working’ as a top 3 factor when considering a move. This is up from 72% in our January 2023 survey and means that it has leapfrogged basic salary (81% in 2024 up from 79% in 2023) to become the most commonly cited factor.

    Home working benefits

    The apparent increase in importance of work-life balance is likely to rub up against one of the survey’s other key year-on-year shifts i.e. employers pushing to get staff back into the office and on-site after many employees became accustomed to (and redesigned their daily patterns around) working from home during COVID. While according to our January 2023 survey 23% of respondents had fewer than two days per week working from home, this year that figure has almost doubled to 41%! Or to put it another way, in our 2023 survey the average number of days employees had working from home was 2.22 and this year that has dropped to 1.91. Although the shift back to the office suggests that organisations feel that remote working was having a negative impact on productivity, a lack of flexible working options may have a detrimental impact on the ability of employers to attract and retain the best talent. 

    Secondary factors influencing moves

    However, there are indications that the market doesn’t favour candidates as strongly as it has in recent years, meaning employers won’t need to be as accommodating as they once were. With 40% of candidates citing job security as a top three consideration for their next move (up from 38% twelve months ago), it is reasonable to infer that there is a degree of angst about the prospect of redundancies in the short to medium term across the industry. Combine the prospect of a reduction in opportunities with increasing numbers of candidates looking to move in the year ahead and the employers’ position strengthens somewhat compared with much of the last ten years. 

    Fears for job security are not however causing candidates to batten down the hatches as can be the case in times of economic upheaval, and ‘career progression and training’ was one of the top three factors 34% respondents said they would prioritise when considering a move, suggesting that they continue to feel there are opportunities for development out there. 

    Of course, in any salary survey it isn’t possible to give a detailed analysis tailored to every candidate’s or employer’s situation. The dynamics are across the industry and for different roles vary enormously, so it is worth speaking with us to get a more nuanced understanding of your specific situation.

    Salaries and remuneration

    Irrespective of whether or not we are moving towards a more employer-led market, the continuing rise in salaries indicates that retention remains a priority for most companies. Almost three quarters (73%) of respondents received a pay rise in 2023, up from 66% in 2022. While the average rise may have been smaller this year (5.3% in the 2024 survey v 6% in 2023) it exceeded the Office for National Statistics’ reported cost of living increase by 1.1%, whereas in 2023 with inflation at 11.1% employees would have been on average worse off. 

    Remuneration is not all about basic salary however and benefits such as bonus and company car/ car allowance make a significant impact to overall packages at all levels. At assistant buyer level 44% of candidates enjoy a car or a car allowance on average worth 18% of average basic salary. At Supply Chain Manager and Senior Procurement / Supply Chain Manager level, 94% receive either a car or car allowance with an average value of between 7.5 and 9% of salary. 

    Bonuses can add a further significant contribution to total salary package. Almost a third of Heads of Procurement/Supply Chain received a performance bonus last year, with the payout averaging 20% of basic. Although at more junior levels the percentage of employees entitled to performance bonuses may be lower, e.g. only 15% of buyers receive a performance bonus, discretionary bonuses are common and not included in our survey. 

    Conclusion

    So what does, all this mean for candidates and employers? The negotiating positions of employer and employee are more balanced than they have been in some time. And although there is a slight skittishness to the market, there are plenty of candidates willing to move, especially if employers are able to find working patterns that flex around candidates’ needs.

    One of the things that has become evident in my 20+ years’ recruiting for procurement and commercial functions in the construction sector is that every company has certain roles that are hard to fill. In some case the challenge of finding good candidates is simple supply and demand i.e. a shortage of relevant skills and experience in the market; but even where this is the case some employers find it easier to attract candidates to fill their vacancies than others. So, what are the main reasons your company may find certain roles hard to fill? and what can you do about it?

    Fixing the Top 10 reasons you’re finding it hard to fill specific roles…

    1. Not investing in the brief – when candidates are considering a move, they want to be confident any prospective employer has a clear vision of and is committed to the new role. A brief that articulates a considered purpose for the role, structured responsibilities, concrete objectives and the skills and experience required/desired helps sell the role to prospective candidates, and then continues to provide confidence throughout the recruitment process. 
    2. Unrealistic expectations – if you cannot identify candidates with the skillset you are looking for then it is quite possible that the ideal candidate simply does not exist or is particularly rare (“unicorns” are usually very expensive to hire). The options in such a situation are to train candidates up, to split the responsibilities across multiple roles or to compromise on what you are looking for.
    3. Inflexibility – one of the most common reasons employers find it hard to fill roles is conflating “required skills and experience” with “desired skills and experience”. The result is the talent pool narrows dramatically and unnecessarily, often eliminating some excellent candidates who would quickly develop the experience or be able to learn the skills. Speak with your recruitment consultant about how easy they think it will be to identify candidates for a role and work together to find the balance between ‘desired’ and ‘required’. An ambitious candidate wanting to develop will often outperform a more experienced candidate with less hunger quite quickly once in situ.
    4. Slow recruitment processes – the longer a recruitment process goes on, the more likely it is that the better candidates will either change their minds about moving or accept a job elsewhere - other companies will be prioritising the recruitment processes for these hard-to-find skillsets so you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage if you don’t do the same. For roles which don’t have an abundance of candidates the impact of good candidates dropping out is particularly frustrating as identifying potential applicants accounts for a disproportionate amount of the recruitment process. Putting in place a clear and concise timeline will maximise the chances of your preferred candidate still being available as well as giving the potential hires confidence in your commitment to the role.
    5. Underpaying – if you are looking for a specific skillset, then the chances are other companies in the construction sector will be looking for a very similar combination. Whether the pool of candidates is small or demand is high, the result is that benchmarking financial packages is particularly important as candidates who want to move will have options and those who who are happy where they are will need greater incentivisation. If you can’t meet the market rates then consider how you can make the role more attractive (see point 8) or consider hiring for potential rather than experience.
    6. Not prioritising the recruitment process internally – slow recruitment processes and weak briefs are often symptomatic of a company not prioritising their recruitment processes more widely. To run an effective and compact recruitment process needs buy-in from everyone involved, as well as good internal communication and planning. One of the most common reasons that recruitment processes stall or fail is because one key stakeholder has not fed into the brief, is unavailable to interview or has not given feedback in a timely manner… For roles where there are plenty of candidates this may not be an issue, but when the candidate pool is limited it can often set you back to square one.
    7. Lack of vision for the role –  companies that tell a story beyond the required skills and experience find it easier to attract candidates. Articulating how a role will evolve, the support offered to help the successful candidate develop and sharing potential subsequent opportunities for career progression reflect a company with a vision and a plan that infer the potential for a positive future for the successful applicant. While this vision should be reiterated at interview, communicating it from the start in the job description, or the brief given to the recruiter, will make it significantly easier to engage candidates who are focussed on opportunities for development. 
    8. Culture and employee value proposition – as highlighted above, financial remuneration matters. However, increasingly employees are also prioritising factors beyond the basic financial package. For some this means working patterns that dovetail with their lifestyles, others will favour roles where they can make an environmental or social difference, others will take a particular interest in the organisational culture etc. Companies that define and articulate their employee value propositions are more successful both at piquing the interest of candidates in the first place and at converting offers into acceptances. For more information on employee value propositions click here -> https://www.arresourcing.com/recruitment-blog/why-your-employer-brand-matters-and-how-to-build-it/
    9. Not proactively scoping the market – for roles where the required skillset and experience are particularly scarce, candidates often don’t proactively seek out opportunities as they are used to employers and recruiters approaching them about opportunities. When scoping the market and making first contact, it is worth researching the candidates and personalising the approach. This may seem like a substantial investment of time at such an early stage, however if there isn’t a huge pool of candidates and you may only get one shot at each person then it is often a necessary investment.
    10. The attractiveness of the team  specific teams within companies can develop their own reputations either positive or negative. A great or poor manager can make a huge difference to acceptance and even application rates. Some companies develop a reputation for being training grounds for certain roles and that can become a self-perpetuating source of great talent i.e. the best people want to apply to that team due to its reputation and therefore its reputation for excellence continues. If your team has a poor reputation then understand why, commit to a plan to address the issues and then communicate the improvements to candidates. 

    While hiring managers may have only limited influence over aspects like the employee value proposition, they still have a huge impact on how easy or difficult it is to fill roles where good candidates are scarce. That influence can be categorised into three areas: 

    1. Realism – recognising the trade-off between skills, experience and budget;  
    2. Planning – making sure that the recruitment process is smooth and compact; and 
    3. Communication – ensuring that prospective candidates understand the benefits and potential of the role throughout the process.

    According to a poll I ran on LinkedIn recently, a massive 47% of procurement and supply chain professionals in the construction sector consider themselves to be poor at networking. Most of us acknowledge that networking is time well spent but, as happens with so many things that have a medium- to long-term payback, we then bump it down the list in favour of more immediate demands in our busy day-to-day roles.

    So what are the benefits of networking? Is it important to your career development? And how can you efficiently and effectively build, manage and leverage your contacts?

    Why networking matters for career development
    While prioritising activities with more immediate payback is always tempting, effective networking will have a huge impact on your career progression over time. Two core benefits are:

    Operational effectiveness - Exposure to alternative techniques and perspectives makes all of us better and more efficient at our jobs.

    A strong network can both help you stay abreast of the ever-evolving legislation and regulation that is ubiquitous in construction procurement and can be leveraged to reduce the legwork involved in identifying and sourcing products and suppliers.

    Furthermore, while engaging with your network, not only will you often pick up on hidden risks and opportunities relating to different suppliers – for example timeliness, cost and quality but you will also be more likely to sense trends such as imbalances in material availability/demand earlier than you otherwise might.

    Career development - While being good at your job makes career progress far easier, who you know is also a significant factor.

    Does networking impact your career?
    Yes.

    I know that’s a short answer, but it’s black and white. As outlined above, it makes you better at your job and leads to more career opportunities.

    So how should you network…

    How to network effectively
    The good news is that although it requires thought, networking isn’t rocket science. The ‘bad’ news is that it takes both time and discipline.

    Start by creating a networking strategy and then create a plan to deliver it.

    In terms of the strategy think about what you want from your network… mentoring, better information, access to new opportunities, advice on managing situations etc. Which individuals or types of people do you need in your network to achieve that? How are you going to build and maintain relationships with them? And then crucially, how much time can you realistically allocate to networking?

    Having thought those ideas through, I suggest developing two parallel networking plans, one to maintain your existing network and the second to add new contacts to it.

    Network maintenance – relationships that you nurture most over time will be the ones that you are able to call on most easily and productively. As such it makes sense to segment your contacts.

    Network building – the broader your network, the more likely it is to support your career aspirations and needs. While your day-to-day work will naturally grow your network, being proactive about growing it may help you add more interesting, insightful, useful and influential people. Attending conferences, awards, drinks evenings, training courses etc can all be great ways of meeting people outside your direct circle.

    Remember that the bigger and more active your network, the easier networking becomes. Not simply because you become used to it but also because the more events you will be invited to, the more people you will know at those events and the more your network will actively look to stay in touch with you (rather than you needing to contact them). The most successful individuals are great, strategic networkers and while it may look effortless from the outside, that is because they have worked hard to make it automatic.

    Although recruitment processes are supposed to sort the wheat from the chaff, it will always be the case that some interviewees come across exceptionally well, while others struggle to give a fair account of themselves. Referencing is one of the most effective ways of getting a picture of a prospective employee’s likely cultural fit and to affirm (or otherwise) the impression of their skills and experience that comes from their CV and interviews. 

    However, referencing has fallen out of favour. To do it well not only requires time but also skill and experience. There is no doubt that, even with assurances of confidentiality, it is more difficult to persuade people to talk candidly about current and past colleagues than it was 20 years ago. It feels as though the spectre of litigation and social media shaming hangs over every conversation. 

    It is also unpopular with applicants who can be very jumpy about the idea of someone calling colleagues and asking what they are like to work with, either because the reports may be unfavourable or because they are concerned that it will become general knowledge that they are considering a move. 

    The flip side is that appointing the wrong candidate can be a damaging, time consuming and expensive mistake. Furthermore, many of the candidates who get edgy about colleagues discovering they are being considered for another role are not serious about moving roles in any case. 

    If you approach referencing in the right way however the upsides outweigh the downsides. Here are some suggestions that may help:

    One bad hire can quickly become very disruptive to a team reducing morale, creativity, communication and productivity as well as sowing the seeds of mistrust and division. That extra bit of research can make all the difference.

    Some people change job more frequently than they buy a new phone, for others it is a stressful experience and last resort. But are there benefits to changing job that you are unlikely to get from staying put? What are the risks? And can you change jobs too often? 

    The rewards of changing job

    The most obvious reward of changing job is the dramatic uplifts in salary that you can achieve. For example, according to our Salary Surveys of Construction, Infrastructure, FM & M&E Contractors in January 2023 and Housebuilders in July 2023 the average pay rise for those moving company is around 16%, while for those who stayed with their current employer that figure averaged just 6% if they received a pay rise at all (34% didn’t). Based on those averages, if you start on £30k and move jobs three times in six years, your salary rises to £57k, whereas if you stay with one employer and achieve a 6% per year rise that figure is more likely to be around £42.5k*.

    The other important reward is career development. Moving company is more likely to result in exposure to new people and processes, and so can accelerate the breadth and depth of your experience compared with sticking with one employer. Furthermore, it is often easier to break free of existing perceptions and responsibilities by moving company as your existing employer may be reluctant to lose the knowledge of systems, structures and processes that make you so effective in your current role.

    The risks of changing job

    Moving company is, of course, a leap into the relative unknown and so carries a risk. In fact, in a Linkedin poll we ran with our network in July 37% said their biggest career regret was a move they made**. That is not to say that changing roles is unwisely risky – for example: had they not made the move they might have regretted that?; is it that they regretted accepting one offer over another?; and how many decisions to move have they made? 1 bad choice in 4 isn’t bad… 

    The statistic highlights an important fact though. Interview processes are designed to mitigate risk for the potential employee as well as the employer, so it is important candidates aren’t passive during the process. Don’t avoid asking interviewers difficult questions in the hope it will maximise your chances of securing an offer. Instead, candidates should use each process to interrogate whether the opportunity is the right one for them, an attitude that will also give the employer confidence the candidate is thorough in their approach and that they would be accepting the role with their eyes wide open. 

    Even with a thorough interview process there will still be unknowns. It may only be once you are immersed in the workplace that you really know if you’ll enjoy the culture and the work; or whether commitments about career progression and professional development are likely to materialise. However, there is also no way of knowing whether if you stay in your existing role promises of change will materialise and the atmosphere will stay as it currently is. In fact there is a commonly cited statistic that 90% of candidates who accept a counter offer from their existing employer leave within a few months in any case.

    The next question that unsettles many candidates about moving roles is whether or not they will be up to the job. According to a LinkedIn poll of 162 of our network, 74% of procurement and supply chain professionals suffer from imposter syndrome at least some of the time in their existing role and so the prospect of starting a new role, with stretching career development opportunities and new colleagues has the potential to be terrifying. 

    In our experience, 95% of the time the person hired for a role is more than capable from day one and they will get better and better as they learn the ropes. The low failure rate of candidates appointed should give those considering a move confidence. Recruitment consultants and hiring managers won’t propose candidates for roles they aren’t suitable for as it damages their reputations. Having proposed them, modern recruitment processes are typically both considered and detailed, and not only sort the wheat from the chaff very effectively but also enable interviewers to compare you with other people considered potentially suitable for the role allowing direct benchmarking. 

    That is not to say that every job move works out perfectly. Issues of cultural fit, misunderstandings about the scope of roles and required expertise, changes to expected career paths etc do occur. But the majority of job moves work well for both parties and if they don’t, whereas 20 years ago changing job more than twice a decade was considered cause for concern, today two job changes in twelve months is almost never an issue.

    Can you change jobs too often?!

    Reading the arguments above, it may be tempting to move from company to company every six to eighteen months, however there are downsides to serial job hopping. 

    Top of the list is that a CV that reads like a directory of construction companies can damage your future ‘hirability’. Typically, it is months before an employee finds their feet and becomes a profit centre rather than a cost, so if an individual has a track record of moving on quickly then employers may question whether it is worth investing time, energy and money in them, especially if there are candidates available who appear to have greater stickability. 

    A lack of long-term commitment to any employer may also suggest to interviewers and recruiters that a candidate has an issue either delivering against what is asked of them or fitting in with colleagues. In either case hiring managers may start to question whether an individual is really going to be the asset the candidate’s abilities at interview suggest. 

    Furthermore, while exposure to a broad range of projects, approaches and colleagues can be very valuable, so can aspects associated with becoming embedded in companies and teams. For example, candidates who have spent several years with one employer are more likely to be able to show evidence of persistence when situations become challenging, seeing projects through from start to finish, being accountable for consequences etc. 

    There isn’t a formula for deciding whether or not to move, but if your current role isn’t making you happy, if you are undervalued or if you cannot see the progression that you feel you are capable of then give me a call.

    *

    ** In a LinkedIn Poll in June 2023 we asked "What’s you biggest career move regret?”. Of the 176 responses, 37% said a move they’d made, 16% said not accepting a job offer, 11% regretted both making a move and not making one, while 36% have no career regrets.

    Firstly, thank you to all the procurement and supply chain professionals who completed our House Builders Salary Survey last month. It shows a market that continues to be very active, with a workforce that is highly valued. 

    It’s worth noting that the housing market is currently facing tremendous challenges. Increasing interest rates, falling new orders and, more recently, increasing redundancies across procurement and commercial teams are all having a negative impact on the sector. 

    When considering this backdrop, our salary survey results make even more interesting reading.

    Results Summary 

    The three most interesting statistics highlighted by the House Builders salary survey of procurement and supply chain professionals (PSCPs) were: 

    1. PSCPs in house building are better remunerated (salary, car allowance, bonuses, holiday) than those in equivalent roles with Construction, Infrastructure, FM & M&E Contractors. Often significantly!
    2. Only 33% of procurement and supply chain candidates working for housebuilders aren’t considering a move in the year ahead reflecting the salary uplift (average 16%) a move generally triggers.
    3. Flexibility (77%) and job security (50%) were the other two major ‘top 3 factors’ that influence a candidate’s decision whether or not to move in the year ahead. The very high flexibility figure reflects how limited working from home opportunities are in house building compared with those offered to those in the wider economy and even PSCPs working for contractors.

    Further insight and analysis into the market

    While 66% of respondents received a pay rise (average 6%) in the last twelve months, wage inflation continues to drive a game of musical chairs within the sector with candidates finding on average they can achieve salary increases of 16% by moving company. 

    Such significant salary increase are clearly a tempting proposition in the face of continuing cost of living increases and, according to our salary survey, only 33% of procurement and supply chain candidates in the housebuilding sector have no intention of looking for a move in the next 12 months (see table below). Comparing this with the contractor sector salary survey we did six months ago, it suggests candidates in housebuilding are more likely to move jobs in the year ahead.

     House Builders(July 2023)Construction, Infrastructure, FM & M&E Contractors(Jan 2023)
    Candidates NOT looking for a move in the next 12 months 33%37%
    Candidates unsure if they will look for a move in the next 12 months 39%43%
    Candidates looking for a move in the next 12 months 28%20%
       
    Candidates citing job security as a top 3 factor when considering a move50%38%

    Any move is likely to see them stay within the same sector however as buyers, senior buyers and procurement managers in the house building sector earn anywhere from 8% to 29% more than those working in equivalent roles for contractors. Furthermore, they benefit from: superior holiday allowances (32% receive at least 28 days holiday compared with 27% of contractors receiving at least 27 days); better car allowances; and bigger bonuses. 

    While basic salary is a top 3 factor for 69% of respondents when considering a move, the unsettled nature of the market and increasing occurrences of redundancies I commented on earlier, are likely the reasons 50% of respondents to the house builders survey also cited job security as a top 3 factor when considering a move. This suggests that employers who are able to instil confidence around their business may be able to attract and retain staff without paying the same premiums that less successful or more highly leveraged firms may need to offer.

    One aspect of the contractors’ employment arrangements that housebuilders likely envy is the flexibility. “Commute, travel and flexible working” was a top 3 factor for 77% housebuilders considering a move, however 30% of respondents had no home working option, with a further 20% only able to work from home one day a week. In comparison only 16% of contractors had no home working and 7% were limited to a day per week. Employers in the housebuilding sector who are able to offer 2+ days of remote working per week will find it relatively easy to attract talent.

    If you would like to discussion any issues relating to recruitment or retention of procurement and supply chain professionals in the construction related industries then please contact me: 

    E: adam.richardson@arresourcing.com  

    T: 0330 174 6801 or 07795 148 182

    My research has dug out surprisingly few robust studies into the impact of communications on the attraction and retention of staff, potentially because it is something that is highly subjective and difficult to measure. However, more than twenty years of recruitment leaves me in no doubt that the way companies communicate both internally and externally has a huge impact on both how easy (aka costly / time consuming) it is to attract new talent and staff turnover.

    The importance of communication to attract new staff
    From the recruitment consultant’s perspective, communication significantly impacts how easy it is to get candidates to engage with an opportunity and then in the ongoing desire of candidates to pursue an opportunity.

    Hearing a company’s name will automatically trigger a reaction in prospective candidates’ minds because of their past exposure to that brand from press coverage, word of mouth, advertising etc. This perception is known as the ‘employer brand’. A negative employer brand can make it hard to attract strong candidates to a role to the extent that recruiters will sometimes get the candidate as far through the process as possible before revealing the prospective employer’s name. Companies who nurture their employer brand and put it at the core of their communications typically find it comparatively easy to secure the interest of stronger candidates without paying a premium and recruiters will use the brand name to encourage candidates to engage if the brief allows it.

    With candidates engaged, ongoing communication throughout the process becomes important. At the most basic level candidates need timely communication from prospective employers at every stage of the recruitment process. Not only do they need a clear brief about the role but they expect to be told in good time how many stages there will be, what dates interviews will be on, and what format they will take. They also expect timely and meaningful feedback after each interview, as well as ongoing communication until they start in the role if they are offered the position.

    However, employers who repeatedly secure the better candidates go much further than this, often working alongside their recruiter(s) to do so. Proactively working on messaging that ‘sells’ both the company and each role to prospective employees can transform the quality of candidate you are able to secure and the compensation package needed to attract them. Think about the company’s strengths and weaknesses compared with competitors and ensure that the recruiter and/or interviewers are sharing how the company is moving forward on these. Listen to candidates’ concerns and ambitions and think about how the opportunity can fit with these.

    The importance of communication to retain existing staff
    Much of this communication addressing organisational strengths and weaknesses, and listening to employees ambitions and concerns around working life and career progression, is also key to retaining staff. Speak with a recruiter and they will explain that if a prospective candidate has issues or doubts with aspects of their current role and there is no conversation with their current employer then, even if they are not already proactively looking for a new role, the door is open for a further conversation. Where the employer is communicating well, a recruiter’s job is much harder.

    But communicating well even internally is difficult. Employees are constantly receiving messages from multiple sources (corporate, line manager, the water cooler etc) and what works for or is important to one employee may be entirely unsatisfactory to another.

    What is obvious to recruiters is that employees are more likely to be happy when there is a consistent vision that is clearly communicated in a timely manner; when communication is two-way so that employees know that their ideas and opinions are being listened to; and, arguably most importantly, when communication is personalised so individuals have a clear understanding of their role and potential within the organisation. Of course, ironically, the time it is most important to communicate clearly and regularly is when circumstances are challenging, uncertain and fast moving…

    Although excellent internal communication doesn’t mean that employees can’t be tempted away, it does make the bar for getting them to consider opportunities elsewhere much higher and mean that they will be open to counter-offers from their existing employer.

    So, if you want:
    to be attracting high quality candidates without paying a premium then think about your employer brand and help us to ‘sell’ both your company and the role.
    us to be helping you to grow your team rather than replace churn then communicate regularly, make sure the messages are clear and consistent, ensure communications are two-ways and think about when to communicate.

    All too often I speak with candidates who are starting to despair because recruiters aren’t getting back to them. It could be because their applications appear to be dropping into a black hole; because having registered with one or more recruiters a deafening silence has ensued; or because having started a recruitment process they no longer know where they stand.

    There are many possible reasons for these various scenarios but given how important this subject is to those who experience it, I think it’s important to explore the main ones. Part 1 examines what happens once a recruiter receives an application, how we respond at AR Resourcing, possible reasons recruiters aren’t engaging with your applications and things you can try in these scenarios. Part 2 explores what to do if you’re registered with recruiters but are hearing nothing, what to do when a recruitment process goes quiet.

    PART 1

    What happens when a recruiter receives an application
    The process of reviewing applications varies from company to company, however once a recruiter (or a researcher working with them) receives an application they will typically review it to identify how closely it matches the brief. Candidates likely to be suitable for this role, or other roles the company recruits for, will then be added to the CMS (candidate management system – a database of candidates) or, if they are already in the system, their record will be reviewed and updated.

    The recruiter will then ensure that the candidate’s profile on the CMS is correctly coded with their skills, experience and ambitions so they should appear for future relevant roles when the database is searched. If the application is promising for any roles that they, or their colleagues, are currently recruiting for then the recruitment consultant or researcher will typically call the applicant to discuss their suitability and ambitions before potentially putting them forward on a shortlist.

    Shouldn’t every application get a response?!
    Each recruitment company has its own policy about responding to applications. Some set up an auto-respond to acknowledge receipt of every application, others may notify unsuccessful candidates once the shortlist has been finalised, others state on the application that if you haven’t heard anything by a certain date that you should assume the application has been unsuccessful, others only ever respond to the most relevant candidates etc.

    Irrespective, for junior to mid-level roles, unless you reach interview stage the detail about why your application was unsuccessful is likely to be generic as the economics of recruitment simply do not allow a forensic discussion with every candidate.

    AR Resourcing’s policy
    At AR Resourcing we reply to all candidate applications we receive that are even a moderate fit for the role. However, we will not reply to applications that are entirely unrealistic, for example, because the skills are so far removed from those specified in the job description or because a candidate early on in their career is applying for a director level role… If the pay rise is more than 30% then consider whether the application is a sensible one!

    If you would like specific feedback on your application or suitability for a role you are thinking of applying for, then please call us or email the relevant consultant and they’ll be happy to help. While, sadly, the economics of recruitment simply do not allow us to proactively call every candidate and provide a forensic discussion of every application, it is our policy to reply to every call or email asking for more information. Full consultant contact details are provided on our website for each job.

    How do you identify the problem if you can’t get feedback?!??!?
    If you aren’t getting feedback from your applications then it can be tempting to double down on the number of roles you are applying for. This is almost always a mistake. The chances are you will simply repeat any mistakes you might be making, resulting in the same outcome and, as your CV crosses a recruiter’s desk for the third or fourth time, they may start to subconsciously filter out your applications.

    Instead, as a first step take some time to consider what you can change. The questions below are a good place to.

    Are you being realistic? A recruiter’s job is to identify the best candidates they can for a role and not, as some candidates think, to put every applicant forward for the role of their dreams irrespective of their suitability. There is also a reason that a job requirement states “10 years’ nuclear experience” or “large infrastructure experience” and recruiters will likely consider applications that don’t match the description as time wasters. Furthermore, if you have been wildly optimistic about your capabilities, recruiters may be concerned about the impact on their credibility of proposing you for roles that do meet your skillset or experience.

    Does your application do you justice? ‘Quality over quantity’ should be everyone’s job hunting mantra. Assuming six to eight candidates have tailored their applications to the job spec then you are unlikely to appear competitive if you submit a generic CV or covering letter, or your application is poorly written.

    Are you targeting the right recruitment companies? A big part of the reason that our clients value our service, is our inch wide, mile deep philosophy – we only recruit for procurement, supply chain and commercial roles for companies operating in construction related industries. Spending two minutes reviewing a recruitment company’s website should tell you if they are a good fit for your skills and aspirations. If they’re not, go to the jobs boards and identify a company that is before applying directly.

    Does the recruiter have a good prospect of placing you? In general, recruiters only get a fee if they successfully place a candidate. The more recruiters you are registered with, the lower their chances are of placing you. Rather than applying for every relevant role you see, identify 1-3 relevant recruiter(s) and send them each one targeted application, potentially referencing other roles they are advertising that interest you. Make them aware you are taking a selective approach and ask to speak with them.

    Is it worth applying speculatively? If your CV doesn’t directly relate to a role the recruitment company is actively working on then the team is unlikely to dedicate time to your job search at that moment. However, assuming your skills and experience are relevant to their specialism, they will likely add you to the CMS so that you will be on their radar for future opportunities. If you want feedback on your CV or the market generally, think about how you word your approach to them carefully, for example making it clear that you would appreciate a chance to discuss the current market and your skills.

    Would going exclusive make a difference? Candidates who offer themselves exclusively to one recruiter for a period of time can find it pays dividends. Exclusivity makes a big difference to that recruiter’s chances of securing the placement and so the recruiter will prioritise your job search. If you do consider this, then agree the length of the exclusivity with the recruiter and speak with them about what they will do in return – i.e. will they proactively contact certain companies? Will they provide a list every week of the companies they’ve approached about you? Etc.

    PART 2

    This is the second part of my blog examining why candidates may experience the infuriating situation of recruiters not getting back to them. This part of the blog explores what to do if you’re registered with recruiters but are hearing nothing from them and what to do when a recruitment process goes quiet.

    What if you’re registered but recruiters aren’t contacting you about roles
    If you have registered with a recruitment company but you are not getting opportunities then try a couple of things.


    Speak with one of the recruiters – arrange a call with a recruiter specialising in your sector to set your expectations. Before the call ensure you know what you want to ask – for example: are there many roles out there for your skillset and experience at the moment? is there anything you can do to strengthen your CV? how often should you get in touch with the recruiter going forward or how often will they contact you? when was the last time they placed a candidate with experience similar to yours? Etc

    Don’t try to register with multiple recruiters at the same company as they will work as a team, keeping one another informed of active roles, reviewing all candidates on the company CMS and asking one another for recommendations about relevant candidates.

    Be aware of the market – for junior to mid-level roles, keeping an eye on the jobs boards will typically give a good indication of whether or not organisations are currently recruiting for your skillset or experience. If there is activity and you are not getting calls then contact the recruiter(s) you have registered with to ask where your profile is falling short - don’t be satisfied with an answer that there were stronger candidates but push for detail about where your CV was weak etc so that you can look to strengthen it accordingly. If the market is quiet or you are looking for a specialist or senior level role then it is worth emailing your contact at the recruitment company once a month to remind them that you are still looking.

    What if you started a process but it has gone quiet?
    Once you have been shortlisted for a role, you should expect detailed feedback about the strengths and weaknesses of your application, and if relevant, interview(s) as well as updates on progress with the process. Recruiters will typically update you regularly, however sometimes it can go frustratingly quiet all of a sudden. The most common reasons for this are:

    The client isn’t providing the recruiter with the information they need – while the obvious answer would be for the recruiter to tell you that they are waiting for news, sometimes they may not know when they will hear, they don’t want to start a conversation without more information or they don’t want to make the client look bad.

    The recruiter is juggling competing priorities – a recruiter will always be juggling multiple processes and this may mean that they are not able to respond with the detail that they need to provide you with immediately. If you have made contact and not heard anything after 48 hours then chase again. Chasing by phone is not always best – an email will typically trigger an autorespond if they are on holiday. If they are away, then they or a colleague should nonetheless get back to you in a timely fashion.

    If you are looking for a new procurement, supply chain or commercial role in the built environment sector then please email me: adam.richardson@arresourcing.com or call 0330 174 6801.

    Together with being unrealistic about market rates, a poorly run recruitment process is one of the quickest ways to make your company unattractive to the best candidates. Think of it like inviting someone out on a date, choosing a dinghy bar, then turning up late and being stand-offish, and then not following up afterwards. 

    The good news is that, according to a Linkedin poll we did last month, if you want to make a good impression, the chances are your competitors are setting the bar low! Of 88 respondents to the question “What percentage of job applications where you've got to interview stage have been well run?”

    10 Tips to run a Good Recruitment Process

    Take time to scope the role – changing the job spec during a recruitment process will, at best, make the company look disorganised and indecisive. At worst, and all too commonly, it will end up with the whole process needing to be restarted. Make sure to involve all potential stakeholders in agreeing the required/desired skills and that there is budget ringfenced before starting the recruitment process. Then ensure the correct job description is shared with the recruitment consultant and candidates once it is signed off. 

    Brief your recruitment consultant thoroughly and listen to their questions and challenges – if your recruitment consultant is to consistently identify relevant candidates then they need to be well briefed. As part of that process, expect them to ask questions either because they want clarification about the role or because they think that the brief would benefit from some changes. For example, if the candidate profile is more prescriptive than necessary that limits the pool of talent unnecessarily. However, if the brief is too vague both you and the recruiter will likely spend hours filtering through irrelevant applications. Currently many hiring managers are finding ongoing wage inflation means they’re needing to either increase budgets or reduce their expectations of the candidate profile for new roles.

    Plan your employer value proposition (EVP) and how to sell this opportunity to candidates – while salary is typically the most important consideration for candidates it is far from the only one. Hiring managers should carefully consider the wider benefits and opportunities around each role such as career progression, team culture, the company commitment to sustainability, remote working opportunities etc. When salaries are broadly aligned, as is often the case, the impact of these softer benefits and the way they are sold can make a huge difference to offer-acceptance rates.

    Plan the application process – a disorganised or drawn-out recruitment process will often result in the best candidates accepting offers elsewhere before your process finishes. Plan the recruitment process from start to finish and try to keep it as condensed as possible - some companies are offering within two weeks of advertising a role. Key to running a condensed process is ensuring a clear timeline internally e.g. the date candidate approaches will start or the job advert will go live; the date applications will close; when interviewers will receive candidate applications to review prior to interview; time blocked out for first and second round interviews in the diaries of everyone who needs to be involved before an offer is made etc. Communicating time frames for initial responses, first round and second round interviews to applicants also helps to keep better candidates engaged.

    Train staff on how to interview – a candidate’s rapport with interviewers is often the most important factor in their decision as to whether they want to progress with a process or not. And while some people are naturally good interviewers, others benefit significantly from training. When the roles they are interviewing for have a plentiful supply of candidates the way they reflect on the company may matter less but for roles where quality candidates are scarce it is an investment worth considering.

    Brief the interviewers – investing time to ensure that each interview is structured and with clear objectives both makes it easier to identify the better candidates and reduces the need for additional interviews that draw out the recruitment process. Each interviewer should understand how their interview will dovetail with previous and future ones as well as having a brief detailing what they are supposed to be probing with the candidate, for example specific technical skills, cultural fit, ability to communicate under pressure etc. Ensuring that interviewers have the candidate’s CV in plenty of time and have been debriefed about previous interviews is also key. Hiring managers should also ensure that candidates, especially if they ask, know the format and expected content of the interview so they can prepare as much as possible and approach the session in the right mindset.

    Prioritise debriefing – too often interviewers don’t prioritise debriefing colleagues thoroughly or in a timely manner after interviews. If debriefing isn’t done promptly, it can lead to interviewers’ memories becoming less clear but even more importantly it can slow down the interview process; result in interviews revisiting ground already covered with candidates; make it more likely the candidates aren’t challenged as thoroughly as they should be on their weaknesses; and lead to stronger candidates not standing out as much as they should.

    Feedback to recruiters about each candidate after each interview – successful or not, candidates value and deserve feedback. Successful candidates will often have concerns about their fit for a role and feedback from the interview is often a crucial part in keeping them engaged in the process and encouraging discussion around any concerns to see if these can be resolved. For unsuccessful candidates, the feedback is important to help them understand how they can improve or where the fit wasn’t quite right. While there may appear to be little direct benefit to the employer in spending time providing feedback to unsuccessful candidates not only is it courteous to applicant who has invested time in the process, but also it can damage the company’s reputation as an employer if they don’t. There is a further benefit in that the feedback also helps the recruiter deliver you a better service going forward as they can assess how well they are matching the brief and targeting suitable candidates. 

    Offer promptly and within the stated salary range for the role – there is rarely a good reason not to get a role signed off before the final interviews are complete. Being able to offer quickly after the final interview minimises the chances that a candidate is going to accept elsewhere and makes a considerable difference to securing your preferred candidate as they know you are confident, they are right for the role. When making the offer ensure that it’s in line with (or above) the figure originally advertised/ discussed, or the candidate is likely to feel insulted or deceived.

    Keep in contact with the candidate – once the preferred candidate has accepted the recruitment process is NOT over. At graduate level, around two thirds of candidates would renege on an offer they’d already accepted if they found something better. At a more senior level those numbers are lower but it is nonetheless common. In order to minimise the chances of having to start a recruitment process again stay in touch with the successful candidate regularly between acceptance and their start date. It needn’t be time consuming. For example, drop them an email updating them on company performance, ask them if they have any further questions before they start, and/or invite them to join their team for drinks.

      Running a good recruitment process isn’t rocket science but it takes planning and discipline and requires everyone involved to buy into the importance of sticking to the process. However, the benefits far outweigh the effort required.

      If you would like further details about any of the trends or would like to speak with us about how we can support you then please email me: adam.richardson@arresourcing.com or call 0330 174 6801.

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