In 2013 our newsletter No 3 included an article about big company recruitment stating large companies most value efficiency and speed from their recruiters which means their approach is very process driven. They tend to use a narrow panel of preferred recruitment suppliers to fulfil their specialist requirements.
In contrast, niche players have a different criteria. They tend not to hire many people and want to make every appointment count. In many cases they are working in growth markets and know that the right person can enhance their chances of success. The best way to describe the process here is informal & flexible with the focus on the candidate, not the process. Where necessary it can be fast.
Our niche clients obviously expect our candidates to be fully vetted and interested. They are often happy for us to submit headhunted candidates who need to be convinced as the hiring manager is usually confident in his opportunity, is keen to secure the very best candidate he or she can, and is happy to be fully engaged in the process of securing top people.
Niche companies often see their recruiters as trusted advisers, utilising our market knowledge to help them find and secure the candidates they want. They give us long in depth briefings and tend to rely on a personal relationship between the hiring manager/ director and the recruiter to find the best candidate. We are expected to do a lot of the vetting and in depth interviewing. So we need to have a real in depth understanding of the role and our client company and to sell the company to the prospective candidate. They also ensure the hiring manager gives us comprehensive feedback.
To aid the process we spend a lot of time preparing candidates for interview and obtaining additional vetting data which will help the client. Often the candidate will not know our client or only have a vague knowledge of the company so it is out role to promote the client in the mind of the candidate.
It’s also true to say that many of our placements with niche players are our “black book” candidates who have retained a relationship with us over a long time (many of mine date back well over 10 years) and we contact them when the time and opportunity is right.
In general the offer process is more flexible and we are often involved heavily in negotiation bring both sides together to ensure a deal which is acceptable to all. This contrasts with big companies often operating at a fixed salary point and little flexibility.