A recent study by AXELOS highlighted the cost of each bad hire to a business to average £16,843. Lost productivity, time spent reviewing applications and interviewing, time spent training… it all adds up. While an experienced recruiter may be able to get a feel for whether a candidate’s the technical skills and experience meet the requirements of a role simply from the job spec the most important factor in reducing the number of unsuitable candidates you meet or hire is to ensure your recruiter knows your business, understands your culture and really grasps the soft skills that will be needed with for the role.
Whether or not you get to see candidates who will be a cultural fit will be little more than a lottery unless the recruiter has met both the employer and the applicant.
How to let a recruiter under your skin
While culture may appear largely intangible we are a social species and have evolved to assess it quickly and effectively through instinct. The best recruiters have refined that ability further.
Before a recruiter even meets you they will be forming an initial impression of your culture using your website, your reputation within the marketplace, any marketing collateral you have sent, through reviewing the benefits you offer.
However, the majority of the picture they build up will come from meeting with you. The office space, office attire, demeanour of the team will all contribute. But it is what you say, how you say it that will form the majority of the picture. According to Dr. Albert Mehrabian, author of Silent Messages, in face to face meetings our words communicate only 7% of our total message. 38% of the message is communicated through certain vocal elements, and 55% through nonverbal elements (facial expressions, gestures, posture, etc).
The more members of the team the recruiter is able to meet and the more honest you are about any ambitions you have to change the culture or performance of the team the better they will understand what you need.
Following this initial deep dive your recruiter will refine their views based on every conversation, email exchange, applicant who is hired or rejected and role they are briefed on.
Your recruiter will know their candidates as well as they know you
The time investment getting to know each new client is a significant investment for the recruiter but is also a strong indication that they are doing a similar due diligence with candidates – one side of the coin is worthless without the other.
If you value your time then insisting your recruiter gets under your skin will be a good investment. You will spend less time reviewing CVs, you will spend less time in interviews that you quickly realise are pointless and you will ultimately end up with better candidates who are more likely to become valuable additions to your team rather than draining resources before you or they decide the role is not for them.