The typical job order procedure goes something like this: Fix up an old job description or use an HR-provided template. Send to the recruiter of choice, sometimes with a quick consultation call, but often with a short email with one or two details that pop to mind before hitting “send.”
Analyzing a job order takes hard work, but a bad hire is lot more expensive and difficult. A good employee is one of the best investments a company can make, so it pays to plan the decision carefully. A good recruiter is able to tap into the passive candidate pool, where some of the best employees are. Setting up a consultation call with a recruiter is the first step in accessing these top candidates, but that is not the end of the story.
Consider these questions beforehand to have a more effective consultation and position the recruiter to find the best candidates.
7 Questions to Ask Before a Consultation Call:
#1 – “Why should a successful candidate leave their job to work for us?”
This can be an intimidating question, but it is critical to ask in today’s candidate-driven marketplace. Remember that every company has its strengths and weaknesses, including competitors that are employing the best of the best. What one candidate considers a drawback, another candidate might consider a bonus. For instance, one candidate may be looking for a large salary increase and open to heavy travel, while another may consider taking a pay cut if it means a short commute and a more relaxed office culture.
It is not feasible to know each candidate’s exact priorities (although it pays to ask during the interview!). The best approach is to build a list of all the selling points of the job. Frame as many aspects as possible in a positive light. This gives recruiters better ammunition to sell the job to the best candidates on the market.
#2 – “What is the market rate for candidates who can do this job well?”
In the end, every company has budget limits, and the best candidate on the market may be more firepower than what the job really requires. Get a firm grip on the job requirements, then research the average market rate for people who do that job (Glassdoor.com is a good start, but check job boards for advertised salaries as well). Check the national average as well as the local average.
If there is a big gap between the budget and the market rate, there are some options: discuss raising the budget for the job with management, or lengthen the hiring timeline to allow more time to find the right fit. Another option is to revise the role expectations, such as hiring a more junior employee and building additional training into the first year of the role. Keep in mind that salary is not everything—a candidate may be interested in other selling points for the job.
#3 – “What challenges will this candidate face at my company?”
Be honest about the difficult aspects of the role. Every company has different challenges. Consider what traits and experience an employee will need in order to thrive on these challenges.
For example, Company XYZ has two candidates for a product manager position. Candidate A has decent product marketing skills but excellent technical skills and knows the technology inside and out. Candidate B has okay technical knowledge but has a track record of outstanding product marketing strategies and top-notch market analysis. If the company already has a strong technical team in place but consistently struggles with product launches, Candidate B is likely a better choice, despite how impressive Candidate A’s technical knowledge may be.
This is an obvious example, but many hiring managers allow themselves to be wowed by candidates whose top skills are not that relevant to the company’s biggest challenges. Do not pay for “features” that are not useful. Know the company’s pain points, and determine how this new employee will need to contribute to solving them. Then consider what accomplishments and past obstacles the ideal candidate will have faced that will prepare them to meet these challenges head-on.
#4 – “What frustrations do the top candidates have?”
Know the common obstacles that top candidates are facing. What are the downsides of working with the competition? What are the top candidates in the industry complaining about—outdated technology, a lack of resources, bad internal communication?
Wherever possible, put together an action plan to resolve (or at least compensate for) employee pain points to attract top candidates. Recruiters will use this information to draw candidates who have excellent skills but are frustrated with their current jobs.
#5 – “How will this candidate complement my team’s strengths and weaknesses?”
Another way of saying this is, “How will this person be different from me?” Everyone has a bias towards people that are similar to them, but this can lead to an office monoculture and eventually a skills gap that is very difficult to correct. Strong teams have a variety of talents and perspectives. Hiring managers should be wary of candidates who have the same background, same skills, and same personality as themselves or other people on the team—they most likely will not bring new skills to the table!
#6 – “Have I written the job description well?”
A list of demands and must-haves will not attract top candidates who are already successful in their current jobs. Write a job description that includes selling points and conveys the company culture. Give the recruiter details on how the career advancement opportunities, so they can attract results-focused and motived candidates. More tips here.
#7 – “Have I budgeted ample time to work with the recruiter?”
A good recruiter will request a consultation call to get detailed information on the job. They will prepare questions and get as much information as possible on the role and the company landscape, especially if this is one of the first job orders they are filling for the company. A consultation call usually takes half an hour to an hour. Additionally, recruiters benefit from detailed feedback after resume submissions and interviews. This helps them to hone their search and locate a good fit. Clear expectations help everyone to do a good job.
Have a job order? We can help. Book a free consultation call with us here, or call us directly at (480) 939-3200.