Table of Contents
News, Training & Commentary by Bill Radin
Speeding Up the Placement Process
It drives recruiters
crazy. Either their candidates' resumes get hung up in the
submission process or the employer goes AWOL after the first interview.
Or worse, the candidate is told to expect an offer, after which the employer
plays Rip Van Winkle and falls asleep for 20 years.
So how do you exert enough control to keep the hiring process moving,
without becoming a pest? Here are some ideas:
1. Establish your ground
rules early. If timely turnaround is important (which it always is), let
the employer know that your policy is to give a higher priority to
companies that respond quickly. In other words, if the employer
drags his feet, you'll have no choice but to walk away.
2. Don't work with surrogates. Generally speaking, the people who are
directly impacted by the hire (and who feel the pain caused by
an unfilled position) have the greatest sense of urgency, and will
act with more velocity. In contrast, intermediaries can often impede your
progress, which is a good reason to avoid including them in the
3. Set up a system or an activity template that automatically moves the
process forward. Not only will you establish
greater control and consistency in your work, you'll remove the emotional quotient
from the picture.
Let's suppose you want to schedule a single afternoon in which the
employer interviews multiple candidates, rather than send out a series
of candidates over a period of days or weeks. If that's the case, you'll
want to describe your methodology when you
first accept the assignment. Refer to your method as an integral part of your
overall business model, rather than an idea you just dreamed up. That
way, you can set your course in the beginning, instead of bargaining for
the employer's attention later on.
Rooting for a Placement
I've found that there are several "pressure points" during the
placement cycle, in which your degree
of control becomes critical to your effectiveness.
The first involves the way in which candidates are presented to the
employer for consideration. I'm not a big fan of resume "submissions,"
because resumes tend to focus more on keywords than the candidate's ability to do the job. A
more effective method is to make a telephone presentation of the
candidate's background, get feedback, answer any questions and set up
the interview. After all, your objective is to set up interviews, not
The second pressure point is the interview scheduling process. As in the
example given earlier, I would rather the employer interview four
candidates in consecutive blocks of time, rather than over the course of
several days or weeks. In addition to maximizing my odds of filling the
job (by monopolizing the flow of qualified candidates), this approach
benefits the employer, in that he or she can make instant comparisons
within a spectrum of talent, while dramatically shortening the placement
Control of the offer process is the third pressure point. Always set
yourself up to "broker" the deal, or act as a bridge between the
candidate and the employer. That way, you can preclose the candidate
before the offer is extended. If the offer is too low, you
can circumvent a turn down; or if you find the candidate is angling for
a counteroffer or using your client's offer as leverage, you can advise
the employer to withhold the offer until such time as the candidate is
ready to accept it.
By establishing control and setting ground rules up front, you can add
value and play an active role in the game, rather than sitting on the
sidelines as a mere spectator.