Choosing a recruiter to find your next hire is a key decision. Selecting any advisor is important as you have one chance to impress. As any principal in the property sector will tell you, selecting a broker to sell or lease an asset is an essential decision to prove and realise your business plan. You can run a faultless asset management strategy but the binary factor in proving that plan and creating the return is the value you achieve in the market.
The CEO of one the largest global Funds that we work with obsesses over the process of leasing their buildings. They rehearse the route that prospective tenants will take from the airport to the building. They make sure the building’s concierge is prepared with the passes, the flowers are fresh and the elevator is waiting. I could go on but these simple steps are often overlooked and are as important to getting clients over the line as the correct specification for the building’s M&E.
Recruitment processes are overlooked in the same way. There are mediocre recruitment consultants out there in the same way that there are mediocre brokers and corporate financiers. Unfortunately, there are probably more average recruiters than there are good ones.
If you are researching potential recruiters to partner with, there are some simple steps that can be taken to avoid weakening the recruitment process before it begins.
Here are some simple steps to finding the right recruiter:
- In the UK across the construction and property market, in the majority of cases, we are in a talent short market. Therefore, as an employer, you need advisors on side who understand your company, your competitors, the sector and the candidate universe. To be in the best position against your competition, you need a specialist on side to guide you and the candidates through a successful recruitment process.
- Your recruiter is effectively your shop window in the market. So make sure you test your recruiter on their industry and professional knowledge. You’d be amazed how little some will know. If they can’t explain to you what a professional does then they certainly won’t be able to do a good job of interviewing candidates on your behalf.
- Experience matters. Early on into the process, ask the recruiter about their track record and make sure that they have placed people at your competitors.
- Make sure that they know about the specific professionals you are looking to hire. Just because someone can demonstrate knowledge in one area of the market, it doesn’t mean that they can cover the whole market. At Cobalt, our recruiters focus on niches. In our view the recruiter can’t be a generalist. The recruitment of Valuers, Project Managers, Fund Managers, Surveyors or Finance Directors all require specialist knowledge and that’s why consultancies that take the market seriously have specialist teams.
- Don’t overexpose yourself to the market as you will lose control and dilute your message and impact. Choose a recruitment partner (perhaps two) if you are looking to satisfy your requirement on a contingent basis from recruiters with extensive databases. For more senior hires, retain just one firm and partner with them.
- Don’t accept candidates that have not been specifically interviewed and met by your recruiter. There is nothing worse that your time being wasted during the recruitment process.
Article written by Timothy Rowe, Co-founder – Cobalt Recruitment
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Feel free to contact your nearest Cobalt office to discuss any hiring requirements or to find out about our service.
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