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When it comes to recruiting for a role, how flexible should a company be to fit in with a candidate? Antony Elkington, Managing Director of Trusted Recruiter, a specialist recruitment agency specialising in the mobility and independent living market, discusses whether companies should work around candidates or expect dedicated candidates to fit in around them.

We are currently in a candidate driven market, which means candidates are often in the running for more than one job opportunity. This means good candidates may not be on the market for long so there is a need to have a sense of urgency when it comes to interviewing for a role.

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However, many candidates may already be working in existing jobs or located far away, making it difficult to attend face-to-face interviews at short notice.

Whilst some believe that “if a candidate is serious about the role, they will make the time,” that kind of thinking can result in missing out on people that may be the perfect fit for the role you are looking to fill, particularly if they meet your initial criteria.

Being quick as well as flexible can be essential in the interview process, so why not consider the following:

Telephone and skype interviews

Before inviting candidates in for a face-to-face, vetting candidates first via a telephone or Skype interview is a good way of establishing early contact to let them know you are interested, as well as providing you an opportunity to find out whether a candidate is worth pursuing.

It is a quick, efficient and flexible way of identifying any make or break points that would rule the eligibility of a candidate out, saving you both valuable time and letting you focus on more suitable candidates.

What is being asked of the candidate early on?

Consider whether your interview requirements are too much at the first stage.

Should you be asking the candidate to immediately prepare a presentation for the initial interview?

If the candidate is interviewing for other roles, this could result in the candidate being picked up before you have a chance to find out if he or she ticks all your boxes.

Why not make the first stage a more informal meet and greet, rather than making the candidate spend a lot of time preparing a presentation, when they may still have to attend a second stage interview.

How far are they having to travel?

Consider their location. If meeting face-to-face for the first part of the interview process, why not meet at a mutual location or work to the candidate’s diary by arranging to meet at a hotel or service station?

This is particularly relevant for roles where the candidate may be covering a specific area which may be miles away from your head office, such as a service engineer or sales rep.

Meeting at a location near where they are located and fitting it in with your schedule and their requirements not only shows the candidate that you are willing to put in the effort for them but could also put you in the running to take on exceptional talent ahead of other recruiting companies.

Are you offering or accepting out of hour’s interviews?

It is important to be flexible on the time you meet, particularly for dedicated candidates that may have busy schedules.

Candidates often ask about having an evening or weekend interview, which are often declined by employers, resulting in some employers missing out on great candidates.

A candidate that is requesting a meeting out of usual hours does not mean they are not interested in the position but actually signifies the opposite. It shows that they are willing to find out more about working for your company and interview for the role in their limited personal time, as well as displaying a hardworking approach to their existing role, despite being interested in finding a new opportunity.

Do you offer candidates a second chance?

It is understandably frustrating for companies and recruiters when a candidate is unable to attend interview or cancels the interview, however, there can often be genuine reasons behind it.

My advice is to try to keep an open mind, find out if they are definitely- interested in the role and what the cause of the cancellation is before discounting that candidate completely.

Are you delaying job offers?

Try to make a decision on a candidate as soon as possible.

While there can be many hurdles to overcome, such as waiting on HR or someone else to agree on a decision, try to avoid any delay getting the job offer out to the candidate.

Between having an interview and waiting on a job offer, candidates may be going for other interviews or may even be offered a promotion or increase in salary by their existing employer.

The longer you wait, the more likely it is for something else to come up and for you to miss out on a potentially game-changing new employee.

Why not email a copy of the job offer alongside the posted letter – again, facilitating the speed of the process.

How do you compare to other companies in our sector?

As well as urgency and flexibility, think about how to attract the best candidate.

Why would they want to work for you and your company above the other opportunities available to them?

It’s important you understand why you are the best company for a candidate to work for and that you are able to communicate that, in order to entice the best people into your business.

If you are recruiting for a role and are interested in some advice or support, call me on 0333 0144014

Working with a growing number of manufacturers, retailers and distributors in the mobility, independent living and assistive technology sector on a no placement, no fee basis, Trusted Recruiter generally recruits for sales, marketing, operations, manufacturing, servicing, customer service and senior management.

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