The 1st Interview – More than Bums in Seats

If there’s one thing that we all agree on, it’s that we’re busy. In fact, busyness in the workforce is close to crisis levels in many organizations today. That’s even more true when you’re short staffed and in the throes of trying to fill a gap in your team.

There is a tendency in these times to short-cut the candidate sourcing process in favour of putting as many “bums in the seats” for interview and then sorting through the results later.

While it does save time upfront, there are many flaws to this approach:

  • You’ll attract more candidates who simply aren’t what you’re looking for.
  • You’ll spend considerably more time in the interview process. In fact, the overall hiring process from start to finish will take longer.
  • Instead of hiring the office hero you were hoping for, chances are you’ll end up settling for something less because your focus is more on the problem that’s on fire right now…getting the opening filled.
  • Any time or money that you think you saved upfront will be eaten away as you deal with working with an employee who isn’t a good fit.

At times like this, there’s a strong argument for working with a professional recruiter. Here’s why:

  • You’re already short-handed which usually means that existing staff are putting in more time to pick up the slack. Adding the candidate sourcing process to their (or your) workload only adds to an already stressful situation.
  • Most likely, the person handling the recruiting in your company doesn’t do it full time. With a professional recruiter, that’s all they do. Not only do they have the skill sets. They have time to devote to doing it right.
  • Chances are, a recruiter will find that ideal candidate faster than you can. Recruiters have connections and resources that you don’t. They know the local employment market, where to post job openings and where to find those candidates who aren’t actively advertising that they’re looking for employment.
  • A professional recruiter has the advantage of perspective. Because they’re not immersed in what’s happening in your company right now, a recruiter will see things that you won’t. They can offer a wealth of insight to save you from many of the costly mistakes often made when hiring.

A few words about hiring the right recruiter

Not all recruiters or employment agencies are created equal. Here are a few tips for choosing the right one:

  • Use a local firm. A recruiter that’s local to your area will understand the labour market which is different from city to city, even in the same geographic area. They also have the local connections and may already have a suitable candidate in their sphere of influence.
  • Make sure that they do the upfront interview. Some recruiting firms are all about volume and simply sort through resumes and send you candidates they haven’t screened personally. Be sure that the recruiter you choose will conduct an actual interview before sending you the short list of resumes for you to interview.
  • Ensure that the interview is performed by an HR professional. The person that the recruiter uses to conduct the first interview should be an HR professional, not just an administrative person following a script. That’s the only way that you can be sure that the candidate you meet was properly screened beforehand by someone who knows what to look for.

More than bums in seats

When you’re under the stress of being short-staffed, it’s even more important to have the right people sitting across the desk from you when you’re ready to interview. You’ll spend less time in the interview process and reduce a lot of the stress involved. And, you’ll increase the chances of finding that perfect office hero who’ll help take some of the heavy load away. Using a professional recruiter can help you to achieve that.

About the author

(Voted Barrie’s Best Employment Agency 6 years running, ESS Direct offers recruitment and temporary placement services throughout Barrie and South Simcoe County, specializing in helping companies identify, attract and hire administrative and office heroes.)