Procurement; firing up the hiring process

It doesn’t take long for a procurement professional to go from tentatively engaging with the market to juggling multiple job offers. Despite this, organisations everywhere are missing out on recruiting some of the best people because of slow, convoluted hiring methods.

One of our team recently engaged with a senior category manager on LinkedIn. She had a role she though he would be perfect for, and wanted to find out if he would be open to discussing new opportunities. It turned out that his eye hadn’t been on the market, but when presented with such an exciting position he wanted to find out more. Part of his commitment to engaging with us included a full update of his social media representation and his CV.

No sooner had his LinkedIn profile been polished off than he was contacted by three recruiters, each wanting to represent him for new senior procurement roles.

Luckily we were engaging with a forward thinking business with a swift acting and decisive hiring team who made sure things were rescheduled so that they could meet our candidate as soon as possible. If things had been left any later, he would have been engaging with other organisations, all of whom would have wanted to compete for his skills. Best case scenario our client would have had to negotiate hard to secure him, worst case they could have lost him to a key competitor.

This type of situation happens too often in recruitment, often because companies don’t realise the full implications of sluggish hiring which go far deeper than just loosing great applicants.

One of the biggest mistakes made is thinking that a long, multiple interview process is the safest way of making sure the right hire is made. Yes, it’s important to be thorough, but you risk losing the best people half way through and reducing your candidate pool to a smaller, less impressive number of applicants. It’s true that you can revisit the market, but once a job has been advertised for too long, people start to wonder why it hasn’t been filled and you’ll have a harder time attracting the calibre of talent you need.

Another problem with drawing out the interview process is the impact it can have on the business and your existing team. An empty chair is bad for productivity. You’re losing an experienced pair of hands and increasing the workload of existing members. A gap in the workforce can also cause unease, particularly if that gap stays open for an extended period of time. If managed in a timely and sensitive way, losing a team member doesn’t have to cause too much damage. If the opposite happens you may find resignations are like dominos; when one moves, the rest follow.

One other vital thing about the hiring process is that it helps to distinguish an employer’s brand, and exceptional candidates will not be tempted to explore opportunities with organisations that deliver anything less than an impressive candidate experience.

As recruiters we appreciate that appointing new employees can be a demanding process and that for hiring managers, the day to day demands of a business can stop things from proceeding as planned. To help avoid the pitfalls it can be really useful to map out the process beforehand by confirming key elements such as advertising timelines and interview dates. It’s also important to confirm the availability of everyone involved at interview stage. Try and offer as much flexibility around times as possible to ensure the people you really want to see can get to see you before they’re enticed away by your competitors. It’s time to fire up the hiring process and make sure your organisation is the one to attract and secure the best talent.

About the Author

Helen Harling

Office and Marketing Manager for both Procurement Heads and sister brand HR Heads. Graduating with a marketing degree, Helen has continued her passion by leading our marketing function forward. You will see her blogging, tweeting, posting, videoing about Procurement Heads. You can see this on our LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram page.

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