Here is a scenario for you. Perhaps you’ve had a successful introduction call or meeting with a company. Maybe you already have a relationship with the company….it doesn’t matter!

What matters is that the phone is ringing and they want you to work a role for them.

Great news, right?

Well, it is great news if you set yourself up not to fail. You need to get a minimum of the following four pieces of information from the hiring team in order to weigh up if the role is actually fillable and worth your time working.

This information will set you on the right path to filling the role if you decide to work it. Just as importantly, it will help you decide if the role is going to work for you.

What are the four pieces of information you need to successfully fill a role?

1. Make sure you have a full job spec and have all of the information that you’ve asked for.

In order for you to work the role properly, and for your candidates to have the best briefing possible, you need to have a full understanding of the role you are going to be working on. This means receiving a full jobs spec and any other information you feel you need to fill the role. If you aren’t sure about something, ask. If you aren’t getting answers, explain why you have asked the question and why it’s important for your search.

This isn’t an excuse to ask millions of questions that are of no value to anyone. An in-house recruiter can spot pointless questions from a mile away. Make sure that you are well prepared and are asking for relevant information.

2. Make sure you have the correct salary range, bonus information and details about the companies benefits.

In order to not waste the candidates or your own time, it is important to have a full understanding of the package on offer for the role. This includes base, bonuses/commission, stock options and benefits. Of course, this is vitally important for when you are speaking to potential candidates, but you also need this information up front so that you can make a decision on if you can fill the role, and if the role is worth taking on.

3. Make sure you know what the interview process is.

It is always important to be able to let the candidate know exactly what the recruitment process looks like, and it is also a good indicator for you as to how smoothly or painful a role is going to be if you work it. Be sure to nail down what the stages are, how many of them there are and who is going to be involved. If it is a super lengthy process then the alarm bells should start ringing, so make sure you are weighing up if the role is right for you to be working.
Some companies are notorious for adding ‘just one more’ stage in, so it is a good plan to get the process agreed on with the recruitment team so you can refer back to it if things start to move off plan.

4. Make sure that you have a feedback timeline agreed with the recruitment team.

This one is key to avoiding frustration on both sides of the table during the recruitment process and nailing it will help both sides build good relationships.
From an agency perspective, it is incredibly annoying to have a candidate interview (at whatever stage it may be), only for the In-house team to disappear and not give you any feedback on how it went. On the flip side, it is not fun from an In-house perspective to have an agency recruiter call the instant that an interview is due to finish or to call 5 or 6 times a day for feedback.
To circumnavigate this issue, make sure that you have clear timescales agreed for feedback covering CV review, telephone and face to face interviews. Try to strike a clear balance between a speedy process for the candidate, but also giving the In-house team ample time to catch up with the hiring team for feedback.

Using this information will help you to gauge if you have a realistic chance of filling the role. If you don’t think you can make a placement, make sure that you are telling the In-house team why you have come to that decision. In my last post, I talked about working in a consultative manner. The more feedback that you can give the recruiter, the better. It could be the case that they use this information to go back to the business to make the role more realistic, or to get a better package. If this does happen, you are likely to be their first port of call for help. Don’t burn any bridges by walking away. Add value during the process and you will get the benefits.