You might think it’s a bit early for us to be counting down to Christmas – but as the holiday season approaches, it’s definitely worth having a think about where you want your business to be in the new year.
After all, with only seven weeks until Christmas, it’s time to have a think about the way your recruitment process fits in with your new year plans – and to work out whether you should set the wheels turning now so that you can have the perfect new employee for Christmas.
The average recruitment process takes around six to eight weeks, although this all depends on the speed and quality of feedback from both ends. We’ve completed some assignments from start to finish in a week – although this is very rare – but it really all depends on knowing what you want, and when you want them.
Like preparing for Christmas, getting right presents to the right people takes a lot of planning – so here’s a guide to the recruitment cycle here at Cactus to give you an idea of when you need to send that letter to Santa!
Day 1: Receiving your Spec
As soon as we receive your Job Spec, we get our elves straight to work on a hand-crafted, perfect advert that is designed to attract the right kind of candidate for your role. This then heads over to our Marketing Elf, Katie, who’ll whizz it on to all of the relevant job boards (both national and niche), and our various social media sites – all of which have their own active communities of call and contact centre professionals ready and waiting for the perfect job!
We’ll also search our database those candidates who match your requirements who are already on our books, and see if they’re interested – so that we can start the process of…
Week 1: Making the List (and checking it twice!)
In building your shortlist, we’ll screen each CV as it comes in for an initial fit with your role. All the while, we’ll be both building up a knowledge of your company as a whole, and getting a better idea of what you’re looking for in terms of cultural fit. This understanding means we can then search the numerous CV databases at our disposal to seek out candidates who we think would be a good match, and using our social resources to seek out passive candidates who’d suit your business down to the ground.
As we select each CV, we’ll be calling each candidate and having a really good chat with them to find out a bit more about what they’re looking for. After all, what we think a lot of recruiters get wrong is failing to see it both ways – the candidate experience is often overlooked, meaning the client is bombarded with CVs that are only a close match for the role. That’s not how we work, and recruiters who work like that really ought to receive a lump of coal in their stockings on Christmas day.
We don’t do “Secret Santa” with the candidate – as soon as we possibly can, we’ll tell them who the role is with, and the exact specifications of the role, so that they’re fully in the loop at each stage of the process. Plus, we’ll ensure that they really want to work for you – because that placement should be for life, not just for Christmas.
If they’re not right, we’ll give them full feedback on why they won’t be taken forward – and naturally, we’ll make sure there’s nothing else that’s right for them on our boards!
We’ll then get a shortlist to you with the best CVs we’ve got – although obviously depending on your requirements, sometimes we’ll send them as we go! All of the CVs you receive will have been formatted to make it easy for you to directly compare your candidates, helping you to get a really good idea as to how they measure up.
Week 2: Telephone Interviews
Once you’ve had a think about which candidates you want to take forward, we’ll arrange telephone interviews for you to get to know your candidates better. We’ll also take any of your feedback and apply it to those searches we’re still doing – just in case the most amazing candidate in the world has just come on the market! This then lets you decide which candidates you’d like to meet face to face in…
Your first meeting with the candidate is really important, and for that reason we’ll do everything we can to make that nice and easy. Your candidates will be fully briefed, even to the point where we’ll make sure they’ve got their travel arrangements sorted if need be! What we’re hoping, at this point, is that it’ll be like magic under the mistletoe – you’ll meet your perfect match and we can set the ball rolling for the second stage. But if not, we’ll have a good think about your feedback and have a really good hunt for alternative candidates. All being well, however, we’ll be on to…
Week 4: Second Stage Interviews
This is where the Christmas magic really happens. Hopefully you’ve already got an idea of who your front runner is – and who you really want for Christmas!
Hark! An Offer!
The first week of December is when you really want to be making an offer, if you want to have your candidate secured in time for Christmas. If you’ve found the one, now is the time to make that all-important offer – because if your candidate is in demand, you run the risk of being lonely this Christmas… Which would be very sad indeed!
Week 5: Contracts, Offers, References, and so on…
This is the sort of thing that shouldn’t take long, but sometimes can draw out your hiring process extensively. If you want your candidate to hand in their notice in time, it’s essential to get a written offer to them as soon as possible – especially if you’re doing it on paper and popping it in the Christmas post!
We’ll liaise with the candidate to make sure that everything’s moving on their side too, confirming that they’re happy and that the dreaded counter offer isn’t likely to rear its Grinch-like head!
Once this is all set, we’ll confirm a start date on both sides, meaning we can all relax into the holiday season knowing that everyone’s got what they want for Christmas – and having a nice cup of mulled wine in front of a roaring fire to celebrate…
The very thought of which has put us straight into the Christmas mood. We’ll be back in five minutes – we need to find a tree!
Cactus Search is the leading provider of Call and Contact Centre Management candidates to some of the most prestigious companies in the UK and Internationally.