Reputational Risk in the Corporate Recruitment process

ByPolaris Consulting

Reputational Risk in the Corporate Recruitment process

External recruitment in most large organisations currently presents an increasingly complex relationship between hiring manager and external candidate, with external agencies, RPOs, internal sourcing teams, direct referrals, online applications through internal/external portals and speculative approaches by candidates direct to management.

Coupled with all the potential internal and external process delays and pitfalls associated with headcount justification, hiring budget, interview process and protocol, offer sign-off, contract generation, negotiations, acceptance and finally on-boarding……hiring firms need to be aware of the significant reputational risk they face by failing to address these when processing candidates.

Some of the areas that should be of most concern are:

  • Interview processes are increasingly running into several months not necessarily due to candidate supply but simply getting candidate and management team in the same location on multiple occasions. Compounded by the number of stakeholders involved and some policies requiring two or more representatives of the hiring firm in all candidate interviews.
  • Interview Feedback delivered to candidates can be received 3rd or 4th hand if at all, by the time it has passed through some or all of the potential stakeholders in Line management/interviewer, Internal HR/BP, RPO, IVC, External Recruiter. Often the content passed on is lacking in value or message. Successful candidates are requested to the next stage, unsuccessful ones often simply rejected with no clear feedback or recommendations on where they didn’t perform or more importantly could improve.
  • Offers of Employment following final interview regularly take weeks if not months to be generated due to the ever more complex sign off process, with applications going up several levels for final approval despite initial clearance for a particular role and salary band. Candidates in several interview processes will often be hired by those firms with the fastest process, not the best profile or jobs.
  • Changing role requirement or “Specification Creep”. Roles that “evolve” through the hiring process as the candidate pool are processed and hiring managers are introduced to aspects of the talent pool not considered at first specification build. Wasting candidate time is listed as one of the top issues with any hiring process
  • Hiring through an Organisational change phase. As above starting a recruitment process with no clear vision on what the Organisation will or may look like in 3-6 months can result in mixed messages in interviews and unwelcome changes to promised role on start date and on-boarding.
  • Finally the critical stage between contract signing and the first few days/weeks of joining. Candidates present a huge flight risk to the process in this period as they often need to be managed through potentially contentious resignation and working notice periods, counter offers, approaches from other employers taking advantage of the resignation. Failure rate at this stage is extremely high.
  • Getting candidates over the line and starting a role is the end goal, how they get there and the candidate’s view through the process needs to be considered carefully if you want them to land with a smile, perform well and most of all stay with the firm.

In addition to Retained and Contingency recruitment services for contract and permanent employees, Polaris Search offers Risk Assessment of your recruitment process and Business Process Consulting to address any issues and make your business achieve its recruitment goals without damaging its reputation in the marketplace.


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