My first manager in recruitment often said: “time kills all deals”. Although this is a well-worn cliché from the 1990s (I started in this business before email was a ‘thing’) it remains just as true in recruitment today. In fact, in today’s recruiting world with so many extra layers of process to go through, I would say it is more relevant now than ever before.
This is not a direct criticism of hiring managers and stakeholders but an observation of the recruitment process as a whole. The time to hire has significantly increased over the last few years, generally resulting in an increasingly poor candidate experience and the inevitable disillusionment that follows.
While it is important to get the process right and no one enjoys the costly experience of a mis-hire, it is worth remembering that hirers are competing for the best talent in the market and cannot just rely on their branding and quality of work to attract such candidates. The way that they handle themselves with potential joiners also contributes to the overall candidate experience and leads to either a positive or negative image of the firm.
A good recruiter should provide guidance on how best to manage timescales and to provide full disclosure on anything that may slow down the process. However, experience has taught me that it is the human element and personal touch that can tip the balance when a candidate is interviewing at competing firms and the practice who runs the slickest recruitment process often wins. This is worth bearing in mind especially when the implementation of GDPR practices has led to an increased use of portals and the advent of AI technology.
In summary, I would say that regardless of whether a candidate is successful or not, in today’s competitive recruitment market, firms also need to think about providing the best candidate experience that they can. This should be achieved with the assistance of their recruiters who are also under a duty to keep communication flowing. The legal profession is a small one and people talk, so a positive experience is only going to improve the way a firm’s brand is perceived.