Every once in a while you will need to hire a new team member. Maybe someone decides to leave for pastures new, maybe it’s a maternity leave cover, or perhaps or you are expanding the team?

Are you aware of the hiring pitfalls you may face?

‘Caveat Emptor!’ (buyer beware!) is highly appropriate when recruiting externally.

Recruiting can be a painful distraction, time consuming and great talent can be hard to come by. You just can’t afford a bad hire, it will cause you untold pain within your currently high performing team.

So why not use a professional Recruitment company to help you?

This will cost you a recruitment fee for the service but if you hire an amazingly talented individual, in minimal time then surely it is worth it?

Yes, it is for sure.

But before you do, there are some important things you need to understand, these are your 5 hiring pitfalls:

1) Engage the Right Recruitment Company for Your Needs

There are many recruitment firms out there, all with different offerings. Some will be industry specialists or niche recruiters and some will be generalists who can cover any vacant roles within your company.

You need to be selective with which recruitment business you choose to engage with. Get referrals from colleagues, friends or your LinkedIn network, find out who has the best reputation for success in your sector/locality.

Many recruitment businesses will profess to be specialists in your sector, they will promise they have ‘active’ candidates perfect for your role, but will often fall short and waste your time. Choose wisely, choose based on reputation and experience they have in the market.

2) Engage the Recruitment Company properly

When you decide which firm you want to work with, be it exclusively with one Recruiter or perhaps using 2 or 3 firms, be sure you engage with them properly.

Take time to give the recruiter a full job brief, preferably in person (they will come to meet you) provide a detailed position description, and make it clear what you need from a skills, experience and cultural fit perspective.

Not giving enough detail to the recruiter up front will cause you pain the long term, they will try to find you people but a weak brief will make it harder for them to deliver.

3) Agree Terms up front

Be sure to get a copy of the recruitment company’s ‘Terms of Business’; don’t ignore them, READ THEM!!!!

When you engage a recruitment company you are entering in to a formal agreement to conduct business, you MUST know what you are agreeing to.

The key points to focus on are:

  • Placement fee percentage and what is factored in to the package (salary, super, incentives, car, etc.)
  • Know what the $$ value of the placement will cost your company
  • What is the guarantee period? 3 months is the norm, is it a ‘free replacement’ and what will activate the guarantee clause?
  • Payment terms, and implications to you of late payment

If a Recruiter sends you CVs along with their TOBs and you commence the recruitment process (interviewing) you will then be legally bound by their terms. If you hire, you may be stung with a BIG fee you didn’t expect.

Negotiate the terms (upfront) if you see fit but don’t demand a big discount just because another recruiter offered it… negotiate fairly, give the recruiter something back (maybe exclusivity on the role) and you will get their full commitment.

Pushing recruitment fees down too far could easily disengage the recruiter, leaving you waiting and wondering what happened with the great CVs you were promised

4) Understand your obligations and liability when hiring

Recruiters should do all they can to ensure the candidates they are representing are the best in the market and will be of significant value to your company.

That said, sometimes it doesn’t always work the way we hope it would and a bad hire may occur. Yes its true, Candidates sometimes do lie on their CV, they claim to have done things they have not, worked for companies they have not, embellish employment dates and much more.

It is your responsibility to be sure you are hiring a great candidate not a dud. Formal reference checks with former employers are the best way to confirm skills and suitability…. You really should do these yourself, as remember, a recruiter has a vested interest in providing you with a great reference on the candidate.

Also, recruiters cannot ‘manage’ your new hire once you employ them… that’s your job…. Don’t blame the recruiter if you have not ‘on boarded’ effectively or delivered on your commitments to the new role/hire.

5) Pay Your Invoice On Time

Sounds simple, but you really need to understand the implications of not paying your bill on time. Often there will be additional terms of business that are effected if you are late.

These may include:

  • The ‘guarantee’ clause may become null and void
  • Any discount you agreed up front may be removed, reverting to full fee
  • You may be charged additional interest on the full fee
  • You are likely to be fully liable of any recovery costs, legal fees, court costs etc.

Recruiting doesn’t have to be painful, by avoiding these hiring pitfalls it can be a simple and swift process but you need to be aware of what you are agreeing to, set the tone properly and you will see the results very quickly. Don’t leave hiring to chance!

© 2016, Paul Simms, Wright Executive. www.wrightexecutive.com.au

Paul Simms is an executive recruiter with over 19 years of experience across the Australian and UK markets. He is the founder of Wright Executive a specialist business within the Accounting and Professional Services sector. If you would like to contact Paul, please email psimms@wrightexecutive.com.au