So you don’t want to use agency support and or the awesome service of Food Recruit. So here are our top 10 tips to recruit directly and do it right!
1. Who do you want to recruit directly?
Ok sounds like an obvious question but how many times have you spoken internally, gone to market, sifted through CV’s, brought to interview just to then decide you’re barking up the wrong tree and what you need has now changed? Sit with the hiring manager, brainstorm what the requirement is and pull together an accurate job description outlining daily responsibilities, required skills to be successful and measures of success. What is the renumeration and benefits and importantly, is it reflective of the market?
2. Right so you have the spec, but where are you going to find this person?
3. You have the spec, you know your audience but have you got your stall set out?
You must ensure that when your audience comes, you are ready to give the best possible first impression. Is your website mobile friendly? Are your social media feeds up to scratch? How about your ‘Work for us’ page – use this to give true reviews from current employees, you’ve got a great place to work so you should be shouting about it
4. Spec is ready, audience located, corporate image is all singing and dancing - now the advert
To recruit directly your advert must be attractive and clear. Your advert is effectively a sales post for your business and should encourage people to apply. Why should they join your business? Do not turn it into war and peace, keep it clear, use bullet points and sell why you are the best thing since sliced bread and they would be silly not to apply!
5. So now you have the advert responses coming in thick and fast, what are you going to do?
You must plan your application process. Job seekers want it done and dusted faster than grease lightning. But you must ensure you are getting all of the relevant information from every CV that comes in so you can form a shortlist. No, Maybe and Yes is simple enough and a critical stage when working through the mountain of CV’s. Remember before your sort them, remember what was agreed right at the start when deciding who you need and what experience. Think outside of the box and you may unearth some diamonds when you recruit directly
6. Loving life with a big pile of maybes and yes's - you now need to dig deeper
What screening questions are you going to ask this pool of talent scratching at your door? What are the key takeaways from the brief that the hiring manager requires? Background, experience, education, achievements. How do they handle pressure? Have they turned around a business, if so how? Your questions are your script to drill this pile of CV’s further down
7. It's not just about you ya know
Remember when you recruit directly, the hiring process is a two-way street and the candidates will also be assessing your performance too. If the candidate journey is not a positive one then they are unlikely to accept the position you’ve worked so hard to fill. Remember that perfect corporate image you got all shiny at the start, well a bad candidate journey could result in a bad online review or even sharing the experience with their network
8. You've smashed it ot his point and you have a handful of carefully selected future rockstars for your business - but now we are interviewing, hope you brought you A-game?
This is the most critical part of the whole process. The next hour is going to make or break your hire. You’ve worked hard to this point so make sure you are prepared for the interview stage. Remember right at the start the brief for who you are looking for? What type of person do you want? A nice person that would be a great fit? A bit of a bulldog who will shake the trees and get things done? An agony aunt who the packing team will confide in – you get the point – but this person must be right culturally and tick the boxes you originally agreed upon.
Think about the skills, what do they need to bring to the role? How will they benefit the company going forward? It’s not just about what they have done and where they have been, it’s just as important to understand where they can take you
Ok, they have all the experience, great background and on paper/phone interview seemed perfect. But now they have turned up late, slouched in the chair, looking out the window and haven’t asked any questions. Major disappointment as they were your number one choice, so what’s plan B?
9. Are you actually any good at interviewing?
Remember you are looking to make an impression on you, make sure you don’t fumble around and make a bad impression on them. Brush up on your interview skills. Make sure you know what you want to ask and when you want to ask it. Don’t ask them a stupid question like who’s better batman or superman, it’s irrelevant and just makes you look – well – weird.
Practice internally, run a workshop for senior managers. Get external training, go on a course. No matter what you do to brush up your skills, all that matters is confidence, be clear and be methodical – just have a chat and ensure you get what you need
10. You found them, they blew you away and now you're ready to make an offer
Right then, due diligence. That means we need references and qualifications checking.
Before you go in all guns blazing, please just take stock and think about the proposal. Too many times have I seen a client make an offer under their current value and are shocked when they say no and disappear into the ether.
Make sure you stay close to them during negotiation. They will no doubt have other things on the go so do you really want to fall over now at the final hurdle? Make sure you keep in touch with your 2nd and 3rd choice too, just in case it all goes Pete Tong.
This is often forgotten or overlooked, but make sure you go back to the No and maybe list when you were shortlisting, they deserve an answer, even if it’s the one they didn’t want – remember a bad review will destroy that corporate image. Of course, your interviewees, take the time to call them give full reasons as to why and thank them for their time in considering your business. Guy’s “it’s a no” is not feedback! it is insulting and disrespectful, they have taken the time to come see you and feedback like this will not help them in their continued search. Give details and be constructive.
Whether you choose to recruit yourselves or use Food recruit to give you support, I hope that these tips will help you. Let me know if I’ve missed anything or if you have any hint’s or tips you can share
Director of Food Recruit
I’m an independent owner of Food Recruit. Passionate about the Food & Drink industry having spent time as a Supply Chain Manager and Business Development Manager for two of the UK’s largest meat importers. High Care, Low Care, Chilled and Ambient I have worked across all markets including B2B, Foodservice, Wholesale and Retail.
I fell into recruitment in 2016 to start a Food & Drink desk in a long standing Engineering Recruitment business in the West Midlands. Progressing on to Business Development Manager covering multiple markets before starting my own agency in September 2020.