Headhunting: 5 Fundamental recruitment tips from the experts


If you are looking to expand your workforce, replace a member of staff that is leaving or employ a required skills set or specialist, below are the 5 fundamental things you need to prepare and have in place to conduct a successful recruitment campaign.

1.  Timing - you need to start the process approximately eight to ten weeks before you want somebody to commence employment. This allows adequate time for advertising campaigns, longlist and shortlisting processes, effective interview and selection time frames and for candidates to serve notice. Please be aware that specialist roles may require a longer timeline.

2.  A comprehensive job description - make sure that you include all of the tasks and responsibilities that fall within the ambit of the role. Also, apply your mind to what your business really requires rather than what you think you want and cross reference to the job description. 

Consider the type of person the role and business culture would suit. This is a critical attribute often over-looked by prospect employers that focus primarily on the skill set requirements associated with the role.

3.  The interview and selection process - it is important in today’s ‘candidate-driven’ market that the recruitment process is as quick and painless as possible. You should avoid prolonged intervals between interviews and should ideally make any job offers quickly. 

Think about what skills and experience in interviewing you have in-house – competency based interviewing is a useful technique and interviewers should be experts in exploring a candidate’s true motivators and values. This means that a good cultural fit is made to ensure longevity in employment as well as having the right skill sets in place.

4.  Assessments - some roles lend themselves to further psychometric profiling and various assessments. These would typically include senior and / or middle management as well as sales based roles. Plan for these well in advance!

5.  Making the offer - always make the best offer first time round. Don’t play games and ‘go low’ first - as you may never get another chance to counter, and you will leave the candidate feeling under-valued. You should also have explored the chances of counter offers at the interview stage and put things in place to mitigate the risk of these resulting in the candidate declining your offer.

To conclude, always select based on attitude and aptitude. You can train most skills but you cannot train attitude! If you read this and shudder at the realisation that you lack the time or internal expertise, you can engage with us. We’ll handle every step of the recruitment process and will provide you with expert guidance and support when making important employment decisions.

For more information, call 041 581 3564  •  Fax: 086 616 2657  •  Email: [email protected]  •  www.headhunt.co.za