It’s my experience that in business many companies talk of being in “partnership” with their suppliers. However the reality is that almost all so-called partnerships are simply marketing spin. The relationships are usually very uneven, often with one overly dependent on the other; this will inevitably mean that one side is either being overcharged for their service or product or vice versa.
In the recruitment industry the best results for both parties without question comes from genuine business partnerships characterised by open communication, shared risk, mutual trust, fair payment for services and shared goals.
However anyone who has been in the industry for longer than six months knows that this is seldom the case. Recruitment is a competitive industry and it’s this competition that has led to rampant fee cutting that inevitably compromises service quality....especially in long term RPOs (the horror stories I’ve heard!). The contingency fee model also means that service purchasers have little to lose, supplier loyalty is minimal and supplier switching is commonplace.
Mindset endeavours to be a thought leader in the talent space and as such we attempt to form genuine partnerships with our clients. Indeed, we have even walked away from clients that don’t treat us as partners. A genuine partnership requires give and take from both sides and as such we make the following commitments to our clients;
• We will work with you to define your genuine personnel needs and deliver short-listed candidates that meet those definitions in terms of skills, qualifications, experience and personality. We will not commit to a defined number of candidates as there may only be one or two that meet the specifications.
• If you are not offering a package that will attract quality candidates we will tell you up front so that you can revise your person spec or your package offer. If these can’t be altered then we reserve the right to not continue with the assignment. Mindset will not take on impossible assignments!
• We will keep you informed of our sourcing activities. In some cases you will have direct access to our applicant tracking system.
• If the sourcing process proves to take longer than expected we will let you know a revised shortlist date.
• We will meet you in person to present and discuss shortlist candidates.
• If required, we will interview shortlisted candidates with you.
• We will assess all shortlisted candidates after your first meetings against personality benchmarks that we will work with you to define, using our Prevue methodology.
• All assessed candidates will be met with in person and the validity of the Prevue psychometric test results will be investigated in detail.
• We will make verbal contact with all referees and will give you feedback on the referees’ responses.
• We will make final recommendations to you on which (if any) of the shortlisted candidates should be appointed based on their assessment results, assessment interviews and reference checks. If there are reasons why a candidate should not be appointed we will tell you.
• We will invoice you a pre-determined and agreed set fee for the recruitment process. Normally this will be in three parts; the first on commencement, the second on shortlist and the third on appointment.
• We will work with you to put together an appropriate induction plan that will assist in the new employee to generate results faster.
• We will follow up with both the employee and the client throughout their first 12 months to ensure that the needs of both parties are being met.
Partnerships are give and take. For Mindset to be able to deliver the above we also need our clients to commit to the following;
• Clients will make their key personnel and the role’s stakeholders available to us so that we can develop an understanding of the people the new employee will be working with and the culture of the client’s organisation.
• Clients must be prepared to pay a fair market salary (or above) for the role in question....OR be prepared to accept a lower quality candidate.
• Clients must make themselves available at fairly short notice for interviews. Going on annual leave mid-process (yes, it’s happened) or being “too busy” is not acceptable in a competitive talent-short market.
• If Mindset submits shortlisted candidates, we expect you to meet with them. We are recommending them for a reason and, just so we’re clear,not interviewing a candidate because you “don’t like their CV” is not a reason.
• Clients will promptly return phone calls, emails etc and complete Prevue job surveys in a timely manner.
• If a client does not like a proffered candidate they will give the Mindset consultant detailed reasons so that the same error is not made again. This saves both Mindset and the client’s time. Saying “I just didn’t like him (or her)” is unhelpful to say the least.
• If Mindset withdraws a candidate from the pool due to a poor reference check or Prevue profile, we may recommend restarting the sourcing process. Although it’s upsetting for all parties, please recognise that Mindset will not recommend a candidate that we feel will not deliver the results. We ask that our clients respect our recommendations; that is after all what you are paying us for.
• Clients will pay their invoices on or before their due dates.
If both sides of the partnership adhere to their commitments, they will find themselves effective long term employees with the least angst in the fastest possible time! Just remember, in recruitment especially, you’ll get back what you put in, and what you pay for!