Flexibility in the recruitment process

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Every business relies on having appropriate processes in place to ensure they can conduct their operations efficiently and effectively. However, while this is a crucial ingredient required for any business to succeed, there are some scenarios where it’s worth deviating from standard procedure and demonstrating a little more flexibility.
 
The recruitment process is a great example. The ‘human element’ of the recruitment process is an important yet often overlooked factor which causes businesses to prematurely discount candidates who don’t fit seamlessly into their rigid processes. Introducing more flexibility into your recruitment process could be just the thing that allows you to uncover a real diamond in the rough.
 
Here we share some simple ways you can introduce more flexibility to your recruitment processes to ensure that you secure the best candidate, every time.

Creating open lines of communication

In a perfect world, your recruitment process would be smooth sailing without any issues or hiccups along the way. However, in the real world, that’s rarely the case. Delays can occur throughout the recruitment process for a range of reasons, and it’s your communication that will act as your safety net when the unanticipated does occur.
 
Providing candidates with adequate information and regular updates about the progress of their application and the interview and selection process will help to build trust and flexibility. Be timely and prompt with your communication, it’s even a good idea to provide an update even if there hasn’t been any progress or changes; it will remove any uncertainty and keep the candidate engaged while they are waiting for an outcome.
 
The same principle also applies to employers. If there are any changes to your circumstances or availability, it’s important to keep the recruiting manager informed so they can try to be as accommodating as possible.

Arranging interview times

Most hiring managers will have an idea of when and where they would like to conduct interviews before they start contacting candidates. Often that time is mid-morning somewhere in the middle of the working week; the time which is least convenient for candidates who are currency employed to attend.
 
It’s a common misconception that if a candidate can’t attend an interview, it means they don’t want the role. In most cases, it works to the detriment of the candidate if they’re hesitant to call in sick or make an excuse to get out of work to attend the interview, even when they may have been the best fit for the role.
| Teamrecruit
Demonstrating some flexibility in this situation may help you secure the best candidate. While it can be difficult for the hiring manager to find an alternative time to conduct an interview, it’s worth making the effort if it looks like the candidate fits the criteria.
 
Offering the option of an after-hours interview can be very appealing to candidates. If that’s not possible, consider if you could conduct initial phone or video screening interviews which might be easier for the candidate to schedule around their work. This can be a great way to uncover any non-negotiables the candidate doesn’t meet, negating the need for a face-to-face interview altogether.

Conducting reference checks

Employers each place varying importance on reference checks. Some adopt a black and white approach, simply deciding not to employ anyone who receives a poor referee report, while others are more willing to see past a few questionable comments.
 
If you’re going to place a lot of weight against reference checks, it’s important to consider all the variables that could be at play.
 
In the case where there was an issue or disagreement between a candidate and their previous manager, it’s easy to assume that the employer was in the right. However, that’s not always the case; remember there are always two sides to every story and you may end up unfairly discounting a promising candidate.
 
On the other hand, if a candidate isn’t a strong performer and they list their current manager as a referee, the referee may provide a glowing report so the employee can become someone else’s problem. Some managers may also be hesitant to provide an accurate report because of the potential legal repercussions if they expose something which could be considered defamation.
 
While there is a place for references, they’re not the be all and end all. If you receive a negative referee report, consider if there are other ways you can obtain the information you need such as asking for the details of clients they’ve worked for. If the candidate has all the other necessary skills, you could even choose to view any negative comments as learning and development opportunities.

Interview travel costs

If a candidate needs to travel a long distance to attend an interview (which is often the case for regional dealerships), it’s important to clarify how travel costs will be handled.
 
While it’s difficult to adopt a one-size-fits-all approach, it can help to consider factors including how far the candidate needs to travel and the level of the role. For more senior roles where it can be difficult to attract suitable candidates, it’s worth investing in a candidate by covering the cost of travel to get them to the interview.
 
The most important thing is to open the dialogue about how travel costs will be handled early to remove ambiguity and establish expectations. It’s also worthwhile conducting extensive phone or video interviews where you can also discuss salary expectations before requesting a candidate to travel.

Relocation costs

If a candidate is required to relocate for a role, you should also consider how the cost of relocation will be managed. The cost of relocating can be significant, and the candidate may not be prepared for it. For this reason, it’s common practice for an organisation to provide some form of financial assistance to help them make the move.
 
While some organisations offer a no-strings upfront cash payment, others choose to include some caveats or conditions that will ensure they will get a good return on their investment, such as instalment payments made as length-of-service milestones are reached. In some cases, relocation costs could even be covered in the form of a loan.
 
Opening that dialogue early in the piece will help to identify and align the expectations of each party, making it easier to find an agreement that works well for both the candidate and the employer, and starting the relationship off on a good foot.
 
Teamrecruit is Australia’s most established recruitment agency specialising in truck, earthmoving and agricultural machinery dealerships in Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific and Southeast Asia. Find out more about Teamrecruit and how we support employers and candidates in the dealership industry.

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