The Situation

Our client was struggling to fill certain critical technical roles as candidates were rare and hard to reach. Their usual channels to market – specialist agencies and direct resourcing using LinkedIn and their own networks – were not producing any new candidates. In many cases, the company had been trying to fill roles for well over a year without success. We were engaged to identify candidates for 20 positions against nine specialist roles, with our brief being to generate candidates not currently known to the client or accessible via their usual channels.

The Solution

We dedicated three industry specialist researchers to the project, each covering three broad technical areas. They used Executive Search methodology to map the market and identify individuals who could deliver against the roles we were handling. A delivery consultant was appointed to conduct thorough competency-based technical interviews for all interested candidates. This was done to  ensure throughout that all candidates were handled in a way that reflected the client’s culture and values. Our goal was to deliver a shortlist against each role in accordance with the timescales agreed with the client, which varied depending on the role and company department.

Outcomes

We were able to deliver shortlisted candidates well within the first month of beginning the exercise and delivering the final shortlist within six months, with on average four candidates against each role. We had identified just over 1,100 candidates across the UK, made contact with 900, interviewed 120, presented 33 at shortlist stage and made offers to 10. All of these candidates were not previously known to the client.

Less tangible benefits were also delivered. A monthly report generated the following data which has been instrumental in developing the client's understanding of their target employee market:

  • Comprehensive salary survey
  • Employer perception information
  • What makes the business less attractive to potential employees
  • How to make the client a destination employer

In one technical area, candidates are extremely settled and not interested in change; in others, the skills are simply not available. Although this was initially a concern for the client in the short term, this information very clearly indicated that new training and development programs were needed to grow this skill set rather than to acquire it, which in the long term will pay dividends.

In terms of employer branding, we discovered that the client was perceived very positively; despite a spate of redundancies, it is still perceived as a good place to work as the work itself is very engaging and challenging. The large volumes of candidate feedback that we were able to access was extremely useful to the client as we were able to identify a number of unexpected reasons why potential candidates were not moving, giving the brand some clear indications as to what they need to do to engage the community further and make them a destination employer.

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