Hiring Guide – Part 1: The Search


Ripple Recruit have put together a 3 part series, which covers the 3 most important areas of hiring; The Search, The Interview, The Offer.

Part 1: The Search

Tip #1 – Focus 80% of your search on passive candidates

There are two types of candidates;

Active candidates searching and applying for new jobs.
Passive candidates that are not applying to jobs but are open to considering the right opportunity.

*You might think there’s a third category, those candidates who are not interested in considering a new role, in my experience these candidates don’t exist, they just haven’t been offered the right opportunity…yet.

Always use a blended approach when searching.

It’s worth considering advertising your vacancy online as this can help get your brand into the market and there is a possibility that the right candidate makes an application. But be aware that advertising isn’t always the right approach for every vacancy. Advertising is expensive and, in our experience, only around 10% of vacancies are filled as a direct result of online adverting.

The real focus should be on the passive candidate market . By approaching a select group of passive candidates, you can ensure that you have a much further reach into the market and will compromise less on your hires.

Passive candidates also offer huge benefits when compared to active candidates. It’s much less likely that you’ll be up against other companies also interested in the passive candidate, which can help keep your budget in check (avoiding a bidding war) and often gives you more flexibility on timescales, should the process overrun.

Statistics show that passive candidates tend to stay with a new company longer as they’ve accepted the role for the right reasons and are unlikely to accept an offer unless it ticks a significant number of boxes.

That’s not to say that active candidates will let you down, but if they are out of work or desperate to move from their current employer then your company could be a stop gap until they find a more suitable role.

Tip #2 – Look beyond the CV

I cannot state this enough, do not judge a candidate by the first CV that they share with you.

Most candidates will have one version of their CV and they’ll update it 8-10 times in their entire life. They are not expert CV writers and may have never seen anyone else’s CV as a comparison.

Some of the most successful placements that I’ve made throughout the past 14 years have been for candidates who had what most would call a ‘poor’ CV’. They had the knowledge and experience but didn’t have the ability to put this down effectively on a CV.

I have seen mixed opinions when it comes to recruiters helping candidates update their CV, the most common concern is;

‘If they can’t even get their CV right then how can I expect them to get their work right’

I disagree, particularly if you’re working with passive candidates. Just because someone is a fantastic Mechanical Engineer, doesn’t mean that they have a natural ability to draft the perfect CV.

The great thing about candidates with below average CV’s is that a lot of inexperienced recruiters and hiring managers are dismissing them without even having a conversation. This keeps your competition for these candidates to a minimum and once you’ve spent some time working with the candidate on polishing their CV, you’ll have a candidate that is not only good on paper but who could be perfect for one of your vacancies.

Tip #3 – Ask for recommendations from EVERYONE!

It’s a well-known fact that hires from referrals have significant benefit over other sources. Research from Jobvite shows that it’s cheaper, faster and generally produces a better hire that will stay for longer in your company.

The average employee will have 150 contacts on social media network, so if you have 100 employees, that’s a reach of up to 15,000 contacts.

Leveraging this network is the difficulty . Understand what motivates your employees to offer a referral, calculate the cost savings for a referral over advertising or using an agency and then offer 50% of this amount as a referral reward. Paying an employee £3k just for giving you a name and email address sounds like a lot but it’s all relative and with the benefits of ‘employee referred’ candidates it’s a no-brainer!

I’ve seen many employers engage with a recruitment agency and pay fees of £10,000 – £15,000 per placement and yet their employee referral scheme offers just £300 for a successful introduction. Even offering a £5,000 referral reward would offer a 50% cost saving .

Unfortunately, most company’s referral network is limited to their existing employee base and when a very well-connected employee leaves, their referral network leaves with them. The good news is, there is a better way to stay connected to current and previous employees…

Referrals are very much the bread and butter of Ripple Recruit. We recognized that the referral market is very much untapped and worked so ineffectively by so many companies. That’s why we’re working on a brand-new product called Ripple Network , an intelligent and highly effective national referral platform, which will expand your referral reach by 1000%+.

Part 2, ‘The Interview’ can be found here –

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