100% Recruitment

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100% Recruitment
100% Recruitment
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100% Recruitment
100% Recruitment
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The book you are holding is devoted to recruitment, the system of activities undertaken to source and select personnel. In my opinion, it is the recruiter that is the most important aspect of the recruitment process. Everyone else merely plays a supporting role. If the recruiter says that a particular vacancy is impossible to fill, then it is solely the recruiters problem and responsibility. If a recruiter takes on a vacancy but is unable to fill it, that means that the recruiter isn't up to the task at hand. If a recruiter decides to work with a client that is unable to provide competent feedback, this means that the recruiter won't be able to handle the interaction. It's always the recruiter's problem, and only the recruiter can find a solution.

Sometimes, one can lack the necessary skills or experience. In order to be a true professional that can perform the role with your eyes closed, you must immerse yourself in the job, putting in the time to rack up 5, 000 flight hours, as they say in the aviation business. It's easy to tally up for yourself how long you work each day and each year, then the total you have worked in the industry and how long it takes to consider yourself a professional.

I have worked in recruitment of professionals since 1999 and opened Business Connection, my agency for personnel selection, in 2001. I am listed in the of Top-5 and Top-15 recruiters in Russia, as well as other ratings. I undertake business training courses and master-classes and offer training to specialists, an activity I consider to be a key aspect of the operations of my agency. In this book it is my pleasure to share with you my experience, techniques and tricks of the trade. You won't find worn-out clichés here. This is the knowledge I have built up from my extensive first-hand experience, and therefore the book is crammed full of real-life examples. You will learn:

– What the ideal candidate looks like;

– How you can identify them during face-to-face meetings;

– How to correctly evaluate them;

– How to motivate candidates;

– How to become an attractive employer;

– How to work with resumés;

– How the gather recommendations;

– An A to Z on how to perform interviews: the goals, types, challenges and behaviour of participants;

– How to handle counter offers[1]; – What the «tricks of the trade» are in recruiting, and so forth.

We'll start with the «tricks of the trade». They are universal and apply to everything. Many business-trainers prefer not to share them: this is detrimental and even dangerous.

Remember your own experience. You order corporate sales training. The trainer comes in, shares some knowledge and information with your sales managers. Your staff try to put this into practice as they go along, so some will sooner than others. Sales begin to increase, but a month later it's business as usual as sales return to the previous level. So why can't they keep up the momentum?

The answer is simple: there is only 72 hours during which you can apply the knowledge into skills and turn information into action. The things you will learn from this book which you consider to be useful and valuable for your organization must be put into practice within 72 hours. Then you can transform knowledge into skills.

Therefore, as soon as you learn something useful, write down the time straight away. You have to begin using what you have learned within 72 hours. If you fail to do so then you will simply remain a run-of-the-mill reader. But I don't believe that will be the case.

If you decide you want to ask any questions in person, or meet to share your impressions of this book, write to me at director@buscon.ru or call me on +79032602551, or look me up via social media.

Is your company ready to talk to candidates?

Searching for candidates is much more than just closing a vacancy. And the process doesn't begin by posting the job advert.

Building your HR brand

You need to start out by making preparations internally.

Interviews are more than just an opportunity to find an employee. They are also a means to promote the company itself, although this is often overlooked. That is to say that recruiters and HR managers will often communicate more with potential clients than your sales managers. If your company holds 50 interviews per day, then you will have more than 1, 000 new contacts every month. That's 10, 000 contacts every year! Moreover, these are people that came to your office themselves and are interested in the work you do.

Since they're already there, they may as well learn about what a wonderful company you are, why you're an attractive employer to work for, why your market offering is so incredible and why customers should procure it from you ahead of the rest!

The work of a recruiter is to attract loyal and potential customers, and to establish your employer brand. Employer brands are not created by marketers or copywriters. They are formed on the basis of your efforts day in and day out as you hold interviews. And every employee that is hired contributes to this complex process.

Some companies hold not fifty, but a hundred or even several hundred interviews every day. And the recruiter has to be prepared to present their company in every meeting to ensure the candidate remembers that they were interviewed by their company. The aim is that the candidate and company both have an excellent impression of one another, so the candidate is ready to give his all.

The interview room: make it your home turf

The interview room, the meeting room, call it what you will, is your home turf. It is the pitch on which you play home matches.


One particular client of my agency Business Connection, a bank that is in the top 20 locally, had a problem. Candidates would attend interviews and were considered completely suitable by the recruiter. The bank would make the candidate an offer of work… but the vast majority of these offers were turned down. We were asked to get to the bottom of the situation.

It was impossible to figure out what was going on with just a phone conversation, so I agreed to meet with them at their office. I arrive. I walk in to find a huge open space work area. Almost everyone in there is creating a lot of noise. Someone is eating a hot-dog, someone else is drinking coffee, another employee is yelling into their telephone. I asked my way to the HR department. Over there, comes the response, on the opposite side of the room. So I waled through this bustling, heaving cauldron and reach the HR department and say hello. I'm ready to discuss their issue, if I could just sit down. The girl offers me to «take a seat on that filing cabinet».

I'm taken aback. «You know», she responds, «our bank is growing, every day we have new members of staff, we're opening new offices. We don't have enough space, so you'll have to sit here on that filing cabinet, underneath the palm tree in a metal bucket». Okay, I think to myself, so there's no meeting space but there is enough space for a palm tree. So I sat down on the filing cabinet I was offered and get ready for our discussion. Their recruiter's phone is ringing off the hook and she is constantly being distracted from our meeting. I asked her: «Where do you usually hold interviews?». «Well, we hold them right here» she replies. «On a filing cabinet?», I enquire. «Well, yes, what's wrong with that?»

I didn't need to ask her any more questions. A bank, a fortress of reliability, confidence and stability indeed! How could a candidate possibly want to work here, when the job interview is held while sitting on a filing cabinet on wheels which is constantly moving around underneath you?

So we identified their issue quickly and the situation with their meeting room was soon addressed. Their issue with hiring candidates soon disappeared.

You need to have a dedicated space to hold meetings, a separate meeting room. In a communal space you will simply not get to know a candidate properly. He or she will worry that any passerby could listen in. Psychologically speaking, the candidate will shut up shop. You won't be able to learn what you need to about their salary expectations, for example. It's unrealistic to expect otherwise. The candidate has to feel secure, and bare all to the recruiter, in the same way you would a doctor. Would you go to a dentist in an open space environment? What about if you have a more private ailment?

My colleague from Minsk made a cool meeting room, hanging messages of thanks from the mayor and the president on the walls, along with diplomas and certificates. Candidates were led into the room and left along for a couple of minutes. During this time, what would the candidate do? Read them all carefully, of course. The recruiter was received quite differently as a result.

The walls in your own home can help too.

Do you have a dedicated meeting room? No? Then demand one. It is your tool. As well as a place to calmly make notes and reason upon what you have seen and heard.

Organize the space in the meeting room with a single shared table for you and the candidate to sit around. This is important. A meeting on a soft couch cannot be considered an interview.


Up to 50 % of all HR managers hold interviews «under the palm tree». This is a big no-no.

Sometimes, a company might have a meeting room but recruiters are the last in line to use one, or they might be asked to leave it during the interview itself. This is a matter of building a relationship with the management, as we will discuss further into this book.

Vacancy portrait

So, the sales director runs to the HR manager and cries out:

«I need candidates for sales manager! It's urgent!»

«What kind of sales manager?»

«One with fire in their eyes! What do you mean, don't you know what kind of sales manager we need?»

Does that sound familiar?

If we run off looking for candidates with a brief like that, we might only find one on accident. The techniques we use for candidate search and selection would make no difference whatsoever. A few glasses of whisky can put fire in your eyes, but you can't pour a glass for everyone. So it's the sales director that needs to sober up, and it's the recruiter that has to help him do so.

What does «fire in their eyes» actually mean?

Straight off the bat, this isn't enough information, and secondly it's not something you can quantify. Thirdly, it would certainly be useful if they could do something, aside from having fire in their eyes of course.

Therefore, the job description should be compiled after a detailed discussion during which the HR manager takes on the role of critic. For example, the sales director might say:

«They must have a degree from Moscow State University!»

«Why Moscow State?»

«Intellectuals study there».

«So we need an intellectual sales manager but only if they have a degree from Moscow State?»

«Well, I guess if they're an intellectual then that's sufficient».

«The Institute of Noblewomen also produces perfectly intellectual maidens. So we can accept candidates that have graduated from other uni's, right?»

«You're right, we can».

And so on and so forth, with every different parameter. You need to approach these requirements with a critical eye and weed out anything that's over the top.

We'll discuss the job description later, in the chapter entitled «Searching for Candidates».

1A counter-offer is an offer to an employee that intends to leave, which could entail a salary raise, career growth or other improvements in conditions.
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