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Interviewing candidates is obviously a critical step in the hiring process. If completed intelligently, you can accurately and efficiently assess if a candidate is suitable for your organisation. Executed poorly, and you will generate unnecessary expense, waste company and candidate time, damage your reputation and all too often, encourage good quality candidates to drop out of the process or secure an offer elsewhere. Simply put, a long hiring process will not attract or secure you top financial talent.
This is why it is hugely beneficial to work with a specialist, well-informed, search and recruitment consultancy like Halliday Marx. Our expert guidance, knowledge and access to incredible financial talent, enables us to remove a vast amount of time and effort from the client process. Working with us will ensure your interview process not only engages the right type of candidate, but that it is agile and comprehensive so not to waste valuable company time and money.
When it comes to interviews, it’s quality over quantity every time. At Halliday Marx, our access to top available talent means we only ever send a handful of carefully selected CVs that we know will result in a successful outcome for the client. We do not send unsuitable candidates to interview.
“Our extensive experience, and sole focus on financial professionals, means we typically already have a shortlist of potential candidates in mind when our clients talk to us about a new role – and if we don’t, we can reach out to our large network of financial professionals for highly credible referrals” added Andy Halliday, Co-Founder Halliday Marx.
Wading through hundreds of unsuitable CVs, followed by several unproductive interviews will drastically increase client effort and resources, negatively impacting the candidate’s experience, often causing them to remove themselves from the process.
Once we have a handful of carefully selected candidates, our next step is to help the client create the best possible interview strategy. Depending on the unique aspects of a permanent position this may still involve a number of rounds, particularly if we feel including assessments and tests would be valuable in your decision process. Interim roles will be much faster, generally only one interview. However, as mentioned previously, the key thing is to focus on quality and speed, not quantity. It’s all about balance, pace and having a structured process that adds value.
The more you plan ahead, the more effective your interview will be. Understand what criteria must be met and use this to structure concise and relevant questions. Remember to be consistent and fair, make sure all candidates are asked the same questions and given the same amount of time to answer.
If a candidate answers each one of your questions satisfactorily during their initial interview, and you feel happy with the outcome in every way, then it’s unlikely you will learn anything new if you bring them in for another meeting with the same stakeholders.
“It is often the case that rather than going through the motions of a follow-up interview, a simple coffee and a chat between client and candidate is all that’s needed to confirm if the match is right”, added John Marx, Co-founder Halliday Marx.
However, if you feel more details would help to confirm your choice, then there is no issue in calling the candidate back for an additional round so long as there is a clear agenda to the second meeting. If there isn’t, and the same interview questions are repeated, you are at risk of the candidate losing interest and taking their skills elsewhere. Not only could this mean that you may miss out on your preferred candidate, but it also risks damaging your brand’s employment reputation if they tell their peers about their bad experience.
At Halliday Marx, we will always obtain candidate feedback immediately after interview which we then discuss with the client within 24 hours. This enables an informed decision regarding which candidates to take through to final round, or indeed, make a successful offer.
Feedback also allows us to keep our talent in the loop in a positive and engaging way, ensuring they are fully prepared for the next round or a possible job offer. Speed is key – delay too long and candidates lose interest and fly off the market.
“Too many unseasoned, rival recruiters are effectively interview organisers without getting to the heart of the matter. Why waste time offering a candidate who has no intention of taking your offer? Knowing what the candidate really wants is in our DNA – progression, sector, company ethos, people, package and geography all play a crucial role. You have to mandate intelligent consultants to get it right. We look at the whole picture.” Added John Marx, Co-founder Halliday Marx.
If you feel strongly that a number of stakeholders need to be involved in the hiring decision, try to hold group interviews where all stakeholders interview a candidate at the same time. If you can do this, make sure all interviewers are aware of the agreed questions and planned interview structure beforehand. Coordinate who will steer the interview to avoid repetition or looking disorganised.
Remember that the candidate’s interview experience will have an impact on their own performance, so to use your interview time wisely, make sure you create an environment where the candidate feels relaxed. This is the best way to assess if they have the right skills and personality for your organisation. You might like to take a look at our guide The Importance of Delivering an Exceptional Candidate Experience for more advice.
A structured, speedy, well-planned interview process will significantly reduce the time it takes to make a hiring decision. Permanent roles should be filled within 2-3 weeks of inception, whilst interim roles will ideally be filled within 2-3 days. Permanent placements go wrong when too much time is spent between receiving CVs and interviewing potential candidates – cut that time down to 2 days and you will increase your chance of getting your favoured candidate by 300 percent. Working with an experienced search and recruitment partner, like Halliday Marx, will enable you to do this. A faster decision will also mean an early offer – significantly improving your chances of securing the candidate you really want.
If you need help with streamlining your interview process to ensure you secure top talent, get in touch with our specialist team on 020 7096 8200, or write to us at [email protected]
For the latest recruitment information, financial opportunities, career advice and company updates, follow us on LinkedIn and twitter @HallidayMarx