Fast Track Recruitment

Here’s Johnny!

Posted by Mitch on 25th February 2016

Today I have a guest blog from Johnny Walker.

The recruiter, not the scotch.

OK, let’s go.


Mitch invited me to write a guest blog.

I said yes, because Mitch has way more ‘audience reach’ than me and because I really like his integrity, swear words and all.

One (of many) things Mitch and I agree on, is that traditional or conventional job descriptions/job adverts (often one is a cut and paste of the other), are a truly terrible way of attracting a candidate.

This bothered me enough to go out and find a solution. Here it is.

Place better quality candidates, for more fees, and have happier clients, who stay clients for longer.

Top performing candidates (did you really want to hire any other kind?) look for jobs differently to other candidates. Top performing candidates look for the challenge in a role. They look for an opportunity to learn something, so they can overcome that challenge. They look for personal recognition for having overcome that challenge and ultimately this leads to fulfillment and happiness.

I could get all hippy right now, and talk to you about the value of mastery and so on, but won’t because most of this blogs readers are recruiters and what you want to know is how this translates in to benefit for you.

Well, it’s a given that the top performing candidate is, all things being considered, the candidate who is going to get the job and therefore generate the fee for you. Attracting this candidate is your top priority (right after your other top priority of winning the vacancy, which this process will help you do too).

The top-performing candidate is also likely to be the one that the client covets the most and be more likely to pay more for. Your pay is a percentage of the candidates pay, right?

And the top-performing candidate is the one the client is least likely to demand a discount from you, for finding. Nice. That’s the money bit sorted.

Additionally, being the source of top performing candidates, you are now the ‘go to’ recruiter, which is like catnip to hiring managers. That’s the client relationship/retention piece made a whole lot easier.

So, how do you go about getting a top-performing candidate, as opposed to one who matches a menu of skills, experience and qualifications and is willing to consider the role for a decent pay rise?

Well, try this. Stop writing crap job adverts and/or cutting and pasting the job description, and/or replacing your clients name with “our client is…” and start speaking to the things top-performing candidates want. What were those things again?

Challenge, learning, overcoming the challlenge, recognition, fulfillment and happiness.

If your client is looking for 5 years’ experience in widgets, ask your client what they want the candidate to do with that 5 years experience. Use that answer to attract the candidate and to ask the client, “If our candidate can achieve this for you, and only has 4 ½ years experience, does it matter?”

Often the answer provides flexibility for you to focus on the performance of the candidate and not the ingredients. Helpful.

If your client is looking for knoweldge of widget 2.0, ask them what they want the candidate to do with this knowledge. Use the answer to attract the candidate who actually wants to do what the client wants and ask the client “If our candidate can do what you want, and is not knowledgeable about Widget 2.0, do you really care?”

Sometimes, when baking the job cake, the ingredients of skills experience and qualifications, does not better the capabilities of a good chef. Go figure.

If your client is looking for qualifications, say a BSc in Widgets, then ask them what they want the candidate to do with this qualification and, you guessed it, use the answer to attract the candidate who actually wants to do that. Also… wait for it, ask your client if the candidate can deliver what the client wants, is not having the qualification a deal breaker? Sometimes it’s not.

This way of attracting candidates no longer has a menu of skills, experience and qualifications to (mis)match to. The only thing left to match to is all the things the client actually wants done.

If the candidate cannot demonstrate, or is not motivated to perform the things the client wants, they will not be attracted by job advert you have written. Hmm.. that’s the bottom 85% of candidates excluded. Handy.

Your message will appeal to those candidates who totally recognise themselves in your, what shall we call it, performance profile? Snazzy new job advert? Whatever you want to call it, it’s no longer a cut and paste of the – turgid and poorly equipped to attract a top performing candidate – Job Description. Cool, that’s the top 15% of candidates attracted.

So, you exclude the bottom 85% of candidates, attract the top 15%, have really got to understand your clients problems and are offering them a solution to that, rather than just regurgitating the Job Description.

Now how different do you sound to your client?

Now how better do you perform?

How much easier is it to defend your fees and pass on the ‘opportunity’ to discount them?

Fancy being that recruiter? Thought so.

Stop writing crappy, poor performing job adverts and start writing performance profiles.

If you need more help, I know a man who can ;-)

Thanks to Mitch for allowing my ‘holier than thou’ rant.

Johnny Walker
Magnus Walker & Partners

Johnny is an award-winning recruiter, who…oh, who cares. The only thing you really need to know is that he helps financial institutions solve their technology, regulatory and operational change recruitment problems by lowering the total overall cost of hiring, only providing the top 15% of candidates and completely de-risking the recruitment process. That and some other cool stuff about helping reduce staff turnover rates and improve the performance of employee referral programs and well, you get the picture. He’s good at helping you solve your hiring problems.


By Michael Barron on Sunday, 08 May 2016

Sorry. Am late to this but what a good yet almost a shame it has to be said, read!

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