Engaged Search Case Study
In 2010 we were one of a number of recruiters (estimated c.10) working on an expansion project for a very well known, prestigious private banking organisation who were looking to significantly grow their wealth advisory business nationally.
The fact was that despite this being critical to the business, the project was not going well. Every few months we would be invited to a briefing in London where the Head of Wealth and the recruitment lead would ask the same questions, trying to ascertain why the flow of CVs was so poor. Were they not perceived to be a good company to work for? Were they not pay competitive salaries and packages? The answer to these questions was always a resounding YES – so why then was the project failing? (we will come to the reasons, later)
This went on for around 12 months and then the penny dropped! As one of the better recruiters in the room we were asked to tender for the project on a retained basis and after some careful consideration we submitted our tender and were chosen as the sole supplier.
Our client had finally realised that the reason the project was failing was because of the way in which they were engaging with the 10+ recruiters on a ‘no win no fee’ basis. None of the recruiters in the room, including ourselves, were doing much more than a surface level search because all knew the chances of filling the roles was slim given the amount of competition. Hence, the candidates being submitted were the best of what was easily accessible (job site candidates) rather than the best that was available (passive candidates).
What this project needed was commitment, not only from a recruiter with the necessary skills and experience to be able to deliver a project of this size and nature, but also and more importantly commitment from the client to the recruitment partner.
Fortunately, in this case the client realised in time and, when we were chosen as the sole recruitment partner, the relationship changed immediately.
By paying for our time up front we were able to dedicate the time to prioritise the project and commit the appropriate amount of resource to be able to perform a deep search of the market and spend the time gaining a greater understanding of the role and the client. We mapped out and approached over 2500 candidates, meticulously planned the project from start to finish with dates agreed for each stage, provided weekly management information and pipeline data, had weekly conference calls with the management team to iron out any issues and gave the client our honest and constructive feedback at every opportunity.
One of the reasons that we feel we were chosen as they preferred partner initially was because in our pitch we were brutally honest. We told the client what was realistic to achieve and what was not, we made it very clear that we would not be “Yes Men”. If we were going to be paid a significant amount in fees then we would add value to the recruitment process and “consult” at every opportunity.
The result, unsurprisingly, was that the project went amazingly well. We placed 5 people within the first couple of months and after the initial success the client extended the project for a further 15 months with 11 more placements being made. Quite simply many of the roadblocks that both the client and recruiter experience when working on a contingent basis, disappeared. The increased commitment led to improved communication, co-operation and ultimately to a much quicker, smoother and more successful process.
Since then we have continued to work with this client on a retained and exclusive basis and they continue to be one of our key clients. Since 2010 we have placed over 80 people with them, with 5 more Wealth Advisers due start shortly following another retained project in H2 2016.
This client places a very high importance on recruiting high calibre individuals, the sort of people that you can build a business on and who make a real difference. So, they place an equally high importance on getting the recruitment process right, and the results speak for themselves.