Monday Night Live: Insights From a Seasoned Recruiter – Derek Arden interviews Sarah Bass
Sarah has been in recruitment for over 20 years. She worked for the largest agency in the UK, “Office Angels,” for 15 years as a recruiter before starting her agency.
In this interview, Sarah discussed the recruitment process as a continuous negotiation, with the total cost of the process often overlooked by businesses.
The Cost Of Poor Recruitment
The cost includes the recruiter’s commission (between 20% and 30% of the salary), the cost of onboarding and getting the person up to pace, and the cost of letting them go if they are not the right fit, paying them off, and the related cost of de-motivation of high achievers.
Sarah and the interviewer Derek Arden, recently did a calculation that the cost of getting recruitment wrong in 2023 could be at least £50k.
Retained Recruiters and Agencies
In the interview, Sarah shared her experience in recruitment and explained her model of working on a retained basis in collaboration with businesses to recruit directly for them.
She believes that agencies have their place but their sales premise, based on a no-win no fee model, causes issues when candidates are forced onto people.
Sarah emphasizes the importance of a clear job description and a robust, fair, and consistent recruitment process to find the right person. She also believes that recruiters are valuable specialists who can help businesses to be successful and change people’s lives when they find them a job.
Experience Gaps On CVs
Sarah’s discussion with Godfrey, a private detective, included their experience in finding gaps and discrepancies in CVs that candidates left out, rather than what they included. They also talked about the importance of verbal referencing, which can reveal valuable information that might not be on a CV. Sarah believes in asking open-ended questions that allow candidates to talk about themselves and their experiences, rather than simply grilling them with specific questions.
The conversation included some questions for candidates, such as ‘What was your biggest challenge and how did you solve it?’ and ‘What do you like doing when you’re not working?’
Sarah stressed the importance of having a clear and accurate CV that matches up with a candidate’s LinkedIn profile, as this can be a major factor in the recruitment process. She also discussed the use of applicant tracking systems to sift through CVs and the need to adapt CVs for each job application.
Checks and Verifications
Sarah believes that checking candidates’ qualifications and references is essential, especially for high-level clearance positions.
She emphasized the importance of being clear with candidates about the recruitment process and what to expect in terms of checks and verifications.
Finally, Sarah emphasized the importance of treating candidates with courtesy and the difficulty of saying no to candidates who are not selected for the job.