Four questions to ask before working with a recruiter

Ensure you’re making the best use of your organisation’s resources by considering these four questions

In the not-for-profit sector, a lot of time is spent being focused on attracting and retaining the right candidates, but less attention is given to choosing the right recruitment provider.

Asking the right questions of an executive recruiter will significantly increase a not-for-profit organisation’s chances of a good result, say recruitment experts Community Business Bureau (CBB).

To help you make the right decision, Pro Bono Australia shares their top four questions you should ask when looking to engage an executive recruiter.

  1. How is the recruitment fee structured?

Paying for executive recruitment is sometimes viewed as a “necessary evil” – it’s universally expensive and there aren’t many attractive alternatives when you don’t have recruitment expertise in-house, or simply don’t have time to manage the recruitment process.

For years the recruitment industry has operated on an antiquated “percentage of salary” professional fee. The problem with this method is that the more senior the position, the more it will cost you to fill, and it also makes outsourcing executive recruitment unattainable for organisations with smaller budgets.

Due to these issues, more recruiters are introducing a fixed fee model.  Ensure you check what this fee includes as you don’t want to be hit with any extra costs when it comes to paying the bill.

  1. Do they understand the not-for-profit sector?

The not-for-profit sector has its unique challenges, not least of all attracting and recruiting experienced executive leaders. Make sure your recruiter isn’t entirely focused on putting “bums on seats” and understands the critical success factors when recruiting for the not-for-profit sector and your organisation.

  1. How do they assess cultural fit?

It can be risky to assess cultural fit on “gut feel” alone. Psychometric assessments can help with this, but few have a strong focus on getting the right cultural fit.

At CBB, they use an internationally researched and tested method from Germany called Employee Integrative System (EIS).  EIS uses the employer’s expectations to create a benchmark of key success factors for performance and retention, then analyses applicants’ expectations against this benchmark. This allows them to then target specific questions for each candidate to ultimately find the best fit for both the business and its culture.

“I have completed several psychometric tests in my career, but I’d never done anything like this before. The questions made me think carefully about what was important to me not only for my job preferences, but also about what environment I worked best in. The questions that were asked of me at the interview were very challenging and encouraged me to disclose more about what motivates me as an executive leader,” Suzanne Curyer, CEO Re-Engage Youth Services said.

  1. Which recruitment and interviewing practices do they use?

Recruiting for performance and cultural fit requires a varied range of recruitment, interviewing and onboarding practices. Ask your recruiter which techniques and models they use to draw out the responses you need from candidates. What other services do they offer that will give you confidence in making the right appointment?

  1. Making the right choice

Recruiting or replacing executive leaders in the not-for-profit sector is challenging on various levels. The list of stakeholders (and some spectators) is as long as their interests are varied.

Much like the interview process, asking the right questions of your executive recruiter will significantly increase your chances of a good result and a good fit for your company.

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The British Institute of Recruiters is the Professional Body operating The Recruitment Certification Scheme

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