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Six questions you should ask a potential recruitment partner

Often when an organisation turns to a recruiter, they have already tried to recruit internally but the process has failed to deliver the right candidate. The recruitment process can be time-consuming and stressful.

Often when an organisation turns to a recruiter, they have already tried to recruit internally but the process has failed to deliver the right candidate. The recruitment process can be time-consuming and stressful plus when it comes to the charity and not-for-profit space, this is a unique sector with very specific needs that must be identified and addressed at every step of the recruitment process. If you've decided to take the leap and use a recruiter to find your next senior leader,trustee or fundraiser for example, we've put together a list of questions that you should ask them.

1. What areas do you specialise in?

We specialise in the charity and not-for-profit sectors. Not every organisation understands charity recruitment as we do. It is a unique space that encompasses areas such as fundraising and board or trustee recruitment that require a specific mission-driven questioning process. Each of our consultants have working experience from within the charity sector, with many of us continuing to volunteer team and expertise across the sector. We love recruitment, but we're excited to get out of bed in the morning because we recruit in the charity space.

2. How do you find candidates? 

At Charisma, we employ strategies such as advertising, and strategic utilisation of candidate networks underpinned with EDI values to ensure the selection process is inclusive. Our biggest asset however is in the skillset of our team which has been built with a vast bank of knowledge and sector-specific experience that brings unique value and insight into the charity and recruitment space. Alongside advertising we have a database of candidates built over 21 years, consultants that are well connected and a Head of Talent who has worked at Charisma for nearly a decade.

3. What is your candidate journey?

People are at the centre for both our clients and us. It is why we have developed a thorough vetting process that ensures our clients only see suitable candidates. At the same time, we are mindful of looking after our candidates throughout the entire recruitment journey communicating effectively with them and feeding back promptly. We're grateful to have the wonderful Polly on our team, who works full-time as our recruitment administrator to look after our candidates and ensure their journey is smooth, efficient and open.

4.  How do you track success? 

The biggest indicator that a recruiter tracks achievement is they should be able to talk about their client success or retention rates. We have clients that come back to us continually when they have a need within their organisations and with just shy of a 100% success rate in exclusive placements, our numbers are a testament to the diligence in our candidate screening before the interview. In the last full quarter our candidates scored their experience as 4.8 out of 5.

5. How much does it cost? 

If the recruiter is not clear on the fee structure, alarm bells should ring. There are no surprises or hidden costs in what we do with our clients and any upfront costs plus the value of what we deliver for our clients are clear from the outset. Make sure when engaging any recruiter, there is total transparency in their fee structure and any add-ons.

6. Can we take up a reference? 

This sector is all about tangible results and value-led relationships; working with a recruitment partner is no different. This is why we provide potential clients with contact details for previous clients and have case studies that show in real terms how hard we work for you and our level of commitment to finding you the right people.

Finding the right recruiting partner for you will come through a specific questioning process to establish evidence of their expertise in that sector. It is also reasonable to expect them to share some of your values and be confident that they will deliver exceptional service.

Shaping your recruitment

I hope the above is a helpful starting point for you in our exploration of using a recruitment partner. Perhaps you might like to put these questions to me! I'm always happy to chat so don't hesitate to drop me a note or give me a call on 01962 813300.

Adam Stacey
Managing Director
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