It’s been a funny week. We’ve just helped a senior HR Manager land their desired role after a 5 interview process. Yes, 5 interviews. Well actually, 1 telephone interview, 3 interviews face to face plus a lunch, so it ended up being 5 parts of the interview process. In 17 years as a recruiter, I can honestly say that this kind of process is a rarity.

You’d have thought that this would’ve taken months to organise, but luckily for all of us, we were working with wonderfully organized clients and candidate so the process through from telephone interview to job offer was done in just over 4 weeks. To say both sides are delighted is an understatement.

How did this happen so quickly? It’s actually very simple. The company needing the new HR Manager knew exactly what they needed and it wasn’t a person to simply match a 3 page job description. They knew their new manager needed competence in the core job areas itself, but more than that, it was clear they would recruit based on cultural fit. And this can’t be a guess or a gut feeling. Cultural fit for this crucial role was to be based on structured and informal meetings (interviews if you will) as well as the final lunch where all parties could simply be themselves.

We are celebrating here because until we got involved, this company was looking for a new Senior HR Business Partner for over 7 months. The cost to the business for this role was huge. It meant relying on other HR team members to pick up the slack. You can imagine the unhappiness from the team as well as the Heads of Department.

So we learnt something from our clients. They decided to be a little unconventional and let us help them structure their next interview sessions. What did we do to get this kind of result?

We switched up the recruitment process. Don’t be afraid to play with it a little. Add an informal coffee meeting or a lunch, remember that you’re looking for a culture fit, not a checklist of requirements.

But why had it taken so long for client to get to this point? They had made an appointment very quickly to begin with, but the new hire turned out to be a great fit on paper, but not so much with the team. It’s very easy to feel you can’t rush a risky decision again next time and this in turn, paralyzes your decision making process and can prevent you selecting anyone for the vacant role.

Safe to say that we are all celebrating as we know this candidate will make a significant difference to this company in the first 90 days in their new role, and certainly add value over the years to come.


More to celebrate

We are also celebrating as I was  nominated for an award here in Bristol for the Brave and Beautiful Awards with Holsam Coaching and Amia Online … and last Sunday we got the call that I’d been unanimously voted the award winner from the five finalists. Check out my story here