A recent LinkedIn post by Greg Savage, recruitment advisor, speaker, and consultant, resonated with us. He said “Filling a job does not start with finding good candidates for that order. It starts with taking a well-qualified order.” A well-qualified order = Scoping Call.
In our RPI book, we talk about the 1 in 60 rule. It’s where a plane veers off track by 1 degree at the beginning of its journey and by the time it’s flown 60 miles, it’s 1 mile off course. Doesn’t sound a lot, but when you’ve flown thousands of miles and you’re aiming for a runway, it ends up being disastrous.
Basically, if you start off on the right course, you’ll end up on the right course. And the same is true for recruitment. It’s why we’re huge advocates of an in depth scoping call at the beginning of every role we place.
What Is a Scoping Call?
At Solutions Driven, we kick off every job search with a meeting or a discussion with the key stakeholders in the search. It’s where we set down how we work, what their requirements are, and what the end result should look like. It makes us accountable and ensures the person who is eventually hired is the right hire, first time, every time.
But not everyone knows what good scoping call questions look like. To help you come prepared and get the best results every time you engage a recruiter, here’s a quick checklist.
Job Descriptions Need to Be Covered in Every Introductory Call
Obviously this is standard for any role – what the person will be doing and what’s expected of them. But actually, a lot more information is usually needed.
Recruiters also need information on the skills and attributes you’re looking for. The world of work is changing and if your company is in an industry like AI or computer development, the ability to learn and be flexible might be more important than current qualifications.
Or, with Covid changing the workplace forever, you might be looking for someone who can work independently without needing to come into an actual office.
Areas of Flexibility Are a Vital Topic
Sometimes companies are looking for a unicorn that no recruiter will ever find. Maybe they want someone with a Masters degree, based in a remote area, with 10 years of experience in a field that’s only existed for 8.
Or they want to pay 20% below the going rate for a job role in a specific location.
That’s why we come to every scoping call armed with intelligence on our client’s market and ready to figure out what’s set in stone and where we can be slightly flexible.
Maybe the hiring manager could widen their area search, or lower their salary. Perhaps the experience level could be taken down a bit. It’s important to consider what’s absolutely vital and what can be changed to give yourself the best chance of getting the right candidate.
Tell The Honest Truth
Recruiters are basically sales people. They sell your company and the job to the right candidates. So they need plenty of information on your business.
Recruiters need to know about your purpose, your goals, and your mission. They also need to know about your culture and all about your EVP. That’s because a good recruiter will ensure that the right candidate has the right qualifications, and that they’ll be a great culture add to the business.
It’s best to be open and honest. If you expect employees to work extra hours occasionally but you offer great progression, be upfront about it. Similarly, if your business is really laid back with a casual dress code and flexible hours, make that clear too. Employees need to know what they’re getting into, or you risk wasting time onboarding someone who won’t stick around long-term.
What You Should Get From Your Recruitment Partner in This Scoping Call?
Data and Intelligence
Your recruiter should come to your first call armed with information on your industry and the market you’re operating in. Good recruiters will have basic information on most markets.
This helps them work out where you need to be flexible and guide you in areas you might not have expertise in.
Honesty is Vital in a Scoping Call
A good recruiter will use that data to be honest with you. That means letting you know if your salary is too low – or high. While we’re all businesses and need to make money, allowing you to, for example, pay more to make our jobs easier will just cause you problems down the line.
One of the main reasons we don’t work on a contingent basis at Solutions Driven is accountability. If a recruiter is one of many vying to fill a role, the onus isn’t on them to deliver. It can also end up being a race to getting the first candidate accepted, rather than getting the best candidate accepted.
A good recruiter will tell you exactly what to expect in terms of candidate quality and will give you timescales for when each part of the process will be completed.
A Candidate Fit Scorecard
The main thing that comes out of a scoping call is a great candidate scorecard. This powerful tool focuses on the key skills, attributes, experience and qualifications, you desire and is based around the discussions in the Scoping call.
A good scoping call is a two-way conversation. The recruiter discovers more about your business and its needs, and you find out what you can expect from the recruiter. It’s the first step in your hiring journey, and it’s important to kick things off in the right way so the entire process is successful.
At Solutions Driven, it’s the first step in our 6S process which provides the framework that guarantees the right hire, first time, every time.