Case Study – How I filled a role in 48 hours that no one could fill.

The biggest reason why your roles have not been filled to date is candidates. Or lack of right?


The time it takes to get a candidate to interview to offer is crucial – but as crucial is the time you receive that CV to deciding to meet the candidate. This is where the biggest drop out happens.

Unemployment is down, candidate pool is getting smaller – and let’s face it, not many candidates are around that neatly fits the entire job spec a company wants. We need to work with the candidate to find out if they can be stretch into the mould or can you train them or coach them?

BUT that said – All that can only be achieved is your dealing with an agency or, as represent, dealing with a recruiter that can understand the need…

I took the impossible last month, and filled it, in 48 hours.

Case Study.

The company in question came to me with a role they had been working on for 12 months. Yes 12 months. 8 recruitment agencies had failed before me. And they were upfront in telling me this.


I got the company to look at these things first…

1.      Job spec – what is it saying to us? It’s a list of information, that pretty much integrates more than 2 jobs into one. I get that, we need to make sure we watch the cost and spend in business. I got them to look at the role – and answer these 3 questions.

·        What 5 part of the job spec is needed to do the job day to day?

·        What 3 out of the 5 is important the candidate needs to have?

·        What 1 thing out of those 3 is crucial?

That 1 thing. Is what we look for first, and then work backwards from there. People don’t write CVs very well, it’s not their fault, it’s a skill that we need to learn in addition to other job hunting skills – and we don’t really use them much – on average. Plus – the job hunting world these days doesn’t give much feedback.

2.      Feedback – How many agencies have you fed back telling them where they have gone wrong? And what is the things that they have been doing wrong?

·        We found out the CVs where wrong? Why? Jobs pec needed changing, but the agency didn’t drill that down with them. They know now, what a drill down is.

·        The time taken to give feedback was zero to weeks. There was no process in candidate feedback and when there was to interview – it was a week or 2 away. We created a 24 hour rule, and I built them rejection/Accepting emails to store in their signatures.

3.      Trust – Do you trust the agency to find the right people. This role I had not done for a while, but I told them I didn’t have candidate sitting on my database or inbox wanting to work for them. Not many agencies do, if the truth be told. And most, I’d say 95% of vacancies we work is a cold start search from scratch. So I was open and honest off the bat. On top of that, how is the recruiter discussing the role with you, engaging? Speaking to you? Listening? Maybe a personality you can get on with? A person you can actually talk too, and isnt a corporate cold robot?

4.      Next steps – I needed data, who? where? why? When? What?

·        Who? Who is your competitors? I might know your market – but its your market. You know your market better than a recruiter ever would. Who do you want to work for you? Do you know someone? Headhunting is not easy, but with an idea of who you like, know or want, then that is a lead we can run with, compare and contrast against to find a few people similar.

·        Where do you want this role to lead too? Progression? Where are they going to work in the business? With who?

·        Why is this role open? The bigger picture?

·        When do you want to fill this role? This is important to an agency, this creates urgency and this creates commitment from every stakeholder.

·        What? Is in it for you? For the business? With you it could be expanding a team, meeting your targets, being able to go home on Fridays on time? What is your personal buy in to filling this role? What will happen to the business when the role is filled?

These things where discussed, and I got a very strong understanding of the requirement. I then went off to map the market with all that data. Found a candidate that evening, spoke with them, and gained commitment. Sent the CV off to the manager. The manager positive from our meeting – wanted to see the candidate asap. Which was the next day – he went for the interview, and was offered the role there and then.

6 months on the candidate is doing amazingly well – and the expectations are met in this time frame, coupled with the manager meeting his personal targets.

Now this is an extreme end of the scale – because some jobs can take a few weeks to find relevant and the right candidates for a role. But what I hope it demonstrate is, to find the right people – it goes beyond pinging over a job spec to a recruiter – we need a lot more data to fill the role, and earning the money we charge.

Take a look at your current PSL or run of agencies you use. Ask yourself how many of them have sat down with you, and discussed the above to truly drill to the end result of finding the right person?

If the answer is none.

You know what my response would be.

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