Unearthing an outstanding candidate in a short timescale

Filling vacancies for high profile Executive positions requires thorough research, knowledge of the sector and the ability to screen and assess both internal and external candidates at short notice.

Accepting a challenging recruitment requirement under tight timescale of delivery, often three weeks from start to shortlist, can be compounded by the time of year. During the height of the summer holiday period, interviewers and key decision makers like the CEO and HR Director often have small windows of opportunity to conduct initial interviews around their respective annual breaks.  Having the right process under restricted timescales for identifying the ideal shortlist for interviews therefore becomes critical.

The intensive and thorough search for the ideal candidate commissioned by a prestigious automotive retail subsidiary earlier this year highlighted the effectiveness of a good process. We immediately started work on a highly confidential and selective direct approach to relevant candidates based throughout the UK, as relocation assistance was offered. However, it quickly became clear that multi-site high volume city centre automotive retail background was going to be essential, so this is where our early searches concentrated.

Due to our reputation, contact base and industry knowledge, the response rates were very high, even though the nature of the business and its location were kept confidential at the initial stage of discussion. Meetings were accommodated, mainly outside normal working hours, and a thorough written brief drawn up together with signed confidentiality agreements by client, candidate and ourselves. With our deadline approaching fast, the final meetings were completed and all documentation submitted to the Group HR Director for review, together with details of our industry leading nine-month placement guarantee.

On this occasion, all external candidates approached and shortlisted by us exceed expectation at interview. One of the candidates was ostensibly outside the perceived profile, but performed so well in the initial screening process, that he was duly invited to the first interview at the UK HQ, shone through to such an extent that he was offered and accepted the role. Delivering within timescale and salary parameters, his three month notice period was managed through regular contact and update with both client and candidate despite being counter offered by his current employer. He joined the business inside his perceived notice period. Having completed over one year in this role, all targets have been exceeded and a new vibrant and pro-active culture has been evident throughout all departments in this prestigious business.


The above article is based on a three-week successful Executive Search placement of a candidate for a highly respected and prestigious automotive retail subsidiary of a car Manufacturer/Importer.

If you’re looking to recruit, even under the tightest of timescales, please contact us on 01235 863 525 and let us find your ideal candidates.

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