What is a Great Recruitment Brief?

A “great recruitment brief” is most definitely a contradiction in terms.  In fact, a great recruitment ‘brief’ should be anything but!   Quite the opposite…it’s all about the detail.  If you are a hiring manager who has successfully used external recruitment consultants before, then you will know how vital it is that you fully arm your recruitment partner.  The more information they have regarding your role and requirements, the better their position will be when it comes to resourcing and filling your vacancy. In fact, no recruiter of repute will be happy with a ‘brief’ recruitment brief at all!

The Recruitment Brief: Start at the beginning:

What is the reason for the vacancy?  

Maybe this vacancy has come about as your business has grown and you have a new commercial need.  If this is the case, your recruiter will have questions regarding the nature of the role, and its position within the company structure.  You will need to think about the measures of ‘success’ within that position and the KPIs the successul candidate would have to work toward.  In other words, what do you need them for and what would be the goals of that individual.  Without this, how will your consultant know which skill sets to look for?

Internal resourcing efforts.

If you are offering out your talent search to external sources, it is likely that your internal team have been unsuccessful thus far.  If this is the case, your recruiter will want to know what efforts you have already made to fill it.  Communication is the key to success, so be open and cover all your previous strategies in your recruitment brief.  Your consultant will not want to cover old ground by putting forward those you have already seen or spoken to.

It is helpful to have a tangible point of reference.  Sharing this information will avoid any frustration for either party.  Not only will it avoid the problem of candidate duplication, it will allow your recruiter to shortlist candidates who meet your needs.

Within your recruitment brief, you should think about the following:

  • Where have you advertised before?  Which job boards or social media channels have you explored?  What was your response rate?
  • If you have made efforts to reach out to candidates on LinkedIn, which ones have you approached already, and how did they respond?
  • If you have got to the later stages of the employment journey, which candidates have already attended interviews.  What skills or qualities did they lack that made them unsuitable?  What qualities or skills did they exhibit which made you invite them to an interview?  Giving a holistic debrief of your candidates to date will be invaluable, and allow your recruiter to focus their search.

The Interview Process.

Your recruitment partner will need to know details about the interview process, and what forms the interview will take.  Within your recruitment brief, you will need to

Be clear about:

  • How many stages there will be.  
  • Who each stage will be with, and who the candidate may expect to meet.  
  • What will each stage involve?  If it is a technical role, will there be software testing? Will the candidates be expected to complete psychometric testing? Or will they be required to do a presentation?

Your recruitment brief will need to address…

A Service Level Agreement

  • You and your recruitment consultant will need to agree and abide by a specific time frame.  You will need to be detailed and specific.  ASAP is not an acceptable answer!  Your recruiter will need to know the deadline that you need the role to be filled by and when you expect to receive the first wave of CVs.  
  • You will need to think about when you will give CV and candidate feedback, along with issues such as when and how each interview stage will take place.  For example, if a  candidate is currently working abroad, would a Skype interview be acceptable?  Details such as this will allow your recruitment consultant to give an accurate proposal to the candidate without any grey areas.
  • If the job you are looking to fill is a contract one, time scale becomes even more pressing.  Contractors are fluid, and are free to accept a project at any point.  Time is of the essence. You don’t want to miss out on a great candidate because you did not follow the proposed time frame.

The Role and Responsibilities:

  • Look at your job specification, and examine the role closely.  Your recruitment brief will need to be very clear about the ESSENTIAL skills you need from the successful candidate and what are the DESIRABLE ones.  If it is a specialist role for which you are recruiting, it is likely that you have sourced a specialist recruiter.  If this is the case, then it would be wise to listen to the advice you are given regarding the candidate. They are your eyes and ears within the market and will be able to offer insights such as what you can expect from the salary you are offering, for example.  
  • When you are addressing the most important skills, try and omit what is the least. Transparency and clarity regarding your expectations will be crucial in the success of your recruiter.  It will save an awful lot of time if they don’t need to read between the lines of your job spec!
  • Think of the Game Changer!  If there was one skill that would ‘seal the deal’…what would it be?? Make sure you include this within your recruitment brief.

Your Recruitment Brief should also cover…

What you Offer:

You’ve established what you require from the successful candidate, but what can they expect from you??

With a strong employer brand being high up on the wish list of A-1 candidates, you will need to think about what you are offering.  

Give your recruiter all they need to sell your job…

  • The Salary:  STICK to it! There is no point in speccing out one salary in your initial recruitment brief and then withdrawing it at the point of offer.
  • The Perks and Benefits:  Think pension, bonus schemes and flexible working patterns.  How open are you to home working, for example.  These are often game changers for a candidate.  The more detail of the package you can offer, the better.
  • Succession Plans:  What are the promotion prospects?  Do you offer training schemes or other learning opportunities?
  • Company Culture:  What is the best thing about working at your company? What is your company ethos and how would you describe your office environment?
  • Your Growth Plan:  What are your plans for business growth?  Where will the role lead, and where do you see that particular role within the next couple of years?  These are all questions that your candidate will want to know the answers to.  

“Information is Power”

Getting the most out of your recruitment partner starts at the very beginning.  The recruitment brief and how this is communicated will set the tone for your professional relationship.  It should be detailed, thorough and carefully considered.  By addressing all the points laid out above, you will be able to give your consultant all they require to go ahead and fill your job.  

A great recruitment brief is just the start…

If you are new to outsourcing your talent search, we’d recommend heading over to our blog. It is full of insight for hiring managers from our specialist tech, digital and data recruiters.  We can offer advice on building and maintaining successful relationships between recruiters and clients, and how best to foster lucrative and prosperous links. If you would like more information on why you should use a recruitment partner then check out this blog.

Maybe we can help you if you are having trouble filling a digital, tech or data role.  Give me a call or drop me an email today to tony@ignite.digital today!

About the author: As a founder of Ignite Digital Talent, I lead our brilliant team to ensure we deliver time and time again for our clients. I also stay closely networked with industry influencers to ensure we are well placed to understand the issues and challenges our clients face.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles

Scroll To Top