How Long Should A Successful Candidate Search Take?

Once you start a relationship with your recruiter, you’ll no doubt be asking about how long it’s going to take to get results. How long a typical candidate search takes depends on several factors which we’ll touch on in this week’s post. Although not all agencies follow the same path, at SSR we follow a particular set of guidelines during candidate searches for our clients. This means that we can deliver an all-around consistent and positive experience. 

The Executive Search Process

Let’s briefly cover the search process. We’ve already discussed the executive search process in an earlier post, but here’s a short breakdown: 

Sourcing candidates 

We source our candidates through several channels. Referrals are one of the most effective ways to find that superstar candidate. We rely on a network of contacts that we have built up over the eight years we’ve been in business. We also use professional networks and sometimes our database if the position is junior-mid level.  

Screening the candidates 

Once we have targeted a potential candidate, we start the screening process. We conduct several initial conversations on the phone with the candidate (prior to meeting them in person). Because we are in Thailand, English isn’t the first language for the majority of candidates. So, we have a native English speaking consultant in our firm who will be part of the screening process to evaluate a candidate’s language competencies.  

Reference check

We then conduct a reference check to ensure a candidate is eligible for re-hire, verify their educational background and ensure they doesn’t have a criminal record – we don’t want any nasty surprises! 

Shortlisting 

Once the suitable candidate has been identified, screened and checked fully, they will be added to a shortlist. Then it’s over to you! Clients review a candidate’s profile and have the final say on whether they think they’re a good match. 

How long will an executive search take? 

There are a few areas which will make a difference: 

The seniority of the position 

Contrary to popular belief, we think that seniority bears little impact on the length of the search. The search for a senior-level candidate could take up to two weeks. Generally, for a junior or mid-level management position, the candidate search will take approximately 2 to 3 weeks from the inception of the search.

The required skillset  

At SSR, we have a team of consultants who are experts in their assigned sectors. However, positions requiring technical expertise may need a longer search. We will need to pay extra attention during the screening process to make sure that the candidate has the skills necessary to succeed in the role. If the position requires a candidate to have a unique set of competence, qualifications or technical know-how, then it could take around seven days to come up with an initial shortlist. 

Level of English communication skills required 

Thailand is a unique market in that there is a massive influx of international companies coming here to set-up shop. Most of the companies will be led by foreign management, so many candidates will need to have excellent English communication skills. There is a great talent pool to choose from in Thailand, so finding English-speaking candidates is not a challenge. However, in certain sectors, it can be harder to find that perfect candidate who also speaks a good level of English. The HR and Finance sectors can be the most challenging industries to source English-speakers, so this could mean the process takes a little longer than usual. 

What happens after the candidates have been shortlisted? 

We can tailor our candidate search process to you, the client. We can send the profiles to you in one batch, or we can send each profile to you one at a time. It depends on your company’s preference. Sending a batch of 4-5 candidates at a time can be a useful benchmark for comparing profiles. However, it will take longer to send a batch compared to if we send candidates as soon as we identify them.  

How can we speed up the search? 

We are 100% confident that we can deliver excellent results within a timeframe that suits you. There are a couple of things that you can help us out with as well, to make sure we provide an even better experience: 

Providing a brief and JD 

Providing a job description is a great way to help us make sure we are on the right track when it comes to sourcing candidates. Many of our clients provide us with a generic job description (or sometimes not one at all!). However, getting down to the nitty-gritty details about what the role entails will be a solid base around which we can build our search.  

Meet us! 

Putting a face to the name is one of the best ways to source the right candidates quickly. A face-to-face meeting helps us gain a better understanding of the working environment, the culture and management style. It enables us to get a deeper understanding of the positon and responsibilities in a way that can’t be transferred to a piece of paper. Our success rate increases significantly if we can survey the working environment, but also interact and have direct access to the Hiring Manager.

Feedback.

This is another great way to speed up the process. Let’s debrief after a candidate’s interview to find out what attributes that you liked about a particular candidate and other qualities that you weren’t so keen on. This information is invaluable to us and we’ll use it to narrow the search afterward. 

We choose not to quantify the search process because we think it’s better to spend more time finding candidates who are the perfect match for you. That being said, we can give you a rough estimation based on our experience over the past eight years. If you would like us to walk you through anything that we have talked about in this post, feel free to drop us a line anytime