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VWA - A Deeper Dive into Identifying Skills for Open Positions

02 Oct 2023 |

By Samantha Daniels

Recruitment General

Recruiting can be – let’s be honest – painful.

You receive the requirements from the team or individual with a hiring need, you begin searching for candidates, you spend weeks interviewing, only to lose your ideal candidate at the final hurdle - or find that you just don’t have the right candidate in the process.

While working with human beings will always be unpredictable, working with a recruiter can help in numerous ways – managing candidates, coordinating interviews, refining shortlists and navigating offers and counteroffers.

But can VWA assist even further with easing the hiring process?

The good news is – yes! Here is how VWA can support hiring managers to identify the key skills needed for open roles.

Here at VWA, one of the biggest factors in our successful long-term partnerships is how well we know our candidates, clients and the vacancies that we work on. Knowing your organisation and the team culture helps us to match the right candidates to the right roles – whether you have been working with us for 30 years, or for the first time. As a result, we have a consistently low drop-out rate and a high proportion of repeat clients and candidates alike. On average, 77% of our yearly placements come from repeat business clients and in 2023, 14% of placements came from referred clients – clients who were referred to us by another VWA client.

When taking on a new role, or client, a detailed briefing call(or even better, an in-person meeting!) is the best way for us to know exactly what you are looking for, and the specifics around the role. Not only does it help us to clarify all those details that aren’t in the job spec, but also provides us with an opportunity to discuss the current candidate market and where there may – or may not – be opportunity to go ‘off-brief’.

A key part of this can come from discussing essential direct experience versus transferable experience– in other words, what is needed to be able to perform the role and what can be learned. For example – for an Executive Assistant role, is it specifically Private Equity experience that a candidate needs to have had in order to take on the role? Or is it a role with a an exceptionally high volume and fast pace that a candidate needs to have had experience of? By making these distinctions, there is potential that you will have access to a huge range of fantastic candidates with all the core skills needed for the opportunity, who would otherwise have been disregarded.

We can also advise you on how to filter out the ‘advantageous’ skills versus the ‘non negotiable’ ones. While securing a candidate who speaks fluent French and German, has 5+ years of experience within private equity and holds a bachelors degree from a reputable university might be the ideal profile you are seeking, the pool of candidates who meet these requirements will be extremely limited, and many will already be in secure jobs and not looking to leave. VWA can work with you to identify which of these factors are the most important ones and therefore increase your pool of suitable candidates – allowing you more choice and access to a greater selection of candidates.

Another factor can simply come from understanding the level of experience that is realistic for the salary level. We can advise on the current candidate market in terms of the salary level, and can advise on how much experience you are likely to find for the salary level you are looking up to – and advise you on what salary you may need to look at for the level of experience you are hoping to find.

After the initial briefing process, VWA present an initial shortlist of suitable candidates – all of whom have been thoroughly interviewed / registered by a member of the team – who possess the necessary skills and relevant experience required for the role. We always aim to have a shortlist to all clients – particularly for our ‘bread and butter’ roles such as PA / EA / Team Assistant, Office Manager and Reception – within 24-48 hours. For more targeted roles this can be a longer process as we search from scratch in the market based on your requirements, but we provide regular updates on our searches including giving expected timeframes and any candidate feedback received.

At the interview stage, VWA not only coordinates interview availability and supports with setting up meetings and video calls, but also provides regular communication, including sharing feedback from each candidate in the process, including the positives and negatives, as well as keeping you informed of any other interviews the candidates have ongoing and if speed may be needed to keep candidates engaged.

Every one of our Consultants is an expert in recruitment in the business support market, meaning we are able to provide advice and support throughout the entire recruitment cycle.

We would love for VWA to become your trusted recruitment partner for any business support, HR or graduate needs – why not get in touch today?​ recruit@vwa.com
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