Being Different – A guide to Successful Recruitment A Guide to Enhancing Performance through successful Recruitment and HR Practice


Introduction to Being Different – A Guide to Successful Recruitment

The successful recruitment, attraction, retention and motivation of key talent within your business is an essential component of current and future commercial success.

Exceptional recruitment and HR practices can greatly enhance individual and team performance, and deliver competitive edge and market differentiators where you need them most.

Accessing the right people, and creating innovative business conditions within which they can flourish, is a sophisticated process, and one that carries both risks and rewards.

In this brief guide, industry experts Cork Griffiths detail specialist recommendations on to how to get the most out of any recruitment process. The following pages will illustrate how to approach the successful recruitment of high calibre individuals in a cost effective and confident manner.

By looking at recruitment differently, Cork Griffiths can help your business turn HR threats into opportunities, and create corporate advantage through successful management of your most important asset.Being different - a guide to successful recruitment

The recruitment process

Once your business has taken the decision to find and appoint new people, there are a number of immediate factors to be taken into consideration, such as:


Be aware of the duration, and the stages within

With notice periods often being 3-6 months for senior candidates, the actual time lapse in replacing a candidate can be quite lengthy. It is important that your recruitment process is not allowed to drift or lose focus.


A reputable consultancy will agree a timetable for the recruitment process at the outset. This not only allows the consultant to deliver measurable progress against the pre-set deadlines, but also ensures that the process is managed satisfactorily within the overall timeframe.



Is there a need for confidentiality? This will impact on where and how to advertise and also on the suitability of internal candidates.


Advertise the position internally

Provided the situation is not sensitive, this is often a necessary first step in evaluating your options. Recruiting internally can be a powerful boost to company morale, although if your business is looking to bring in new skillsets, experience and thinking, then it is recommended that an external search is performed concurrently.


Invite a pre-selected consultancy to discuss the initial brief

Assessing the characteristics and suitability, and then selecting the right consultancy to work with on your recruitment and/or HR needs is of paramount importance. Ask yourself the following questions – does the consultancy have:


·         Specialist experience within your industry or commercial sector?

·         Positive recommendations from previous clients?

·         People and processes that you can rely on to get the job done?

·         The right cultural fit for your company and its HR teams?

orange ball Choose a consultancy you feel you can trust, and work exclusively with that partner to gain maximum benefit. It is only through the creation of a strong commercial relationship that the consultancy can become aware of the nuances of your business and its people, and deliver talent and HR services that fully match the brief.


In discussing the brief, be prepared to be open and frank about the company, its culture, its history, the current financial position, previous successful and unsuccessful recruitment exercises, current trends in the industry, etc. The more information that is fed in at an early stage, the more successful the outcome invariably is.


Schedule a date to meet again to discuss the short-listed candidates face-to-face and agree first and final interview dates and the format of the interviews. Your consultancy will then handle all the administration throughout the interview process from initial interviews to the final selection meetings, including feedback to unsuccessful candidates, and report progress to you throughout the assignment.


Have realistic expectations

Take advice on market conditions. Be realistic about the type of person you can attract, given the current level of supply and demand in the market. Also consider other factors such as your company’s image; the seniority of the role; the salary and benefits package; the future progression available. Be mindful of recruiting to complement the existing team.


Take advice

Openly discuss with and be guided by your consultant on the appropriate salary and benefits package for the role and on the most appropriate recruitment methods likely to ensure success. A successful consultancy will work with you with one aim in mind – to achieve a positive outcome.


Consider using psychometrics on the key management team members to gauge the type of candidate most likely to successfully complement the existing team. Subsequently, consider using psychometrics to aid the recruitment process at the final selection stage.


At Cork Griffiths, we look differently at all aspects of your recruitment programme. All our senior appointments are undertaken by FCIPD qualified professionals, delivering the right blend of HR experience and expertise to ensure that each successful candidate makes an impact from day one.

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There are a number of different methods of recruitment that, dependent on the seniority and timings of the requirement, can be brought into play to achieve the desired result. Some of these approaches are well known, others less common, but a good consultant will advise and help select the right methodology of approach for your business, and recommend the most effective both from a cost and efficacy perspective.

Some of the methodologies traditionally employed by recruitment consultants include:


Database search

Successful recruitment is built upon the ability to develop a broad context of prospective candidates for a role, and then the use of tools, experience and professional intuition to narrow and refine the list of possible applicants.


If a consultancy is well established, it will have built up a sizeable database of professionals, and at the beginning of most assignments, a good recruitment company will identify, pre-select and contact all relevant candidates within their database about the role.




Cork Griffiths looks differently at database search, by operating and maintaining one of the largest candidate databases in the industry. Over 20,000 mid to senior level candidates, drawn from a wide variety of sectors and industries, are immediately accessible to Cork Griffiths clients.



One of the most important aspects of a recruitment consultancy’s professional capabilities is the quality of its contacts and connections. Simply put, your search for the ideal new candidate will be made immeasurably easier if the consultancy that you choose to work with already has relationships with suitable professionals in your sector.


The ability to be connected, and to network successfully, is an invaluable and highly cost-effective source of gaining market intelligence on competitors, and of finding suitable candidates, particularly for senior positions. We all like to work with people who have been recommended to us, and networking, referrals and testimonials are essential means of communication in today’s business world.


Cork Griffiths has a different approach to networking, and its commercial application. We hold our own regular ‘Executive Networking Clubs’, where businesses and high calibre individuals can exchange information and contacts in an informal atmosphere. We form part of your networking grapevine just as you form part of ours.


Advertised selection

In order to access a broader spectrum of potential candidates, a business may wish to use local or national press adverts or specialist trade media to highlight the role and source the right candidate. The use of well-targeted advertising is an excellent way of sourcing from the open market and can attract specific, high calibre candidates who may not be registered with any consultancy nor actively seeking a change of job.


Advertising is also good for brand profile and creates a positive impression of a progressive and forward-moving company. A good recruitment consultancy will work with you in the design and production of the advert, and guide you on the choice of appropriate text to generate maximum responses to each advert. They will also be able to produce data to assist in the selection of the most appropriate media for each role.

Cork Griffiths looks differently at recruitment advertising by offering a single rate of fees for all levels of recruitment handled by advertisement, unlike many other consultancies that will charge higher fees for higher earners. Our experienced designers and copywriters create exceptional adverts that compel, excite and engage their target audience.



Also referred to as ‘Search’ or ‘Executive Search’, this method is reserved for situations which may be perceived as sensitive or which may require a targeted approach into a specialist sector or discipline. If the pool of management talent from which to source the ideal candidate is small, headhunting can prove very effective.


It may be that the client already knows who the ideal candidate is, but cannot make a direct approach for various reasons. The use of an external consultancy is highly effective in retaining both client and candidate confidentiality in the early stages, and researching the prospects discreetly.


Cork Griffiths looks differently at Executive Search – our networks and specialist market knowledge allows us access to exceptional people, and we normally absorb the cost of expert researchers within our initial retainer.

Online advertising and the social networks

The Web is a powerful and cost effective method for spreading awareness about a particular role, and for developing a primary filter within candidate generation. Both online advertising and networking via social media are highly effective tools within the locker of any modern, progressive recruitment consultancy.

All Internet activity has the benefit of being conducted in ‘real time’, allowing prospective candidates access to information about the role 24/7, and enabling them to respond immediately. A good recruitment consultancy will have a sophisticated grasp of both online advertising and the social networks, assisting to create an effective and successful online campaign to secure an ideal shortlist for the role.


Cork Griffiths looks differently at online advertising and social media, often offering its online campaigns service FREE of charge to retained clients, from the take-up date of an assignment until the vacancy is filled.


Successful recruitment campaigns are delivered using a combination of experience, methodology and resource management to ensure an optimum outcome. Each role is unique, and it may be appropriate to use a number of the above methods simultaneously in achieving success.


Cork Griffiths considers each method of recruitment differently, by looking at each role on an individual basis, offering high quality advice and skillsets that is bespoke to your company needs, and that will save time and money in the search for your ideal candidate.


Ten points you should look for in selecting a recruitment consultancy

1. Trust and Confidence

All external recruitment consultancies will operate, to a certain extent, as an extension of your business, and as such it is vital that you trust the consultancy to act in good faith and with exemplary practices on your behalf. You must feel absolutely comfortable with the consultancy’s ability to conduct the assignment in a professional way, thus ensuring a successful outcome.

 2. A keen interest in your business

The ability to take a genuine interest in your company and to promote its advantages to maximum effect are crucial aspects to any third party relationship. Cork Griffiths has an exceptional track record of working clients from a wide range of industries and sectors, and is passionate about each client’s current and future success.

 3. Speed of response

In many instances, a recruitment consultancy will be required to work within unavoidably tight deadlines, and must be able to respond and operate with an urgency that matches the client’s own. Cork Griffiths is well versed in effective time management and is skilled at moving fast to deliver results without cutting corners.

4. A continuous point of contact

The importance of recruiting the right talent for your business means that it is ideally preferable to have one key point of contact, who will get to know you, your business and your corporate culture. All senior Cork Griffiths consultants are FCIPD qualified and remain dedicated to the clients that they serve, becoming a trusted partner for personnel advice and all your recruitment needs.

 5. Brand identity

Your chosen consultancy should have a clear, professional style and identity. Its substance and professionalism will be evident from any research you may undertake, including web searching, references, recommendations, press coverage, PR, marketing, etc.

An established, professional consultancy will have put time into developing its own brand, which should convey such qualities as integrity, professionalism, quality, confidence, innovation, customer focus, loyalty, trust and honesty. Cork Griffiths has one of the most distinctive corporate images and brand reputations in the sector today. favicon

6. Commitment

Determination to see an assignment to a successful conclusion is of paramount importance, regardless of the challenges that might be inherent within completion. Cork Griffiths is absolutely committed to each client it deals with, and our its success is based on an ability to ‘think outside the box’, so that only the right candidates come into the frame.

 7. An interest in building long-term relationships

As a client, you must feel that there is a long-term benefit to be obtained in developing long-term relationships with a chosen consultancy. Deeper relationships allow for more sophisticated, intuitive approaches to recruitment and HR needs, and a seamless integration between client and service supplier. Cork Griffiths has been established since 1994, and has an enviable track record of repeat assignments through building successful, long-term relationships with its clients.

8. Reputation and experience

It is very important to use a consultancy that is highly experienced in your specialist market(s) to ensure the greatest chance of success. In order to qualify this, your business should:


·         Request testimonials from successfully completed assignments to give you confidence in using the consultancy through evaluating past successes

·         Assess a consultancy’s depth of understanding of business that match or relate to your own. Experienced consultants will have gained knowledge of recruiting for a range of client types, sizes and in diverse geographical locations, and this should be compared and contrasted in reference to your own specific needs;

·         Seek demonstrative assurance that your chosen consultancy has a good understanding of the economic, social and welfare conditions of the region in order to assess the best possible ways to recruit for a specific role. Question your consultant on their local knowledge.


9. Confidential interview facilities

These should be available off-site for all client use, particularly if the appointment is of a sensitive nature.

10. Differentiation

There are hundreds of recruitment consultancies offering similar guarantees of quality and service within the UK. How does your chosen consultancy genuinely differentiate itself, particularly in the areas of recruitment that are important to your organisation?


Cork Griffiths looks differently at all your recruitment criteria. As a consultancy, it is innovative and creative in its way of doing business; in its advertising and marketing; in its approach to clients, its fees and guarantees; and in continually striving to make the recruitment process a wholly positive, win-win experience for both clients and candidates.

Terms of business

 When engaging the services of a recruitment consultancy, or indeed any third party supplier, it is extremely important to study and assess their terms of business. Not only is this vital to ensure compliance and with your own company’s terms, but also to ascertain what benefits and additional value is thrown into the mix.


At Cork Griffiths, we also look differently at terms of business, and offer all clients a unique package of added-value benefits as standard, that include:


·         3-month FREE replacement candidate guarantee (guarantee extensions also available)

·         Fixed fees via our specialist recruitment and HR service packages for SME’s

·         Discounts available for prompt payment

·         Candidate non-poaching guarantees

·         Psychometric testing facilities can be included on retained work

·         Inclusive research costs on retained headhunting

·         Discounts on multiple appointments

·         No hidden charges

·         Monthly retainer service available to cover all annual management and executive recruitment

 Candidate management


Successful recruitment involves squaring the circle, and ensuring that both client and candidates are treated in an exemplary manner throughout the campaign. Every client needs to feel that all candidates in contact with the consultancy are managed in a polite, courteous and professional manner, and that their application will be treated in the strictest confidence.

A quality consultancy should adhere to an extensive and transparent Code of Conduct and Best Practice, governing all candidate interaction. They should undertake to:

·         Treat candidates as they themselves would wish to be treated

·         Treat every candidate as important – satisfied candidates become valued clients for the long term

·         Be professional, courteous, polite, interested, responsive proactive, respectful and knowledgeable at all times

·         Offer value-added advice regarding career options

·         Provide assistance and guidance on CV and interview preparation

·         Provide market knowledge and an open, honest assessment of the candidate’s experience and aspirations against market conditions

·         Treat candidate’s CV information in the strictest confidence

·         Request candidate’s permission before taking any action on their behalf

·         Offer outplacement and career counseling consultancy

·         Return telephone calls the same day

·         Be available out of normal working hours to discuss any aspect of an assignment

·         Make meetings at short notice to progress the selection process

·         Acknowledge every candidate’s CV on the day it is received

·         Fully interview and brief each candidate prior to arranging interviews with a client

Cork Griffiths treats candidates differently. We don’t just settle for finding the right career opportunity, we treat candidates as individuals and actively create third party associations that will enhance and develop their career prospects.

Post offer/acceptance care and after-sales service

 Once a successful appointment has taken place, a number of consequential undertakings must be managed successfully in order to achieve full completion on each assignment. A reputable consultancy will assist with many of these aspects, which include:

Unsuccessful candidates

All unsuccessful candidates should be promptly informed in an appropriate manner, and ideally given feedback on their individual applications if required. This is essential practice in order that the client reflects its company in a positive, professional light, and so that matters can reach a satisfactory conclusion swiftly.

 The communication loop

The successful candidate and the client need to be kept in contact with each other, particularly where there is a protracted (e.g. 3-6 months) notice period. A professional consultancy should create no barrier to clients and candidates talking directly – in fact, this should be actively encouraged for the benefit of all parties.

 Invite the successful candidate into the business

This will help to bond the individual to the business and reinforce their decision to join the company.

Candidate management

There is always a chance that a candidate may be persuaded to remain with their current employer (counter-offered) or be cajoled into attending other interviews from third party sources whilst serving their notice period. This needs to be carefully monitored and managed for everyone’s benefit.

 At this stage, 99% of the work has been done and the assignment will have consumed a lot of consultant and client time. To lose a preferred candidate in this manner, at such a late stage, is hugely demoralising for all parties involved, and must be avoided through professional and thorough candidate management throughout the process.

Ongoing contact

Many consultancies see their work as done as soon as the appointment is filled, although a good consultancy will continue to work with the client and candidate long after the appointment. This ensures a smooth induction into the business for the appointee, and an objective eye on the client’s behalf.

 Typically, the consultancy should make contact with both the client and the candidate after 2-3 weeks, to ensure that the new appointee has settled in well, and thereafter on a semi-regular basis during the first year.

 Post appointment visit

The consultancy will wish to visit the client within 3-4 months after the candidate’s start date to ensure the continued success of the appointee and to discuss future plans and recruitment strategy.


Feeling confident about your most critical hires is essential, and clients are right to ask if their recruitment consultancy offers any service insurance against their selected candidate, in the event that they turn out not to be suitable. A reputable consultancy will offer some form of guarantee within an initial timeframe that covers such outcomes.

 Cork Griffiths looks differently at candidate replacement guarantees, by offering a 3-month, no-quibble guarantee as standard across all recruitment work undertaken. Because we believe in placing the client firmly in control of the service, we also offer cost effective guarantee extensions, up to 12 months if required.


After the successful completion of an assignment, consultancies will often request a testimonial regarding their performance. Cork Griffiths is a transparent and responsive organisation, regularly soliciting feedback and openly welcoming advice from clients as to how it can improve its service levels.

 Recruitment – and beyond

 The art of truly successful recruitment and HR services involves delivering against a range of requirements if you are to make the most out of your human resources. From Assessment and Development, to Employment Law packages and Non Executive Directors, Cork Griffiths looks differently at customer relationship management and offers a range of services that start well before the recruitment process and extend far beyond it.

 All services are structured to deliver the long-term retention and motivation of team members in order to enhance performance and future commercial growth. All Cork Griffiths services are delivered by FCIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development) qualified specialists, and are available to all Cork Griffiths clients:

 Team Dynamics Audit

Understanding your workforce through sophisticated evaluation techniques designed to improve performance

 Psychometric testing

Use this method within the recruitment process to analyse and select suitable candidates for shortlist, simultaneously matching their qualities to those of your own management team.

 Long-term recruitment strategy planning

This is necessary to cover specific business situations such as pre-MBO / business sale planning, business / individual relocation, Greenfield site development, etc

 Human Resources consultancy

If your HR function requires it, Cork Griffiths specialists will handle general HR matters on your behalf, both on-site and via dedicated telephone/email.

Employment law package

Through our strategic partnership with HR/employment law specialists, we can offer an all-encompassing employment law package, covering contracts, employee handbook, grievance / disciplinary procedures, etc and the provision of an insurance policy against future industrial tribunals.

Training, coaching and development

These services can be of extreme value to both teams and individuals – highly focused programmes that optimize retention and motivation of team members.

Non Executive Directors

Cork Griffiths has access to a large network of talented NEDs from a wide range of sectors and industries – we can put you in touch with senior level individuals from a variety of backgrounds and sectors to assist in strategic development.

Account Management

Experienced key recruiters can work flexibly on-site with your line managers and HR representatives to fulfill volume recruitment exercises.

Human Capital Due Diligence

In conjunction with financial due diligence, assess the management team’s existing skills and capability levels pre/post acquisition or buyout.


We hope you have found the information in this guide to be useful and that it proves useful in helping your business understand the threats and opportunities that exist when undertaking a successful recruitment process.

 We value your feedback, so if you have any comments or suggestions on how we can improve our services or literature then please get in touch.

We would also value the opportunity to discuss your recruitment and HR requirements with you, and to prove that Cork Griffiths really does look at recruitment and client needs differently.

 We are professional, fun to work with, and deliver serious results. If you wish to add value to your recruitment process, then get in touch on 0800 955 3108 or via the contact us page

 Thanks for your time. We look forward to hearing from you