Stop Losing Regulatory Professionals to Your Competition

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As a prospective employer looking to recruit highly skilled regulatory professionals, acknowledging a basic fact that these people are rare and therefore in high demand is key. The scarcity of these individuals leads for a tighter candidate pool and greater competition for you to be able to secure them for your company. I recently conducted a survey of regulatory professionals to find out their experiences when job hunting and some of the frustrations and challenges they faced during their searches. I would highly recommend addressing each of the 5 key points below and immediately you will be in a stronger position to attract top talent and put your offer and company ahead of the competition:

1. Candidate specification

‘Outgoing’, ‘extrovert’, ‘life of the party’ – these are just some of the words the candidate pool I interviewed believed employers were looking for from their regulatory hire! Are these traits you should look for in regulatory professional? Well if you do, don’t. If you want a salesperson, then by all means search for this personality type. If you want individuals that possess attention to detail and technical highly complex skills that a regulatory individual needs, then you need to be mindful of the characteristics and personal traits to look for. I’m not saying that a regulatory person can’t be the ‘life of the party’ but in such a structured highly regulated area it is unlikely that this side of them is going to come out during the course of business. You are hiring them for their knowledge and skill set, not for the office banter or wacky jokes!

2. Speed of response, you snooze you lose…

Recruitment can be a slow process for all parties, from getting approval to hire, to writing a job description, advertising the vacancy or engaging search consultants, reviewing candidate CVs, interviewing candidates, the list goes on. Seeing as regulatory people are so scarce, the pace at which you move can have a major impact on whether you secure your ideal candidate. Instinct – if you’re interviewing a candidate and think there’s something special about them, then move fast.

Odds are other companies have their eyes on them as well, so move quickly, make an offer. Waiting for another candidate to compare to may result in NO candidates at all.

We see and hear it all the time: employers (with the best of intentions) missing out on their preferred candidate because they took too long with the process or to make an offer and, in the meantime, that candidate has found another position with a company that moved faster to secure them.

Acting fast can simply mean giving good positive feedback following an interview and outlining the next step to keep the candidate motivated and in the loop. It’s important to keep them ‘warm’. Managing the candidate’s expectations is central to a smooth recruitment process. Give the candidate timescales, set the expectation and ask for references. These steps help to keep the candidate engaged in the process. And if timescales slip, talk to them, let them know what’s going on (even if it is nothing) so they know they are still considered important to you. While this may be common sense, you’d be surprised at just how many employers let this simple element of the recruitment process slip when they’re in the eye of the storm. It’s a small thing but it goes a long way.

So the message is clear. If you find a good candidate, and you like them, tell them, and then speed up the remainder of your recruitment process to show them that you’re serious. A slow recruitment process makes your organisation look slow, indecisive, rigid, and anything but agile and entrepreneurial. Act fast. Hire fast. And at the very least, communicate promptly to manage the candidate’s expectations and keep them informed.

3. Salary

On average in our experience regulatory professionals are 20% more highly paid than a similarly experienced professionals. Ultimately, if you don’t pay, someone else will. Are you really offering the best package for your ideal candidate? Do you know how you measure up against your competitors?

Thoroughly research the benefits of your job opportunity and the specific benefits for the candidate. What are you offering versus what the candidate already has?

Are you offering career advancement, increased benefits, opportunity for leadership/ownership, learning a new skill, job status, lifestyle or increased job security?

There are many methods to research how you compare to the rest, friendly contacts working within competitors, consultants, clients, your HR team, job advertisements, online salary survey and of course good search partners. Do not rely on internal benchmarks, people who have been with your business for a long period are usually underpaid and you will not be able to recruit an external candidate for the equivalent of their salary.

4. Relocation

A number of companies want somebody in a specific location. What happens if there are no candidates in your location who can do your job, or none who are interested in working for you? You have to cast the net wider and due to the very fact that these individuals are in short supply it is recommended you have a relocation package in place. If the individual meets your needs and you require them to move for the job, like anything in life there needs to be a bigger incentive and push to make a candidate want to take that risk.

For a candidate to feel the risk is worth taking, don’t wait to find a candidate and then put the package together, know what the package is in advance with flexibility for negotiation. In Remtec’s 18 plus years of experience working with candidates in the regulatory sector and through feedback during this research we have seen jobs turned down at the very last hurdle because the company had not prepared in advance and long delays occurred trying to put together a relocation package. And what’s happening whilst all this is going on? The candidate is being approached by other companies and recruiters with other exciting tempting job opportunities. Use your recruitment partner to establish early on in the process if the candidate is in fact willing to relocate and any reasons why this may not be possible.

Think about the alternatives, the candidate is spot on so what can you do to bring them on board without having to fully relocate them for the job. Investigate if being in the office 5 days a week is a necessary requirement for the role versus losing the candidate completely, is it an option to offer home working with set office days?

5. Specialist services

A number of the candidates I spoke to prefer the ‘recruiter route’ to job search for a number of reasons including; advice and guidance on CV formatting for specific opportunities, preparing for interviews, having a middle man/woman to assist in negotiations at offer stage and right at the end of the process hand holding during the resignation process.

When hiring for a regulatory professional make use of recruiters who specialize in identifying, interviewing and placing these individuals to maximise your chances of attracting the best, by using the quality resources available.

Recruiting in a “candidate driven market” such as RA has its challenges for the hiring company. If you are interested in interviewing a candidate the chances are there will be two or three other companies also interested in that individual. You need your opportunity and company to be their preferred choice and this starts right at the beginning of the process.

The more information you provide allows your recruiter to gain real commitment from a candidate and test their suitability for the role. It also makes sure their motivations for applying are in the interest of both parties.

A good recruiter’s aim is to match both experience and cultural fit of the candidate to a company and job opportunity. Effective communication with your recruiter at the very start of the process increases your chances of hiring the right people to help build and grow your business.

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