The power of planning…

The power of planning…

Before you start actively searching your next perfect candidate, you need to do a bit of planning.

Planning is necessary to ensure you and your organisation are consistent when recruiting; it helps consider the options available, define the steps to take and the responsibilities of the various people involved.

Before you even start anything the big question is: Am I allowed to look for someone?

It’s generally the hiring manager’s responsibility to obtain the necessary approvals before the recruitment starts, they will justify why they want to recruit, the place of the role in their organisation, the budget and headcount available… The approval can be given by HR, Finance, the department’s director, the CEO…

It can take a while to get a job signed off (especially if many people need to sign it off) and be frustrating for you and the hiring manager to wait but you’ll need to be patient and try to avoid doing too much before you’ve been given the official go-ahead.

If you make the decision to start meeting candidates before the final sign off it will be at your own risk and, if someone says no along the line, you’ll have wasted yours (and everyone else’s) time.

Now that your vacancy is signed off, you will need to find out more about: What I am looking for?

Take some time to meet with the hiring manager to discuss how to run the campaign. Make sure you take notes so you can refer to them later on, this document is what I call the job brief.

Ask questions to cover the different stages of the process:

  • What is the role and what would the person do on a day to day basis? What are the must have, nice to have? What industries, companies, jobs could the candidate come from? This will help you write your advert, search and screen the right candidates.
  • How to select and assess them? Are there specific skills we need to test? Who will be involved? When are you able to interview? With this information you will be able to decide what the assessment is going to look like and start planing your assessments.
  • How much can we offer? Are there other benefits? What would be the next step in the person’s career with us? All of this will help you make your offer when you find the right candidate. For example if the salary is low, you can highlight scope for progression or other benefits which might convince your ideal candidate to accept the role.

Next question for you to think about is: Do I have the right tools?

The vacancy will usually be recorded on a system: the Applicant Tracking System (ATS). There are plenty of systems available, they can integrate with other HR systems and be tailored your company’s need.

You’ll need to make sure you and the hiring manager, or whoever will be involved, can access and know how to use the system.

Share user guides or have a quick training session with the users to make sure they can use the ATS properly, it will save you time fixing mistakes later on. Imagine if a manager sends an interview request to a candidate who doesn’t have the right to work in your country. It will take you more time and efforts to sort it out than training the manager in the first place.

OK you’re almost ready, now you just need to recap and organise yourself.

For each campaign both hiring manager and recruiter must be on the same page, if there are any misunderstandings they need to be cleared now. Trust me, there’s nothing worse than realising after screening 100s CVs that you were looking for the wrong profile!

After the job brief, re-confirm what has been agreed, propose your timeline, schedule follow-up meetings to review progresses, block dates for your interviews and get yourself organised (i.e. by creating dedicated folders on or offline).


This part of the recruitment process is probably the most important one, if you get it wrong you will have to start from scratch and your credibility as a recruiter will take a hit so don’t underestimate the power of planning.

To summarise, get your approvals and systems sorted, understand what you’re looking for and how you’re going to get someone from candidate to employee and be organised.

Next time we’ll talk about how to source your candidates.

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