The importance of relationships


Talent management strategies and solutions are different today than they were 20, 10, even 5 years ago, when there used to be hot competition for jobs leaving employers spoilt for choice. A shift in the balance between good quality candidates and open positions has created a candidate driven market, where high performing candidates have more than one job offer and counter offers are common. Attracting and finding the best employees is no longer a simple matter of advertising and sorting through CVs. Effective employers appreciate the need to manage their selection processes better in order to attract the best candidates quickly or risk losing talent to competitors.

Research has shown that only 2 out of 10 candidates are high performers. High Performers are hard to find and are important to any company’s success. We find some clients lose out to competitors due to rigid short-term hiring practices or lack of interaction with their recruitment consultant. The effects of this can be damaging within the Insurance Market; losing the best talent to competitors can result in the loss of business and bottom line profitability. So how do we avoid this problem? Here are some guidance points that you may find useful.

Start with a detailed job brief…

Take time with your High Performance Consultant to work through a detailed job brief to identify after the applicant characteristics you seek. This will include looking into your current workforce to identify which employees exemplify the attitudes and behaviour traits for a particular position. Companies often put too much emphasis on finding employees with ‘relevant experience’ in other words ‘box ticking’. High Performing Candidates are highly sought after, many are recognised for their achievements, career accomplishments and attitudinal characteristics which allow them to rise above others. To find these people requires a deeper brief for the consultant than is normal.

The Candidate experience…

In today’s candidate driven market, the talent pool is often quite small. Working closely with your High Performance Consultant will give a better understanding and insight into the market, candidates’ expectations and what it actually takes to get that person on-board. High Performance Consultants are adaptive and truly understand the importance of the candidate experience, putting in extra care to build relationships beyond just the focus of getting the job vacancy filled, talking to your consultant will enable you to understand how this is done.

They cover many aspects that matter:

  • Making sure the right message is being represented.
  • Focus on protecting the company brand.
  • Ensuring the candidate has a superb experience from first conversation through to interview, offer, resignation and on-boarding.
  • Ensuring clear communication and updates throughout.

As an employer, be prepared to act fast…

Many recruitment processes compare and contrast several candidates to ensure you have seen enough talent to make a well-rounded decision. In a market where candidates have more choice be prepared to pull out all stops and act fast or risk losing a good quality candidate.

Don’t wait until the last minute to make an offer, if you know that your company has lengthy selection processes, get prepared. It should never take more than two days after a final interview to present a formal offer. This boosts the candidate’s confidence and shows them that you want them on-board. A long-drawn out process and lack of communication can leave the candidate feeling as if you have doubts about them and gives them time to consider other options.

True leaders go that extra mile…

The Lloyds Market was built on face-to-face negotiation and collaboration. It is still very much encouraged 325 years on. Some recruitment is still done in this fashion and the most successful teams in the market understand the importance of selection and forging a positive relationship with an employee during the recruitment process.

A client of mine went the extra mile, knowing the size of the organisation, the lengthy process and the five signature sign-off for a new hire into the company. He met with potential candidates in a more casual setting (often over a coffee or lunch) then having identified the next rising star for his team worked closely with me to make sure the offer, package and job role itself were attractive, communicated the verbal offer in person, thereby letting the candidate know they were very much wanted and will be a crucial part of the team going forward.

We worked together to keep the candidate informed of timescales, updates and progress within the company and team itself. This line of communication beat off two offers from competitors and also an extremely temping counter-offer during the four month hiring process and a further three months serving contractual notice period. This individual has gone from strength to strength in the new role and has transitioned from Client Account Management to New Business Production, instrumental in the growth of the portfolio.


Some organisations have brought in in-house recruitment teams to drive down supplier costs. Despite this, we have seen an increase of clients coming to us or back to us, to resource and attract High Performance Candidates, using our specialist market knowledge and high performance selection approach.

High Performance Consultants work as a partner with your business; we listen to your needs and work in your best interests. We ask detailed questions about what you seek, we invite you to describe the attitudes shown by high performers that are unique to your company and we give a range of candidates a very thorough face-to-face assessment before you see them. This selection process means you don’t have to wade through a large number of candidates, many of whom are “no-hopers” and you only get a few highly suited candidates that we have put through substantial selection hoops. The closer you work with our team the better service you get.

Kind regards
Sally Stanton

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