Carmen Reichman's Blog

Behind the Headlines – a current affairs blog

Why does hiring take an eternity?

Executive recruiting can take months and costs what other people earn in a year.

Time is Money

As the search for Kingston’s new vice-chancellor got under way this summer I couldn’t help but notice that the appointment won’t be made before the end of November – six months after Sir Peter Scott announced his resignation. And the new V-C isn’t likely to take office before spring/summer 2011 – that’s a further six months after.

Sir Peter Scott announced his resignation on 28 May and the deadline for applications was on 24 September. Granted, the V-C will be leaving six months early but it looks like the recruitment process is still going ahead to the old schedule, effectively taking a year to complete. Frankly, I can’t think of why it should take so long.

On the contrary, I thought there were lots of qualified people looking for jobs in the current economic climate, many more than there were jobs for.

Richard Boggis-Rolfe, chairman of Odgers Berndtson, the company hired to assisst with the V-C recruitment, says: ‘Making the right appointment – especially at top levels – is vital to the success of every kind of organisation and this gives us an exceptional level of responsibility to deliver for our clients.’ He seems to suggest that companies are more picky about who they hire.

Indeed, as Ross Tiernan of the Financial Times points out: ‘The annual Resourcing and Talent Planning report from the CIPD, published in June, suggests there are good reasons to focus on making the right hires. The median recruitment costs of filling a vacancy in 2009 was £8.333 for senior managers and directors.’

Since that amount of money is what some people earn in a whole year, maybe it would be better spent on a person who is actually working.

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2 responses to “Why does hiring take an eternity?

  1. Steve Hayton October 28, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    £8,333 just to hire a senior manager! That’s crazy, I don’t understand how costs can be that high?

  2. Howard Fredrics December 31, 2010 at 6:46 am

    Recruiters earn a commission that is usually a percentage of the annual salary of the candidate they place. This reflects the important and time-consuming work of locating and vigorously pre-screening candidates, in order to weed out the weaker candidates and afford a higher possibility for the client choosing the right person for the job. The higher the salary scale, the higher the recruitment fee.

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