The 10 Characteristics of a Qualified Vacancy

So you’ve been given a new vacancy to work and you’re excited to get started?  Stop!  Before you spend time and energy recruiting on that job order, evaluating it carefully against the following checklist to make sure it’ll be worth your while.

check mark image You have taken a detailed job order.
check mark image Terms of business have been agreed, ideally at full fee!
check mark image You will get a reasonable reward (fee value) for the time & effort required.
check mark image The vacancy exists, and has been signed off.
check mark image The vacancy is URGENT.
check mark image The candidate exists – i.e. the client has realistic expectations.
check mark image You have access to the decision-maker (the hiring manager, not just HR/IR)
check mark image Co-operative employer – will return your calls, provide good feedback,
interview your candidates, etc.
check mark image Client is committed to the process, and to YOU. Preferably this involves limiting the competition, e.g. retainer, engagement fee, exclusivity, head start on the competition, agreed interview dates prior to sending CVs, etc.
check mark image Mutual trust and respect.

Give each of your job orders a score based on how many of the above characteristics it meets.  Then grade your orders as follows:

A = Score 9-10: Top priority, you’ll do everything humanly possible to fill the job, including networking, head-hunting, whatever it takes.

B = Score 7-8: Fillable, but limit the amount of time you spend. Database search, advertising, email your database, call the candidates you already know.

C = Score 1-6: Do not work — to risky, low return on effort.

These 10 criteria set the conditions for success in your favour and maximize your chances of filling the position.  If you are unable to resolve any of these issues to your satisfaction, you need to ask yourself “is this project worth working on?” Your time may be better spent finding another vacancy to work on.

Tip: Ideally the job brief should be taken face to face. This gives you the greatest opportunity to influence the above characteristics.


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