• Estimated read time: 4 Minutes
  • Date posted:17/02/2022
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In episode #4 of Talent Acquisition Matters, we were buzzing to be joined by Andrew McAskill, who is the Founder of Executive Career Jump. 

He has worked in recruitment sine 2004, and was recently named by LinkedIn as one of their “changemakers” for 2022. 

We had the opportunity to sit down and pick his brains about everything recruitment related – from interviewing through to how we can change our processes to get the best out of our candidates.  

How can Talent Acquisition aid the talent crunch that we’re experiencing?

“If we think about the talent crunch that we’re dealing with now, the best clues as to how to deal with that is to look at the software and technology ecosystem because they experienced their talent crunch 10 years ago.  

I was lucky to spend a lot of time with a lot of tech founders, and they were doing one thing specifically very differently to a traditional interview process. Traditional interview processes, in my experience has three stages broadly. You meet this individual, and you ask them, tell me about your career? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Why do you want the job? Why did you leave that particular job? When was the last time you had to deal with turning around a team’s performance? How did you go about that? What was the result?  

You know, this is your typical first chapter. If that then goes well, the second stage of the three stages will tend to be a 50/50 exchange, where you might get some of your colleagues or stakeholders involved, and then the third stage, if you like them, you’ll sell to them.  

Now, let’s talk about what the tech Founders do.  

Founders go in and they pitch: their vision, the mission, the values, what their leadership style is, and they judge the candidate based on future predictors. If that goes, well, then the next stage goes 50/50. But by the third stage, they’ve got to a point whereby the candidates sells to them, rather than them selling to try and close because they’re so bought in because of what you’ve done.  

The magic about that is because you’ve sold in the first interview, even if you don’t hire that candidate, they’re going to go out being an advocate of yours, they’re going to continue to refer people in and you will build a really positive sentiment and employer brand in the industry. So, I think reviewing your three stage process and turning it on its head is probably exactly what needs to happen.” 

What are your thoughts on adding extra interview stages?

“This idea that adding on extra interview stages will help you secure the person or make the right decision is a fallacy, because it just doesn’t work. Where I think we need to get to, is getting better at setting up interviews and assessments that are more reflective of the job so that people feel empowered to make a decision earlier.  

So, what I mean by that is a working session. So, imagine if you’ve got a Chief Commercial Officer role for mid-cap size, biotech business; they’re looking to grow in new territories. The next territory that you’re looking to grow in is Europe, and instead of going through pointless documents and lying to each other, you spend 45 minutes trying to solve that problem together. 

You then get to feel the chemistry. Do we bounce off each other? Do you talk sense? Does it feel like our values are aligned? Does it feel like our priorities align?” 

What are you excited about?

“Well, the first thing that I’m excited about is that I feel like COVID and the pandemic, whilst it was an awful time, for so many people, has provided a fascinating circuit breaker for how we view work and how we view careers. I believe there’s a lot of progress that’s happening right now and I hope that progress continues, because I’m excited at a macro level about the pace of change and progression.  

We’re bringing ourselves to work a lot more and people are thinking about their careers differently. This idea of work-life balance is evolving to work life blend, and we’re trying to bring who we are into what we do in a far more human way. So I’m super excited about that. And on a personal level, I’m just really excited about the platform that we’ve been given by the LinkedIn Changemaker campaign to continue to go out and do more speaking and training and to, to help people through all this mess.” 

Every 2 weeks we sit down with some of the most engaging, innovative Talent Acquisition professionals [globally/UK etc]. Make sure to subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts and Spotify to get alerts when new episodes are posted! 

Fraser Dove International are an exclusive Executive Search Life Science Talent Consultancy with an international reach spanning across the whole value chain within the industry. Providing cutting-edge talent solutions and insight into sourcing complex senior and executive-level hires for life science companies operating on a global basis.