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The recruitment process

The Recruitment Process

This section is aimed at giving you an idea of how the whole recruitment process works from behind the scenes and hopefully give you some clarity on why certain situations occur. Perhaps we can also give you a few ideas of how to maximise the relationship with your Recruitment Consultant which, in turn, will benefit your job search.

You could also watch our videos that walk you through the process.

Recruitment process – it’s a numbers thing

Selecting the right candidates for a medical sales job

At Advance Recruitment we see literally thousands of CVs every year and are instructed to work on hundreds of vacancies. Therein lies the first problem – simple mathematics. There are more people searching for jobs than there are vacant jobs.

A recruiting company may choose to use an agency to take the headache away from a recruiting manager who hasn’t the time or inclination to sift through hundreds of CVs just to get a short-list of candidates they then have to interview face to face. They then would have to leave numerous messages/emails etc., to contact all of the candidates and book them in for interview. Next they have to whittle that sshort-listdown to maybe two or three preferred candidates – arrange transport and accommodation for them to attend a final interview at Head Office, and generally take a substantial part of their working day doing something other than managing their sales team. In turn this has an effect on the amount of money the team is contributing to the business. It is our job to do all of this for the client and, as it is they that pay the recruitment fee rather than the candidate, we have to adhere to their wishes regarding what CVs they will consider, where and when they want to interview, and what they expect the candidate to prepare in advance.

Therefore, we can make suggestions but by and large if a client insists on CVs with ‘X’ type of experience they are going to be pretty unhappy if we keep forwarding CVs of candidates who we think are good for the role but do not match their specific requirements.

Secondly, there is a finite number of CVs you can forward to any one role. There might be 25 CVs with the relevant experience but it is our job to present (in our opinion) the best candidates to the client for interview. It is not a science – we have to make judgement call and unfortunately this will disappoint some people, but rest assured if we think you are a strong candidate for a role we will be trying everything we can to get in contact with you.

In essence only one person can be successful for each job, and this is going to leave a large number of ‘dissatisfied customers’. Ideally we would be able to give every unsuccessful candidate full and detailed feedback as to why they were not successful but with the sheer number of candidates involved this is simply not feasible. Believe me, if we have feedback, we will pass it on. After all, it might be the difference between you being successful or not next time!

Your recruitment consultant – we are not avoiding you – honestly!

We can’t speak for every agency, but at Advance we can promise you we are not bad people. We are much like you, trying to do our job to the best of our abilities. The main difference between representatives and Recruitment Consultants is that we spend the vast majority of our day on the telephone. Whether it is trying to get a full job specification for your dream job, trying to get hold of you to see if you would like us to register your interest in the role, talking through various positions with candidates, speaking to Sales Managers on your behalf, organising interviews with HR, chasing interview feedback, making job offers to successful candidates or consoling candidates who have just been rejected – the chances of you being able to catch us away from the telephone is quite slim. At Advance we will get back to you by the end of the working day – however, as I’m sure you can appreciate if we kept giving you a call to say ‘no news yet’ to every candidate we would not get much else done. Rest assured as soon as we have any update we will let you know.

Candidates – Desire vs Reality

One of the biggest issues any recruiter faces on a day-to-day basis is candidates ‘matching’ themselves to a wide variety of jobs for which they do not meet the specific requirements. It is easy to see why people sometimes get frustrated when a Recruitment Consultant (hopefully politely) tells them they can’t submit their CV to any of the 34 roles they have seen and think they would be perfect for. The simple fact of the matter is that as a recruitment agency we get paid for successfully placing candidates with companies – not before. It is in our interest to forward you to a role if you:

  1. Meet the clients’ requirements, and
  2. Are interested in the role

If we have not called you about it and you do not match the specification then you can presume that the company will not consider you just because it is a product area ‘you have always fancied working in’.

It may sound harsh but sometimes we have to stand up and be the bad guy or our clients will simply stop using our services if we don’t meet their brief.By managing your expectations, Advance can help smooth the recruitment process


Recruitment companies provide a service to candidates offering them the opportunity to be considered for a number of vacancies which are not readily available on the general market – all for FREE. The Consultants at Advance always work in your best interest, try to get interviews for you and endeavour to give you the benefit of our collective experience and market knowledge.

I myself have been at Advance for over 12 years and some of our consultants have been here 14 to 16 years and one constant remains – as a company we do not get paid if we do not place you in a position. Rest assured if we can push to get you an interview or convince a manager to take a look at your CV (if we think you are suitable for the role) then we will do so. However, as it is the company that pays the invoice we must always adhere to their wishes – even if we feel they are making the wrong decision.

The recruitment process – what you can do

There are a number of things that you can do which will help us ensure that you are having the right roles run past you and that we are able to get you interviews.

By doing one or more of these things it gives us more ammunition when speaking to either Sales Managers or HR Personnel in order to present your case. Ultimately it is their decision as to whether they want to consider you, but from our point of view the more informed we are the better the job we can do for you.

Face to face interviews

Whilst having a half hour (or longer) telephone conversation is the first step in our procedure following a CV submission, a face-to-face interview with your recruitment consultant will really help you to gain a far greater understanding of the type of job you want, the type of company that will suit you, and how we can best tackle the task of getting you in front of these companies in this ‘candidate driven’ market.

The fact of the matter is that when speaking to clients, our saying that a candidate ‘sounds good’ doesn’t really cut it when a Manager asks for more information after receiving a CV.

Also, you would be amazed how often a throw away comment during an interview can lead to other doors being opened down the line. I once interviewed a candidate who did not meet the requirements for a particular role, however a Regional Manager had mentioned that a number of his team we particularly keen on mountain biking – as was my candidate. It was on this basis that the Manager agreed to an interview as he thought that ‘team fit’ was more important than experience – this was as a result of an off the cuff remark from the candidate when I interviewed him and he ended up getting the job!

Your CV can never have too many achievements - show companies you are a winnerMore (not less) is more when it comes to achievements!

There are significantly more candidates looking for roles than there are vacant positions within the medical sales sector. Therefore, if a manager has 25 CVs to view – ones demonstrating a number of strong>key achievements throughout their career will automatically stand out.

Let us know of changes

People change their minds and there is nothing wrong with that. However, it does make our role more difficult when we have not been told. On a basic level it means that we might be looking for the wrong type of role for you, but it also might mean that your CV is out of date if you have left a role out and not updated your CV – needless to say this does not reflect well on either you or us.

Send us your CV today.

The recruitment process – keeping track

Most recruitment agencies have recruitment software which tracks where your CV has gone and when, as well as the resulting outcome. We don’t expect anyone to take such drastic steps as investing in similar software but making a note of which agencies have sent your CV to which companies allows you to keep a closer track of your applications. Companies don’t take to kindly to getting your CV from multiple sources – it makes you appear disorganised and unprofessional.

Let Advance help you through the recruitment process. We are experts in matching the right candidates to the right job. Call us now on 0161 969 9700.