Q&A: Gareth El Mettouri: “Employers need to understand the ‘must have’ skills of their new hire”

Author: Kirsty Tuxford | Date: 24 Aug 2016

The associate director at Robert Half UAE on the challenges of finding the right candidate, and the demand for niche technical experts

Gareth El MettouriThe current job climate means organisations have a wide choice of talented professionals to choose from and can demand the highest standards. But sifting through a mountain of CVs can be a daunting task. People Management spoke to Gareth El Mettouri, associate director at Robert Half UAE, about how HR departments can be sure they are seeking out the best candidates for the job.
Which parts of the recruitment process are most often overlooked by employers?
Recruiting new members of staff can be a costly and time-consuming process for organisations; one that uses up significant resources and offers few guarantees. Managers need to be conscious of the impact that not having team members who are carrying out the interview available for day-to-day work, and how it might affect the team’s productivity. Management and HR face a tricky task when it comes to ensuring a flow of continual talent into the business, and making sure they hire individuals who are suited to the job and the culture of the organisation.
Telephone interviews and Skype interviews are a useful way of finding additional information about a candidate before shortlisting them for a more time-consuming face-to-face interview. Before extending an offer, we have found that clients who introduce potential hires to the wider team ahead of time, whether it be over a coffee or a short walk around the office, allow both the candidate and the hiring manager to get a better sense of how the relationships will work.
Your research shows that, on average, firms review 30 CVs before extending a job offer for an accounting and finance role. And one in 20 companies review 50 CVs before making a job offer. What advice do you have for employers reviewing large numbers of CVs?
There is no standard number of CVs that an employer will need to review before they are sure to find the right candidate. However, to improve their chances of attracting the right talent, my advice would be that hiring managers have a clear expectation of the ‘must-have’ skills sets of their new hire, and their ‘nice-to-have’ skills and attributes. Knowing these candidate attributes will help from the job advertisement phase right through to the shortlisting of the best candidates for the interview phase.
Is there a tendency for recruiters or HR to misunderstand or under-value the qualifications and experience of talent from foreign countries?
In accountancy, for example, many qualifications are universal or the local equivalent is quite commonly known, such as an ACCA or CIMA-qualified accountant. Specialised recruitment consultants have a good knowledge of the sector in which they operate, and will often be able to assist the hiring manager with their need for specific levels of qualification.