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Vertical Specialist: How to Win the War for Talent

Our BI Vertical Specialist Holly Rourke on how to beat the competition to the very best talent in the market...

Rullion Talk to Me RecruitmentA wise woman once told me that “recruitment is like clothes shopping”.

Even if you are in a rush and you find the perfect item of clothing in the first shop, you will still not tend to buy as you believe that there’s a better selection elsewhere. Typically, after searching several shops, you conclude that indeed the first item of clothing was after all the best item on offer but only to find that when you return to that first shop, the first item has now been sold and taken off the market.

If this sounds familiar then please keep on reading...

From my experience as a Vertical Recruiter in a very competitive marketplace, I’ve witnessed the good and the bad: clients who will solve hard to fill roles within a month and other clients who will take a year to fill the same role.

Hence, assuming that the business circumstances are the same in both scenarios, I’ve detailed below the traits of those companies who recruit swiftly and quickly.


This is the key to your whole recruitment cycle and you should be asking yourselves these questions every time you hire:

- What is the latest start date before the role fulfilment becomes business critical?
- What are the other resourcing options e.g. a contractor?
- Can we find this person internally?
- How quickly can we process candidates through the whole recruitment exercise?
- What is the market rate for the ideal candidate?
- How long is our interview process going to be? Are all the stages necessary?
- Who needs to be involved in this recruitment process?
- What is our EVP?
- What are the mandatory versus desirable skills required?


- Conduct detailed research into which competitors are hiring?
- Have you benchmarked the salary on offer as the current Market Rate?
- Agree upon a standard approach to interviewing
- Pre-handle all decision makers so that a fast recruitment lifecycle can be implemented
- If technical testing is required, only utilise the most relevant tests on offer and benchmark the results against all of your current staff.


- Like it or not, candidates are king in IT and have lots of options. If your direct competitors offer a quicker and smarter recruitment process then its highly likely that you’ll lose candidates to your competitors.
- When you need to urgently hire, it is imperative that you are flexible about the times you can see the candidates e.g. out of hours / short notice etc.
- Can technical tests be carried out at home?
- You need to communicate your recruitment strategy to everyone on board e.g. does the hiring manager know they need to give feedback on CVs in 24 hours.


Just because you’ve carried out this recruitment process for one hire doesn’t mean that this process should be your template. Every hire is different and the market changes daily in IT e.g. salary benchmarking results vary each month and what you concluded 6 months ago as the market rate for a BI Developer will have certainly changed within 6 months. Equally, just because you’ve always done a 3 stage interview process doesn’t mean it’s always necessary.

Currently, clients’ recruitment processes are viewed as the candidate’s first tangible experience of the brand and if these processes can be as efficient as possible then you are doubling your chances of recruiting the right candidate in the right timescales at the right price.

In my opinion the motto to the story is: Always buy the first item of clothing you like.

For any information on the BI / Data market, please give me a call on 0161 601 3322 or email me at

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