We have had an interesting couple of weeks observing some new versus long term clients discuss what they need in a candidate shortlist. We have always focused on quality over quantity and take it for granted but a new client through a spanner in the works when they insisted on minimum number of candidates for our team at Collingwood to shortlist.

It got me thinking whether most companies would prefer quality over quantity when it comes to a candidate shortlist?

We have developed a process that enables us to take a really in-depth briefing. This requires us and our client to invest a decent amount of time at the outset of a recruitment assignment so we can get a really good understanding of their business, culture, strategy and specific requirements around the role and sought candidate(s) we need to find. It has become a well oiled process and, in turn, it has allowed us to know exactly what good looks like in the candidates we approach and assess. For example, we had one client interview two high quality candidates for two different roles and both assessment processes resulted in offers being made.

On the other hand, we had a new client wanting us to shortlist a minimum of 6 candidates for a board role. They had successfully recruited another board role through a "headhunter" but we later found out that they had received a candidate shortlist in excess of 10 candidates. My question is, what value is a recruiter providing if they have to shortlist 10 candidates. It feels like throwing mud at the wall to me and hoping for the best.

Surely minimising a client's time being spent interviewing candidates has to be a key focus? 

Your thoughts on this would be appreciated.