Over the past month I have been speaking with builders about some work we're planning on having done to our house.  Like any profession, a gauge of how good they are can be ascertained by understanding lead times.  Unsurprisingly, it looks like I've got a further four months to wait, assuming I want a builder with credibility, who comes recommended.

Over the past fortnight I've taken calls from two prospective clients who, having been recommended to me, find themselves looking to add to their senior management teams.  Both are looking to get this person started as soon as possible and, ideally, by November.

A recent research piece conducted by LinkedIn stated that it took an average 48 days to secure an engineering hire.  Frighteningly, they suggested it takes 35 days to secure a far broader administration role.

Fortunately the industries I serve - Building Materials & Construction - no longer suffer from protracted notice periods.  The crash of 2008 largely put pay to six month notices.  However, with the dearth of available talent across multi disciplines, once you add in the time it will take to find these people, together with an average notice of three months, I do worry that many decision makers are not acting quickly enough.

Yes, I could probably fill a senior role within three weeks of research.  Would I have exhausted a given market and / or discipline in doing so and be assured that I've provided you with the best return for your investment?  No!  And, as a client, you're not gaining anywhere near the value that you deserve from choosing to partner with a retained headhunter.  Any Search firm who suggest they will shortlist within this time period are one of three things: 1. They don't genuinely care about the outcome, as long as they fill the position. 2. They're not particularly busy. 3. They're plainly lying to you about timelines!

There are plenty of articles doing the rounds in terms of the cost of a bad hire.  If the role you are planning to recruit for is essential to the future direction of your business, for whatever reason, please ensure you plan ahead. And, please, please, please don't get sold short by those agencies who suggest they can provide you with the best candidate from the market at short notice.  Proper, research led recruitment takes time.