From the first point of contact, until your candidate starts work, there is so much you are unable to control.  Things, that no matter how hard you try, there is just no way to change the outcome.  This article is about what you CAN control.  The concept of critical control points was taught to us by recruitment trainer; Greg Doerching.  We have taken his training and adapted it to our process, the process of an industrial recruiter. 

Control Point #1

Do you have a real job order?

Does this scenario seem familiar to you?  One of your clients advises that they have an urgent need for a forklift operator.  You say great, we’re on it!  You call your team together and discuss the exciting new job order.  Recruiters start looking to see if they have candidates in their hotlists.  You put up job postings as back-up.  You start making phone calls, pre-screening candidates, setting up interviews and completing reference checks.  48 hours later you have a shortlist of 2-3 candidates that you submit to your client.  Then you get some variation of the following message back:

“Thanks, but the position is no longer available”

“Thanks, but the position has been filled”

“Thanks, but the hiring manager is on vacation for a week, please schedule an interview then”

“Thanks, but since the position doesn’t start until next month, we won’t be doing interviews right away”

Pardon?  You pick up the phone and call your client to see what happened. They give you a logical explanation, but you’re still upset that your client didn’t tell you this information upfront.  But who’s really to blame here?  Only yourself. 

Before you invest your time, effort and money into a search, especially for an industrial position where things can change quickly, you need to know if you have a Real Job Order.  Whether it’s an existing client you have been working with for 20 years or a new client and this is your first job order, you must ask candid questions to get the information you need.

Why is the position available?

  • Are we replacing someone?
  • Did someone quit?
  • Is there an unexpected spike in volume?
  • Are we ramping up for seasonal requirements?
  • Is it a mat-leave coverage?
  • Is there a new business that requires new staff?

What have you already done or plan on doing to fill this position?

  • Are you working with any other agencies? 
  • Is your company internally recruiting for this position? 
  • Are you considering any candidates that are already working there?

When can you start interviewing?

  • How many people can you interview per day?
  • What interview times work best?
  • If you like a candidate, how long will it take for you to make an offer?
  • Can you onboard multiple people at one time or will staggered start dates be required?

Is there anything that could cause this position to get canceled?

  • Are they waiting on approval from senior management before they can hire? 
  • Are they waiting for the product to arrive at the facility?
  • Are they waiting for their customers to confirm an order?

What is the anticipated start date?

  • Is it yesterday or next month?

For new clients

  • Have they signed your contract? 
  • Have they taken the time to give you a detailed job spec and answer any questions you may have?

Spending five minutes on the front-end to determine if you have a real job order may save you much more time on the back-end. 

William W. Srenk
President at