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Mass recruitment: the three sets of questions, and the use of corporate culture as an assessment criterion


Posted by Ngoc Thuy Nguyen

almost 2 years ago

Mass recruitment, the process of hiring a large number of employees, proves quite challenging to headhunters. While the typical recruitment process consists of 10 steps, a mass recruitment would require 20, even up to 30 steps.

Ms. Lan Ngo Thi Ngoc – Northern Regional Director, Navigos Search

The 1990s witnessed the emergence of headhunting in Vietnam market. A headhunter provides recruitment consultancy, and assists companies in their search for candidates. While traditional employment agencies charge candidates for their services, headhunters typically charge their corporate customers.

With economic growth comes the expansion of businesses, as consequently, a shortage of employees, prompting the involvement of headhunting service providers in mass recruitment activities.

3 questions used by headhunters in candidate screening

Mr. Duc Minh Bui – RPO (Recruitment Process Outsourcing) Recruiter at Navigos Search – discloses the different questions used in mass recruitment. Most questions aim to gain knowledge in three areas: Experience, Motivation, Attitude and Alignment with corporate culture. Each area comes with three to five specific questions, such as:

  • Experience: Please talk briefly about your previous jobs? – “Previous experiences of candidates allow recruiters to assess their suitability, based on the customers’ requirements and the recruiters’ own knowledge of the field,” said Mr. Duc.
  • Motivation: Why are you motivated to apply for this position? Why did you leave your last job?

With knowledge of the candidate’s motivation for leaving their last job and applying for a new one, the recruiter has a better chance of offering them the right position.

  • Alignment with corporate culture: How would you feel working with people with the following characteristics? Which management style would you find yourself most comfortable with?

Questions on this criterion often comes in the form of situational questions that allow candidates to express themselves more precisely, and allow recruiters to make a better assessment of the candidates’ suitability.

Corporate culture: Employees with limited experience to look for a suitable environment, while excellent candidates are rejected for not being suitable with their bosses.

“Alignment with corporate culture” ranks high on the list of priorities in recruitment. An area where mass recruitment is commonly needed nowadays is hiring sales representatives, an area that is lack of stability and depends a lot on culture and characteristic of the team. Good sales skills and the ability to work independently are not enough to secure a position if the sales representative is considered unsuitable with the management style of his/her direct superior, or the corporate culture.

According to Mr. Duc, when representing their companies in interviews, direct superiors of open vacancies can use their own experience to assess candidates.

“Sometimes the decision made by these direct superiors can be intuitive, and they choose candidates that possess the same traits and qualities as they do. Therefore, candidates with good skills may not receive an offer if they are deemed unsuitable with the communication style, or do not possess some certain suitable qualities,” said Mr. Duc.

Corporate culture can also be observed in the work environment. FMCG, technology, banking and finance, etc. are examples of environments that have different characteristics. Some value creativity, and the work environment is quite liberal, while others value professionalism, and the work environment is strictly regulated with established procedures.

“Whether one prefers liberality or professionalism is simply a matter of preference. Deep awareness of the corporate culture could help candidates reach better-informed decisions.”

Mr. Duc goes on to analyze the situation, “A creative employee might find limited promotion prospects working with a superior who values discipline, established frameworks and procedures.”

“Corporate culture is a factor worth considering, not only for mid- and top-level personnel, but also for candidates with little or no managerial experience, and even fresh graduates. Along one’s career path, the need to be part of a workplace where one feels a sense of belonging is justifiable,” said Ms. Lan Ngo Thi Ngoc – Regional Director, Navigos Search.

Is corporate culture the most important factor attracting potential employees?

The “ups and downs” of mass recruitment in the IT industry

Apart from sales, mass recruitment is also common in the IT industry. These two areas happen to have the highest job-hopping rates.

In the case of sales representatives, a slightly better package of incentives is enough to cause turnovers. Meanwhile, in the IT industry, the demand has long surpassed its supply.

The shortage of personnel in the IT industry has affected not only headhunters, but the entire recruitment industry.

This shortage has forced many companies to lower their requirements. Hard as mass recruitment is, headhunters are often faced with last-minute rejections.

According to Ms. Lan, mass recruitments aim at two groups of candidates, those with little or no experience – fresh or recent graduates, and specialists – not necessarily managers, but with many years working in a particular field. The large number of recruits are to support the development of a new project.

Last-minute rejections are relatively more common with younger candidates.

“Fresh or recent graduates have limited experience with work, as in life, so it is not surprising that the majority of them are lacking in professionalism. The probability of these candidates rejecting their offers shortly after acceptance is much higher compared with top-level candidates,” said a headhunter at Navigos Search with 9 years of experience.

“It might be more challenging for top-level personnel to understand their true needs, but once they reach an answer, they are highly committed to it.

Therefore, in order to ensure the quantity, quality as well as timelines of the recruitment process, each mass recruitment team requires substantially more personnel, who works to ensure a back-up plan at each stage of the recruitment process,” said Ms. Lan.

Source: Café Biz (