Time kills deals.

Tick tick tock… gone. That’s the sound of your preferred candidate being snapped up by one of your competitors. Ironically you were their preferred option. So how did that happen?

Time is the singularly most underrated aspect of the hiring process. We get it: hiring is a drag, a pain, and not necessarily always your topmost priority. But look at it from your preferred candidate’s perspective: it is probably their topmost priority and usually represents a significant emotional investment on their part. They are likely thinking about it all the time, replaying all the various interactions in their mind, mulling it over with their closest and dearest, etc.

This thought process needs to be nurtured. Time is the lifeblood of the hiring process. Momentum is a very powerful thing and can make the difference between securing your preferred candidate’s services or not.

It’s staggering how many companies are guilty of what we call institutional arrogance. They think they are doing people a favour by having a vacancy in the first place. Bit of a sweeping statement sure but typically the bigger the company the greater the arrogance, the more onerous, convoluted and time-consuming the application, interview and on-boarding process.

Responsiveness keeps your opportunity at the forefront of a candidate’s mind. Most hiring processes are long and laborious so a nimble one is refreshingly different. It’s also a very powerful window into your company’s culture: if the interview process is tedious then perhaps that pay rise or promotion discussion further down the line will be equally tedious…

In today’s white-hot market the demand for niche technical skills is fiercer than ever. Here at Mongoose Gray we endeavour to keep you ahead of the competition. We are super-responsive, often oiling the wheels of the hiring process outside of core office hours which puts our clients in pole position the very next working day. Many a process has reached a successful conclusion thanks to going the extra mile like this.

Top-quality candidates invariably have options. They can pick and choose. Small details can make all the difference, most importantly of all they will always remember how you made them feel during the application and hiring process.

We work hard to portray your business and your opportunity in the very best possible light. We work hard to excite and seduce candidates. Yes, hiring someone is a seduction process. You play a big part in that too. We work hard to preserve momentum. Delays between interview stages only serve to chip away at that momentum, it makes you (and us) look bad, and slowly but surely pushes candidates into self-preservation mode where they start to question why they should NOT take your job.

Delays will damage your reputation in the market. Candidates talk. Good candidates talk a lot. Word soon gets around. Selfishly they also damage our reputation, something we’ve worked hard to build and protect. Being brutally honest they also damage our confidence in you. Confidence in presenting you with our very best candidates for fear of a bad candidate experience.

It’s time-consuming enough keeping candidates warm, engaged and updated at each step of the process. Don’t make it even more onerous by introducing unnecessary delays. We’d much rather spend that time sourcing awesome candidates for you.

In short time is everything. Isn’t it time you gave us a call? Dial +44 (0) 203 701 1217.

Recruitment. Consulting. Support. As IT should be.™

10 FIND {perfect candidate} 20 GOTO 10


Seemingly every week heralds the arrival of some new all-singing-all-dancing app aka awesome automated recruitment solution promising to take the pain out of the hiring process. Yes just a simple download will reduce those exorbitant (ĭg-zôr′bĭ-tənt – poor value for money, beyond what is reasonable) fees and deliver you the 3-cherry jackpot of candidates straight into your inbox with the minimum of fuss. Think again.

It will never happen. Not in a million years. OK maybe it will in somewhat less time than that but by then we’ll all be living on Alpha Centauri and a job will be something of a nostalgic trip down memory lane. Why? for one very good reason. Recruitment is not an exact science. It’s at best imperfect, full of subtleties, nuance, context and unconscious bias. Take the bastion of the hiring process: the interview. Does anyone seriously think this is the best way of ascertaining whether someone is right for the job? No, but it’s the closest anyone has found to date. (For the record, we would advocate an element of job shadowing as part of the interview process but it’s not always practical). Hiring someone is a punt, a calculated punt sure, but nevertheless a punt. An interview is merely part of the validation process. Red or black. I’ve got a good feeling it will be red. Spin… zero. Oops.

How best to mitigate against this? get a human involved. Humans are very good at nuance, context, sixth sense, intuition, gut feel, call it what you like. Machines – at least for now – are very bad at it. A lot of jigsaw pieces need to fall neatly into place for that happy new employee with the beaming smile, slick haircut and freshly pressed suit to be sitting in your office come Monday morning, lanyard proudly hanging round their neck, trying in vain to remember everyone’s name save for sexy Sam or luscious Luke in accounts, wondering if they should or shouldn’t take lunch and what time they might get away on their first day.

Machines are very good at precision. Which is why we use technology to help us land 400 tonnes of flying metal at 160mph on a thin strip of tarmac in near/zero visibility with hundreds of lives on the line. Close or close enough just won’t do. Good luck flying with the next airline that promises to get you close to the runway. The fact is hiring a new employee is almost always a case of close or close enough. It’s rare that a candidate will tick every single box on the client wish list. Sure it happens, but then so does zero 3 times in a row.

A good consultant will start out with the aim of ticking every box on your wish list. A good consultant will ask the difficult questions. A good consultant will push back on unrealistic expectations and suggest alternatives. A good consultant won’t source candidates who are merely looking for another job but rather a better job. A really good consultant may also put forward candidates with transferrable skills who are performing a different role in a different industry sector.

Want to work with a good consultant? come say hello to make it so. We are humans. Humans that have worked in the very industry and performed the very roles we now recruit for. Sure we use a modern-day box of tech tricks just like everyone else to help identify talent and generate leads but we do so with a human touch. Machines are not even remotely close to being able to replicate what we do. If you want a sad / comical view of the current state of AI just take a look at the Tay debacle. That said one might argue that automaton-like responses and failure to display any kind of empathy is something that has become all too familiar…

Isn’t it time you got in (human) touch? Call  us on +44 (0) 203 701 1217.

Recruitment. Consulting. Support. As IT should be.™

Parasites, leeches and recruiters.


Read any random online article or simply type “recruiters are…” into the information gargantuan that is Google Search and it seems that recruiters aka headhunters aka talent acquisition specialists – excuse me? – are held in lower esteem than the lowest of Dalits.

No other industry except perhaps real estate (oft churned around in the same saliva ball in fact) brings up such vitriolic bile. Think questionable ethics, underhand practices, fast cars, shiny suits, booze, drugs and plenty of the big S. And that’s just the girls.

Aside from marriage and children, changing jobs and buying a house are two of the most intense emotional investments that anyone can make. At the best of times the process will continually tug away at your heart strings, every high a sip of Perrier Jouet Millesime (replace with your celebratory tipple of choice), every low another nick of the rusty blunt razor. Now consider you are merely a pawn on a chessboard, pushed around at will in some unpredictable, high-stakes, winner-takes-all game for the commercial gain of others.

A very dear friend has just spent the last six months searching for a new role, she’s been to hell and back and met enough modern-day incarnations of Lucifer to last a lifetime. She finally landed a dream role last week – you know who you are and by the way… congratulations! but it’s been an absolutely brutal slog. The really scary thing is that she is brilliant. A top-performer. An A-list candidate. A purple squirrel. It’s a scary prospect. What hope for us mere grey squirrels?

As a friend with some understanding of the recruitment process we were pleased to act as confidante, able to provide insight and context along the way. What does this mean? what does that mean? my recruiter didn’t return my call should I worry? (not necessarily although it’s still not right), my recruiter doesn’t know much about the hiring manager should I worry? (yes).  We also went the extra mile such as calling up the hotel to secure early access to the presentation suite so the candidate could prepare ahead of time and make last-minute technical checks… you know all the good stuff that her actual recruiter should have been doing… Joe Bloggs Associates our invoice is in the post.

So what’s wrong? it’s quite simple. There is a genuine lack of humanity, compassion, empathy and good ol’ basic understanding. Some might throw integrity and trust into that mix too. Candidate gets offer? kerching! ring that bell, blow that klaxon, write your big number on the top-biller-wins-all-expenses-paid-trip-to-Vegas board, book VIP table at your favourite club, tear it up, get smashed, get high, get laid. There is another way. How about taking it in your stride, congratulating candidate and client, feeling good about a job well done, toddling off home, having a nice cup of cocoa and being tucked up in bed by 10? OK so we probably wouldn’t do this either but you get my point.

Here at Mongoose Gray we don’t always get it right every time either. But we do try. We genuinely care. We endeavour to champion client and candidate interests ahead of commercial gain as hopefully anyone who has dealt with us will attest. We were clients once. We were candidates once. We can empathise. We’ve also worked in the very industry we now recruit for. Hopefully this means we’ve got at least half an idea of what we’re talking about.

Recruitment is actually a surprisingly inexact science. A lot of stars need to line up for that warm body to be sitting in that empty seat come Monday morning. And it only takes one of them to fall away for the whole deal to be off. Are you so fed up with recruiters that you’re considering doing the hiring yourself? Don’t. It’s painful. It’s time-consuming. Same goes for these new shiny all-singing all-dancing automated recruitment solutions which promise to deliver you the perfect candidate straight into your inbox. Just like that. Psst! they don’t work. As a one-off sure but it’s likely to be a fluke and not repeatable. Are you willing to play roulette with your critical hiring? Didn’t think so.

Ultimately it’s a people business and always will be. And people respond best to conversations. We have them all the time. Perhaps it’s time you had one too. Get in touch: +44 (0) 203 701 1217.

Recruitment. Consulting. Support. As IT should be.™