Q&A recruitment on LinkedIn
Casey asked "For employers - How far in advance do you hire for a position? ASAP, 1 month before the need, 2 months if you have the notice, etc? I personally have new graduates that come to me far before their graduation seeking employment... (However) many of the positions that I fill, are almost immediate needs. Do most companies wait till the last minute, or do you make every attempt to fill an opening as soon as possible when you know there's an opening (and considering you have the budget approval for the position!)"
For recruiters to work smoothly with corporate HR departments, they need to know the clients' preferences and agenda. Of course, trends and strategies vary wildly across the board for instance, recruitment companies in New York, which is a dense population centre, will certainly differ from what recruiters in Alameda California are up to. So here's my answer:
Indeed a lot depends on the level of the opening. Middle-management and below we hire spontaneously, within a month of start date, whereas senior level staff such as chief accountants, heads of R&D and c-level execs we typically attract on probation which commences after basic training and the process can take as long as half a year. However, you mention students who have not even completed their studies... imo such untried talent that has not been battle-tested is not suitable for senior management, no matter how bright it is. Experience and references are far more important than exam results - there is no test in the school curriculum for "responsibility", "tenacity", "patience", "dedication" and countless other crucial virtues needed to run a company. I care not if my director has mastered the latest vernacular jargon - what I need to know is that he is willing to put in the extra hours when needed and will not fold under pressure like a wet tissue.
Anyway, just as there is no one-size-fits-all job interview or trial, so there is no one single deadline strategy. I suggest you keep a stable of pre-screened candidates that are able and willing to jump at your call, so that you can deliver as the client requires.
Oleg K. Temple, April 2011