Douglas Bates, Director and Co-Founder at recruitment consultancy Intelligent People, recently shared his recruitment tips with Business Because. Read the full interview below:

“Hiring the right staff is important for any business but when you’re hiring for someone else, it’s even more important. Recruitment specialist Douglas Bates knows this better than most after 16 years in the industry.
In 2002, he co-founded Intelligent People, a “vertically aligned recruitment consultancy”, in London, specialising in marketing, ecommerce and product management roles.

According to their website, this means that their recruitment specialists have, “A good knowledge of the area you want to access, including the employment landscape, where the candidates and jobs are, the technology, salary levels, lead times, trends, issues.”

Now, 11 years later, Intelligent People recruit for some of the biggest companies in the United Kingdom. Douglas, who is a keen runner and cyclist and also volunteers for learning disability charity Mencap, took some time out to share his expertise with us.

What kind of companies does Intelligent People recruit for?
We work with some of the world’s leading online and eCommerce Companies, recruiting candidates for Online Marketing, eCommmerce Strategy, Product Management and Insight roles.

Do you hire mainly for UK companies or do you also hire for companies abroad?
We hire in the UK only, with most of our jobs being based in London.

How competitive is the MBA recruitment field?
There is usually strong competition for each role aimed at MBAs. That said, upper quartile candidates normally find themselves with multiple offers and so clients end up competing to get the best. The typical starting salary is £50k+.

How do you find the best applicants for your clients?
We find applicants through a variety of methods. These are advertising, SEO, social media and general brand awareness.

What are some of the qualities you look for when recruiting MBAs for companies?
We generally look for excellent communication skills coupled with the ability to gain insight from raw data.

What advantages does an MBA have over other applicants?
An MBA is helpful getting a recruiter or hiring manager’s attention. At the interview stage though, it’s the ability to deliver that is key. Some MBAs seem to believe that having an MBA will get them the job and don’t understand that they need to sell themselves at the interview.

What’s the best interview experience you’ve had?
Personally speaking, it’s always been nice to get a job offer after being interviewed. However, on a professional level, I always enjoy interviewing enthusiastic, articulate candidates with a passion for what they do.

What are the common mistakes many applicants make?
The top three are complacency, a lack of enthusiasm and not asking for feedback. Asking for feedback is key because it demonstrates a desire for the role and also gives the applicant the opportunity to overcome any concerns or reservations the client may have.

What’s the best job you’ve hired for that you wish you could have applied for?
I once helped a friend get a role as Head of Triathlon UK.

What’s the best thing about being a recruiter?
It’s great being able to help people out as well as having the thrill of a sales related role.