Why Faster Recruiting Should Be Your New Year's Resolution
Hiring is a dicey proposition. On one hand, it is the most important decision a manager will make. A bad hire costs more than wasted salary. Bad hires are time and productivity suckers who infect your team like an Ebola virus.
Your most valuable resource is not technology, capital or facilities. Your most valuable resource is the human one. Elite employees may be as productive as ten average employees. One carefully recruited rock star candidate properly managed and incentivized can change the future of your team forever. If elite candidates are so important, why are most recruiting processes aimed at average candidates?
49% of Recruiters say hiring managers are too slow to make a decision.
Your Tedious Process
Let’s state the obvious. The best bread doesn’t sit on the shelf long enough to get stale, or as my old boss used to say, “Good candidates get jobs.” The average elite candidate secures an offer within ten days. A safe assumption is that your excellent candidate is either interviewing with multiple suitors, or another company will swoop in during the process.
I want you to be constructively paranoid. The next time you interview a special candidate, I want you to think, “what changes could I make to our process to speed this up?” When I ask companies why they take three weeks to hire a good candidate, I usually get a shrug. If you can’t defend your process, maybe you should change it.
Most executives shift responsibility when it comes to recruiting. Let me be clear. You may have the most talented talent acquisition team in the world, but you are still responsible for recruiting. Smart executives are intimately involved with discussions early on. One of my most successful clients has the Managing Partner conduct first interviews. The results are stellar. Court your candidates.
Falling in Love
18 years of experience placing executives and high performers has brought me to one conclusion. Choosing a new company is like choosing a spouse. Most employers assume that great candidates evaluate job prospects on a purely logical basis.
If you want to recruit the best of the best, you must learn to evoke some sort of passion. A candidate wants to fall in love with a new mission and management team, or it’s not going to happen. An elite candidate wants to feel something. I’ve seen top candidates fall in love with companies and then change their minds a month later. The candidate is correctly assessing that they may be in love, but that love is not reciprocated. I encourage you to think carefully about what your foot-dragging is communicating.
Can you remember the last time you interviewed for a job? I bet you thought, “What happens when they figure out who I really am?” This feeling is almost universal, even among top candidates and is especially true in a case where the candidate has been in the same role for ten years or longer. The candidate has a creeping suspicion that this new company will decide to lay them off or fire them if they have to leave the office for personal reasons. This irrational fear builds over time.
The cure for fear is action. As time marches on, a reluctant candidate sensing that their new company may have reservations, will back out of a process.
The Need For Speed
I’m a big believer in a multi-step process. I personally put people through three steps (two interviews and a personality profile) to work for me. The difference is that I move through the steps with elite candidates quickly. I once told a client, “Any recruiting process that slows you down is a bad one.” I’ve found that even within large bureaucratic organizations, some leaders shrug their shoulders while others find creative ways to speed up the process. Remember, your people will always be more important than your process.