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Don’t Let Good Candidates Slip Away

Searching for and finding the right candidate for a role has never been more challenging than it is today. So why are so many companies letting good talent slip away when it can easily be prevented? The simple answer is that they continue to drag out the interview/ hiring process and as a result, candidates walk away. Job seekers and especially passive candidates who are not actively “looking” have a lot of control these days given the nature of the employment market; more open jobs than people to fill them, the increase in highly skilled technical roles and overall economic growth across many industries leading to new job creation. High demand, short supply. Companies can examine internal processes and make adjustments that will impact their ability to not only attract the right people, but also close the deal before these favored individuals go elsewhere.

Candidates are removing themselves from the interview process because it takes too long. It happens every day. Many corporations have developed a nasty habit of implementing process and procedure over common sense in terms of hiring. Keeping in mind that if your organization is interested in an individual, then likely, there are four other companies interested in them as well at any given time. Why would he/ she spend months waiting for an offer? They won’t. They give up and move on. There is some compelling data to back up this claim as the Time to Hire survey points out:

  • For almost six in 10 workers (57 percent), the most frustrating part of the job search is the long wait after an interview to hear if they got the job.
  • Nearly one-quarter (23 percent) lose interest in an organization if they don’t hear back within one week after the initial interview; another 46 percent lose interest if there’s no status update from one-to-two weeks post-interview.
  • When faced with a lengthy hiring process, 39 percent of survey respondents lose interest and pursue other roles, while 18 percent decide to stay put in their current job.
  • Nearly one-third (32 percent) said a protracted hiring process makes them question the organization’s ability to make other important decisions.

When candidates walk, not only does it leave the hiring organization high and dry, the position is STILL open and they have to start the process all over again eating up time and resources, but there are other destructive effects as well. Here are just a few examples:

Burden on current employees; If there is a vacancy, someone must pick up the slack. There is no other way around it. If a company wishes to proceed with business as usual, the job must get done. The longer the role remains empty, the greater the stress on current employees. Stretching staff too thin not only leads to lower quality work, but also resentment and overall job dissatisfaction.

Blemished company brand; On-line reviews are here to stay. If an organization has a clunky, disjointed or overly lengthy interview process it will be revealed outside of the organization. Spend anytime on Glassdoor and you can find negative reviews on companies and this includes the candidate interview experience.

Loss of revenue; Each employee contributes to the overall organization’s success. When there is a vacancy, that individual’s contribution disappears including their innovation, production and ultimately revenue. The longer the role sits open, the impact increases.

Of course, hiring the right person is top priority and should never be rushed. That is why company’s implement well thought out strategies to make sure this happens. Hiring the wrong person comes with disastrous effects as well. The key is to finding the best method to move in a timely manner in order to attract and secure the best qualified, best fit candidate. Always, ALWAYS, keeping in mind that good people, desirable talent have options in the current marketplace. They simply are not going to wait too long when they have other opportunities knocking at the door.

After evaluating the hiring process, the next step is to tighten up and eliminate excess time which may be costing the organization to lose out on highly sought-after candidates. There are ways to revise and improve upon the process.

1. Thoroughly and thoughtfully clarify the needs before starting the recruiting process. What are the obstacles in place that would prevent you from hiring someone right away? If the timing is not right, why? Would it make more sense to wait until all the pieces are in place?

2. Get everyone on the same page. Organize the decision makers and hiring managers from the beginning. Make sure everyone is clear and in agreement on the details; job description, salary, start date etc.

3. Interview with purpose. Remove time wasting challenges. Consider the available technologies of the day to speed up the process. Many times, initial interviews can be handled over the phone or via SKYPE or Face Time. Piggyback interviews on the same day. Time is a precious commodity for everyone. Think of it as interviewing smarter, not harder.

4. Engage, engage, ENGAGE. It is imperative to keep the lines of communication open with candidates. After each step in the process, provide feedback to your recruiter. Positive or negative, candidates want to know immediately what is going on. If they do not receive feedback, they naturally assume there is no interest and those other opportunities become more attractive.

5. Present the offer. If you want to hire the person, close the deal! Move on making a verbal offer (at least) as soon as possible. Even if it is presenting with stipulations and contingencies. This shows good faith and interest. The Devil is in the details and candidates understand this, but once an offer is on the table, they are far less likely to walk away.

6. Use your recruiter. Last but not least, remember that your external recruiter is your partner in this process. Use that relationship to gain valuable insight. Ask for constructive criticism if you see you are losing talent. It is just as important to them that you find and hire the best person for the job. Another way to leverage this partnership is to understand that your recruiter can assist with the negotiations and assist you in creating and presenting a compelling offer that will help lock-in the candidate. Consider the advice and tweak internal procedures to improve the overall success of the process.