Feedback from the recruiting industry and our candidate pool is uniquely aligned for the first time in many years. There is a true talent war occurring: keeping your high potential talent has never been harder – attracting and landing new talent increasingly difficult.
During the recession we were afforded the luxury of deploying a “low risk” interview process. This often involved two to six interview steps involving both the recruiter and all interested stakeholders. Often Industrial Psychologists were involved late stage and as an additional step. Offers were constructed slowly, with due thought and approval. References were checked. The interview process was sequential and became drawn out, often to months rather than weeks – which candidates tolerated because they too were risk adverse and wanted to make sure that this opportunity was absolutely right for their career, and their family.
Fast forward to today, where not only are we used to multi- tasking on a routine basis (think Skype conference calls whilst answering emails and texts), but also the sheer speed of doing business encourages candidates to expect decisions to be made with lightening speed. Instant feedback and immediate status updates have become the norm. Add to this the fact that even the most passive candidates thinking about a change have multiple actual and virtual touch points to confidentially advertise their receptivity – so the ability to generate several suitors simultaneously has never been easier.
Once a candidate enters the interview process, we cannot afford a delay. Hesitation or prevarication will send the wrong signals to a candidate – and will enable an alternate suitor to steal their attention. We need to truly focus on truncating the interview process, simultaneously processing multiple steps and decision points in order to be as efficient and effective as possible.
Some steps to consider:
- Absolute clarity and agreement on what is needed should always be first step of a hiring process
- Determination of who needs to be involved in the selection process is the next step : don’t include people with a limited stake in the hire –especially when schedules are tight
- Do not make the candidate endure multiple on site interviews to accommodate hiring managers or decision makers schedules. If this hire is important, prioritize interviews on calendars or substitute virtual meetings
- Process psychological testing, reference checks ,non-compete/legal issues and draft offers simultaneous to interviews – this can save a lot of dead time
- Make sure that the ultimate authority to make the hire is held at the appropriate level within the organization – and everyone knows who that is!
By no means am I advocating precipitous decisions: the importance of the right hiring decisions is still paramount – however a timely look at your interview process and streamlining it to a decision point might not only help you on board talent more effectively – but might also present a more dynamic , decisive image to the external community.
Food for thought!