In the last post, I shared with you one important interview question that will help you determine whether to continue conversations with a particular candidate: “Take me through your background, the 15 minutes version.” Great communication skills in general, including judging the appropriate level of detail for different audiences is a must have for all our firm’s client organizations. Once you’ve asked your interviewee this question, it’s time to move on to the next phase of a speedy hiring.
Don’t let off the gas.
My second tip is to avoid the strong temptation to let off the gas once you get started.
The natural reaction is to breathe a sigh of relief when more than one or two great candidates have been identified. Even if there are five or six great candidates, things change quickly. You can’t count on all of these candidates to remain standing throughout the hiring process; businesses and personal lives are changing faster than ever.
We could have five qualified and interested candidates, then none very quickly. At Colosi Associates, 95% of candidates we work with ARE NOT looking for a new role. We often hear things like: “My company is now going to be bought; I have to stay for my equity. My wife just had our baby sooner than expected. I can’t talk for a few months.”
What does slowing down look like?
You wait another week or more to schedule a next step. Or you wait more than 24-48 hours to get back in touch with candidates with feedback, even though nothing is holding back the communication. A candidate who fits well in a collaborative and decisive environment with a sense of urgency will lose interest quickly if the hiring process takes too long. They see the whole process as a marker for what it might be like to work there.
Significant changes to the business or even the hiring manager herself could come up and significantly impact the role. If this happens, be super communicative with candidates. Be impeccable with your word. I’m still surprised about any professionals I talk with who say that after an in-person meeting with a company, they never heard back.
Things are changing.
There’s been a sea of change over the last 18 months in the predictability of the time to identify a short list of qualified and interested professionals. It might take longer as talent is driving the “when” they will put the proverbial phone back on the hook just listen to a new role, and most certainly the “where” they will work (Hint: their geographical ranges are much tighter).
Until 18 months ago, we knew that in X amount of time, the client would be able to schedule candidate interviews during a certain time frame. Today? It’s much less predictable.
Once you do identify even one or two candidates, don’t lose focus. It’s one thing you can do that doesn’t add costs to a hiring process, but does create a huge advantage for your competitors over your team’s ability to hire. Even for hiring candidates who aren’t looking. Do enough due diligence, but don’t take your time.
Colosi Associates partners on retained process executive search for Financial and Human Resource Officers. We also offer consulting when organizations need specific project management for any part of the hiring process. If this is you, let us know. We’d love to help you make sure your project goes quickly and smoothly.