This is week three of tips to save time recruiting your next hire.  In case you missed the last two:

In Fail Fast, we suggest asking candidates to: “Take me through your background, the 10-15 minute version” as an early, high priority question. This tests if the candidate communicates concisely and clearly, and if his/her interests and accomplishments, at a high level, appear to be a match for the role.

In Hit the Gas, we warn against becoming complacent once a few great candidates are solidly in the interview process. In today’s environment, you could (seemingly all of a sudden) go from several candidates to no candidates, even when many of your candidates aren’t actively looking for a new role.

In this blog, we suggest you let the candidate ask you questions you early on.

If the role you’re hiring requires intellectual curiosity and critical thinking for success, as all of our executive search assignments do at Colosi Associates, it’s a time saver to evaluate those capabilities as early as possible. And it allows you to compare one candidate to another as early as possible.

How do we do it?

Comprehensively carrying out a successful retained search assignment is a combination of reaching out to professionals we already know and identifying those we don’t know. This ensures we’ve considered talent from as many of the relevant organizations in the client’s industry/space as possible. We don’t just consider who is “on the market” but the bigger who is “in the (total) market”.

The strategy around approaching someone who isn’t seeking a new role should be very strategic and individualized. “Blast” messaging never works in the retained process. The timing around asking a candidate questions should be thoughtful and personalized.

Once you connect with a potential candidate, you’ll spend some time describing the role and enticing the person to discuss it a bit further. You may just get the candidate to move to the “let me think about it stage” in this first interaction.

In the next call, just after you’ve learned enough about the person’s background and interests to have a strong sense you would continue the conversation, say, “I have a few more things I’d love to learn about your experience, but I don’t want to run out of time before you’ve had a chance to ask your questions.”

Then just listen. The quality of the questions will definitely help determine the level of intellectual curiosity and, likely, something about the person’s critical thinking skills.

Tip number three is to ask a potential candidate what his/her questions are. Ask it early on. I’m not completely alarmed if the candidate is working 24/7 and says, “I do plan to research a bit more but for now my questions are 1, 2 and 3”.  Certainly though, by the next interaction or in-person meeting, the candidate should have come along the interest curve enough to have great questions.

And, I remind clients that in every interview along the way, interviewers should block time early on for the candidate to ask questions, or even make it the only objective in the meeting.

Reach out to Colosi Associates any time to chat about other ways to speed up your time to hire without compromising on a quality search.