Good Talent Disappears When You Make These Mistakes

January 20th, 2015 | Articles, Hiring Resources | No Comments »

Candidate Search

Time is against you in a candidate search. In the recruiting business, you learn that good candidates cannot simply be earmarked as yours and saved for later. They’re aggressively applying for jobs. They’re active on LinkedIn. They’re out and about making network connections. Don’t expect them to cool their heels and wait for you.

Oddly enough, the overall timeframe for a candidate search has increased. On average, employers are taking 25 working days to fill vacancies and it’s not cheap. The dollar amount that an empty chair can cost per month is nearly $5,000. In that time, they’ve potentially lost out on good candidates to competitors who were quicker on the draw.

What’s causing this? There are two things I can think of in recent months that have considerably slowed down the hiring process for some of my clients.

Having Only Half a Plan

One business started off right. My contact knew all the position’s job requirements down to a tee. There was no guess work on what a hypothetical candidate would look like and no unrealistic expectations. My team had all the right information to find talent in their candidate search.

We gathered a few candidates to present and sent over resumes. Then, I heard nothing back for a week.

Once a representative finally returned my messages, it turns out the hiring team was in meetings trying to coordinate their calendars for interviews. What would the interview schedules be like? Who was going to be doing interviews and when? By the time they had a rubric plotted out, all of those original candidates were already snatched up.

All of that happened in two weeks’ time.

Establish a concrete hiring action plan in advance. Determine your projected windows of availability and have them ready to accommodate candidates’ varying schedules. That way, you can act and act fast.

Acting without Urgency

A strong hiring process isn’t just about having a game plan early on.

Another business at least had their interview windows all blocked out. They had a strong vision of their ideal candidate, we found them a top-notch person, and they quickly told me they wanted to set up an interview.

However, that interview was set 1.5 weeks into the future. I tried to convince them to do otherwise, but they couldn’t budge.

Two days before the interview, I got the call I dreaded. It was my candidate with the news that he had already accepted another position. I congratulated him on the new job and wished him luck. What else could I do?

A similar company made it through the initial interview with a candidate who earned rave reviews. The hiring team just wanted to coordinate with the CEO to get a final okay.

Then, they were silent.

My candidate kept on checking back over and over again, inquiring about his status. I told him to sit tight, but by the time there was a response from my client, the candidate was already on-boarded at a company with faster reflexes.

What held both of these companies back was their lack of urgency. Sure, they were prepared for all of the interview steps, but they were sluggish when it came to sealing the deal. Thomas Jefferson said it best. “Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.”

My Advice for Your Candidate Search

The good candidates are always going to be snatched up quickly. Be ready and act urgently with your candidate search and you won’t be the one left holding the empty bag.

Jeff Gullett is the Assistant Branch Manager for Ashley Ellis Naperville.