While a thorough and detailed interview process can help ensure the right hiring decisions are made, a slow hiring process can also drive away top candidates.
Skilled candidates have a multitude of options in today’s job market, making them more likely to favor and select organizations with timely hiring decisions.
Candidates recognize the importance and weight of making a good hire; however, they do not want to be static waiting on a response or potential offer.
At The Overture Group, we help facilitate the entire hiring process for businesses by keeping candidates engaged, motivated, and excited from beginning to end. We want to help companies understand the implications of waiting too long to make a decision and provide feedback to candidates.
Rather than making candidates wait unnecessarily, strive to implement quicker hiring procedures when appropriate. Here are some tips to succeed in a job market where candidates have the leading edge:
As an organization, it is your responsibility to set the timeframe for the interview process with your candidates upfront. If you know you have an elongated hiring process, in which candidates have slipped through the cracks before, set the expectations right away. Perhaps an estimated time is listed on your career site or job description itself. Once you have started the conversation with a candidate, be transparent and explain what your interview process looks like and why. For example, if there is a predictable schedule conflict, in which there will be a delay, share what the schedule is. This simple step will build trust and rapport with the candidate. They will understand so long as they are informed. This action will also prevent the candidate from questioning their loyalty to your company.
Do Not Wait
If you have interviewed a great candidate for the position, do not wait in extending them an offer. We have seen this happen several times when companies wish to interview several more candidates before making a hiring decision. By doing so, qualified candidates continue to explore other options and often accept a different position entirely. Candidates want to feel valued, and this should be demonstrated before an offer. If you have other qualified candidates you wish to speak to, bring them in and consider them for a different or new role in the company.
It is no secret the hiring process is complex. If you interview a qualified candidate, do not hesitate in asking for their references, or additional accomplishments, right away. References can take time to connect with, so ask candidates for their references as a follow-up to your first interview. One good practice is to create a series of consistent questions for each of the candidates’ references. The same questions should be used for all candidates and align with the expectations of the role. This will also help expedite the process. Assigning homework or follow-up steps keeps the candidate actively involved, too.
Assessing Culture Fit
If you find a candidate you are interested in, invite them back into your company. Hiring can be a lot like dating, where both sides involved are assessing their interest in making a commitment. Working with an executive search firm can also help identify the personal motivating factors behind a candidates’ decision making process. On the other hand, if you know a candidate does not fit your company’s culture, cut them loose out of respect for their time and talent.
To avoid losing candidates in the process, set expectations upfront. Explain the process is flexible yet still try to maintain a respectful timeframe. Candidates understand you want to make a thoughtful decision because they do too. Keep the process consistent with questions and reference checks. Starting a new relationship should bring positive excitement and engagement, so invite candidates to return for additional conversations to increase your confidence and theirs.