Here’s the problem. Sure, there’s always someone, but the people you want in highly demanding executive roles no longer wait. And, at many companies, long waits have become the norm as the time taken to fill positions has reached record highs. The bottom line: companies nationwide have begun forfeiting their chance at hiring top talent—and they don’t even know it.
It’s time for a new game plan, one that assumes that every single candidate you interview is evaluating other opportunities. Here are six suggestions:
- Know what you want. The hiring timeline slows down when companies use the interview process to figure out a job description. Start with a clear picture of the position and its priorities.
- Build a step-by-step process. Prevent false starts with a consistent process that outlines everything from the interview panel to a timetable that’s respectful enough to keep candidates engaged.
- Streamline. Of course consensus matters, but beware paralysis by analysis. Maybe you don’t really need six rounds of interviews. Or you might require interviewers to provide feedback within 24 hours. Lack of timely feedback leads to disengagement of great talent.
- Communicate the process. Everyone on the hiring team and all candidates should understand up front what to expect and what’s expected of them.
- Prioritize interviews. You may need to block out interview time in advance, or adjust other appointments or even conduct an interview over the weekend in order to avoid a costly delay.
- Know when to make an offer. Don’t wait for the purple unicorn. Think of choosing a candidate like choosing a house: holding out for a fantasy can cost you your best opportunity. Consider making an offer when a candidate you really like has 95 percent of what you want.
Top talent has options, and you have only a brief and shrinking window to secure the right person for an open leadership position. Worse, candidates who feel mistreated will take their experiences out to the marketplace and into social media, poisoning your employer brand for upcoming searches. The game plan you build now can make all the difference between a future spent talking about talent and one of getting it.
By Julie Kampf