Are You Forfeiting Your Chance at Hiring Top Talent?

Written by Julie Kampf on . Posted in Blog

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The year 2016 starts with the greatest disconnect I’ve seen in the field of talent acquisition, and the consequences threaten every company that values talent.
 
Here’s what’s happening.  Top candidates now generate employment options faster than at any time since before the recession, thanks to a tightening job market and the retirement of skilled baby boomers. Employers barely notice the change because enough “B” players remain available to support the continuing mindset that “there’s always someone else out there.”
 

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:  

  1. 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.
     
  2. 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.  

  3. 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.   

  4. Communicate the process.  Everyone on the hiring team and all candidates should understand up front what to expect and what’s expected of them.

  5. 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. 

  6. 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

    1. Dedicate.  Recognize that leadership development requires time, money and cultural commitment on the part of both companies and executives.  Like natural-born athletes who train with coaches, nutritionists and other professionals on their grueling journey to greatness, even the most talented performers need thoughtful training and development support to realize their full potential.

    2. Rotate.  Much as top athletes cross-train to improve overall fitness, high-potential designees should rotate through an array of increasingly complex and diverse managerial assignments while simultaneously participating in sophisticated management development programs.  This kind of integrated and methodical executive development programming blends day-to-day hands-on work experience with practical classroom management training.    

    3. Communicate.  For serious executive development to succeed, Board Directors and CEOs must communicate an unwavering commitment to ensure that those who have been identified as high-potential executives are properly career pathed through bona fide leadership development positions. Clear mandates are imperative to ensure that future leaders simultaneously participate in rigorous management development programs that are geared to prepare high-caliber executives for what lies ahead.

    4. Evaluate.  All companies, irrespective of size, should have performance management systems in place that evaluate leadership, managerial competencies and other significant factors as well as those areas requiring improvement. This system should feed into and serve as the basis of a formal succession planning process that collectively identifies and tracks the development strategy for future leaders. 


    Even companies with strong internal executive development programs may still need to recruit externally for various reasons; for example, a senior management position may unexpectedly open before internal talent is fully ready to advance. The bottom line is that businesses that excel at internal development and also selectively recruit externally stand the best chance of fielding a winning team.

    Howard J. Gross
    Managing Director, JBK Associates International

     

    1. Dedicate.  Recognize that leadership development requires time, money and cultural commitment on the part of both companies and executives.  Like natural-born athletes who train with coaches, nutritionists and other professionals on their grueling journey to greatness, even the most talented performers need thoughtful training and development support to realize their full potential.

    2. Rotate.  Much as top athletes cross-train to improve overall fitness, high-potential designees should rotate through an array of increasingly complex and diverse managerial assignments while simultaneously participating in sophisticated management development programs.  This kind of integrated and methodical executive development programming blends day-to-day hands-on work experience with practical classroom management training.    

    3. Communicate.  For serious executive development to succeed, Board Directors and CEOs must communicate an unwavering commitment to ensure that those who have been identified as high-potential executives are properly career pathed through bona fide leadership development positions. Clear mandates are imperative to ensure that future leaders simultaneously participate in rigorous management development programs that are geared to prepare high-caliber executives for what lies ahead.

    4. Evaluate.  All companies, irrespective of size, should have performance management systems in place that evaluate leadership, managerial competencies and other significant factors as well as those areas requiring improvement. This system should feed into and serve as the basis of a formal succession planning process that collectively identifies and tracks the development strategy for future leaders. 


    Even companies with strong internal executive development programs may still need to recruit externally for various reasons; for example, a senior management position may unexpectedly open before internal talent is fully ready to advance. The bottom line is that businesses that excel at internal development and also selectively recruit externally stand the best chance of fielding a winning team.

    Howard J. Gross
    Managing Director, JBK Associates International

     

    1. Dedicate.  Recognize that leadership development requires time, money and cultural commitment on the part of both companies and executives.  Like natural-born athletes who train with coaches, nutritionists and other professionals on their grueling journey to greatness, even the most talented performers need thoughtful training and development support to realize their full potential.

    2. Rotate.  Much as top athletes cross-train to improve overall fitness, high-potential designees should rotate through an array of increasingly complex and diverse managerial assignments while simultaneously participating in sophisticated management development programs.  This kind of integrated and methodical executive development programming blends day-to-day hands-on work experience with practical classroom management training.    

    3. Communicate.  For serious executive development to succeed, Board Directors and CEOs must communicate an unwavering commitment to ensure that those who have been identified as high-potential executives are properly career pathed through bona fide leadership development positions. Clear mandates are imperative to ensure that future leaders simultaneously participate in rigorous management development programs that are geared to prepare high-caliber executives for what lies ahead.

    4. Evaluate.  All companies, irrespective of size, should have performance management systems in place that evaluate leadership, managerial competencies and other significant factors as well as those areas requiring improvement. This system should feed into and serve as the basis of a formal succession planning process that collectively identifies and tracks the development strategy for future leaders. 


    Even companies with strong internal executive development programs may still need to recruit externally for various reasons; for example, a senior management position may unexpectedly open before internal talent is fully ready to advance. The bottom line is that businesses that excel at internal development and also selectively recruit externally stand the best chance of fielding a winning team.

    Howard J. Gross
    Managing Director, JBK Associates International

     

  1. Dedicate.  Recognize that leadership development requires time, money and cultural commitment on the part of both companies and executives.  Like natural-born athletes who train with coaches, nutritionists and other professionals on their grueling journey to greatness, even the most talented performers need thoughtful training and development support to realize their full potential.

  2. Rotate.  Much as top athletes cross-train to improve overall fitness, high-potential designees should rotate through an array of increasingly complex and diverse managerial assignments while simultaneously participating in sophisticated management development programs.  This kind of integrated and methodical executive development programming blends day-to-day hands-on work experience with practical classroom management training.    

  3. Communicate.  For serious executive development to succeed, Board Directors and CEOs must communicate an unwavering commitment to ensure that those who have been identified as high-potential executives are properly career pathed through bona fide leadership development positions. Clear mandates are imperative to ensure that future leaders simultaneously participate in rigorous management development programs that are geared to prepare high-caliber executives for what lies ahead.

  4. Evaluate.  All companies, irrespective of size, should have performance management systems in place that evaluate leadership, managerial competencies and other significant factors as well as those areas requiring improvement. This system should feed into and serve as the basis of a formal succession planning process that collectively identifies and tracks the development strategy for future leaders. 


Even companies with strong internal executive development programs may still need to recruit externally for various reasons; for example, a senior management position may unexpectedly open before internal talent is fully ready to advance. The bottom line is that businesses that excel at internal development and also selectively recruit externally stand the best chance of fielding a winning team.

Howard J. Gross
Managing Director, JBK Associates International

 


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