At this point, we’ve all read or even experienced ourselves the open position that had 500 applicants. With such enormous candidate pools and so many people looking for work (and even desperate for work), this means that employers have maximum control of the process, right. Well, not really.
Even with lots of candidates out there…,
- Candidates will have other opportunities (part 1) - If you drag out your candidate screening process over weeks and weeks, you are increasing the chances that candidates (even finalists) will move on to another opportunity. The “hotter” the candidate, the more opportunity they’ll have, even in this market. The company who can put them through their process quicker and offer an equal opportunity may beat you out.
- Candidates will have other opportunities (part 2) – The great candidate may also be one who is in pretty dire circumstances. He/she may have to take the first offer they get of any work.
- Candidates will get uncomfortable and withdraw - If your process drags on, candidates can start to think, “Jeez, even if they offer me a job, it doesn’t seem like they’re really that interested in me. I’m not sure if I want to work somewhere where I’m not valued.” Even if a candidate doesn’t officially withdraw, they’ll just go silent.
Indeed, even with unemployment high, best hiring practices still hold true when it comes to working with candidates. It’s still critical to move through your hiring process expeditiously. here are some thoughts to help with that.
- Set an 8 week deadline. Commit to no more than 8 weeks between posting a position and making your final decision on a candidate (or to restrategize the search and start over).
- Make sure that internal stakeholders agree on the position and search parameters before you launch. When there is internal dissention about the scope of a job, qualifications, compensation, etc., it drags out the hiring process because these matters are being worked through while candidates are being considered. Figure out the position first, get everyone in agreement, then launch.
- Have the infrastructure in place to move through the process. If you don’t have the capacity to quickly process resumes and move candidates through quickly, consider engaging additional help. (Note that our RPO service is perfect in these situations!)
- Communicate to your candidates. Be clear about your timeline for hiring and where they are in the process, especially if they’re real contenders.
- Keep the top candidates engaged. If the hiring manager just interviewed someone fabulous but is going on vacation before the final decision can be made, make sure that the candidate is contacted by the company in a meaningful way during that week. It’s not enough just to tell them that you’ll be away – keep them connected.
Indeed, even with unemployment high, time is ticking when it comes to working with candidates.
At ADVISA, we offer pre-hire consulting (recruiting strategy development, process development, creation of job descriptions and more) as well as our RPO service in which we conduct top-notch searches on behalf of our clients (and at an hourly rate). Contact me and we’ll see how we can help!