Why a “Slow Hire” mentality, can cost you.

Why a “Slow Hire” mentality, can cost you.

Let’s face it, judging a book by its cover is something that we all are guilty of.  Whether the perception is positive or negative, we all are formulating opinions of others on a fairly regular basis.  Is this a good thing, bad thing, or just human nature?  It all depends on the context of the evaluation right?  Those of us in the staffing industry who are directly or indirectly involved in the hiring process are always making snap judgements about candidates.  Why?  It’s human nature…and it’s also our job!

Regardless of the business, industry, or position, companies who are hiring are constantly evaluating individuals to find the most qualified candidate who will be the best fit for their position.  The challenge many companies are facing these days is finding the best, most effective process to evaluate talent and to make solid hires.  In order to assure they make the best hire, many companies are elongating their interview process, involving many decision makers to gauge their thoughts and feedback into the process.  After weeks spent interviewing candidates on multiple occasions, a company is usually able to come to an informed decision as to the best person to proceed with.

I will admit that the instances described in the first 2 paragraphs are at opposite ends of the spectrum.  What I am suggesting is that companies should be able to find a middle ground, which I personally believe would be the most effective.  It’s easy to understand why making a hiring decision too quickly can be a potential problem.  But we also need to understand the challenges in having an interview process drag on too long.

I have spoken with many companies who have fallen victim to this and also worked through unfortunate situations myself where this has been detrimental in the hiring process.  Let me explain.  With all of the buzz about the economy improving, the unemployment rate has decreased considerably from where we were 4 years ago.  I specialize in accounting and finance and in Michigan, unemployment is below 2%.  This means that top professionals are currently working and not available to companies.  More critical than that is this key point…When highly qualified and experienced candidates hit the job market, they stand out from the crowd and do not last very long before someone makes a smart decision and hires them.

So what’s all of this have to do with the evaluation process?  I have seen companies not work through their process quickly enough and miss out on great candidates.  Candidates they’ve told me they would have liked to hire.  I’ve recently seen a couple of companies handle this very appropriately and I will share the details.  A client who traditionally has had a 5-6 interview process that spanned 5-6 weeks cut their process in half.  Utilizing panel interviews and also lengthening interviews from 1 hour to 2-3 hours, they now cover the same ground in half the time, and have drastically decreased candidate fall off.  While there are other ways to avoid this pitfall, it’s most important to recognize the threat and take action.  If there are ways to expedite your hiring process, without compromising the evaluation process, this will help you avoid candidate fall off and hire more of the top 5-10% talent available!

Eric Garlinger