Recruiting new people to your business can be challenging at the best of times but the whole process can be demoralising when you have selected your favoured candidate after numerous rounds of selection, interviews and negotiating, only to lose out to your nearest competitor just before that candidate signs on the dotted line.
Weeks of hard work can be wasted. Your whole business plan could be put back by months, not only affecting your immediate business but could well have a major impact on profitability and growth. This is a situation that is becoming all too common. Top talent is in high demand in our ever competitive world and if you under estimate your direct competitor and their ability to gazump you at the last minute then you do so at your peril.
We have all most likely heard the expression the War on Talent being used by talent teams and recruiters for over a decade now and like many of these expressions it has lost its impact and true meaning by overuse. But the intention of this still runs true and if anything is even more relevant in today's world. It has become all too easy for savvy candidates to negotiate multiple offers and top talent will invariably have their pick of great roles. So how do you ensure that you land your favoured candidate and secure that deal ahead of the competition?
First and foremost, speed is your friend! There is no excuse for a slow recruiting processes in the 21st century. Whatever size business you are. Work with an exceptional recruiter who is an expert in the chosen field to help provide the best short list of candidates. With modern sourcing techniques and an highly skilled talent acquisition professional this should be taking days rather than weeks.
As a hiring manager you should commit to the interview process and ensure that you make time in your schedule to complete the process. There is nothing worse than having conducted an initial interview and then leave a couple of weeks between interviews. It says to the candidate that you are not really that interested or are preferring another candidate. This will immediately leave the door open for other companies to steal your potential employee away from you. By the time you are ready for your 2nd interview, your candidate may well have already been offered and accepted elsewhere.
Speed of the hiring process should be factored in right at the start. Before you even start the search. Book the 1st, 2nd and final interviews in your calendar and the calendars of your other interviewers. These times cant be moved and by ensuring you stick to that schedule you guarantee that you move quickly. Look at streamlining your interview process and interview your top 3 candidates on the same day by an panel of interviewers on a one to one basis. By the end of the day you will have a stand out winner and you will be progressing to offer and securing the very best before your competition has even woken up!
Be prepared for every eventuality and plan it all in advance. Recruiting should never been seen as something you can just do ad hoc and interview as and when people turn up. Above all, have you agreed your sign off procedure? Do you know what your compensation parameters are and whether and how you can go beyond these parameters for that exceptional candidate? Get the sign off agreed in advance and contracts ready. Many a candidate has been lost from verbal offer to actually receiving the offer in writing. Make sure that whoever signs the contracts isn't on annual leave for a couple of weeks when you need to get the deal done!
Communication is key. Silence is always treated as a negative sign by candidates. Treat candidates just as you would treat your best customer. With all the methods of communication that are available these days, it takes just minutes to write an email to your recruitment partner or directly to your candidate updating as to where you are at, whats happening and when the next stage will be. Feedback from an interview must be delivered ideally immediately but at the very worst within 24 hours. Be decisive and be communicative and you will ensure that you keep your candidate with you along the hiring path.
Finally we get to the point of offer and then decide to take references. We then find out something that we need further clarification on. Maybe something we have reviewed on social media or on a target being achieved. The trip on the final hurdle may well not be fatal in itself but what it will do is open the door to your competitor to snatch the candidate from your grasp. Now I am not saying that you should not be conducting your due diligence. Not at all. But why leave it it till the end. Social media searches, target and performance checks can easily be undertaken early in the process and the best recruitment partners will be able to provide this for you as well. Not only does social media reviews early in the process put your mind at rest but can also provide great interview questioning and discussions.
With these simple tips you can get a step ahead of the competition and land the top talent you deserve!