As a senior level recruiter I have lost many really great candidates as a result of a “broken recruiting process”. The road to a great hire is paved with good intentions, but sometimes falls short. Well meaning managers who need great talent want to have a smooth process, but often this falls apart in the busy world of growing start ups and complex corporate environments.
As the job market heats up, hiring managers cannot afford to let weeks and months pass by with an empty slot. Top producing C-level sales and marketing executives get busy, but customer-facing roles must be filled in time in order to increase bottom-line revenue.
To attract the best and brightest talent in sales, pre-sales, product management, product marketing, and other critical positions, hiring managers need to take concrete steps to keep the hiring process moving along despite a busy schedule. Here’s how:
Whether working directly with candidates or via a recruiter, communication is key.Even something as simple as a quick email stating interest in a candidate with availability for a phone interview is good.If you are swamped and can’t make the interview for 2 weeks, this certainly isn’t optimal, but putting off an email communication sends the signal to both the recruiter and the candidate that you are not serious and may have a ripple effect.It is better to take 10 seconds and send an email to plan a meeting several weeks out than to ignore the message altogether.
If you don’t communicate, the candidate will go elsewhere in search of work and assuming they are a strong player, you will have a tough time wooing them back. It is also possible that the recruiter will decrease efforts to find you additional talent. Many good contingency recruiters go where the action is.If you are slow to respond to their submittals, they will look for greener pastures, particularly if they send you “rock star” candidates and get no reaction.
While you may be busy, if you get a good résumé, reach out to the candidate or the recruiter and share your situation. If you have a conference to attend or will be travelling, let them know.In this way, the candidate will at least be aware that you have interest, but simply can’t allocate the time this week.
Nothing leaves a bad taste in a candidate’s mouth like being stood up for a phone call or being made to wait an hour in the office lobby for an interview. While you are the boss, it is important to show prospective candidates that you will be respectful of their time.Otherwise, why would they want to work for you? No matter how great your company or product offering is, if you do not treat them well, they will not be excited to come aboard.
Be sure that you and your internal staff circle back throughout the hiring process with feedback so that candidates and recruiters know what next steps will be. Even if this means saying there will be a delay in the process. It is better to provide feedback than to frustrate the candidate by neglecting to let them know when there is a hold up. Recruiters who are informed as to status can be great advocates to help smooth things over and keep candidates “warm and fuzzy” while you interview others or arrange second and third interviews.
By providing some critical care to the staffing process, you can attract the brightest candidates and best recruiters to make your team strong.If you currently see areas for improvement in your recruiting cycle, you may want to brainstorm for strategies that will improve the current system. As the tech market continues to recover, finding top talent requires finesse. As you reevaluate and streamline processes, you will add long term value that will ultimately lead to quota busting profits.