Tech Recruitment Mistakes - We have plenty of time...
When it comes to recruitment, myself included as a business leader you want to have the luxury of time and being able to compare as many people as possible for an open position and get the opinion of as many people as possible from the existing team to feel confident you are making the right and best-informed decision.
This often leads to hiring managers feeling they have plenty of time when it comes to filling a position and therefore do not tend to think about their internal process actually being part of the problem of securing people.
Of course, you want to ensure you are getting the right person for your job but this then leads you to activate a process with too many steps, allows too much time in between interviews as well as gathering feedback from everybody involved or then to start scheduling interviews too far in advance which only fit in to your calendar.
Why it's a mistake;
Ultimately, I know all too well that the best people do not hang around for jobs. Often the businesses that manage to secure the people they want, make shit happen and they do it quickly. If you leave it too long or your process is too drawn out ultimately the result will be that the candidates will lose their interest and it enables your competitors to zip on by and secure the people you might actually want to hire right from under your nose.
If you want to change this then you need to commit to making your recruitment process as streamlined as possible.
Put yourself in a candidate's shoes - how does it feel when a company comes back to you quickly VS one who doesn't. If someone applies for the position get back to them the same day or next working day.
Reduce the number of people really needed in the interview to be able to make a decision, the fewer people involved the more agile you can be.
Book interviews within the next three working days. Stop organising them two weeks in advance, who really, as an in-demand tech professional will wait around for two weeks just to come in and see you. Not many if any will.
Give feedback within 24 hours. It’s important not to rush decisions but digest an interview straight after & get your notes down whilst it's fresh in your mind and so you don’t forget anything. Build-in five minutes to debrief to yourself after the interview, then come back to it the day after and add anything you think of after you have 'slept on it'. Make your decision and inform the candidate right away and if moving forward suggest the next steps, ideally suggesting a date within the next few days. If it's no, also inform the candidate and give your reasons why. Not getting any feedback or having to wait several days for feedback can leave a bad taste in their mouths and damage your brand reputation. Remember, people will more likely talk about a bad experience if they have one.
Once you have done everything you can to streamline things your end you can then feel confident your process is as quick as it can be. Once a candidate has your offer the ball is then in their court. I would also recommend putting a one-week time limit on a decision. In most cases, people make a subconscious judgment right there & then whether they want to work for you or not but it’s important not to push them so hard that they feel forced into making a decision without thinking about it. Personally, I feel a week is plenty of thinking time, this then also puts your competitors in a difficult situation if they are not able to move as quickly as you. In most cases, the candidate will not want to lose your job offer and therefore most likely to cancel other applications that can’t close in time with yours leaving you in pole position to secure them.
Here's an interesting case study which paint's the picture well;
RECRUITER: I’m sorry. The candidate just accepted an offer from another business.
CLIENT: What?! You told us she loved us, that she wanted to work for us.
RECRUITER: She did.
CLIENT: We’re #1 in our space, you said she liked that.
RECRUITER: She did.
CLIENT: You said she liked the team, that she thought she would fit in here.
RECRUITER: She did.
CLIENT: I don’t understand, we were thinking about making her an offer.
Yes. And while you were THINKING, Your competition was ACTING. While you waited three weeks to get that last business partner to meet with her… Your competition flew her in to meet the key players and had her do a video call with the business partners who weren’t available. While you sat on the knowledge that she was interviewing elsewhere… Your competition made things happen and sped up the process. While you waited a month to get a few more people into the mix for "comparison"... Your competition recognized top talent and made the call. While you debated with HR over salary requirements and asked her for her history… They put out an offer at the top end of their range to ensure the deal was done.
If you want the top talent, you need to be thoughtful, yes. But you need to be decisive. I promise you, your competition is.
By Paul Turner - Director / Co-Founder - DigiTech Search