There is an axiom that we use in recruiting: “Time Kills All Deals.” It’s a tale as old as the industry itself. You send out an offer letter, it gets signed, the start date is set, then something happens in the meantime and your new hire decides not to start. The unfortunate reality is that's just the way it goes sometimes. However, in today's market, it's happening a lot more often than ever in the past. Many times, it happens before that offer letter even gets sent.
As a recruiter, the conversation with the hiring manager usually goes something like this:
"Hey! How is the interview process going with Tim?"
"It went great! We had the third and final interview on Friday. He absolutely loves the company. We had two other good interviews and got along really well. We think this is going to be a good match for both of us!
… We just need to have a 3rd interview with this other candidate to cover our bases. After that, we'll be ready to make an offer."
Then, the day of that final interview comes and we find out Tim has accepted another position. Most of the time, it’s simply because the competition moved quicker. They put more urgency and priority on hiring the candidate.
With my experience leading a team of Recruiting Specialists at Spartan Capital Group, I’d like to help you avoid the sting of losing the perfect candidate because the offer took too long. Here are 3 steps to find great candidates and close the deal quickly without sacrificing quality.
Recruit from a position of strength. It is important to understand the growth of your company and invest in finding quality talent before it's an emergency. The best time to hire is not when productivity and morale are down and your team is struggling. Plan to make key additions to your team when things are firing on all cylinders. It will help to retain your existing team and keep them satisfied, avoid overloading your best employees, and create room for even more growth.
There is never a bad time to meet talented candidates. Great companies are always making connections and interviewing even when they don't have positions open. They are constantly searching for the best talent to help them achieve their goals and grow their businesses. It is also valuable to develop and maintain relationships with candidates you have interviewed. Having a recruiting partner, like the professionals at Spartan Capital Group or another firm, is a great resource to stay connected and keep those relationships going.
Now that you are interviewing on a regular basis and not just when you desperately need to fill a position, be ready to make room for a great candidate when you find them. If you don't have an immediate role open, perhaps you can make a plan to hire them in a different position because you know that they're going to make your company so much better. You can’t afford to not have them on your team.
While it's not ideal if you can't hire as fast as you want to, one way to mitigate the downside is to communicate about your hiring process from the beginning. Early communication lets candidates know how long the process is and what to expect so they are not left wondering what is happening or, worse yet, accepting another position elsewhere.
(For example: “This is a 3 step interview process, the 1st interview is complete and the second is in 2 days…”)
“Time Kills All Deals” may sound harsh but it is a wise understanding to have. Whether you’re conducting your own search or working with one of Spartan Capital Group’s recruiting professionals, you can utilize these steps to find and hire your ideal candidate quickly without sacrificing quality. Because, in today's competitive job market, the longer it takes to make an offer the greater the chance that it's never going to happen.