There’s almost nothing more exciting than when you find that needle in the talent haystack. Someone who has all the experience you were looking for – the one who will both fit in seamlessly and hit the ground running. But… there’s nothing more disappointing than hearing that person has accepted another company’s offer before yours.
So, how can you make sure your top choice says “yes” to your company over the competition? The answer is simple: beat them to the punch with a shorter time-to-hire process.
Let’s be clear, this does not mean a rushed process. It means a smarter and more efficient one.
Here’s how you can get there:
1. Set a timeline – start by working backwards from your target start date, taking into account the seniority for the position you’re looking to hire. If you’re hiring a mid-level employee, give yourself at least 30 days from the desired start date. If you’d like them to start May 1, expect to begin interviewing on April 1. If you’re looking for someone more senior, allow yourself more time.
2. Establish an interview team – it’s important to define who will be part of this interview process. Their feedback will help determine if the candidate is a fit and, ideally, this will be a balanced group (ie: a mix of genders, backgrounds, and varying levels of seniority). The interview team will be able to provide different perspectives into the candidate’s qualifications and fit for the role. Be careful not to overwhelm the candidate – a group of 3-5 people should be right (erring closer to three).
3. Define parameters – define what you are looking for in the new hire. Is it killer Excel skills? Great communication? Extremely organized? Make a list of the skills/qualities of the ideal hire and get the interview team on board so they can be on the lookout. This will help make the process more clear cut, and will make for a more seamless debrief about the candidate. Plus, a balanced interview team will help bring qualities to light that might be otherwise overlooked.
4. Plot availability against the timeline – Once you have your timeline and interview team in place, decide how many interviews are needed with each team member and what their availability is, then begin planning. This helps avoid potential roadblocks. For example, if someone on your hiring team is taking a two week vacation, avoid starting your search in that month.
5. Have a backup plan – Designate an interviewer (or two) to make substitutions when needed. This will help avoid unnecessary delays without sacrificing due diligence. For example, if someone from your interview team is sick and can’t make the appointment, then your backup can jump in.
TIP: if the interview process is elongated for unavoidable reasons, bringing a candidate back in can help keep interest fresh. Once you’ve identified the right fit, don’t wait. Act quickly with the offer, while being both professional and personal. The sooner you can get this to the candidate the better.
Of course, KNF&T can help. Contact us today to get started.