Hiring a top-level employee is admittedly a big deal and is not a decision you want to rush into. Making a final decision feels so…well, final. Many times this weighty decision drags on–spanning weeks and weeks–to the detriment of the whole process.
Those vacuous weeks can have a very big impact on the top candidate’s impression of your organization and it can lead to the loss of some great leaders.
What happens when a final hiring decision is delayed?
- Candidates will get other offers. During this time of very low unemployment, there are many organizations with vacancies, even at the top of the org chart. In addition to the big need, top talent is always in high demand. If you’re interviewing someone with executive-level skills, chances are, you’re not the only one who sees their potential. The best candidates will not turn down other offers in the hopes that you will eventually extend an offer. “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush,” for many candidates.
- Candidates will doubt your interest and assume you’re not really that excited about their potential. Like any relationship, when things start to cool, you start doubting the commitment. When an organization keeps putting you off, you naturally assume there’s no lasting interest. For that reason, candidates will start looking at other options.
- Candidates will question your ability to make decisions and to more forward as a business. Senior level candidates don’t want to join an organization that has analysis paralysis. If the new hire is being made in the spirit of progress, and yet there is significant lag in the hiring process, red flags are bound to pop up in the candidate’s mind. Even without other options, the candidate may decide your organization is not where they belong.
It is clear that these three scenarios would bring the hiring process to a very negative end. Loosing your top candidate will set you back, frustrate your team, and cost your organization money. So what can be done? How can you avoid drawing out a hiring process unnecessarily?
4 things to avoid if you want your hiring process to be a timely success
- Don’t include too many people in the final decision. Yes, it’s good to get input from a variety of people. Yes, you want to thoughtfully consider everyone’s feedback, but if you wait for a dozen people to feel 100% confident about one candidate, that time may never come. Furthermore, it is helpful to have some up-front discussions with the interviewing team before a candidate walks through the door. What are the must-haves? Nice-to-haves? Any deal breakers? It is important that those in the process know what they are seeking.
- Don’t make interviews a low priority. When you are hiring an executive, the top leaders need to meet with the potential candidates. It’s an understatement to say that top leaders don’t have a lot of spare time on their calendars. However, interviews must be a priority to move the process forward in a timely manner. It’s imperative that schedules are shifted to make time to see the candidates, if in fact, the role is of high importance to fill.
- Don’t fall prey to FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). It’s true that when you choose one candidate, you are missing out on other potentially great talent. But the reality is, you will never make a decision if you live in fear of what else is out there. The key to overcoming FOMO is knowing and clearly defining your must-have’s ahead of time (see #1.) We have an article to address this very issue. Know what your organization needs so that FOMO won’t get the best of you during the decision-making part of the hiring process.
- Don’t set unrealistic expectations. Your expectations should be attainable – challenging, but attainable. Do a little research to be sure your salary, benefits, location, demands, and responsibilities are within reason. You won’t do yourself any favors to dream up a super-human role that no one can fill.
Bottom line, hiring is hard, and most times it is best to seek the assistance of a firm like Centennial. Our proven 4C process can mitigate many of the uncertainties that plague the hiring process, and boost your confidence in the decision that you will ultimately make. You get important outside expertise and perspectives on compensation negotiation, job descriptions, hiring trends, your employment brand and more. You can focus on running your business while we find you great candidates to choose from. Call us to learn more – 888-366-3670.