Time – The biggest Challenge to Bringing on Talent

Time - The biggest Challenge to Bringing on Talent

Imagine dating. You've met someone, been out a few times, and you like them. You like them enough to view it as more than a fling - this is someone you can see yourself in a long term relationship with. Perhaps they are even " the one". You sit down and have the big chat about your future only to be told "I really really like you too. Before I commit, though, I want to have a think for a week or maybe two. In fact I might even see some other people just to check I'm entirely happy committing to you but in a few weeks I'll know for sure"

In relationship terms you simply wouldn't accept this. Why? Even if your initial reaction wasn't to tell them to forget it your level of interest would wane as each day goes by until you end up dating someone else because it's better than sitting around waiting for what you fear will be rejection.

I see this situation every day, fortunately not in relation to romance, but in relation to recruitment. I hear comments such as:

"They are perfect but they are the first person I've interviewed - can I get more cv's so I have people to compare them against"

"They seem ideal but I have someone else to interview at the end of next week so I will make a decision after that has concluded"

I know hiring managers are keen to exhaust every angle before committing but imagine the candidate reaction in these scenarios. For every day they spend waiting the less and less likely they are to believe that you want them. It's an emotional response and may ultimately be incorrect but it's a natural reaction. If they believe they are about to be spurned then they will invariably respond by getting themselves proactively in the market to set up their next opportunity to soften that blow if they are rejected. The frustration is when the hiring manager does eventually turn round and say they want someone in around 90% of cases it's too late - even if the candidate hasn't accepted another job they are likely to be looking at other roles and have emotionally moved away from the original opportunity.

A little insight into how niche recruiters work might help. When we look at our candidate universe based on research from companies such as Linked In we know that only 25% of the candidate market is active at any one time (ie. actively seeking opportunities) leaving 75% of the market as passive. Passive candidates are the life blood of any good recruiter. They are the people that aren't looking but when the right recruiter approaches them with the right opportunity their head can be turned. These are the people that we hand select to present to you. Because they are a good match for your spec you interview them, you like them...and then you offer one of the responses above. With any delay that Passive candidate is going to turn active pretty fast and when you eventually turn round to offer they won't be happy to commit. I know recruiters can chase too hard and push too frequently but in many cases its fully justified as we know from experience what the likely outcome will be.

So what can you do different? MOVE FAST AND BE BOLD

We are in the midst of a candidate driven market. They can pick and choose the best opportunities so to secure the best hires I suggest the following:

  • Make your recruitment process lean . Don't take weeks between stages. Take the lead from the candidate but remember creating urgency also maintains the level of interest.
  • Put someone senior in charge of the process. Creating a lean process takes some internal management and sometimes butts need to be kicked. Don't give that responsibility to someone junior - get the most senior person possible to champion that slick process to ensure everyone is on side.
  • Set timescales on all decisions. Don't let either side procrastinate too long but still allow a reasonable time to think. Don't let days slip into weeks
  • Be bold with your decisions. If someone looks perfect but they are the first person you've taken through the process trust your instinct. Offer them if they are the right person.

OK you might not always get it right but no recruitment process is 100% foolproof. Better to secure your next shining star than push great people towards the open market and potentially your competitors

For more information and insight into the recruitment market please follow Skillsearch Limited on LinkedIn

Richard Fisher


Our CEO fitness fanatic and father of 3 Richard will be found running or in the gym every lunch as he says that’s the only place he ever gets any peace and quiet. Voted 9 out of 10 as a geek by the team Richards top 3 loves are Star Wars, Tottenham Hotspur and his family – although we aren’t sure in which order. Richard is the office oracle and says what he doesn’t know about recruitment isn’t worth knowing – we haven’t managed to prove him wrong yet!

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