The job market is moving ever faster and employers can’t afford to dilly dally. This is especially true of the entry level to the middle management market, where the strongest candidates can take their pick of the jobs. Ambitious companies are in a race to hire top talent who will increase growth and revenue. However, they aren’t just racing against each other, they are also racing against speed: the speed of the market, speed of candidates’ expectations, the speed of change.
So what can you do to make sure you secure the right candidate?
Don’t drag your feet:
Hey, you’re busy. You’ve got to do the rest of your job plus recruit this position, while your pesky recruiter keeps ringing you when you’re in the middle of something. If the candidate really wants the job they’ll wait a few days right? Wrong.
The reason your recruiter is bugging you is because they know how many other companies want your candidates and are putting in the effort to snare them. If you want talent in your team you have to, for the moment, make hiring a priority.
There are plenty of jobs these days, and candidates have the power to pick and choose. You need to make candidates feel wanted and enthusiastic about your company, otherwise they will easily find another one that does. The interview process now is as much about them sizing you up as you them.
Don’t think the grass is greener:
You’ve had a slam dunk. You’ve found someone who ticks all the boxes, plus they’ve got that little bit of X Factor. The only problem is that you’ve got no one else to compare them to. What if there’s someone else out there who’s even better?
It is sensible to make sure you see others as a benchmark, although be aware that if you take too much time over it you may lose your first choice candidate.
We’re not suggesting you hire someone without seeing anyone else. You just need to realise that you’re probably not the only one to have recognised the star candidate for what they are. By all means see one or two others, but don’t expect to have time to run a full and rigorous process.
Don’t keep quiet:
There will be times when you have to run a slow recruitment process. Perhaps funding didn’t come in on time, maybe you’re waiting for a more senior appointment or company policies are tying your hands together. However, if this is the case it becomes much more difficult to keep hold of candidates.
The most important thing you can do is keep communicating. It’s tempting to bury your head in the sand and hold tight until you’re given the green light, but by then your candidates may have moved on or are feeling deflated because they’ve not heard from you. Keep candidates informed with developments so they continue to feel the love they felt at their first interview. Yes, your recruiter will do their best to keep them warm, but they can only give them as much information as you give.
Do be flexible:
So, what if you’ve run a speedy process and you’ve managed to keep hold of a great candidate, yet when it comes to negotiating an offer it all falls apart over details? Companies offer lots of benefits these days, from home working or flexi-time, to cars and train travel through to generous bonuses and equity.
If your company won’t match these sorts of benefits then they are likely to fall behind in the race for talent. Allow someone with a long commute to work from home one day a week, or perhaps work in a different office. Offer a contribution towards travel costs or match their bonus from their last job. A multi-million pound corporation can surely afford to be flexible for a candidate who will significantly increase the bottom line.
Even if you’re small or unable to budge on financial offerings, you can still bag your perfect candidate with non-monetary or contractual deals. Maybe a few extra days holiday will swing the balance, or bonuses and pay rises after x amount of profit. Regardless of a company’s size, they need to convince a candidate that they are a great place to work and can offer them a work life that no one else can. Know your key selling points and shout about them.
The world is getting faster. Your customers are expecting you to deliver yesterday, and your competition is quickening. The best talent is used to moving quickly, and want to work with organisations that are ambitious, innovative and fast moving. If you can’t hire quickly not only do you lose time and money within the business, you may lose great candidates to more nimble competition. Worst of all, you will gain a reputation as slow moving, bureaucratic and backward thinking. If you can’t keep up, you will find yourself at the back of the pack.
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