The issue in recruiting, even in this terrible job market, is always finding the right talent. Because of the paucity of jobs, companies wrongly assume that they can hire anyone they want – if they wait long enough, the exact person they want will come along. As a result, those jobs that exist are very background specific. In essence, clients tell me, “Find me someone who has worked on moist cat food is left handed and who owns pets. And don’t send me anyone who has worked on dry cat food. And don’t forget, they have to fit into our culture.”
The search can take weeks, sometimes months. And when this person finally surfaces, they are often taken for granted. Days, sometimes weeks, can go by between interviews with no word in between events. Companies often wrongly assume that everyone who interviews with them wants to work for them. As a result, they believe candidates will simply wait until the company completes its interviewing process and makes an offer, This is where a good recruiter adds value to the interview process. Among the things that an effective recruiter does is to keep prospects enthusiastic and engaged, no matter how long the process takes. But these days many companies feel they can save money by bypassing recruiters and fill their jobs themselves.
So here is some advice when there is no recruiter.
Good talent is indeed hard to find . Treat candidates as you would want to be treated. That’s right, the old “Golden Rule” for all people who see your company. Candidates need to be courted, wooed, engaged and loved. All too often, hiring managers and others in the interviewing process forget that one of their functions is to make sure that good talent does not slip away. It is fair to remember that the people you see are interviewing you as you are interviewing them.
I recently wrote about a person who went through six interviews in a day at one agency. And then over a week went by (actually more than two), with no feedback. The candidate was turned off (and so was I). Feedback is essential. Hiring managers need to immediately insure that the people they have interviewed, especially those they like, receive immediate feedback. If there are next steps, applicants should be given a timetable and told about the process in order to manage expectations.
If the process is going to be very long, someone needs to be assigned to keep in touch with the candidate at regular intervals. Communication is critical.
The worst time is often after the final interview. Many agencies need to complete extensive paperwork and obtain numerous approvals prior to extending an offer. Often this can take a week or two and sometimes longer. Recruiters can keep candidates informed and excited, but when there is no recruiter, all too often candidates feel as if he or she has fallen into a black hole. When there is no communication, people tend to fear the last interview went badly and assume the worst. This is the time when a formerly enthusiastic candidate is vulnerable to other opportunities and, possibly, offers.
Companies tend to be corporate-centric. They cannot imagine anyone wanting to work anywhere else once they have been interviewed and often take their job applicants for granted. Managers need to understand that during the pitch process, a well placed phone call, email , lunch or drink can do wonders to maintain enthusiasm and loyalty. The entire hiring process needs to be treated like a pitch.
So when you finally find the left-handed person with moist cat food experience, who is perfect for your agency, stay in contact until the process is finished.
I would love to hear your stories about the interviewing process, both bad and good.
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