Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Good Candidates Get Gobbled Up Fast

Despite the slowly declining unemployment rate, the job market for marketing executives – advertising, marketing, public relations, etc. – continues to be sluggish.

Existing employees are overworked and, often, understaffed.  Often, they are so busy that they have no time to interview the very people who could ease their burden.  So the interviewing process can drag on, often for weeks, sometimes for months.   The problem is, that when people take too long to finish the process, the people they liked at the beginning of the process may have taken other jobs in the interim or they may simply have lost interest based on the inactivity.

The manager who doesn’t know how to recognize good talent and insists on meeting too many candidates often loses the best ones because of their indecision. A good manager must hone their own instincts and they need to trust the human resources and recruiters who are working on their behalf. If those people have been properly briefed, the people they send should be fully capable of doing the job.

If managers are really busy and overworked, their first priority must be to hire the person or people who can relieve them.  While getting the day-to-day work out is essential, managers must make the time to interview. There must be nothing worse than meeting and liking someone only to have them take another job because the manager debated too long and the candidate lost interest.
Over years of recruiting, I have observed that successful companies tend to be egocentric, or, if you will, corpocentric.  They often believe that everyone is dying to work at their company and will therefore wait for them.  I have actually had people say to me, “Why would he/she not wait for me.  This is a much better company.”  And while that may be true, not everyone is committed to working there.

We’ve seen instances where hiring managers sit on résumés of excellent candidates for days, even weeks, before agreeing to interview.  Even candidates who are excited to interview at that company may lose their enthusiasm.  Or, at the very least, they question the commitment to hire and wonder about the focus of the manager who is to meet them.  We’ve seen good candidates actually talk themselves out of taking a job because the process took so long the candidate became discouraged and lost interest.

Every recruiter – including corporate recruiters – knows that there is a certain momentum to the hiring process. It is important for that momentum to be maintained. When good candidates show up, it behooves the company to get them through the system as quickly and efficiently as possible.


  1. Paul,

    And, no surprise, I would say that is especially true in the realms of Digital and CRM and the like.

    Add to that, non-Digially-centric companies (mine included) do not understand the huge volume of employment options these specialists have, nor the marketplace premiums they command. Especially in the world of billion-dollar plus public companies where equity-based IPO/purchase wealth is not possible.

    I had to fight and just bring in endless people the CMO liked who were $50K+ above the approved range to move the approved salary, and have the same CMO see people in the approved range he/she viewed as "too junior" to fill the job effectively.

    Even some sub-par employees (C+, not even D) we thinned out were re-employed LONG before their severance packages ended. Often in 2-3 weeks.

    1. Thanks for this comment. It is frustrating when companies underbudget for staffing. In the long run it costs more not to hire because you can't find the right people.

  2. Just went through this. Interviewed someone at the end of January who we really liked and wanted to hire. The senior level execs kept stalling, not saying yes and not saying no. It wasn't until May that we were finally given the green light to make the offer, but it ended up costing us more money for the candidate than if we'd moved in February as she got a raise in March.

    1. I guess the moral of the story is to strike while the iron is hot. Thanks for sharing.


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