Preplanning for a Hire, Git Some!
Folks, last time we talked about the various things you might be doing as a matter of routine that will kill your ability to acquire the necessary talent to staff and grow your company in this candidate driven market. Today we are going to dig deeper into what needs to happen before you even start the interview process. In an effort to avoid those pitfalls we need to make some preparations before that first candidate walks through your door. After all, tossin’ your rope before buildin’ a loop don’t ketch the calf.
If You Ain’t Gittin’, Yer Gittin’ Got
Like the illustrious Soapy Smith quoted above, our current hiring market is very much like the Klondike Gold Rush in 1897. We have boatloads of people looking for an ever-dwindling resource. Even if hiring managers know where to dig, candidates are few and far between. Even if you can engage them, they don’t last long or get stolen. Let’s get psychological for a minute. A ton of press and statistics have been bandied about warning of the risks of a “bad hire”. I have never agreed with fear as a motivator. The fear of a bad hire is paralyzing companies. Here’s your real risk folks, No Hire. If you ain’t gittin’, yer gittin’ got. Your competition is utilizing the talents of the person you let get away. Preplanning will mitigate that risk but will not slow you down. Do not be afraid to move on a candidate. Do not be afraid to move quickly on a candidate. Own your process, own your choices and be brave. Here’s how.
4 Steps to Not Gittin’ Got
Knowledge and speed are your friends. Having your interview team in on this secret is key. You, as the Hiring Manager need to set the stage, set the timeline and hopefully own the final decision. The process needs to be documented and distributed to anyone involved in the process. If you move quickly and the team lollygags, you’re in trouble. Here are some steps to consider:
- Set the expectations. This means a well-defined job description. This means resume criteria that supports the actual position. ‘Nice to haves’ are a luxury you probably can’t afford. Make sure you have buy-in from the team to ensure consistency.
- Candidate Experience. The interview team needs to understand and respect the expected time-line from resume received to phone call to on-site interview and offer. Make the experience quick, professional and coordinated.
- Input from the team is welcome but the hiring decision needs to come from one source. Make sure this is understood. Team decisions or waiting for upper management will probably mean you lose. Take responsibility, don’t be afraid of risk, don’t be afraid of a candidate who might need extra ramp-up, don’t be afraid of a candidate who might come from a higher level but is interested and capable.
- Hasten Onboarding. Understanding that the clock is your enemy and hiring delays will create counter-offers and uncertainty is key. Define your interview-to-hire process up-front with the team and the candidates. Give the finalists a strong comfort-factor with the time-line up to a start-date. Let them know you have the offer letter, start date, computer and desk ready. Stick to the plan.
It Don’t take a Genius to Spot a Goat in a Flock of Sheep.
Finally, and importantly, when you as a Hiring Manager are done setting the stage and beginning the process of acquiring new talent for your company, take an opportunity to breath, regroup and trust. It is very easy to fall into a panicked “scramble mode”. Candidates will pick up on the mood, the team will be edgy, and the entire experience will not be pleasant. Trust your process, trust your instincts, listen closely to the verbal and non-verbal conversations you are having with candidates. You will know when a solid contender is sitting across from you. You will know this regardless of resume, experience or interviewing skills. When that happens, and it will, that is the time to ‘Git some’.
About the Author
Patrick McLaughlin is a Talent Acquisition Industry Professional. He owns all the scars and accolades a successful 25-year career in recruiting can bestow. He’s learned the hard way never to approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear or a fool from any direction. As the Director of Recruiting Services at MEA, Pat has developed a core selection of Recruiting Products designed to alleviate MEA Member’s growing pains when it comes to Job Posting, Sourcing, Recruitment and Supplemental Staffing.