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15 August 2016

Are You Too Slow to Hire the Best Talent?

Posted By: AIB Business

Whether it’s a fear of missing out or an overconfidence in their employer brand, businesses often delay hiring decisions and miss out on top talent, writes Siobhan O’Shea of Cpl Resources plc.

“This candidate is perfect … let’s just take a look at who else is out there.”

We hear that a lot in recruitment. The gravity of a hiring decision often leads hiring managers to hesitate when faced with the decision to hire or not to hire – so they wait instead. This last-minute hesitation is often a mistake.

The very best talent often have more than one offer on the table, and they don’t usually want to hang around. Cpl’s recent employment monitor found that 50% of jobseekers have turned down a job offer because the process took too long. To make matters worse, sites like Glassdoor invite users to submit reviews of companies they have interviewed with in the past. That means one candidate’s negative experience could cause others to resist applying because they think your business moves too slowly.


Why Do Companies Move So Slowly?

The common factor in most “slow” recruitment processes is fear. Hiring a new employee is a big investment and most hiring managers are careful that they invest that money in the right place. However, that determination to make only the right decision often leads to no decision at all.

Instead, businesses will ask a great candidate to attend multiple interview rounds to get peers to rubber-stamp the decision. This can cause as many problems as it solves. If you ask your boss to meet a candidate to confirm they’re the right person, what do you do if you get the wrong answer?

Fear of missing out can also lead to companies simply hitting “pause” on a hiring process. You find a candidate you really like, but maybe you met them very early in the process and think “It couldn’t be this easy”, or you have seen a CV that looks a bit better so you wait until you nail down that interview. The problem with both situations is it leaves a great candidate in limbo – often for weeks.


How Do You Speed Up the Process?

The best way to make your hiring process more efficient and avoid these mistakes is to ask yourself the right questions.

  1. If you met the perfect candidate tomorrow, would you hire them?
    Your answer is the perfect litmus test on your need to bring in a new hire. If you hesitate or answer “No”, then you’re not really ready to start the process. If you start now, and you do meet someone good, you are only likely to frustrate them with slow updates and drawn out timelines. Avoid advertising the role or talking to candidates until you know you’re ready to hire someone tomorrow. That way, when you meet the perfect candidate, the decision will be easy.

  2. Would you really hire your second choice?
    The option of “holding” a good candidate in hand while you look for other options seems attractive but it only offers false security. Besides the fact that this “on-hold” candidate might go somewhere else, there is also a psychological issue with hiring them. The moment you put them “on-hold”, what you’re really saying is they’re second choice. It will be difficult for you to ignore that fact if you do hire them – it will always feel like a compromise. When you get that instinct to look at “who else is out there” you need to ask yourself – “Am I stalling or do I just not want to hire this person?”

  3. What really matters to you?
    Finally, make sure you have a clear understanding of the key criteria in your next hiring, right at the beginning. Beyond the minimum requirements, like skills and years’ experience, what are the factors that will make this hire a success? Personality, background, culture fit – the factors that make your role and your business unique should be the ones you focus on.


Most importantly, remember that the point of a recruitment process is to fill a need for your business, not to find that perfect candidate. If you find someone that ticks all of the key boxes but has one year less experience than you’d like or a slightly longer notice period, hire them. Don’t expect them to wait around while you look for someone who is “even more perfect”.


Written by: Siobhan O’Shea, Client Services Director, Cpl. Talk to Cpl  about finding the best people for the job.


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