3 ways to make better hires

We are working on an engaged search for a client. We had three conference calls to develop the search parameters and to allow me to understand the target candidates.

Like most searches, there were three must-haves and about five things the perfect candidate would bring.

While beginning the search, I was super excited! My client company has a dynamic culture with future growth. In general, they have a very compelling opportunity to offer.

The phone calls begin.

I’m reaching out to the target candidates that my research department had located. BAMM! One of the first candidates had 6 of the 8 items and the two missing items were addressed previously as low priority.

My client, “Company A”,  easily agreed to interview and the feedback of both the candidate and the client was overall positive.

But this was the first candidate and there was no one to compare against.

“This candidate is definitely a final contender, but we really want to compare against other viable candidates.”

Clearly, you always want to fully examine and substantiate hiring decisions.

Unfortunately, this is a competitive market and “Company B” decided they wanted him and gave an offer two days after the face-to-face interview.

I am convinced this will happen more frequently in today’s market.

The demand for talent is high, business confidence is high and growing business means hiring.

So what are best practices?

  1. Have a clear, defined target when you are ready to hire. Be ready to pull the trigger as soon as that target is located and vetted. Time kills all deals.
    • Compare candidates to others in this same position within  the company.
    • Professional references can provide insights as to the candidate’s soft and technical skills.
  2. Have a clear presentation when interviewing candidates on what this position would do for the right person.
    • Company attributes- why should a candidate leave their job to come to work for your company? What is the culture, security of the company, growth record and goals, resources and leadership like?
    • Who will the candidate will work for and report to, sell THEIR story.
    • How will the position impact the company and what career opportunities does it present for the right candidate?
  3. On-boarding process must be defined and adhered to.
    • Communication with new hires doesn’t stop at the offer acceptance.
    • Engage with your new hire personally, keep them excited about the future with you and the company! Counteroffers are being extended  99.9% of the time.
    • Follow through with getting new hires set up and on boarded properly.  Make them feel like one of the team from the beginning.

We haven’t given up on this candidate and we are taking aggressive action to schedule another interview with Company A before the candidate has to decide on the offer given by Company B.

In our case, it was nice of our competition to give the candidates a week to consider the options.  

Tighten up those offer letters!

By the time an offer is extended, all questions and concerns should have been addressed and put to bed.

Accepting the written offer should be a non-event.

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