In my 13 years as an executive search consultant, I have seen too many clients lose out on high-value candidates due to a very preventable problem: a lengthy, convoluted hiring process. The truth is, in this candidate-strong construction market, every candidate has a shelf life of about seven days. It is critical that your company make a plan to eliminate as much red tape in your hiring process as possible in order to avoid losing these candidates to your competitors.
Word Travels Quickly
From the moment a candidate hears about your job opportunity, whether they are already actively on the market or not, the clock starts ticking. Recruiters and hiring managers throughout your industry will hear that the candidate is interviewing, and the candidate will start receiving interested phone calls and emails within days. Even the act of checking references notifies competitors of a candidate’s availability -- and they are likely to reach out to the candidate on their own. You’re in a fierce talent competition the minute you start the hiring process.
Irons Are Already in the Fire
Often, your company is not the first to reach out to an impressive candidate with interest. If a candidate is already interviewing with other companies, then your company is late to the game, and you have even more reason to streamline the process of interviewing and submitting an offer if you want to be a serious contender for that candidate.
Pressing Needs Require Fast Hires
Candidates in this construction market know their value, and they are accustomed to being approached with a sense of urgency. Ten years ago, companies could afford to take several weeks to consider candidates, but today, candidates are used to being hired quickly due to the nature of increasing demand and stagnant talent pools. Therefore, if your company is sluggish in setting interviews or presenting offers, candidates will move on to a more efficient company.
Trim the Fat
Fortunately, there are a few simple ways that you can repair a clunky hiring process. Most important is to have a plan: the goal should be to identify, interview, vet, and submit an offer to a candidate within seven to ten days. Communicate with all relevant hiring managers to ensure that once a candidate is contacted for an interview, all necessary personnel can attend that interview; there’s nothing that slows down the process more than having to attend multiple interviews to accommodate diverse schedules. After the interview, you must provide timely feedback to a candidate so he or she knows where they stand in the hiring process. Finally, don’t drag your feet -- if your team agrees that a candidate is a good fit for your needs, prepare and submit an offer letter as quickly as possible.
Everyone knows the cost of a bad hire. But what people fail to understand is that there is an equal or greater cost when you make no hire. Recruiting and interviewing candidates takes time and money, and in the meantime, your staff may be overworked and needs are going unmet. In this construction market, efficiency and expediency are key to landing exceptional talent. If you are unable or unwilling to streamline your hiring process to ensure that a candidate’s shelf life doesn’t expire, you can be sure that your competitors will.