Time Kills Deals — and Hires! – By Philip H. Kemper
After a long and costly recession, many employers, thankfully, are hanging the “we are hiring” sign again in their windows—and the hiring cycle for many job hunters is beginning again in earnest— in many areas and in many phases of Industry.
This being an election in the U.S., I was thinking the other day how this hiring cycle process contrasts to the to the election process in the United States and, say, France. France has a short time-frame for their presidential elections. Their process often starts in February with two rounds of voting. Then, the official campaign will start in April—and the results of the general election will be announced in early May. During that time, they will manage to narrow down the candidate field and elect a president—all in less than four months. Wow—what an accomplishment!
Now, compare that to the process we have here in the United States. We begin the campaign close to two years before the presidential election. We go through tedious and noisy primary elections in all 50 states. Then we are barraged by opinions from every political pundit on Earth, are polled by every newspaper, and we have listened to every (frequently) boring debate the networks have to offer. Let’s face it, no matter how exciting any of the candidates are, we’re all pretty tired of them by election day!
So, how does this relate to the hiring process—and how we construct it in our companies? I know some companies where the hiring process resembles more the sprawling, interminable U. S. elections than the crisp, tightly managed, relatively short process of the French. Why is this? For the most part, I think it’s because these managers believe that the longer the process, the better the result.
Longer Process Doesn’t Mean a Better Result
Many hiring managers feel that a long process will give them these advantages:
- A clearer idea of who the candidate is;
- An understanding of how the candidate will perform on the job; and
- Insight into how the candidate will adapt to company culture, and many other factors.
I disagree. I just don’t think an extended process does that. As a matter of fact, I think you are in serious risk of losing your top candidates to your long process. Many times, top candidates think a long hiring process is a sign of indecision, and they shy away from joining a company they perceive as indecisive. And then, there is the competition. In this tight market, losing candidates to competition is painful enough. But, when you lose them because of what you do, that’s absolutely excruciating
Tighten the Process
Here are five strategies that will help tighten up your process:
- Establish a Deadline: Make sure you set a deadline date for your search to be over. Sure, it may slip a day or week, but have a goal — that’s important!
- Organize Your Team: If you are having a few people involved in the process, be sure they are lined up behind your deadline goal. Like a good campaign manager, coordination is key.
- Keep It on Track: Be adamant about the process staying on track. Don’t be sidelined by other projects that may knock you off your timetable.
- Wrap Up the Deal: Be hands on all the way through the process to make sure, at the end of it, you get your best candidate. Take personal responsibility for seeing that the hire is made.
- Celebrate the Hire: Well, you don’t quite have to throw a formal ball, but celebrate your hire with your team and your new employee. Have a fun lunch, “getting to know you” time, whatever, to get everyone off on the right foot.
Philip Kemper is Founder/President of Kemper Associates, a 39 year old Chicago-based national executive search firm, specializing in Permanent and Contract staffing for Trade Shows and Exhibits, Staging and Equipment Rental, Business Meetings and Events Production, Video, Training and Incentives and more .His more complete bio is on LinkedIn at: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/philip-kemper/2/795/308/. You may view Kemper Associates’ web site at: www.Kemperassociates.org, and contact Phil with questions or comments, and employment needs at: Kemperassoc@hotmail.com, or his private phone line: (312) 944-6551.