Slow and steady loses the recruiting race

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Author: Jeremy Bell (Entelligence Corporate Recruiter)

Date Published: 9/24/2021

Struggling to find the best candidates? You might be too slow. Amidst The Great Resignation today, candidates have more opportunities than ever, and if you aren’t first across the finish line, you may have missed your chance to have that candidate join your company.

Take my personal experience as an example: About 3 months ago, I was on the job market and interviewing at a handful of companies that I felt matched up with my goals and personality. Most notably, I was interviewing for what at the time I considered my dream job — a role on the Recruiting team at a very large search-engine company. I had successfully made it through the first interview, and my recruiter scheduled me for the second round. She sent me an invite for one month after my first interview. That’s a pretty short time to wait for your dream job in a normal year, but nothing is normal anymore, right? One week before my second-round interview, I had my first, second, and third round of interviews with Entelligence. At the end of that week, I received an offer for exactly what I wanted. I accepted and canceled my interview with the search engine folks, and just like that, I was off the market. To this day, I still send “thanks but no thanks” messages to recruiters that didn’t get to my application fast enough.

But that’s just one example, right? Well, in a poll that I conducted on a LinkedIn post, 47% of my 34 respondents said they would take a great job offer if it came first rather than waiting for another offer that excited them more. If that percentage could translate to job applicants, then there go about half of your people.

With the number of opportunities out there right now, candidates aren’t going to wait for you — even if your company has their dream job. Recruiting today is much like a race that doesn’t have a starting signal, but it does have a finish line. Your competition is already on the track; so you need to get out there and run faster than them. You don’t have time to prep or carb up. It’s time to run.

What does it look like to run through the hiring process? My suggestion: 24-hour turnaround on each step in the process. This doesn’t mean that the next step needs to happen within 24 hours; it just needs to be scheduled, and I wouldn’t recommend scheduling anything further than a week out. If you can’t get buy-in from your hiring managers for that kind of turnaround, then I recommend updating your candidates daily until something happens.

Recruiters — have you lost great candidates because the interview process took too long?

Candidates — have you accepted an offer that got to you faster rather than waiting for others?

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