The fastest way to run off your best candidates


How many really awesome candidates do you get to interview? How many of those candidates do you end up hiring? How many of the awesome candidates end up taking another job before you can respond? I hear this many times: “My best candidate has already gone somewhere else.”  I hear complaints from candidates that they are excited about a job and an employer; however, the selection process is so long and tedious they simply lose interest. A point of reality is great employees, when they are looking for a job, have multiple opportunities. Employers have to move fast or they will miss the very people they want and need the most.   

The root cause of the problem is the length and arduousness of the selection process. Recently a friend of mine mentioned he had been hired and had started a new job. He said the selection process involved a total of six face to face interviews on six different days. In my opinion, for the level job he was applying, six was a high number. What made it even worse is he felt two or three were meaningless. They were “checkbox interviews” which were not productive or necessary. The only reason he continued through the whole process is the employer was high on his list of people he wanted to work for. The point is clear, if that employer was not high on his list he probably would have moved on.

Do you have a plan for when an awesome candidate comes in the door? Do you identify and handle them differently? Or do you have a stale process which is set in stone no matter what opportunities present themselves? I have always had a “brake option” for those situations when a truly outstanding candidate came along. Everything was halted while we ran a separate process to determine if we did have an outstanding candidate and whether we had the ability to bring them on. Many times I have found outstanding candidates wanted more money than our budget and a review had to be done if we could find flexibility in either the money or job responsibilities.

Lastly, when was the last time you reviewed your selection process? As with so many things, systems and processes go through an evolution. New items are added without a review of what is no longer necessary or redundant.

The goal should always be to hire the best candidate with the best fit as quickly as possible. Need help with how to do this?