Top talent – particularly top tech talent – is extremely hard to find today.
How hard? Employers were able to fill less than half of their open positions for data research scientists, database administrators and security analysts in the first five months of 2019.
So because top talent definitely sits in the proverbial catbird seat, that means you – the employer – must cater to talent’s needs whenever possible.
And that includes the fact that you need to stop doing the things in your hiring process that turns off in-demand talent, like:
1. Having to interview with too many people
Fear over choosing the wrong candidate can sometimes lead organizations to include too many interviews in the process. Coordinating schedules between your team, not to mention the candidates, can add weeks to your hiring process. Those weeks (even days) could mean the difference between landing a top candidate and that person going elsewhere.
Perhaps you want to overcome the scheduling challenge by inviting candidates for a marathon interview session. Two, three, even four or more people are brought in for a combination of one-on-one and group interviews. There, everyone’s scheduled on the same day. Easy peasy, right?
Not quite. Being “on” for an interview is exhausting. You’ll be hard-pressed to find candidates who want to come in and be “on” for two or three hours (even longer!). It’s a lot to ask, and many candidates will go elsewhere rather than subject themselves to such an exhausting process.
Taking a step back, though, it’s time to ask the question — who REALLY needs to be involved in interviewing? Hiring by committee can bring its own set of issues (and delays) when people disagree. Eliminating any unnecessary interviews and focusing only on those that are truly essential is a big way to avoid delays.
Then, look at other opportunities that can speed things up. Could video interviews speed things up? Of course, partnering with a recruiting firm (like Matlen Silver!) can be especially helpful, since we handle the earliest stages and present you only with the best-fit candidates who are ready for final-stage interviews.
2. A long hiring process
It’s a given that candidates today are probably interviewing with other companies. Possibly several others. In other words, your candidate has options. And unless you’re the first interview the candidate has scheduled, he or she may be getting an offer from one of those other employers very soon (How soon? How about within just 10 days?) Don’t dawdle!
Instead, refine your hiring process before you hit “publish” on job boards:
-Use technology that allows candidates to apply via smartphones.
-Create digital questionnaires applicants can answer on any device.
-Keep those questionnaires short: no more than one or two pages long. One page is best.
-Decide that you will interview only 5-10 candidates. (Because you may not receive dozens of applicants from top tech talent, this may be easier than you think.)
-Use video technology to not only screen candidates before deciding to “bring in” for an interview. In other words, hold the “real” interview by video.
-Ask for references from the start. This lets you check them sooner, saving you lots of time when you’re ready to make an offer.
3. Not keeping candidates in the loop
Talent today expects you to keep them in the loop throughout the hiring process. So acknowledge applications. Let candidates know when you will get in touch. And then make sure you get in touch when you said you would, even if it’s to say “thank you for your application, but we have decided not to call you in for an interview.”
Here are a few more touchpoints where candidates will expect communication from you:
> If things are taking longer than you thought (As a reminder – you should re-read number 2 to pick up the pace a bit!), make sure you give candidates an update.
> At the interview, let the candidate know about the next steps and when he or she will be hearing from you. And make sure to follow through.
> And when you’re communicating with talent, be sure to use their preferred method of communication (remember that for many, that will be text, for some phone calls and yes, even email).