All of us in the staffing business have often heard, "We're in a candidate-driven market right now," or the opposite: "We're in a client-driven market right now." How about, "We are in neither?" The reality of the demand for "A" talent is that hiring the best requires a philosophical approach and process that consistently advocates a sense of urgency for all parties involved.
This doesn't necessarily translate to a very fast timeline for decisions as much as it does a collaborative effort with "front-end agreements" on dates for decisions and next steps. What's needed is a level of commitment from everyone that will keep the process moving at a pace at which interest is consistently high.
As a recruiter, it amazes me that when asking the prospective employer the question, "When would you like this person to start?" the answer is frequently, "Yesterday." That may sound like there’s a strong sense of urgency attached to it, but in reality this answer doesn’t make sense, because there’s no commitment to a realistic timeframe. It may merely indicate that the employer is far behind in the process and there’s already pain from not having that person onboard. And this may also be a warning that the hiring decision could be made too quickly — with lots of emotion and not enough logic.
Looking at the timeline and process — starting with the onboarding date and moving backward to today’s date — can bring a lot of perspective. In this scenario, all the decision-makers will look at their calendars and fill in interview dates so there’s no conflict with vacations, travel, conferences, etc. And, worst case, if a few dates are missed, at least there’s still an end-time set. This is no different than goal setting to achieve other business results, such as revenue accomplishments, finishing projects, etc. In fact, it does become the same as meeting a project deadline.
Setting timelines and making commitments to the process results in all parties being excited about the outcome and the onboarding process taking place with positive impressions for everyone involved. This positive energy is critical in the early stages of employment, as it will alleviate, or certainly greatly diminish, a lot of doubts or concerns that might arise for both the employer and new employee. Trust is already being established. Integrity and credibility begin to take shape in everyone’s mind. Fear is reduced, as there has been open communication, agreements, and commitments that have already been kept.
The advantages to establishing and maintaining urgency in the hiring process are numerous. Of course, the most important is that the probability of success is much higher when preparation, planning, and commitment take place early on.
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