Why you should put a sales guy in charge of your recruiting

A young grad recently accepted a job offer. She had been interviewing with a company that she really liked. It was a good fit for her skills and experience. The company told her that they wanted to hire her but needed a couple of weeks to work out some budget issues. In the meantime, she kept interviewing with other companies.

A week later, the company was ready to hire and ironically placed a call to her while she was in another interview. The second job opportunity was also a great fit and had a few advantages over the first. Fortunately, the second company also had the ability to move quickly and presented her an employment offer the next day. She now had a decision to make.

To complicate her decision, she had an interview for what appeared to be an even better opportunity the following week. She had applied for that job six weeks ago and that company was just getting around to first round interviews.

She ended up taking the second of the two job offers and cancelling the interview for the other job.

I see this scenario frequently repeating because many companies' lack the nimbleness and urgency in their recruiting and hiring process. Much has been written about the ongoing talent war, especially in the tech industry, among companies seeking to acquire top talent. Yet at the same time, I constantly see 20th century hiring attitudes of "I'm the employer and I will work to my schedule" getting in the way of companies' recruiting success.

Too many times, I hear stories from candidates who resumes disappears into the cloud, only to re-emerge weeks later. It often then takes weeks between  first contact, to first interview, to subsequent interviews and then an offer. Companies don't compete for customer business by being unresponsive to prospective customers and going dark for periods of time, yet they behave as if this is acceptable in the recruitment process. I don't get it.

In fact, I would be surprised if most companies even track their recruitment timelines and cycle times. I suspect few CEO's set performance and measure targets for how long a candidate resume sits before being called,  how many days before first interview, before subsequent interviews or before an offer is made.  Yet those same companies will have those same performance metrics for how quickly a sales lead must be contacted and managed through the funnel. In my experience, especially in today's hot tech job market, resumes are just as perishable as sales leads.

So if you are a CEO or operating executive who is getting excuses on why your company has open headcount, is missing hiring opportunities or is hiring weak talent, then stop accepting these excuses and start managing recruiting like you manage sales. You may just solve your problem.

© 2013 Meaford Group

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