Companies, big and small, inadvertently and with good intentions fall into these common traps when courting and interviewing candidates. Make sure you and your teams aren’t making the same mistakes, costing you talent.
1) Too many cooks in the kitchen
Companies often parade candidates through a gauntlet of team members and decision makers. Their reasons for doing so often relate to wanting as many opinions as possible so they can be sure, or wanting to give the candidate time with anyone they would have exposure to in the role. However, this strategy can be dizzying to the candidate (overload), takes away from time spent with the decision maker(s), and almost always results in so many diverging opinions, no candidate can possibly make the cut.
Limit your interview rosters to the absolute most important stakeholders in question, and if broad exposure to the team is desired, arrange a for a presentation, or meet and greet, where less “hire/no hire” feedback is collected.
2) Endless rounds of interviews
This mistake often makes an appearance in relation to Number One, but can rear its ugly head on its own. Companies too often make the mistake of asking a candidate for phone interview after phone interview; adding needless steps, or instead of pooling interviewers for an entire day visit, ask a candidate to return 2, 3, or 4 times to get in front of everyone they want. This not only wears on the candidate’s interest, but can risk giving the impression that decisions cannot be made, or that you and your team are unsure of what you seek.
Phone/first interviews should be with the hiring manager, particularly if the candidate comes from a trusted staffing partner or internal source. Condense key decision makers from there for in person interviews, and try and keep multiple candidates on similar schedules. Debrief while things are fresh on the mind, and proceed accordingly or make a decision.
3) Inordinate amounts of time between initial screening, first visit, follow up visit, etc
This is another classic mistake hiring managers can themselves fall victim to and also have the most individual impact on. After taking weeks to provide feedback on potential candidates to internal or external sources, companies will take yet a few more weeks to arrange an initial exploratory call, and from there you can guess where this is going…
Tighten up your interview process. Initial phone interviews (with the hiring manager), thru in person interviews and offer stage should not take more than 8 weeks for an ideal engagement process. You will lose candidates to time alone, or simply to other opportunities with more swift processes. You also risk alienating any staffing support you’ve enlisted, drying up your pool.
4) Making offers to non-committed candidates or making bad offers (against advice)
Do you really want to be extending offers without some assurance of acceptance? Too often companies gather little or no feedback throughout their process and are negotiating blindly with their top candidate, only to lose them when they get the offer they really wanted. Tunnel vision can also prohibit you from being diligent about having a second, or third option, or continuing to field and screen potential candidates.
Your internal staffing partners should be asking the tough questions of the candidates you are interviewing, setting expectations and guarding the organization appropriately. Lean on your external staffing partners to ensure your top candidate feels the same way you do (this is where a third party recruiter can be worth their fee and more). Trust the data on salary expectations and don’t sully interest by shooting low and hoping things work out.
Attracting, interviewing, and hiring top talent in today’s global marketplace is already hard enough; don’t create more hurdles in your process and in turn damage your team’s success.