A few months ago we were approached by the Director of Sales for a leading solar manufacture. He was frustrated because they had been looking for a Regional Sales Manager for a lot longer than they had anticipated, but hadn’t been able to find what he described as “Rockstar Talent.”
Having had positive results with solar recruiters in the past, they did some quick research, found us, and told us what they needed. After learning more about the company, why the position was open, what type of background he was ideally looking for, the expectations for the role, and of course the compensation, it seemed like a fantastic opportunity that should attract interest from strong candidates. We decided to take on the role and conduct a search for promising candidates.
We identified 3 strong candidates coming from direct competitors. On paper they looked like a strong fit, but after making introductions it took five days to get feedback from the Director of Sales. HR needed to interview all three candidates first, but we couldn’t schedule the calls until the following week. By the time those interviews were complete, it had been almost three weeks since we initially spoke with the candidates and we had only been through a phone interview with HR!
Because the process was so slow, the candidates were concerned that the company wasn’t serious about hiring. Even worse, the top candidate decided that if it took this long to move through an interview process, there was no way the company could be nimble enough or move fast enough to be competitive in the market. He pulled out of the process.
Companies often fail to realize that the way they conduct themselves during the hiring process is a direct reflection of how they operate overall. If your goal is to just fill a position with whoever comes along, then feel free to move as slowly as you like. Eventually there will be someone willing to take the job. If your goal is to hire the best people, it is imperative that you move through a hiring process in a timely manner, and if there are slow downs, clearly communicate the reasons and stay in touch with the candidates. Otherwise, your process turns into a war of attrition to see who is left standing at the end. You won’t lose all of the talent by moving slowly, but you will lose the best.