What’s happening to all your top choice candidates? Why are they all mysteriously disappearing during that quiet gap between the end of the interview process and the delivery of the final offer? As soon as you finally find a candidate with all the credentials and experience you’re looking for, he or she seems to be lured away by your competitors before you can close the deal. Why does his keep happening, and how can you keep it from happening in the future so you don’t keep investing in an expensive, prolonged hiring process that ultimately goes nowhere? Here are a few tips that might help.
1. Stop scheduling interviews.
In a perfect world, you could keep scheduling round after round after round of interviews, gathering and parsing data ad infinitum until the right choice became clear. But in the real world, you can realistically stage three interviews (including the initial phone screening). After that, it’s time to roll the dice and make your decision. Too many interviews are an expensive annoyance and a turn-off for talented candidates with plenty of other options.
2. Cut through red tape.
Once you’ve settled on your ideal candidate, choose a runner up, and then let both candidates know where they stand. You can do this verbally and informally, as long as you deliver the message right away. But don’t assume that once you’ve made the call, you can keep the formal offer sitting in purgatory while you wait for key HR personnel to return from their vacations. If you need sign-offs, get them quickly—find work-arounds if specific players aren’t available. Just get the offer into the mail as soon as possible.
3. Give a warm welcome.
Let your chosen candidate know that you’re excited to have her on board and you’re looking forward to her first day. (For example: “Dear Katherine, Our team is very impressed with your credentials and we’re pleased to formally offer you position of Associate Manager…”) Don’t send a message that suggests resigned, conditional acceptance (For example: “Dear Applicant, Please review the enclosed offer for the position of Associate Manager. This offer is contingent upon an extensive background check and may be withdrawn at any time for any reason in accordance with the company’s discretion.”)
Remember that you haven’t officially landed your top candidate until the day she signs on the dotted line. For more on how to make this happen, contact the staffing and management experts at PSU.